Question Denon DM-41's DAC: Is it any good?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Goldleader, May 17, 2018.

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  1. Goldleader

    Goldleader
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    Hi,

    I am considering buying a DM-41 DAB, pairing them with Q Acoustics 3020s or Dali Spektor 2s.

    I intend to connect it to my TV and PS4 via the optical inputs.

    I was blown away by the sound quality when I demoed the CD player.

    However, I don't own as many CDs as I'd like and I mainly listen to music via Spotify Premium. I was much less impressed with the sound quality when I listened to Spotify Premium, streamed at 320kbps, through my mobile phone's 3.5mm output (Nokia 8) into the RCA input of the Denon. I understand that listening to a CD is always going to be the better option in terms of sound quality but I was shocked at just how much better it was. Having read around about why the quality was likely so poor when listening from my phone I think the rate limiting factor here is likely my phones DAC.

    I thought that one way around this would be to use a Chromecast Audio via optical input to the DM-41. Hopefully this would be much better, using the internal DAC within the Denon.

    Does anybody know whether the internal DAC of the DM-41 is actually of decent quality?
     
  2. larkone

    larkone
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    320kbps (vs 1411kbps - CD) and then fed through a cheap DAC and headphone amp in a phone is never going to sound good. The Denon DAC sounds better than the Chromecast (I have a DM41 and Chromecast) but you have the option to try both with a Chromecast as it has analogue and optical out.
     
  3. muljao

    muljao
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    You can possibly do better for your money if you just need Spotify and the odd cd. Are you limited for space? Is the dab in the Denon important to you?
     
  4. Goldleader

    Goldleader
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    Thank you both for your replies.

    The DAB in the Denon isn't important at all. I'd provisionally chosen it and the speakers based on favourable reviews, two optical inputs for my TV / PS4 / Chromecast if needed and it's price tag within my budget. I'd be looking to spend £350-400 maximum, for everything.

    I'd be interested to know if you have other suggestions.
     
  5. Goldleader

    Goldleader
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    Also, space isn't a limiting factor. But the small footprint of the DM41 is a positive.
     
  6. muljao

    muljao
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    I suggest you buy a second hand av receiver that has preouts and a set of jbl lsr 305s. The jbls are powered monitors that should be achievable for 180 pounds. The av receiver should be between 40-80 pounds. Slightly older av receivers that do not have hdmi inputs go for small money. Some can have up to 6 digital inputs, combined with built in radio etc.

    Any (cheap or expensive dvd/bluray or even ps3) can be plugged in digitally and use the amps onboard dac to play dcs, or even relatively high resolution music. The chromecast can be plugged in with a digital optical also.

    The speakers have inbuilt amps so they are plugged to the receivers preouts, but the speakers themselves (very highly rated) do the amplification

    Its a relatively cheap option to get digital sources, analogue inputs and very powerful spekers. You should be set including chromecast for a little over 300 pounds
     
  7. Ugg10

    Ugg10
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    As @muljao says -

    Example of AVR with pre outs, phono in, 2x optical and 2 in/1 out HDMI. these usually go for around £60-70.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DENON-AV...183964?hash=item467c6c505c:g:OkQAAOSw5MBa83WB

    here's a link to the JBL305's - note, be aware that studio/active speaker are often priced in individual units so check if they are a single or a pair.

    https://www.gear4music.com/Recordin...-Active-Studio-Monitors-with-Stands-Pair/1C1M

    An alternative may be the presonus E5

    https://www.gear4music.com/Recording-and-Computers/PreSonus-Eris-E5-Active-Studio-Monitors-Pair/YLR
     

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