Looking for a smooth, simple amplifier...

FootHealer

Active Member
I would describe the Rotel as tone correct amplifier for some, but there is no personality.

It’s boring, muscular sound.

It lacks emotion.
I agree, the A11 has no personality. I get the impression it tries to pretend it is not there, adding little, taking little away, when played within its comfort zone at a modest volume, with good (not bright) recordings, and easy to drive speakers that have a little bass boost and neutral to rolled off treble. A bit fussy for sure, but when these are all in place, its really, really good (at least to me). From my little listening session today, I feel the 800ne is a better allrounder and more flexible.
 

robdmarsh

Active Member
It's funny what well-designed equipment is capable of doing with attentive listeners in the hifi arena. Before you said that you definitely regretted selling the pma 600 because you missed its warm and full presentation. It's almost as if Denon had taught your ears and tastes to adjust to and then love that sound. Now, when you got that sound back again (and maybe even a bit better in the form of the 800ne) it's the precision and accuracy of the Rotel that you would miss, which means Rotel have taught you to love their sound. Two very good products, maybe, going in different directions. For me though the Denon has it. The versatility of this piece is extraordinary: small scale and large scale music is dealt with so well, the amp seems to adjust its focus accordingly. I still find myself shocked at how good my system can sound with this amplifier and I've had it for 7 months.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
It's funny what well-designed equipment is capable of doing with attentive listeners in the hifi arena. Before you said that you definitely regretted selling the pma 600 because you missed its warm and full presentation. It's almost as if Denon had taught your ears and tastes to adjust to and then love that sound. Now, when you got that sound back again (and maybe even a bit better in the form of the 800ne) it's the precision and accuracy of the Rotel that you would miss, which means Rotel have taught you to love their sound. Two very good products, maybe, going in different directions. For me though the Denon has it. The versatility of this piece is extraordinary: small scale and large scale music is dealt with so well, the amp seems to adjust its focus accordingly. I still find myself shocked at how good my system can sound with this amplifier and I've had it for 7 months.
You are right. Sometimes I want more warmth, sometimes I want more detail. This is one reason I have a few different components around. The 800ne is clearly a better allrounder. It had the same warmth as the 600ne, with maybe a little more detail and smoothness. If I were to have only one amp, it would perhaps be a better choice than the A11. I will try it for a while and see how it goes. Its fun to listen to :)
 

robdmarsh

Active Member
You are right. Sometimes I want more warmth, sometimes I want more detail. This is one reason I have a few different components around. The 800ne is clearly a better allrounder. It had the same warmth as the 600ne, with maybe a little more detail and smoothness. If I were to have only one amp, it would perhaps be a better choice than the A11. I will try it for a while and see how it goes. Its fun to listen to :)
My guess is it would have been a better match for the Quad s4 you had, though from what you said, there were other issues with that speaker that you didn't like.
Have you heard the Concept 30? I'm intrigued to try them out.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
I still find the NAD D3045 and Quad 306 (Dada upgraded) power amp better than both of these. The soundstage is huge, detailed, accurate and detailed without being fatiguing. And the bass slams. I'll see how the Quad 34 pairs with the 306 next. For now, I'll spend some time with the Denon. I don't feel deprived in any way. It's a nice amp.
I am not surprised the Nad/Quad combo beats the A11 or Denon. You are comparing two sub £500 integrated amps with another £500ish integrated amp used as a preamp with a power amp that would cost you around £1000 today (the Quad Elite QSP is its natural successor, with the 707 and 909 inbetween). The Quad has 140W and current to spare.

Given your comments you may want to try and listen the Roksan K3 (Or Caspian M2 Integrated) which going by the reviews has good bass, has an enthusiastic character like the Denon but also has good detail like the Rotel. the K3 can be had for around £750-800 second hand so not a huge jump up from the A11.
 

Kapkirk

Well-known Member
You are right. Sometimes I want more warmth, sometimes I want more detail. This is one reason I have a few different components around. The 800ne is clearly a better allrounder. It had the same warmth as the 600ne, with maybe a little more detail and smoothness. If I were to have only one amp, it would perhaps be a better choice than the A11. I will try it for a while and see how it goes. Its fun to listen to :)
But can you now listen to the music instead of the hi fi and enjoy it? I Think that is the most important thing. No system will be perfect and you could spend forever and a day trying to get audio nirvana.
Have you compared the analog mode with it on and off on the Denon?, I find there IS a difference, with some music I prefer the analog mode and other music with the analog mode off.

The bass notes hit harder with it off and with less atmospheric sound, with it on the sound is wider and more interesting and involving but bass notes are more softer and smeared, well that how it is with the PMA1600.
 

Kapkirk

Well-known Member
I see the 1700NE has onboard DAC. Bit of deal breaker for me, since I want fully analog amplifier.
Well you don't have to use it, but it's nice to have in case you need it. I rarely use it, preferring the Wolfson DAC in my CXU, I route my Node through it. The DAC in the Denon is not the best but more than acceptable.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
It is strange Denon never has gotten the same respect as Marantz. I don’t why. Both are amazing amplifiers.

Even my local shop tells me they don’t stock Denon so much compared to other brands.

I was considering the old 1600NE few years ago. They told me NAD is better.

Well... When local shops claims this, I live the shop.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
I am not surprised the Nad/Quad combo beats the A11 or Denon. You are comparing two sub £500 integrated amps with another £500ish integrated amp used as a preamp with a power amp that would cost you around £1000 today (the Quad Elite QSP is its natural successor, with the 707 and 909 inbetween). The Quad has 140W and current to spare.

Given your comments you may want to try and listen the Roksan K3 (Or Caspian M2 Integrated) which going by the reviews has good bass, has an enthusiastic character like the Denon but also has good detail like the Rotel. the K3 can be had for around £750-800 second hand so not a huge jump up from the A11.
Hi,

Yes, perhaps it isn't fair to compare the A11 and 800ne to the NAD D3045 / Quad 306 combination. I believe the 306 is 50w per channel into 8Ohm, but it feels far more powerful than this spec would suggest. It has also been upgraded using better-than-stock-quality parts, so it has that advantage too. The D3045's weakness is the power amp section. It hasn't got much power or drive, but the DAC and pre-amp section measures very well in independent testing. I guess a £500 integrated couldn't compare with this.

The Denon does give that warm sound I enjoy...sometimes. it really depends on the music and the recording, and my mood. For some recordings, its great, smoothing ever the edginess a bit, while others leave me missing the detail. It also depends on how I feel, after a long day at work, the 800ne is preferrable, as I can just kick back and relax and forget about all that stuff.

I had the analogue mode and source direct engaged last night. I may try it off at some point.

Thanks for the Roksan recommendation. I think, when all is said and done, that I may end up sticking with the Quad 306 and either the NAD or the Quad 34 when it comes back. It was just so good in every way. The 34 has a "tilt control" allowing me to adjust the warmth or brightness without the drawbacks of a tone control. It actually works too! The 34 is 30 years old and probably needs a refurb, as the sound is a little veiled and lackluster, so we'll see what some new components and a good clean turn out. For now, I'll get used to the Denon and see how it goes.
 

robdmarsh

Active Member
Hi,

Yes, perhaps it isn't fair to compare the A11 and 800ne to the NAD D3045 / Quad 306 combination. I believe the 306 is 50w per channel into 8Ohm, but it feels far more powerful than this spec would suggest. It has also been upgraded using better-than-stock-quality parts, so it has that advantage too. The D3045's weakness is the power amp section. It hasn't got much power or drive, but the DAC and pre-amp section measures very well in independent testing. I guess a £500 integrated couldn't compare with this.

The Denon does give that warm sound I enjoy...sometimes. it really depends on the music and the recording, and my mood. For some recordings, its great, smoothing ever the edginess a bit, while others leave me missing the detail. It also depends on how I feel, after a long day at work, the 800ne is preferrable, as I can just kick back and relax and forget about all that stuff.

I had the analogue mode and source direct engaged last night. I may try it off at some point.

Thanks for the Roksan recommendation. I think, when all is said and done, that I may end up sticking with the Quad 306 and either the NAD or the Quad 34 when it comes back. It was just so good in every way. The 34 has a "tilt control" allowing me to adjust the warmth or brightness without the drawbacks of a tone control. It actually works too! The 34 is 30 years old and probably needs a refurb, as the sound is a little veiled and lackluster, so we'll see what some new components and a good clean turn out. For now, I'll get used to the Denon and see how it goes.
Roksan Attessa? Looks nice.
 

Kapkirk

Well-known Member
It is strange Denon never has gotten the same respect as Marantz. I don’t why. Both are amazing amplifiers.

Even my local shop tells me they don’t stock Denon so much compared to other brands.

I was considering the old 1600NE few years ago. They told me NAD is better.

Well... When local shops claims this, I live the shop.
I think that might be down to the fact that whenever you talk most hi end dealers about Denon they automatically see them at the same level as their cheaper AVR's or Mini systems made in either china or Vietnam, But, Like Marantz, their top tier and better quality models are designed and built in Japan like the PMA1600/1700NE and the PMA2500 series, I don't think many dealers realize the top end Denon's are serious Hi Fi and are as good as any lower end Naim, Rega, Roksan, Musical Fidelity, & Audiolab products so they tend not to recommend them as much as those British amps or even the mid range Marantz amps.

Just the other day I was at the Audio Barn (who sell mainly high end gear) I was after listening to some ATC smc19's, when he asked me what amp I had, I told him it was the Denon PMA1600ne and straight away he dissed the Denon as if it was cheap rubbish and that I should immediately upgrade it to a 60 w per ch Naim Nait 5si because my Denon wouldn't be able to drive them properly, I reminded him that my Denon amp was able to output 140w into 4 ohms and has a sizable power supply with high current capabilities, weighed in at nearly 40 lbs and was reviewed and tested by David Vivian from Hi-Fi Choice magazine and actually WON the group test bettering strong competitors from Arcam, Hegel, NAD, Technics and Yamaha. The look on his face said everything so I didn't even bother to stick around.

I Got exactly the same response from Sevenoaks sav. These guys need to get with it, and realize that the top end models from Denon and Marantz are just as capable as amplifiers made in the UK, I know this as I had already tried a Naim Nait 5si and a Rega Elex-R before I bought the Denon and for me the Denon sounded better than both of those. They don't even stock the Denon or Marantz so they are not even on their Radar, either way their ignorance is quite off putting, ..and then whatever you do, don't mention you want tone controls or they'll show you the door.
 

Kapkirk

Well-known Member

TheHighFlyingBirds

Distinguished Member
Been hearing good things about the little Attessa, I've not actually heard one myself though.
I have been eyeing that up, but it has issues in ht bypass mode, with noise on one channel according to some on here. Dont believe it is a problem when not in ht bypass mode.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
I think that might be down to the fact that whenever you talk most hi end dealers about Denon they automatically see them at the same level as their cheaper AVR's or Mini systems made in either china or Vietnam, But, Like Marantz, their top tier and better quality models are designed and built in Japan like the PMA1600/1700NE and the PMA2500 series, I don't think many dealers realize the top end Denon's are serious Hi Fi and are as good as any lower end Naim, Rega, Roksan, Musical Fidelity, & Audiolab products so they tend not to recommend them as much as those British amps or even the mid range Marantz amps.

Just the other day I was at the Audio Barn (who sell mainly high end gear) I was after listening to some ATC smc19's, when he asked me what amp I had, I told him it was the Denon PMA1600ne and straight away he dissed the Denon as if it was cheap rubbish and that I should immediately upgrade it to a 60 w per ch Naim Nait 5si because my Denon wouldn't be able to drive them properly, I reminded him that my Denon amp was able to output 140w into 4 ohms and has a sizable power supply with high current capabilities, weighed in at nearly 40 lbs and was reviewed and tested by David Vivian from Hi-Fi Choice magazine and actually WON the group test bettering strong competitors from Arcam, Hegel, NAD, Technics and Yamaha. The look on his face said everything so I didn't even bother to stick around.

I Got exactly the same response from Sevenoaks sav. These guys need to get with it, and realize that the top end models from Denon and Marantz are just as capable as amplifiers made in the UK, I know this as I had already tried a Naim Nait 5si and a Rega Elex-R before I bought the Denon and for me the Denon sounded better than both of those. They don't even stock the Denon or Marantz so they are not even on their Radar, either way their ignorance is quite off putting, ..and then whatever you do, don't mention you want tone controls or they'll show you the door.
I think there is a lot of snobbery in HiFi...as there is in many areas of life. Denon is a good brand. Just because something like the 800ne is made in Vietnam using parts from China, does not mean it is rubbish. Price also does not necessarily equate to better. Looking at independent testing of some "high end" HiFi is actually nauseating...especially for people who spend £3000 on a DAC that measures worse than a DAC made in China that costs £500. I am not convinced that the price, location of manufacture or brand name necessarilly mean it is better or worse. I bought a £1600 Quad amp recently, brand new, latest version, and, frankly, it was awful. I prefer the 800ne or the A11. But them I try an old Quad serviced by a Quad-loving engineer, and its absolutely awesome.

@Kapkirk ... your story of the sales person and their snobbery towards your Denon is one of the reasons I avoid these places. I am not saying all high end hifi is a rip off...I am saying that the gap between budget and high end might not be as wide as it was in the past, and the law of diminishing returns may well be steeper than ever. I remember listening to a lecture by Floyd Toole where he described some blind tests of speakers that varied wildly in price. Many people struggle to accurately predict which are more expensive and often prefer less expensive speakers. He mentioned a desktop speaker system by Harman (I believe it may be the Soundsticks system) and how it was rated far higher than any expected despite being far cheaper than some other speakers tested. I bought the Soundsticks 3 system for my wife, used on Ebay, for £60, and frankly, it is flipping awesome. It really sounds great...if I had spend £600 on it, I would have been happy.

Price and name (or Naim) doesn't mean its better. Listen to it. Measure it. That's the way I prefer.
 

Ascotbilly

Well-known Member
It’s a really nice looking set hope the sound meets your expectations!

I’ve been looking at matching amps / CDP’s after seeing the Rotel A11 recently.

Have just picked up a Marantz CD 6006UK on here and it’s a great looking and sounding piece of kit. @Helix Hifi - I was searching for its matching amp the PM8006 and noted you had commented on it in the past. Have / did you own one and if so what do you think of it ?
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
PM8006-pure bliss! Made in Japan-build as tank. Beautiful design. Volume control is smooth, same with the input selector.

I would buy it in black, looks nicer then silver. But both look beautiful.

Sound wise.. It is neutral with some color to the sound.

PM8006: Bass, treble have slight boost. Midrange is tad laidback. But the vocals, instruments are very realistic sounding. Romantic sounding sort of. Imagining is spectacular.

Bass has impact, meaning if you prefer full deep bass this might be the correct amplifier for you. The bass is not as refined as other contenders. It “lacks” some dynamics for some, still sound is subjective. In other words it gets 8 of 10 from me.

Ps, the treble is not bright, it’s the opposite. Revealing, detailed at the same time.
 

Ascotbilly

Well-known Member
@Helix Hifi - Thanks for the quick response sounds very positive will have to look into this.
Quickly threw the CD6006 on a shelf last night.
Have just bought a new Rega RP2 and looking at Dali Opticons over next few weeks.

Anyone have any thoughts of the PM8006 vs Rega Brio or is the Elex a more relevant comparison ??
 

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Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
It has midrange control also, which is nice to have. Sometimes I adjust it to 2 o’clock to get more body to the music.

As mentioned it is fabulous amplifier. Speaker terminals are of excellent build quality.

One con though. The EU plugs can be very difficult to remove. You need to knife etc to get them off. On some earlier models the plugs have round design. It took me half hour removing the round plugs of. The model I have now it is quite easy to remove. Use small scissor etc and voila this pesky plugs can be removed.

Also the volume control is motorized design. It does make some noice when you adjust the sound with the remote. It is not super loud, it doesn’t bother me.
 

Ascotbilly

Well-known Member
Rega has the motorised volume too, which I like. Where practical eg not silly costs, I want a European Built system hence the arrival of the Dali”s but would happily open up the geographic spread for a made in Japan product
 

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