This year hasn't been cause for too much celebration for obvious reasons, but nevertheless Denon has a notable occasion to mark – its 110th anniversary. And, to get the party started, it has launched has no fewer than four special anniversary hi-fi and AV products.
The A110 Series comprises the AVC-A110 A/V amplifier, PMA-A110 integrated amplifier, DCD-A110 SACD player, and DL-A110 MC phono cartridge – all of which come in an exclusive silver-graphite finish, complete with 110 Anniversary logos, a certificate of authenticity, and, most importantly, tuning that sets them apart from their standard counterparts.
Denon is promising these products pack in all the quality and innovation it has been known for over its history, which began in 1910 under its original Nippon Chikuonki Shokai moniker. The company has been responsible for a number of landmark achievements – Japan’s first phonograph, the first CD-ROM format, the first Universal Blu-ray player capable of DVD-Audio and SACD playback, and most recently, the first 8K AV receivers.
AVC-A110: an all-encompassing powerhouse
The AVC-A110 (£4999/$5499/AU$11,400) sits at the top of the company’s stellar AV amplifier line-up. As such, the 13.2-channel model sports all the bells and whistles you’d expect – support for 8K/60Hz pass-through (via eARC HDMI) and upscaling, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, DTS:X Pro, IMAX Enhanced and Auro-3D.
The latest and greatest lag-minimising gaming features – Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), as well as Quick Frame Transport (QFT) – are correct and present, too. Streaming smarts are also onboard thanks to HEOS multi-room integration.
Denon says the 150-watts-per-channel amp has been tuned “at its component level to solidify its place as one of the most special AV amplifiers Denon has ever produced”, with a monolithic amplifier design driven by a substantial 8.2kg high current power transformer.
Considering our strong first impressions of Denon's 2020 AV amp range, courtesy of our recent time with the Denon AVC-X6700H, we are in little doubt of the AVC-A110's potential.
A triple hi-fi threat
First up on the hi-fi front is the 80-watt-per-channel PMA-A110 integrated stereo amplifier (£3199/$3499/AU$9990). It's an analogue and digital design, with RCA and both MM- and MC- compatible phono inputs sitting alongside coaxial, optical and USB-B sockets fed by quad DACs (two work in a differential mode to achieve optimal signal-to-noise ratio), that support 24-bit/384kHz and DSD256 signals, and benefit from Denon’s Ultra AL32 processing.
The DCD-A110 SACD player (£2799/$2999/AU$7990), meanwhile, features Denon’s patented Suppress Vibration Hybrid mechanism, which promises noise-free playback of those CD and SACD discs of yours through its vibration-resistant die-cast aluminium disc tray and 2mm-thick steel mechanism brackets. DSD (2.8MHz/5.6MHz) and 24-bit/192kHz PCM files recorded on DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW discs can also be played.
Like the PMA-A110, the DCD-A110 uses a quad DAC configuration and Denon’s Ultra AL32 processing engine with the aim of squeezing the utmost out of digital playback.
Denon has also chosen to implement a fully discrete filter stage (as opposed to op-amp circuitry), two clock oscillators (one for each of the 44.1kHz and 48kHz sampling frequencies) and independent power supplies for digital and analogue circuits – all in the name of performance.
Vinyl fans can look forward to the DL-A110 moving coil cartridge (£499/$599), which represents the longest-running product to wear the Denon badge. Weighing just 6g, it features a silver-graphite headshell and is equipped with a bayonet connector.
The AVC-A110, PMA-A110 and DCD-A110 will be available next month, with the DL-A110 to follow in November.