I managed to find a store that has them both. I didn't get to listen to them (was in a hurry), but I will get back . Unfortunately they didn't have Dali's to test them with, but they had MA's Silver and some Cantons. They said the MAs would have the same kind of sound as the Dali's.
And the salesmad said the Denon would have a warmer sound, in his opinion. Anyway, as I said, will get back and listen to them both.
First impression, just by looking at the two, is that the Denon is a cheaper build. The case was entirely plastic, the buttons didn't feel the same to touch or when pressed. Not sure how it compared to the old Ceol, if it's the same or worse in that respect.
I am now the happy owner of a Marantz
I went to the store to listen to them both. The Marantz sound was better - more defined and yet not cold. The bass response seemed better in the Denon. I heard them both on a pair of Boston Acoustics A series floorstanders - not sure of the exact model. The overall sound quality was very good in both, in the end I think it was a matter of taste.
There is one thing that the Denon is clearly superior at - the menu, folder navigation (I used an USB drive) and display readability. But I thought it's a small sacrifice for the better sound Besides, I'm hoping that there may be a firmware update to fix that.
Oh, and the Denon was cheaper by approx. $100.
LE: there was one thing I didn't pay attention to, but I realized it in the store: they don't read FLAC's off CDs. Just thought I'd mention that in case someone needs that feature.
LLE: The Marantz can't skip/cue through a track played from USB or network, not even with the latest firmware. The Denon can skip through USB tracks, didn't get to test that with network ones.
Has anything changed with firmware updates for the Marantz in regard to folder navigation when browsing a USB drive and skipping through tracks? And will it play them gapless off a USB?
I have a thread about this, but no conclusive answers yet:
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