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Denon A1SR

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by gazzerr, Jul 29, 2002.

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  1. gazzerr

    gazzerr
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    Almost decided to replace my 3802 with the above. However, I was reading a magazine review :blush: which was not about the A1SR but one of its competitors and it said great music performance but of course like all the other big integrated amps it's still no better than a GBP 500 dedicated Hi Fi amp.!

    As I am looking for a better stereo performance it has got me thinking about my plans. Has anyone any views on where the A1SR ranks in terms of stereo performance:confused:
     
  2. Jase

    Jase
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    Hi

    Best thing to do is go listen to one yourself and make your own mind up. I have the upgraded A1SE and its music playback in Pure Direct mode is excellent. Bit difficult comparing it to a 500 quid stereo amp as it depends what 500 quid amp you´re listening to in the first place.

    Have a demo and see what you think.:)
     
  3. paiger

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    Most of the problem with AV amps is that all the signal processing and switching tends to degrade the signal. Fine for movies when you actually want all that to happen but can be bad for music.

    As far as I know, Denon has gone to great lengths to provide a path for analogue music that avoids all those switches. So, in effect it becomes an analogue music amp when you want it to. I would imagine, with the high quality components used that it would compare favourably with most stereo amps up to £1000.

    I am also looking at one of these to replace my ageing Sony 940 and my main requirement is good music playback, especially multi-channel (SACD etc). The reason I bought my Sony all those years ago was that it was one of the only amps to have a direct analogue bypass and it does make a huge difference in use.

    I will be demoing the A1 soon and also the Tag AV32 although I have reservations over the number of inputs on that one. I really would like a one box solution and the Denon seems to be it. Like the Denon link too. Usefull to hook it up to DVD A1 for DVD-A and DTS then use 5.1's for my SACD player.

    Only problem is, I think my Ruarks are not quite beefy enough to handle the beast.

    S
     
  4. Jase

    Jase
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    Paiger

    The Denon A1SR has two sets of external inputs so you can connect both a DVD Audio player and an SACD player. The Denon link is a good idea but unfortunately cannot pass a digital signal for any DVD-Audio discs that are copy protected, you still need to connect it via the external (analogue) inputs as well.
     
  5. paiger

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    Jase, that's what I thought until I read this on the Denon site:

    Denon Digital Link The AVC-A1SR / DVD-A1 combination truly redefines the state of the art. The A1SR is designed to be the digital-decoding centre of an integrated system in conjunction with the new DVD-A1. When the two components are connected using the Denon Digital Link this enables the A1SR to receive digital audio data from the DVD-A1’s transport section, including DVD soundtracks plus two-channel and multi-channel DVD-Audio. The data can then be decoded and processed by the AVC-A1SR’s state-of-the-art digital electronics for the ultimate sonic performance-with full digital bass management. The Denon Digital Link, combined with future software and/or firmware upgrades will enable the AVC-A1SR to decode multiple future digital audio formats according to the way it is configured.

    Would seem to suggest that the A1SR takes the raw signal and does the DACing itself when using the link. I'm not much of a tech geezer so may have read it wrong. Just had a look again and you are right though, it does have 2 5.1 inputs so no worries anyway (just cable hell!!). I'm kind of hoping that by the time I get around to the DVD-A1 it will be SACD compatible. Either that or there will be a clear winner in the SACD/DVD-A battle.

    Trouble is, in the meantime, I'm holding off buying too many SACD disks even though I love the format.

    S
     
  6. gazzerr

    gazzerr
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    Paiger,

    Looks like we are thinking along the same lines. Let me know what you think after your demo. I was also planning on trying to listen to the new Rotel processor when it eventually appears.

    The TAG has some appeal because of its upgradeability and it must be a question of time before they work out a proper/universal digital link for SACD/DVD which also covers the piracy issue.
     
  7. Jase

    Jase
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    Paiger

    Here´s a link to a Forum dedicated to the DVD A1/9000. Worth having a look there as it would seem there are a few things in the pipeline regarding the Denon link etc

    Denon DVD A1 Forum

    Of interest Page 2 of the thread DVDA1 Multi region Mod. Scroll down to the post by bjake00.

    Cheers
     
  8. Gambit

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    Hi. Not wanting to move business from Denon, but the new Pioneer VSX-AX10 is pretty damn good in stereo, and has been hailed as one of the best one boxers ever. I thought the stereo presentation was ok, better than a 3802, but I still think processors are the way forward (I appreciate you want a one box). So give the Pioneer a try too.
     
  9. paiger

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    I'm going to try the Tag too, maybe with the front loading DVD player. Would be much happier to commit money if they were SACD and DVD-A compatible. Anyone know if the hardware is different for these formats. What I mean is, is there anything to stop Denon or Tag upgrading these players to SACD by a software download later on. I think they both do DVD-A now. All my stuff is SACD. I'm not loyal to either format, just don't want to get stuck with a load of unplayable disks.
     
  10. Matt F

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    Here's what Tag's CEO said on this very subject on the tagmclaren.com website this month:

    TAG McLaren has at present no intention to support SACD as all signs from the licensors are not giving us confidence yet that this format is here to stay. In addition, one needs to be very careful in not confusing the ability to play SACD but not making full use of the special audio encoding process (which would need for its full performance to be unwrapped also a new av processor). We also believe that the selection of Firewire for a high speed digital link (if it is ever legalised) is questionable due to its bandwidth limitations.

    DVD-Audio in contrast is becoming a standard because it is in principle a simple add-on to DVD-V and hence will be catered for within the same future silicon chips - in other words it will not cost anything extra in terms of hardware support (just licensing cost).

    The delay of introducing it into the DVD32 is caused by the copy protection issues which has made all those early devices designed for DVD-Audio before water-marking, such as Pantera 2 worthless. Unfortunately Pantera 2+ isn't available yet and Mediamatics is continuously delaying its introduction (can't be too much demand then, can it?).

    So in a nutshell, don't expect SACD within the DVD32/DVD192. If we made a SACD player then surely one which would make full use of the formats benefits but surely such player would only come after the SACD licensors had understood that a high-resolution audio format needs a legal full bandwidth digital output.

    The DVD192 upgrade will do DVD-Audio. The DVD192 should be with us during the second half of 2003, assuming DVD-Audio is then still alive.

    P.S.: I still believe that neither DVD-A nor SACD will be successful formats in the long term (sure I could be wrong). At a time where we rather would like to see HDTV movies recordings (blue laser, D-VHS: great picture, great sound), I simply believe that the majority of consumers wouldn't gain anything from these super-audio formats.


    So, there you have it - not want you wanted to hear methinks.

    Matt.
     
  11. paiger

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    I do see his point about firewire etc. but feel that any manufacturer that tries to call the market is being foolish in the same way that I would be foolish to replace all my CD's with SACD or DVD-A right now. I suppose Tag are looking to be able to send the SACD signal down a digital link to the processor, rather than through phonos and feel hamstrung by Sony's restrictions (who owns firewire?).

    As I said, I'm not a particular fan of either format, it's just that I have the capacity to play SACD right now so I'm collecting a few and I like what I hear. Denon seems to have the same point of view so I guess it's a case of going for a good DVD-A player and then maybe having to have a seperate SACD player as well. At least it looks like the 5.1 inputs will not be needed for the DVD-A side of things so that would be an option.

    I personally feel SACD has a better chance as an audio format. What Joe Bloggs is going to buy a ghettoblaster with a DVD drive? On the other hand, if it says Super Audio CD on it they will love it. Also I'm not sure how many people have their DVD players hooked up to multi-channel amps.

    I guess we'll see. I do know there are some fine recordings for both and that there will be a market for something better than CD in the future. I just want to cover all my bases without ending up with 15 boxes in my cabinet.

    S
     
  12. paiger

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    Also, we have Sony about to start producing hybrid CD/SACD disks and nothing else so many people will unintentionally end up with an awful lot of SACD material in their collection.

    As I said, with DVD-A, you'll have to actually go and buy it and that depends on how many people have their players hooked to an amplifier other than that in the telly.

    Anyway, lets not get into a DVD-A/SACD argument. Nobody can see the future. I would bet on SACD but in the end I don't really care as long as we get a good, standard hi-res audio format in the long run. Multi channel, especially centre and sub would be a bonus too.

    S
     
  13. Matt F

    Matt F
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    The A1SR, the Pioneer AX10 and the new top of the range Yamaha feature in a group test in the new What HiFi magazine.

    The Pioneer won and came out best for music, which surprised me as I thought the Denon would win on music hands down.

    However, they concluded that neither of them were any better than a dedicated £400 stereo amp.

    It's only their opinion mind you - I'd be interested to see what the results would have been if HiFi Choice were reviewing them.

    Matt.
     

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