Jump to content

DomT
 Share

Recommended Posts

How about the Roksan Blak? I believe it's right on budget and it looks damn sweet. Does anyone in here have experience with it?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

An obvious contender would be the Hegel amps with their built in DACs, especially as Harbeth demo with Hegel. Sadly they don't have phono stages.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another Denon fan here.

If the Denon amps' performance mirrors that of the SACD players then I'd say it's definitely worth paying the extra £900 or so for the PMA-2500NE.

I have owned the PMA-1600NE and was shocked at how coherent/natural sounding it was for a (fairly) powerful class AB solid-state amp. (Perhaps a result of the use of just a single pair of high-current MOSFETs per channel in the output stage?) The phono stage is really good, too.

I have also owned the DCD-1600NE and DCD-2500NE SACD players (the latter I still own) and the 2500 is quite a bit more refined than the 1600. Much to my surprise, I've come to prefer it overall to my Audio Note DAC and the build quality (it's made in Japan) is amazing for what is, by high-end standards, an inexpensive item.   

Edited by HugoZ
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, HugoZ said:

Another Denon fan here.

If the Denon amps' performance mirrors that of the SACD players then I'd say it's definitely worth paying the extra £900 or so for the PMA-2500NE.

I have owned the PMA-1600NE and was shocked at how coherent/natural sounding it was for a (fairly) powerful class AB solid-state amp. (Perhaps a result of the use of just a single pair of high-current MOSFETs per channel in the output stage?) The phono stage is really good, too.

I have also owned the DCD-1600NE and DCD-2500NE SACD players (the latter I still own) and the 2500 is quite a bit more refined than the 1600. Much to my surprise, I've come to prefer it overall to my Audio Note DAC and the build quality (it's made in Japan) is amazing for what is, by high-end standards, an inexpensive item.   

Wow I am shocked as those Audio Note Dacs are something special (had one on home demo for a week a few years back).  Which one do/did you have?  Hugo you don't list your hifi gear on your profile so we can't see what you have.  Also what turntable and cartridge do you use please?  Did you compare the Denon phono stage to any free standing ones?

What I can't make out is if there is any difference in the phone and Mac stages 1600 vs 2500. Judging but the internal photos of the amp section the transformers look the same but the board is arranged differently.  I think that I will call the Denon technical desk and see if they can give me more info. 

Thanks

Edited by DomT
Typo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dom,

DAC 3.1x Balanced, which is supposed to be the sweet spot in the range.

I find that the Denon 2500 player has all the exquisite musical flow of the AN but adds a lot more impact/drive and extracts a phenomenal amount of detail from CDs (I don't do streaming or listen to downloads). The only areas where I feel the AN DAC has the edge are soundstaging and, to a lesser extent, tone/timbre, but those are recognised strengths of all valve DACs. I also have to say that I had a slight preference for the DCD-1600/PMA-1600 used in CD player/amp mode as opposed to CD transport/DAC/amp mode.    

Turntable and cartridge are Bauer DPS3 and Goldring Ethos, phono stage is a Puresound P10, step-up transformer is a vintage 6:1 Partridge (can't remember the model number). When I had the PMA-1600 I didn't feel the need to compare phono stages as I was enjoying the Denon so much.

I can't comment on differences between the DAC and phono stage implementations but, as I say, I'd certainly opt for the 2500 if its bulk/weight isn't a problem. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Much of my reading about the Denon PMA2500NE has been positive. But I have just read this summary of the HiFiChoice review of the 2500 CDP and 2500 amp. Bright and hard hitting is not what I am looking for. My sister’s idea of hard hitting is a Korma whilst mine is a Madras. It’s the first time that I have read that the Denon is bright. Any thoughts from owners please? I suspect that there will be some that say that my Benchmark DAC and Quad 909 is a hard hitting bright sound. If they are on par then all is ok  

Conclusion

"With this new duo there may be the sense that Denon could be treading on Marantz's toes, but the fast, bright and hard-hitting sound here, underpinned as it is with finesse and substance, suggests D+M's 'other brand' still has something to bring to the hi-fi party."

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you might find a lot of your questions answered here on pfm. The contributors are sometimes here on the Wam so you may find some opinions to trust...or not!

https://pinkfishmedia.net/forum/threads/denon-pma-2500.224372/

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, CliveD said:

I think you might find a lot of your questions answered here on pfm. The contributors are sometimes here on the Wam so you may find some opinions to trust...or not!

https://pinkfishmedia.net/forum/threads/denon-pma-2500.224372/

Thanks Clive. I had read that one. Disappointing that someone thought an Edwards Audio phonostage was better in the 1600 version. 

Edited by DomT
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dom. Put it on your list of amps to listen to. I appreciate that it's nigh impossible ATM.

I put the Denon on my list mainly for a laugh- it came top in a review (who believes those?).

Well, I'm still laughing because it was, by some margin, the best of the bunch I listened to.

Don't fret about the phono stage, it is very good. If I moved to an MC cart I wouldn't be rushing around buying another separate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, lazycat said:

Dom. Put it on your list of amps to listen to. I appreciate that it's nigh impossible ATM.

I put the Denon on my list mainly for a laugh- it came top in a review (who believes those?).

Well, I'm still laughing because it was, by some margin, the best of the bunch I listened to.

Don't fret about the phono stage, it is very good. If I moved to an MC cart I wouldn't be rushing around buying another separate.

Is it as good or better than a Dynavector DV75?  If someone found it worse than an Edwards Audio then that suggests not.  Other users have complained that certain MM cartridges don't work well.  I think that someone said an Ortofon 2M Black.  I will be using a Nagaoka.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for the DV75 I have no idea but I imagine that it's better than the included.

When I first tried a 2M Bronze I felt it was a bit spitty and continued to use the Slee but the Denon was new.

Forward over a year, I re-built my t/t - with my now Black. I tried the Denon stage again. This was much improved, no sign of any nasties, it just sounded great. But for me, doesn't have the nth degree of resolution of the Slee. But that's not surprising given the cost.

As I've said you'd have to spend £6-700 to really better it. IMO.

I may be wrong, but at the prices you're looking at it'd be difficult to find an internal phono stage which betters a decent separate.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dom, just wanted to throw something else into the mix but be warned, it's another Class-D.... :o:o. Like @CnoEvil I'm an owner and fan of the Gato 250S, but I appreciate that it doesn't tick all your boxes. When I was auditioning the Gato, which I subsequently kept, I put it up against the Peachtree Nova 300. Purely from a features / functions perspective it has all that you were looking for I believe, and then some - MM phono stage, onboard DAC with USB-A and USB-B inputs, headphone socket, home theatre bypass, even a loop for the insertion of a DSP processor or similar. Pricing is in the area you're looking at, and there's a dealer for Spain & Portugal -  https://www.soundsevilla.com/ If you're (hopefully) over in the UK soon then @Shakey_Studioincar had one at one point, whether he still does or not I don't know, worth a quick PM?

Now the caveat I have here is that during my auditioning I did not try the phono stage at all so have no idea if it's a token gesture or a good 'un. The Gato obviously doesn't have one and as I always intended to use my existing phono stage I didn't see any point in trying it (plus I had 2 weeks to compare the amps and didn't want to throw too many variables into the mix). For the rest of it though I have to say I was impressed with the sound - in many ways it wasn't dissimilar to the Gato - it had the same sort of suggestion of power on tap when needed but without being a heavy handed, muscle-bound presentation. I didn't not find it to be aloof or clinical which I know is an oft-cited criticism of Class-D and one I appreciate you wish to avoid.

I thought it was smooth across the frequency response, seemed to cope well with all the music I threw at it without obviously favouring one genre over another and was good for listening to for a few hours at a time. I felt that the presentation was slightly more "forward" than the Gato, and by that I don't mean anything to do with the mid-frequencies. What I mean is that main vocalists seemed to be positioned further forward in the image, as though they were sat swinging their legs over the front of the stage while the band carried on behind them, whereas with the Gato the singer was further back with the rest of the performers, but without getting lost in the mix. For me, I just preferred the Gato as I felt it gave more coherence to the performance, but it's probably not what you'd call a night and day difference. Had I never heard of Gato and just auditioned the Peachtree I'd have been happy with it and probably bought one. If it counts, the looks are more "conventional" than the Gato, and it's not a massive thing to find room to house, either.

I think the one thing that the Peachtree doesn't do that Gato offers is an onboard streaming module. At one point I believe the company was developing something but by the look of the website they've given up on that now as they offer the amps with a Node 2i as a bundle. But as you're going to be using your own streamer anyway I assume that's probably not much of an issue.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Jules_S said:

Dom, just wanted to throw something else into the mix but be warned, it's another Class-D.... :o:o. Like @CnoEvil I'm an owner and fan of the Gato 250S, but I appreciate that it doesn't tick all your boxes. When I was auditioning the Gato, which I subsequently kept, I put it up against the Peachtree Nova 300. Purely from a features / functions perspective it has all that you were looking for I believe, and then some - MM phono stage, onboard DAC with USB-A and USB-B inputs, headphone socket, home theatre bypass, even a loop for the insertion of a DSP processor or similar. Pricing is in the area you're looking at, and there's a dealer for Spain & Portugal -  https://www.soundsevilla.com/ If you're (hopefully) over in the UK soon then @Shakey_Studioincar had one at one point, whether he still does or not I don't know, worth a quick PM?

Now the caveat I have here is that during my auditioning I did not try the phono stage at all so have no idea if it's a token gesture or a good 'un. The Gato obviously doesn't have one and as I always intended to use my existing phono stage I didn't see any point in trying it (plus I had 2 weeks to compare the amps and didn't want to throw too many variables into the mix). For the rest of it though I have to say I was impressed with the sound - in many ways it wasn't dissimilar to the Gato - it had the same sort of suggestion of power on tap when needed but without being a heavy handed, muscle-bound presentation. I didn't not find it to be aloof or clinical which I know is an oft-cited criticism of Class-D and one I appreciate you wish to avoid.

I thought it was smooth across the frequency response, seemed to cope well with all the music I threw at it without obviously favouring one genre over another and was good for listening to for a few hours at a time. I felt that the presentation was slightly more "forward" than the Gato, and by that I don't mean anything to do with the mid-frequencies. What I mean is that main vocalists seemed to be positioned further forward in the image, as though they were sat swinging their legs over the front of the stage while the band carried on behind them, whereas with the Gato the singer was further back with the rest of the performers, but without getting lost in the mix. For me, I just preferred the Gato as I felt it gave more coherence to the performance, but it's probably not what you'd call a night and day difference. Had I never heard of Gato and just auditioned the Peachtree I'd have been happy with it and probably bought one. If it counts, the looks are more "conventional" than the Gato, and it's not a massive thing to find room to house, either.

I think the one thing that the Peachtree doesn't do that Gato offers is an onboard streaming module. At one point I believe the company was developing something but by the look of the website they've given up on that now as they offer the amps with a Node 2i as a bundle. But as you're going to be using your own streamer anyway I assume that's probably not much of an issue.

Thanks for taking the time to do a detailed response.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So that I don't forget and for others who may find this interesting I spoke to Denon UK tech support today, we got cut off before completing the call, but the summary is that:

It was inconclusive if the phono stages were the same or not.

The DAC in the PMA 1600NE and PMA 2500NE is the same used in the respective SACD players ie DCD 1600NE and DCD 2500NE.  The published specs on both players are different despite the same TI1795 DAC being used - see images below. There is very little difference in the specs though and maybe could not be heard in a listening test? I suspect that Benchmark would say that listeners would not tell the difference.

DAC used: https://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/pcm1795.pdf?ts=1616471201087&ref_url=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.google.com%252F

image.thumb.png.85da79b27a96148b5426c764f73bc9bb.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have just found out that the PMA 2500NE uses a CR type phonostage which is a bit unusual.  Anyone like to comment on that as I have never heard one. The Aurorasound Vida apparently uses the same circuit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...