PROMOTED: Denon's Real Hi-Fi for today’s lifestyle
The Denon Design Series does it with style
Hi-Fi ArticleWhether playing music from CD or a computer, or streaming over a home network or from the Internet, the Denon Design Series does it with style.Serious hi-fi – just smaller: that’s the secret of the new Design Series from Denon. Drawing on over 100 years of experience in home and professional audio systems, these new models contain all the technology that’s made Denon’s amplifiers, CD players and network music systems best-sellers. Wrapped in stylish casework, they’re designed to take up minimal space in your home, yet fill your life with great music.
The three models in the range – the DCD-50 CD player/transport, the PMA-50 amplifier with DAC and the DRA-100 Network Stereo receiver – are built to make the most of all your music sources, both now and into the future. Whether it’s music on CD, files on your home computer or network storage, or the latest streaming services, the Design Series is all about allowing you to access your favourite tunes with minimum fuss and maximum entertainment.
What’s more the slimline style and flexibility of all three models allows you to use them even where space is tight, while still delivering all the power and sound quality required to drive everything from compact desktop speakers all the way through to big, room-shaking floorstanders.
As Terry O’Connell, President of Sales and Marketing Europe, Asia and Oceania for Denon parent company D+M Group, explains it, “The PMA-50/DCD-50 combination take the classical approach of separate amp and CD player, but with digital connectivity for hi-res audio via computer."
Until now, it’s been impossible to find high-quality hi-fi components with the sleek style of the Denon Design Series: all three models have a deluxe finish, combining soft-touch matte aluminium with bright silver-tone accents and a mixture of gloss and matte black surfaces. The DCD-50 and PMA-50 are just 20cm wide and 8cm tall, so designed to fit in almost anywhere, but they have another trick up their sleeve: thanks to a clever OLED display able to re-orientate itself, the two can quickly be changed to stand vertically, taking up even less shelf-space.
That choice of orientation is made possible by the inclusion of interchangeable feet: unscrew them, and swap them over with blanking plates in one side-panel, and side becomes base, and base the side, and the CD player and amplifier can stand vertically side-by-side. Together, they take up less shelf-space than one of the components used in ‘horizontal’ mode!
What’s more, the DRA-100, despite combining a network music player and a powerful stereo amplifier, isn’t much bigger. At just 28cm wide and less than 10cm tall, it’s little more than half the size of a conventional hi-fi amp.
Under the skin, all three models are Denon, and designed for superb performance – in fact, the kind of sound you once needed a stack of large components to achieve.
The DCD-50 CD player uses a high-quality slot-loading disc transport, able to play not just compact discs but also MP3 and WMA files stored on CD. Digital audio signals retrieved from the disc are sent to the digital audio output via a carefully shielded signal path to preserve their integrity, and thus passed on to the digital input on the PMA-50 amplifier or DRA-100 receiver using the digital audio cable supplied with the player. The DCD-50 also has analogue outputs fed from its own internal 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analogue conversion.The PMA-50 amplifier doesn't just have conventional optical/coaxial digital inputs, but also an asynchronous USB Type B input for direct connection to a computer for high-resolution audio. There’s also aptX Bluetooth for wireless music from smartphones and tablets, complete with NFC one-touch pairing where supported by the portable device.
The digital inputs can handle hi-res music at up to 192kHz/24bit, but the USB connection extends this to DSD64 and DSD128 – that’s up to twice the resolution of Super Audio CD discs – when playing music from your PC or Mac. The USB input is isolated, to reject noise from the computer power supply or other running processes, and the digital-to-analogue conversion system uses Denon’s Advanced AL-32 Processing to oversample the digital signal, producing a smoother, cleaner sound, and DAC Master Clock Design to ensure accurate conversion.
The all-digital amplification delivers 50W per channel into 4ohms, meaning the PMA-50 has more than enough power to drive a huge range of loudspeakers, there’s a preout socket to allow a subwoofer to be connected, and there’s even a dedicated headphone section with its own gain control, allowing it to be tailored for even the most demanding ’phones.The DRA-100 is designed to play music stored on a home network on a computer or NAS, and also stream content including Internet radio and Spotify Connect.
With the free Denon Hi-Fi Remote app, available for both Android and iOS, you can use your smartphone or tablet to find your favourite music, whether it’s stored on your network or streamed from the Internet, and the DRA-100 will play it with minimal fuss and maximum quality.
In fact, with Spotify Connect, it combines the convenience of online streaming with the power of its built-in networking: you choose the tracks or albums you want to play using your smartphone or tablet, and the Denon then takes over the playback, freeing your portable device for surfing, emailing or whatever else you want to do. However, if you want to play music stored on your smartphone, tablet or computer, it also has both Apple AirPlay and Bluetooth wireless connectivity, again with that one-touch NFC pairing on Bluetooth.
As Terry O’Connell puts it, “The DRA-100 is the all-in-one solution for the more convenience-orientated customer looking for access to online music services, while having the option to stream hi-res audio.”Even that’s not the full extent of the DRA-100’s flexibility. There’s a USB socket to connect and charge portable music devices, and this can also be used to play music stored on USB memory – all the way up to ‘Double DSD’. Just plug in a stick or drive containing music, and you’re ready to browse and play – and with a total of 70W of digital amplification onboard, 35W per channel, the Denon has more than enough power to drive and control high-quality speakers.
With great sound and great style: the Design Series is all about making the most of your music – after all, Denon’s mantra is that ‘Performance is everything’.
For more on the Denon Design Series click here.
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