Originally Posted by kennyt
Lots of great points, so many I can't even begin to easily address them all!
Yes, the Denon has a feature set that is, to date, unmatched in the AV Preamp category, and may always outdo the ultra high end companies.
Z-Man, will it outdo the Meridian 861v4/G98DH transport for CD/DVD/DVD-A??? Well, only time will tell, I will use Denon's 5910Ci universal player with their D-Link III connector, so I can use their best transport and use the pre/pro's DACs so it should be the closest comparison to the Meridian system I had as both use proprietary digital links to allow the pre/pro to do everything.
Many people do not remember Denon USED to be a high end separates company. The AVP-A1HDCi and POA mark their return into the high end market, and as such are very well built. I started looking into the specs of the unit, and while it uses the identical facia of the 5308 receiver, it only weighs ~3 pounds less!! This is without all seven channels of 150 wpc amplification! The AVP-A1HDCi is completely hand built and has six separate power supplies, this thing is truly sickly over built.
While I have not personally heard it yet, I will have it up and running in my reference rig by 5/19/2008 and will start to evaluate it then. The review should post soon after, while I expect a lot of this pre/pro, it has some HUGE shoes to fill replacing a Meridian 861v4 and most recently the Anthem Statement D2 w/ARC..........
Excellent post Kenny.
I totally agree with you.
The Denon is indeed a very well designed and built unit that basically left nothing out. Quad DAC's on all 12 channels, fully balanced dual differential design, high quality A/D conversion on EXT IN. which is dual differential also, high bit rate decoding, dual toroidal transformers, 6 separate power supplies, etc. Like you said, this unit is sickly over built. There is currently no other pre/pro that can match the feature set of this unit.
I personally think that the Denon AVP is definitely up there with the likes of Anthem, Lexicon, Theta, Halcro, etc. I don't know if the Denon will out-do the Meridian 861 V4, but if it at least matches it, this will go a long way in solidifying that the Denon is indeed in the same league.
The Mark Levinson 502 is pretty much in the "if you have to ask" price range. And as such, not many people will be lucky enough to own one. I know that the Denon will probably be outclassed in overall sonics by the 502. But by how much I wonder? If the Denon will give 95 percent of the sound quality of the 502, is it worth spending the extra $28 grand? Will be interesting to see if the Denon can even come close to the ML 502. IMO the Denon is the best bet in high end pre/pro's under $15k.
But you're right, it definitely has some big shoes to fill in your setup. I'm really looking forward to your upcoming review.