UPDATED Denon PMA-2500NE & DCD1600NE review - a voyage of discovery…

gibbsy

Moderator
@gibbsy: would you say that the Marantz improves the playback of Red Book CD's? Sorry to ask, but don't want to wade through previous threads and posts. I am considering purchasing the already mentioned Sa8005
Yes. All SACD players are better at RB playback over their basic CDP counterparts. If you have headphones with a fairly low ohm loading then listening on the 8005's headphone jack will confirm this. I currently have the 8005 connected up to my Rega amp. The Denon connected only to a Lehmann Linear headphone amp, a combination that is like drinking a perfect pint of Felinfoel Double Dragon.
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
The price inflation is probably my fault also - my initial thread saw a mini sales spike (as reported on the thread) on a product that I suspect had previously been under the radar and not shifting, thereby Hifi Corner not putting up their prices as soon as the others, which, in hindsight (a wonderful thing) allowed me to purchase at a pre inflated price when it should have already gone up. Have a word with Shane of AVonline on here because, whilst they are selling at the higher price, they are doing a very good discounted package deal which suggests (to me at least) he may be willing to move on it. Tell him Gibbsy said so seeing as I'm getting the blame for everything else ;-)
High res download prices are comparable with vinyl or classical music / jazz SACD i.e. £10 - £20
Go on - tell us about yer amp ;-)
Ah, so it's all your fault. Hrrumphhh! 😁
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
Yes. All SACD players are better at RB playback over their basic CDP counterparts. If you have headphones with a fairly low ohm loading then listening on the 8005's headphone jack will confirm this. I currently have the 8005 connected up to my Rega amp. The Denon connected only to a Lehmann Linear headphone amp, a combination that is like drinking a perfect pint of Felinfoel Double Dragon.
Thank you. 😊
 

Numpty112233

Active Member
I have finally concluded I am officially Old.


Not because not only do I call a lady “Hello there” as I kiss her on the cheek and make direct eye contact with a winning smile simply because I can’t remember her name, but half the time I can’t remember what I am supposed to be doing, why I am there, or even a particular word mid sentence, which is most frustrating. Not because every two minutes I am bursting for, but can’t pee. Not because I still have two hairs on my head only because I’ve pulled them up from my arse crack. Not because I can finally(!) recognise the signals a woman wants my body but what’s more I’m not really interested because she may have been beautiful thirty years ago but still acts like she is. Not because I can’t read the restaurant bill cos I’ve forgotten my specs. And nor is it because (forgive me cos I can’t remember this one…)


As valid as these reasons are for concluding one is entering the hinterland of one’s life I was still in denial until I have finally concluded I really like jazz. Eek!


I fully blame my Denon DCD-1600NE - PMA-2500NE - Monitor Audio Gold 300 for this brutal realisation at my tender age of merely 52. (Yes, dear forum reader, that must make most of you on here feel positively ancient.) For they make even well recorded / played jazz sing beautifully.


Whether it is Jim Brock playing “Jordan” or “O Vazio” (spotify link below - if ever you were looking for a redbook CD where all tracks are worthy of hifi audition then Jazz Kaleidoscope RR-910 is one) or the 3 SACDs in the Jazz at the Pawnshop 30th Anniversary PRSACD 7879, I can at last now fully appreciate and get much pleasure from such skilled and complex musicianship, the hifi revealing it in all its detail, delicacy and dynamic range with both transparency and emotion. Or should that last word be husky sexiness far greater than the afore referred to vain 50 year old man-eater with emotional baggage.


Don’t get me wrong - I still find some jazz decidedly unpleasant. Note the phrase “well recorded / played” above. One or two of you may remember that in my op of my 1st thread I mentioned the first SACD I ever heard. I had only just got the DCD-1600NE player and stuck on Herbie Hancock’s “Sextant” album, which I described thus; “screeches were like fingernails down a blackboard at full volume.” Not knowing the album prior to this initial audition I couldn’t have picked a worse random first candidate. I was quick to suspect the new equipment but have subsequently listened to the CD layer on my oldest system with it’s Castle Chester 1/4 horn floorstanders. These speakers are so laid back in their presentation I suspect they have been internally wired with marijuana. And yet my ears still bled. Going from brutal morning alarm / pub clearing music to the soporific opposite neither am I a fan of Diana Krall. I may be officially old but if I should ever make it so far as a retirement home with my balls still intact and this is playing in the elevator then I will throw myself out of the top window just to feel alive.


I wasn’t planning on expanding my sufficiently large music collection when getting this new system, however the sheer pleasure it gives has had me buying large quantities of SACDs, LPs, CDs and high res downloads of various genres including jazz such as Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Blazing Redheads.


But perhaps most of my new purchases could be better defined as “jazz fusion”, whatever that is (I am not a fan of pigeonholing music - there are to me only 3 types; I like it, I don’t mind it, I dislike it). I have acquired a number of (Devadip) Carlos Santana, Steely Dan, Spyro Gyra, Acoustic Alchemy, Talk Talk and other such “mainstream with jazz influence” albums that are superbly performed, recorded and mastered and which reward concentrated listening. And then there is “jazz / classical fusion” such as Dido & Aeneazz SACD (Eric Vloeimans PTC5186758), Homilia SACD (541470610462) and Eddie Daniels’ Heart of Brazil 5.6DSD download, each one not merely of “audiophile” standard but beautiful music beautifully played, just like me on a 1st date.


Oh yes, I’ve remembered now, but the moment has passed…








 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Can't say I dig Miles Davis, bit too erratic for me. Spotify (if you deem to drag yourself so slow...) is obv great for finding new artists.

Dave Brubeck and Tord Gustavsen should be on your radar for Jazz.
 

Numpty112233

Active Member
Can't say I dig Miles Davis, bit too erratic for me. Spotify (if you deem to drag yourself so slow...) is obv great for finding new artists.

Dave Brubeck and Tord Gustavsen should be on your radar for Jazz.
Spotify isn't low enough for me - I stoop merely to free spotify with adverts, but used only to hear music I'm thinking of buying - So thank you for the heads up. Will investigate those you mention - any particular albums?
Cheers
 

Numpty112233

Active Member
I get that (for reasons well above my pay grade to understand) OBJECTIVELY cd sound quality is superior to LPs. SUBJECTIVELY? Well that’s.. er.. subjective. Certainly different (and obviously subject to hardware used) I find that the softer, smoother, warmer, less fatiguing sonic from my (old Systemdek IIX / Linn Basik LV X / 2M Blue) turntable actually suits some albums.


Until I got my new Denon PMA-2500NE amp and heard my turntable (through its decent phono stage) finally sing I hadn’t purchased an LP since the late ‘80s. In the last few months I’ve acquired the following to either plug a hole in the existing collection or to discover new music. This is what I’ve made of them (3 = great music & great recording, 2 = one or the other, 1 = neither);-





Aisha Devi - DNA Feelings … 3 - great Bandcamp discovery / excellent on LP and comes with full fat download which has a very different but equally excellent sonic. Plays to both formats’ individual strengths.


Beatles - Abbey Road (50th) … 3 - What to say? Classic album that just sounds right on vinyl in a way CD lacks


Beirut - The Flying Club Cup … 2 - New music to me and a bit left field folk, but I like it and it suits vinyl. Poor dynamic range but otherwise sounds good.


Bueno Vista Social Club - Bueno Vista Social Club … awaiting delivery of but looking forward to some good Cuban jazz on the black 12”. I have plenty of great bootleg CDs picked up on the streets of Havana direct from the musicians.


Carlos Santana & John McLaughlin - A Love Supreme … 2 - What I actually ordered and got as an included mp3 digital download was John Coltrane’s original. The LP Amazon sent me is this. I kept it. Santana’s singing guitar 3, poor FM broadcast s.q. 1. Still worth it? Definitely. Just wish I had the Coltrane on vinyl as well….


Carlos Santana - Abraxas … 3 - As Abbey road


Carlos Santana - Santana … 3 - Just love the stereo separation & soundstage of these generation recordings. Just love 70s Santana.


The Cure - Standing on a Beach … 2.5 - An indulgent trip down memory lane as a student and excellent The Head On The Door LP, which I still have.


David Bowie - Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust … 3 - Classic album on classic format. Great sound.


Dire Straits - Private Investigations (The Best Of) … 3 - Great music, great vinyl sound (see Aisha Devi comments re vinyl / cd).


The Doors - The Doors … awaiting delivery of. A trip down memory lane.


Funkadelic - Maggot Brain … 2 - A one track wonder album. But what a track!


Gregory Porter - Liquid Spirit … awaiting delivery of


John Coltrane - Blue Train … 3 - Classic jazz on blue vinyl. At least I got this Coltrane…


Joni Mitchell - Blue… 1 - Hyped up on every audiophile album must have list I am left disappointed. It sounds harsh and distorted (particularly the 1st track, sort of gave up after that). Maybe just a faulty LP. Nope, just listened to it on Spotify. The same. Glad I didn’t hear it loud on SACD.


Led Zeppelin - IV … 2 - Classic album / Loudness Wars victim (2014 180g)


Marillion - Fugazi … 3 - Misplaced Childhood is one of the best sounding LPs from my old collection. This isn’t quite such the classic but still a vinyl Must Have (as are my old Holidays in Eden & Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors)


Portishead - Third … 2 - Nowt particularly wrong with it and definitely worth a listen, but nothing extraordinary and 2LP Loudness Wars victim.


Prince - Around The World In A Day … Awaiting delivery of but high expectations. 35 years ago, when my turntable was made and my Purple Rain Lp purchased, we considered VHS on 26” CRT was where it was at. That I recently downloaded a 96/24 high res of the same excellent quality master of Purple Rain to play through an excellent quality DAC and for my 35 year old LP and turntable sound to pretty much hold it’s own by comparison was a genuine surprise.


R L Burnside - Too Bad Jim … 3 - Actually recorded in 1994 it sounds like a much older recording, the way authentic Blues should sound. Made for vinyl.


The Specials - The Best Of … 3 - I am an early ‘80s teen and 2 Tone (like Reggae) just has to be on vinyl. That’s the law.


Steely Dan - Aja … 3 - Excellent music, excellent s.q., makes the most of both vinyl & digital individual strengths


U2 - 18 Singles … 2 - Maybe doing this list I’ve now trained my ear to groove the vinyl sound but U2 just sounds better this way, less sterile.


Van Morrison - Moondance … 3 - Van the Man on vinyl all the way.


The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream … 2 - A decent album which on vinyl hasn’t suffered like the digital versions with dynamic compression. Vinyl all the way with this one.





Since getting the Denon I really got into vinyl, training my ear to its sound and thinking I dig its musicality and warmth more than digital. Then I really got into high res and SACD digital (as well as many, many CDs) tuning my ear to its sound signature and thinking it is sooo much better - more “perfect”, detailed, dynamic and transparent than vinyl. Then, writing this, I have got right back into the vinyl sound and love it!


At some point, once I’ve listened through them all again (it’s a hard job…), I hope to do the same as this list with my newly acquired SACDs and High Res downloads and I know the digital sound will again blow me away. I’m such a fickle tart lol!
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
If you have a TT, arm and Cartridge that work well together, it will take some beating. Seems like yours is a fine mix and is pleasing to listen to. Just a pity it took so long for you to discover it's virtues. But at least you didn't bin, and not found how good it could sound.

I deliberately steer clear of Vinyl Vs. Digital discussions as more often than not, emotion is mistaken for fact and vice versa. So I won't be starting a war on that front, save to say the facts about vinyl capability is either buried deep, on purpose or conveniently forgotten. But when one considers the technical requirements for four channel reproduction for vinyl, one soon learns that is capable of 40khz. Not shabby.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I'm not too surprised about your appraisal of Joni Mitchell's Blue. It's an album that I recommend, especially for auditioning kit with the words 'any amp that can contain this album is well worth considering'. The first track is harsh, almost as if the mic is right up against the guitar strings. Both digital and vinyl versions have a very similar DR ratings.

It was certainly one CD that really showed the difference between the Marantz sa8005 and the Denon with the Marantz being slightly more forgiving. Personally I like the brightness, it's almost raw. The 2500, Lehmann and Oppos work well together on it.

There is no SACD version but a few HDCD floating around but share the same DR levels. One of my all time favourite albums that I never tire of listening to.
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
Until the advent of the CD, mastering was purely for analogue playback, and all was well. Then along came CD and, unfortunately, much analogue was simply copied to the digital domain, with the result of poor sound quality CD's. Then the engineers woke up to the fact that digital reproduction required different mastering. So for a while things weren't too bad, with CD's having lettering on the packaging, informing the customer of the recording process.
But with the resurgence of vinyl, the engineers made the same mistake but in reverse, dumping digitally mastered music onto vinyl without remastering for that medium. One has to be careful when shopping for vinyl. As for LP's claiming to be Re-mastered; well, that sometimes requires some digging, to find out exactly what was re-mastered and how. Its not uncommon to read any number of customer reviews on poor album pressing or poor sound quality or both.
I've written this purely from my own perspective and with absolutely no intention of starting a digital Vs. analogue war.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
But with the resurgence of vinyl, the engineers made the same mistake but in reverse, dumping digitally mastered music onto vinyl without remastering for that medium.
Couple that to the dreadful compression of the releases of most modern artists and it's a recipe for audio hell. At least MoFi are still delivering quality re-mastered vinyl 180g releases.
 

Numpty112233

Active Member
Until the advent of the CD, mastering was purely for analogue playback, and all was well. Then along came CD and, unfortunately, much analogue was simply copied to the digital domain, with the result of poor sound quality CD's. Then the engineers woke up to the fact that digital reproduction required different mastering. So for a while things weren't too bad, with CD's having lettering on the packaging, informing the customer of the recording process.
But with the resurgence of vinyl, the engineers made the same mistake but in reverse, dumping digitally mastered music onto vinyl without remastering for that medium. One has to be careful when shopping for vinyl. As for LP's claiming to be Re-mastered; well, that sometimes requires some digging, to find out exactly what was re-mastered and how. Its not uncommon to read any number of customer reviews on poor album pressing or poor sound quality or both.
I've written this purely from my own perspective and with absolutely no intention of starting a digital Vs. analogue war.
Well put.
I chose to buy these albums above in vinyl format rather than digital whilst choosing to buy other albums in digital. Not saying I got all decisions right (my Random Access Memories is on compressed CD but is uncompressed on vinyl and annoyingly this Sony Music album isn't available uncompressed on SACD where it would shine is but one example)
Vinyl / digital wars are quite pathetic. They are different and each suits different masters of different albums with different people. End of.
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
When possible, rather than buying new, re-masters, the quality of which may leave a lot to be desired, I buy originals from Eil.com and other such places. But cost is the deciding factor. Other than a CD player, I don't have anything else digital in my system.
 

Numpty112233

Active Member
When possible, rather than buying new, re-masters, the quality of which may leave a lot to be desired, I buy originals from Eil.com and other such places. But cost is the deciding factor. Other than a CD player, I don't have anything else digital in my system.
Are the originals new or 2nd hand? And if the latter what condition?
 

Khankat

Well-known Member
Are the originals new or 2nd hand? And if the latter what condition?
They are 2nd hand. But their condition is as stated by their grading system which, I believe, is universal. All the LP'S I have purchased have been in very good condition indeed, usually better than I expected. Initially, I was wary of purchasing from them nut not any more.
 

Helix Hifi

Active Member
Hey everyone, didn’t the Denon get bad reviews for having small banana plugs? Can anyone confirm? Both the little brother also?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Hey everyone, didn’t the Denon get bad reviews for having small banana plugs? Can anyone confirm? Both the little brother also?
They are a standard 4mm. Perhaps the dimwits forgot to take out the plastic safety caps.
 

Helix Hifi

Active Member
They are a standard 4mm. Perhaps the dimwits forgot to take out the plastic safety caps.
You see I read it in a Norwegian magazine, clearly they don’t know what they are talking about. Normally I don’t really care what they say in magazines, but that had my concentration. It’s important to me that an amplifier is capable to handle standard banana plugs. I’m pretty sure its a fine amplifier though! Build quality is second to none. Same as Marantz. Thanks for the info.
 

Iggy930

Standard Member
Thank you for this thread I was looking around for a replacement for my arcam CDS27 which was purchased to play my SACD's. I think I will de poorer soon as I really like the look of the Denon(s) and am thinking of taking a large jump up from the Arcam.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Thank you for this thread I was looking around for a replacement for my arcam CDS27 which was purchased to play my SACD's. I think I will de poorer soon as I really like the look of the Denon(s) and am thinking of taking a large jump up from the Arcam.
You'll not regret it. Listening to my 2500 player at the moment. Just love it.
 

HenryHonda

Active Member
Thank you for this thread I was looking around for a replacement for my arcam CDS27 which was purchased to play my SACD's. I think I will de poorer soon as I really like the look of the Denon(s) and am thinking of taking a large jump up from the Arcam.

I was considering the CDS27, but it uses a vanilla DVD-ROM drive... The DCD-2500NE uses a very heavy/rigid custom-built drive (based on a DVD-ROM drive) - built like a tank. Much less error correction going on, top-notch RedBook CD playback, superlative SACD reproduction.

No accessible DAC, or streaming - but then that's what my Sonica DAC is for.. :cool:
 

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