At the Laguna Cliffs Resort, Dana Point, Ca, Denon introduced not less than 10 new receivers, a new Blu-Ray player some noise cancellation headphones and once again showed their very cool new 2-channel stuff already selling (well I might add) in Europe.
The new receivers offer an abundance of new features including HDMI 1.3a, deep color at all levels, and their continued Audyssey partnership with the new Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume. Dynamic EQ is based on the principle that as you lower the volume, dynamic range is lost especially in bass. This “loudness” feature allows you to hear more at lower playback levels and since most of us don’t listen at reference levels anyway, this might be a great feature.
Dynamic Volume is more about balancing out the immediate changes in volume typically apparent watching TV and commercials, for example. Movies that you strain to hear dialogue and turn down when the explosions happen no longer present a problem with 3 settings from low to high as the feature prevents you from leaping for the remote.
Joining the current line, the new receivers include: the AVR-2809CI (custom installer) at $1,199 and the non-CI version (which essentially removes the RS-232) AVR-989, the AVR-2309 at $849/AVR-889 at $799, the AVR-1909 at $649/AVR-789 at $599, the AVR-1709 at $449/AVR-689 at $399 and finally the AVR-1609 at $349/AVR-589 at $299.
The prized pieces are still the separates, the AVP-A1HDCI and POA-A1HDCI combination is selling so well that they are backordered leaving JJ chomping at the bit for his, ordered some time ago. True balanced digital and analogue from source to speakers Denon boasts it’s the only one of its kind. I won’t bother to give you the features but you can assume anything a home entertainment core-unit (can’t just call it a receiver anymore) this thing has it at $7,000 MSRP each.
The new Blu-ray player is the DVD-1800BD at $749 and should be out by October. Offering bitstream output of Dolby and DTS-HD and 1080p scaling from SD material, it should sound pretty good too as it inherits the DVD-2930 2-channel performance. Look for more units by the end of the year including a flagship unit.
And the most groping was done at the 2-channel table where Denon reminds you of its roots and its continued commitment to “true reproduction” with the CX Series Reference components. Beautifully styled in solid aluminum the DRA-CX3 receiver and DCD-CX3 SACD/CD player (both at $1,200) emulates the styling of the previous S-Series.
Notably the footprint is LP-sized at 12” x 12” and around 2” high, but don’t let it’s modest size fool you, it packs 75 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 150 into 4, and if you’re into vinyl these days a phono section for both MM and MC cartridges. The mahogany ring round the volume control sure adds to the dignified look.
Add the beautifully styled, solidly built monitor speakers, the SC-CX303 (also $1,200 for the pair) a complete audiophile grade system from Denon.
Some extremely comfortable 95% noise cancellation headphones, the AH-NC732 will surely give Bose a run for their money at $299. Add in Denon’s 40 mm driver, extended battery life from a single AAA battery (around 40 hours), iPhone compatible, and folding into a neat carrying case coolness.