Denon PMA-2500NE & DCD1600NE review

Numpty112233

Active Member
It's been 4 months now that I've had my PMA1600 / DCD1600 combination together, feeding my NVA Cube 2 speakers. There's not one day goes by where I regret the decision to go with this combo, I think they are both wonderful. I bought the PMA1600 2nd hand off another forum, and the DCD1600 from Hi-Fi Corner new. Just a heads up for Hi-Fi Corner from me. They gave me the best price I could find and also a brilliant PX deal on my Pioneer PD30 player. I'm loving them both.
By the way the retail price of your amp and player have recently gone up by a considerable margin (around 40% at Hifi corner), however AVonline, which has them at the same individual prices as Hifi corner, is selling them together as a package with over £700 off which imo is excellent value
 

DIBSTER

Well-known Member
By the way the retail price of your amp and player have recently gone up by a considerable margin (around 40% at Hifi corner), however AVonline, which has them at the same individual prices as Hifi corner, is selling them together as a package with over £700 off which imo is excellent value

Yes I have noticed that too. The PMA1600 appears to be going for about £1399 these days! Makes the £500 I paid for a 6 month old mint 2nd hand model a bit of a bargain now. Likewise the DCD1600 was £699 when I bought mine 4 months ago and they appear to be £999 everywhere these days.

I still hanker after a pair of Dynaudio Special 40's that the guy who sold me his PMA1600 had and played for me. Man they were so good, but at £2500 a pop plus £500 for the matching stands is way outside my means unfortunately. Best speakers I've ever heard.
 

DIBSTER

Well-known Member
Following on from my post last month. Subsequent to me buying and really enjoying my DCD-1600NE I eventually came to the conclusion that I would never truly utilise the full SACD potential of the player. I do not own any SACD's and looking at the cost of them not likely ever to buy any in the future. Therefore I decided to cash in my chips and sold on the DCD-1600NE. I didn't take a financial hit and I believe the person who now owns it posts on this forum occasionally. I hope he's enjoying it.

However, I was truly impressed with the Denon and wanting a normal CD player of some description, I went one model down the chain and bought myself a really nice 2nd hand DCD-800NE which is compatible with my PMA-1600NE remote control. I must say that the standard redbook CD playback is very good and just goes to show that you don't have to spend loads of money to get great CD playback. It's early days yet but so far there have been no glitches and it works perfectly. I would heartily recommend the DCD-800NE to anyone who is looking for a decent player without breaking the bank.
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
How would you compare the playback sound quality of DCD-800NE to the DCD1600NE? Is Redbook playback comparable or distinctly different?
I would like a SACD player, just for the better RB CD sound quality, but cannot justify the cost at the moment.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
How would you compare the playback sound quality of DCD-800NE to the DCD1600NE? Is Redbook playback comparable or distinctly different?
I would like a SACD player, just for the better RB CD sound quality, but cannot justify the cost at the moment.
I cannot comment on the difference between the two Denon models as I've owned neither but I can compare my DCD 2500 to my old Marantz cd6006 on RB playback and there is really no comparison. The 2500 just digs deep for any available information and can and does bring really good recordings almost to SACD performance. I'm not really comparing apples to apples and it's the 1600 that's being talked about but what I can say is that my other SACD player the Marantz sa8005 is also better with RB than the 6006. I would also say that I more than suspect that the 1600 is a superior player to the sa8005 based on my experience with the 2500.

The question you have to ask yourself is whether the extra cost is going to be justified for just RB playback or are you going to bankrupt yourself and buy SACDs and get the best out of a 1600. With SACD the 2500 and more than likely the 1600 is stunning.
 

DIBSTER

Well-known Member
To be honest I cannot compare now as the DCD-1600NE has gone and the DCD-800NE is in situ. There is no audible difference in presentation to my ear, but I am certainly not trying to suggest that the 800 is as good as the 1600, and at 4 times the cost the 1600 damn well should be a superior machine. What I am trying to get across is that for a not too expensive machine (£250/£260 new at most suppliers these days) you will get excellent CD playback , and picking up a mint 2nd hand machine is a real bargain. I am pretty sure that around this price range (£250/£350) there is a glut of very able and capable machines. It's all about whether you wish to spend considerably more to go to the next level.
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
I cannot comment on the difference between the two Denon models as I've owned neither but I can compare my DCD 2500 to my old Marantz cd6006 on RB playback and there is really no comparison. The 2500 just digs deep for any available information and can and does bring really good recordings almost to SACD performance. I'm not really comparing apples to apples and it's the 1600 that's being talked about but what I can say is that my other SACD player the Marantz sa8005 is also better with RB than the 6006. I would also say that I more than suspect that the 1600 is a superior player to the sa8005 based on my experience with the 2500.

The question you have to ask yourself is whether the extra cost is going to be justified for just RB playback or are you going to bankrupt yourself and buy SACDs and get the best out of a 1600. With SACD the 2500 and more than likely the 1600 is stunning.
Many thanks. I am not seeking SACD's to purchase, but would appreciate better quality Redbook playback. I have just got my amp back and it is sounding better than ever. I may look out for a pre-owned SACD player or perhaps a new CD player. Which, will depend on funds.
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
To be honest I cannot compare now as the DCD-1600NE has gone and the DCD-800NE is in situ. There is no audible difference in presentation to my ear, but I am certainly not trying to suggest that the 800 is as good as the 1600, and at 4 times the cost the 1600 damn well should be a superior machine. What I am trying to get across is that for a not too expensive machine (£250/£260 new at most suppliers these days) you will get excellent CD playback , and picking up a mint 2nd hand machine is a real bargain. I am pretty sure that around this price range (£250/£350) there is a glut of very able and capable machines. It's all about whether you wish to spend considerably more to go to the next level.
Thank you for your thoughts. I imagine a good new model will be better than my ancient Arcam.
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
Just spotted a manufacturer refurbished DCD-1600NE for half current list price. Get it or wait to get the DCD-2500NE? Decisions, decisions...
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Just spotted a manufacturer refurbished DCD-1600NE for half current list price. Get it or wait to get the DCD-2500NE? Decisions, decisions...
I bought my 2500 from HiFi Corner and managed to get a good deal by telephoning them. It is something else believe me.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The model I have seen is just under £500. I don't mind refurbished as they are often well worth it.
Half price. How long a warranty?
 

Ron Hilditch

Well-known Member
I bought my 2500 from HiFi Corner and managed to get a good deal by telephoning them. It is something else believe me.
Paid £830 for my DCD-2500NE, including P & P. Is it worth more than the 1600NE? At the time couldn't find a cheap 1600NE, think I did OK. listening to it at the moment, Rory Block Best Blues & Originals volume II. Wonderful!
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
Paid £830 for my DCD-2500NE, including P & P. Is it worth more than the 1600NE? At the time couldn't find a cheap 1600NE, think I did OK. listening to it at the moment, Rory Block Best Blues & Originals volume II. Wonderful!
I wouldn't mind finding A DCD-2500NE for that money. Shortly after first becoming interested in the Denon's, the price shot up. I blame the popularity of this thread. 😁
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I paid £1299 for mine. That made it just £300 over the 1600 and I was torn between the two as the list price was £1499 at HiFi Corner, eventually got it down to the price I paid. I've still only got it set up with the Lehmann headphone amp and the Oppo PM1s with the Marantz sa8005 running with the Rega.

I'm going to have to put the Denon into the main system as we are listening to a lot more music in the day time thanks to the lock down.
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
There's also a Marantz 8005 I've seen, B stock for the same price as the Denon. Perhaps I should forget about it for now. Its all too much.
 

Ron Hilditch

Well-known Member
There's also a Marantz 8005 I've seen, B stock for the same price as the Denon. Perhaps I should forget about it for now. Its all too much.
Had the Marantz 14SE, fantastic build quality and superb to look at. Didn't like the sound. Sold it on EBAY, bought the Denon. Had a little bit of money in the bank as well, result. Both from the same company, the Marantz also had a plethora of digital inputs. Sounded very different.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
There's also a Marantz 8005 I've seen, B stock for the same price as the Denon. Perhaps I should forget about it for now. Its all too much.
One thing I can say for certain is that the Denon is better than the Marantz. More detail, greater soundstage. Both of these I tested back to back on the headphone amp and Oppo PM1s, so no hiding place.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I've finally got around to putting the DCD 2500 into the main system replacing the Marantz sa8005. It's now connected directly to my Rega Elicit-R with the Lehmann Linear linking to the Rega via the tape loop. First plays were two SACD titles in my new James Taylor Hourglass and the evergreen Beach Boys Pet Sounds.

I now have to slap my face and wonder why I didn't do this months ago as it sounds wonderful, it does put the Marantz in the shade. If I can get use to having headphone leads trailing across the floor it's going to stay in the main system. The Marantz is now somewhat redundant.
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
I did wonder why you had not moved the Denon across sooner. But now you have and you are enjoying it. All good.
I have now purchased the refurbished DCD-1600NE.
I should have it by the end of the month, sooner, hopefully. If it doesn't play Red Book CD's better than my elderly Arcam, which is why I bought it, I'll be very disappointed.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I did wonder why you had not moved the Denon across sooner. But now you have and you are enjoying it. All good.
I have now purchased the refurbished DCD-1600NE.
I should have it by the end of the month, sooner, hopefully. If it doesn't play Red Book CD's better than my elderly Arcam, which is why I bought it, I'll be very disappointed.
It should have a very good RB playback, I think that is probably the strong point of these Denon players, AL32 having a lot to do with it. Played the 2500 in the main system last night and even the missus noticed a difference with RBs over the Marantz. Think the Marantz may find it's way into the classifieds sooner rather than later.
 

Jaded1

Active Member
Going down a level. Does anybody think that the Denon DCD800 would be better than the Marantz CD6006? The Denon is priced cheaper but that doesn't necessarily make it a lesser piece of equipment.

Indeed has anybody heard both and care to give their thoughts?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Going down a level. Does anybody think that the Denon DCD800 would be better than the Marantz CD6006? The Denon is priced cheaper but that doesn't necessarily make it a lesser piece of equipment.

Indeed has anybody heard both and care to give their thoughts?
I have owned a cd6006 and it is a very good player indeed, extremely well made and has a very good DAC on board, a DAC that Marantz also use on some of their higher tier models including the sa8005.
So I'm going to stick my neck out here and say the Marantz is the better unit.

They will certainly sound different, the Marantz still have that laid back warm feel. The Denons are more detailed, brighter if you like.
 

DIBSTER

Well-known Member
I own a DCD-800NE (see previous posts for reasons why :) ) which I bought 2nd hand off Ebay for £145. It is excellent VFM but whether it's better/worse/same as the Marantz CD6006 who knows. All I know is that my PMA-1600 / DCD-800 makes a great combination, I'm more than pleased with it.
 

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