Preview: Denon 110 Anniversary Hi-Fi and home cinema range

posted on Wednesday, 9th September 2020 by Steve May

High-end  High Res Audio  home cinema 

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Denon is celebrating its 110th anniversary with four new cutting-edge products that reflect its heritage. The Denon AVC-A110 AV amplifier, PMA-A110 integrated amplifier, DCD-A110 SACD player, and DL-A110 MC phono cartridge are manufactured exclusively at the Denon factory in Shirakawa, Japan, and exploit the company’s century-plus of experience in audio manufacturing.

Each anniversary edition features an exclusive silver-graphite colourway, 110 Anniversary logo on the front panel and has been tuned by Denon Sound Masters to set them apart from their standard counterparts. They also ship with a special certificate of authenticity, stamped with the approval of Denon’s head engineer.

Ever since its inception in 1910, Denon has strived to push the audio industry forward. The brand produced Japan’s first phonograph and later created Japan’s first professional disc recorder, which produced the first audio recording of Emperor Hirohito's voice at the end of World War II.

Denon also introduced the first CD-ROM format in 1985, helping to redfine the future of audio and entertainment.
Other claimed firsts include the world's first Universal Blu-ray player capable of DVD-Audio and SACD playback, and the first 8k AV receivers.

All of these landmark products have paved the way to this special edition collection... 

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AVC-A110 AV amplifier

If you're looking for high-end home cinema, Denon  has your back. The AVC-A110 is a 13.2-channel 8k capable AV amplifier, boasting support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, DTS:X Pro, IMAX Enhanced and Auro-3D. It’ll retail for £4999.

The AVC-A110 was developed with extreme attention to detail and tuned by a Denon sound master at its component level. The AV amplifier’s all-black interior is housed in a limited-edition silver-graphite finish with aluminum front and side panels, custom die cast feet and a copper transformer plate for superior isolation.

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HDMI connectivity (8-in/3-out) includes 8k/60Hz pass-through or upscaling, 4k/120Hz pass-through for gaming, eARC, plus support for Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Quick Frame Transport (QFT), minimising lag and latency while eliminating frame tearing.

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Weighing in at 8.2kg, it employs a high current power transformer and custom 22,000uF/80V audio capacitors capable of 150 watts per channel (8 ohm, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.05% 2ch Drive).

The AVCR also has Heos built-in, for wireless multi-room music streaming, and Apple AirPlay 2. The AVC-A110 also offers access to Spotify, Amazon Music HD, TIDAL and Deezer. Users can enjoy hands-free control of the AVC-A110 thanks to compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri voice command engines.

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PMA-A110 integrated amplifier

The Denon PMA-A110 is a high-performance two-channel integrated amplifier, powered by Denon’s patented seventh generation advanced Ultra High Current (UHC) topology. It delivers 80 Watts into 8 ohms per-channel and has the ability to drive even the most demanding speakers.

Denon engineers carefully constructed the amplifier circuit to secure a frequency response of up to 100-kHz during applied use. The volume circuit suppresses noise in the amplifier, achieving high sonic resolution. The PMA-A110 is at home with the wide, dynamic range of Hi-Res audio sources; the Quad D/A converter which uses the 4x Burr Brown PCM1795 chip operates in a quadruple configuration for optimal high-grade sound. Each channel has two PCM1795 chips working in a differential mode to achieve the highest accuracy and best signal to noise ratio.

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The PMA-A110 is also equipped with Ultra AL32 Processing. By using data interpolation algorithms and supporting Hi-Res 384-kHz/24-bit PCM signal input, these algorithms interpolate points that should exist before and after the points in large quantities of data in order to achieve a smooth waveform that is close to the original signal. With a maximum of 32x oversampling of the input signals sampling frequency the output sampling frequency is either 1.411MHz (on fs 44.1kHz) or 1.536MHz (on fs 48kHz) reproducing the audio signal with any detail.

Connectivity covers both analogue and digital sources, including a turntable to the built-in phono preamp compatible with both Moving Magnet (MM) and Moving Coil (MC) cartridges. Coaxial, Optical and USB-B inputs connect to an Quad DAC for playback of PCM up to 384kHz and DSD up 11.2Mhz aka DSD256.

It sells for £3,199.

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DCD-A110 SACD Player

Physical media is still highly prized by enthusiasts. As part of the special edition 110 Anniversary Series, Denon has introduced a limited edition DCD-A110 SACD player. It plays CDs and Super Audio CDs, as well as DSD (2.8-Mhz/5.6-MHz) files and high-resolution audio files up to 192-kHz/24-bit recorded on DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW discs. Users can also play music files with sampling frequencies of up to 48kHz recorded on CD-R/RW discs.

At the heart of the DCD-A110 is Denon’s patented Suppress Vibration Hybrid (S.V.H.) mechanism. The S.V.H. mechanism, used on other high-performance players from Denon, features the shortest possible signal paths to reduce noise along with related parts made from premium materials such as a copper plate for the top panel to strengthen rigidity, die cast aluminum for the disc tray, and 2-millimeter thick steel for the mechanism brackets. This contributes to vibration resistance, while the mechanism’s low center of gravity helps suppress any vibration occurring inside the player due to disc rotation.

The DCD-A110 introduces a new Quad DAC configuration, converting the large amount of data coming from the Intel Cyclone 10-driven new Ultra AL32 processing engine, with up to 32x oversampling of the incoming PCM signal.

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This advanced 4x PCM1795 DAC topology optimises channel separation, with ultra-low noise and THD levels. The DCD-A110 also does away with traditional OP-amp post filter circuits in favour of a fully discrete filter stage with carefully selected custom-tuned audio parts.
The DCD-A110 is also equipped with two clock oscillators, one for each sampling frequency (44.1-kHz and 48- kHz) that can be switched between the frequencies to thoroughly suppress jitter. This high-quality clock is the reference for the Quad DAC operation and ensures that the digital audio circuitry always performs at its maximum potential regardless of source format.

Other niceties include fully independent power supplies for digital and analogue circuits to eliminate interference or noise. The DCD-A110’s power supply is built around high-power bipolar junction transistors, a fully discrete voltage regulator circuit, high-sound-quality electrolytic capacitors, and polyphenylene sulfide capacitors. These specially designed components were apparently co-developed with select manufacturers through an extensive regimen of repeated listening tests to deliver a clean, robust and stable supply of power.

The DCD-A110 retails for £2,799.

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DL-A110 Phono Cartridge 

There’s no 110 Anniversary turntable from Denon, but we do get the DL-A110 phono cartridge, a premium Moving Coil design, hand-spun in the Denon Audio Works factory in Shirakawa, Japan just as it was in the 1960s when it was first introduced as the DL-103 cartridge.

These anniversary edition Denon cartridges actually represent the longest-running products to wear the Denon badge, and maintain the original headshell design initially developed for wideband stereo FM radio broadcast applications.

Weighing just 6 grams, the lightweight DL-A110 silver-graphite headshell ensures the cartridge is always held securely. It’s equipped with a bayonet connector SME tonearm interface. It sells for £499.

Only available from authorised Denon retailers, the AVC-A110, PMA-A110 and DCD-A110 will debut in October. The final special edition product, the DL-A110 will follow in November 2020.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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