Denon AVC-A1HDA review

Muscular and musical – we think it's something of a bargain Tested at £5000.00

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Our Verdict

An outstanding machine which it gives its pricier rivals (whatever their relative abilities) plenty to be worried about

For

  • Muscular and musical in equal measure
  • balanced, composed sound
  • comprehensive spec and high quality build

Against

  • Seven channels, rather than ten, if that matters to you

There's no disputing the visual impact of the Denon AVC-A1HDA. It's lavishly constructed, with its all-metal vibration-inhibiting chassis making a great first impression.

Unsurprisingly, the spec sheet runs to several pages: six transformers, 15 power supplies and a huge toroidal transformer ensure optimum current supply to each of the AVC-A1HDA's seven power-amp channels.

Thoughtful loudspeaker-terminal arrangements allow for considerable flexibility, and you can plug in more speakers for second zones of listening, for example, only diverting amplification to them when needed.

The AVC-A1HDA's electronic ‘brain' is every bit as potent. It uses three 32-bit processors: one for decoding digital data, one for surround processing, and one specifically to handle THX post-processing modes.

This is backed by six powerful 24-bit/192kHz Burr-Brown DACs, while an extra 24/192 ADC (of slightly different design) takes care of analogue-to-digital conversion for your analogue sources.

Cinema-quality experience

All this number-crunching endows the Denon with more than enough thinking power to accurately move sound around your room in suitably sweeping style.

And while it's capable of much more, it's this cinema-quality experience that most appeals about the AVC-A1HDA.

If the bullets are flying thick and fast, the Denon simply laps it up, powering out each detonation and impact with just the right blend of energy and control.

Tonally, it's also just right: neither too bright or smooth, very adept at generating realistic character and presence with voices, and beautifully judged with subtler, off-camera effects.

There'll be some who point at the Denon's seven-channel power amp configuration and argue that it's inferior to its deadly rivals from Pioneer and Yamaha, but for many, we'd wager it doesn't matter.

Besides, the Denon is cheaper. That, in our view, has to make it something of a bargain – yes, even at that price.

Specifications

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Interfaces-Ports

Number of Digital Optical Outputs4
HDMIYes
Number of HDMI Outputs2
Number of Analog Audio Inputs26
Number of Digital Coaxial Inputs4
Number of HDMI Inputs6
Number of Digital Optical Inputs5
iPod SupportedYes
USBYes

Technical Information

Minimum Frequency Response20 Hz
Maximum Frequency Response20 kHz
Total Harmonic Distortion THD0.1%
MultizoneYes
Impedance8 Ohm

Network and Communication

EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes

Audio

RMS Output Power1050 W
Sound SystemTHX Ultra 2, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Audyssey Dynamic EQ, Audyssey MultEQ XT, Audyssey Dynamic Volume, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, DTS 5.1, DTS HD, DTS, DTS-ES, DTS-ES Discrete, DTS-ES Matrix, DTS Neo:6, DTS 96/24, THX Surround EX
Audio Channels7

Video

Upscale Scan Format1080p

General Information

Product NameDenon AVC-A1HDA
Product ModelAVC-A1HDA
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://usa.denon.com
Brand NameDenon
Product TypeA/V Receiver
ManufacturerDenon Electronics (USA), LLC
Manufacturer Part NumberAVCA1HDASPE2

Power Description

Operating Power Consumption630 W

Miscellaneous

DLNA CertifiedYes
Environmentally FriendlyYes
Package Contents
  • AVC-A1HDA AV Surround Amplifier
  • Microphone
  • Remote Control
Country of OriginJapan
Environmental CertificationWEEE

Physical Characteristics

Weight Approximate29 kg
Width434 mm
Depth500 mm
Height217 mm
Dimensions217 mm (H): 434 mm (W): 500 mm (D)

Warranty

Limited Warranty2 Year