Denon DN-A7100 pre-amp - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 213 Old 11-29-2006, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry if this has already been posted, but I couldn't find it anywhere in here via search.

This seems to me to be quite an exciting development from Denon and for me personally, I'm reconsidering emotiva as the choice for my next separate sound processor if I do have to buy in the next few months. I feel it's major drawback is only acting as a switcher for hdmi instead of utilizing sound through hdmi pcm.

The a7100 appears to utilize hdmi 1.1 for video switching and have Dolby Pro Logic IIx in addition to 8 XLR outputs. I could only find it listed at one online retailer. I know it's listed somewhere on Denon's professional site, but I didn't spend the time looking it up again. I sent an email to someone listed on Denon's professional site but no reply yet (and that was a good 2 weeks ago). I have no idea if this would be a UK release only, but that doesn't seem to make sense.

Anyways, wondering what other people thought of the DN-A7100.


http://www.lsionline.co.uk/news/story.asp?ID=-1IPG3N

http://store.aiconsol.com/dn-a7100-dm-pro.html

edit: here's the Denon Professional (UK?) site:
http://www.d-mpro.eu.com/index2.php?...brand=2&Nid=85

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post #2 of 213 Old 02-08-2007, 02:46 PM
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Are you sure that the DN-A7100's HDMI inputs are video pass-thru only? I have spoken to an online retailer who spoke with Denon Professional's tech support, and she says that the DN-A7100 does accept 7.1 channel PCM audio over the two HDMI 1.1 inputs.

I have a call into Denon Professional's tech support right now to verify this and will post the answer as soon as I hear back from them. If it does accept multi-channel PCM over the HDMI inputs, this could be just the preamp I've been waiting for--a sub-$1000 preamp with HDMI audio and 7.1 channel balanced XLR outputs.


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post #3 of 213 Old 02-08-2007, 05:01 PM
 
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http://www.d-mpro.com/users/folder.a...7&SubCatID=165

I had no idea that denon had a processor out already? I think this might be the upgrade from my mcintosh MX135 that I have been looking for.
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post #4 of 213 Old 02-08-2007, 05:39 PM
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According to the person with whom I spoke, it's coming out this month.

Honestly, I'm going to be surprised if the DN-A7100 only does video pass-thru. Why would Denon Professional release a preamp in 2007 that can't accept PCM over HDMI, especially when all their other AVRs that are already out can do it? It. Does. Not. Compute.


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post #5 of 213 Old 02-09-2007, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Gammans View Post

According to the person with whom I spoke, it's coming out this month.

Honestly, I'm going to be surprised if the DN-A7100 only does video pass-thru. Why would Denon Professional release a preamp in 2007 that can't accept PCM over HDMI, especially when all their other AVRs that are already out can do it? It. Does. Not. Compute.

They said to me: "The HDMI inputs are at lest version 1.1, so the audio signal will be
processed." Not completely explicative but FWIW.

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post #6 of 213 Old 02-09-2007, 04:18 PM
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Hm, what I was told is that just because the HDMI inputs are version 1.1 doesn't necessarily mean that they have to DO anything with them other than switch them. I agree that it would seem illogical to tout version 1.1 compatibility and do nothing but switch the video, but OTOH the specs shown online do not show that PCM over HDMI is supported as a selectable audio input method.

Still waiting on a final word from Denon Professional.


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post #7 of 213 Old 02-22-2007, 08:47 AM
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Finally got to speak to a technical support representative at Denon Professional.

The DN-A7100 does accept multi-channel PCM audio through its two HDMI inputs. The technician proved this by connecting his DVD player to the DN-A7100 using only the HDMI input.

He also said the first batch of A7100's came off the boat yesterday (which is why it took them so long to get back to me--they wanted to double-check this functionality with an actual preamp in hand). So if you're looking for a pre-amp under $1,000 with balanced XLR outputs and HDMI multichannel audio switching, the DN-A7100 may be just what you've been waiting for!


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post #8 of 213 Old 02-22-2007, 09:24 AM
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can someone explain the benefit of having the XLR outputs?
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post #9 of 213 Old 04-08-2007, 08:40 AM
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Any owners out there yet?

XLR >http://www.prillaman.net/ht_info_7-cables.html
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post #10 of 213 Old 04-10-2007, 04:41 PM
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A few questions, if anyone knows:

1. Does the A7100 also have unbalanced ouputs, or are adapters needed?
2. What is the warranty?

"The truth is out there!"
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post #11 of 213 Old 04-10-2007, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

A few questions, if anyone knows:

1. Does the A7100 also have unbalanced ouputs, or are adapters needed?
2. What is the warranty?


It only has balanced outputs.
Warranty is 2 years.

And it does do 7.1 PCM over HDMI! (just confirmed it myself with a HD-XA2 and Batman Begins in DD TrueHD)
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post #12 of 213 Old 04-10-2007, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Corr View Post

It only has balanced outputs.
Warranty is 2 years.

And it does do 7.1 PCM over HDMI! (just confirmed it myself with a HD-XA2 and Batman Begins in DD TrueHD)

COOL! I was waiting to see if you had a delivery today!
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post #13 of 213 Old 04-10-2007, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Corr View Post

And it does do 7.1 PCM over HDMI! (just confirmed it myself with a HD-XA2 and Batman Begins in DD TrueHD)

Outstanding. Does it appear to get bass management of PCM over HDMI right?
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post #14 of 213 Old 04-10-2007, 05:53 PM
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i had the same question; does the preamp properly boost the LFE channel by 10Db over hdmi/pcm vs. bitstream over s/pdif?
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post #15 of 213 Old 04-10-2007, 07:48 PM
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I didn't notice any lack of bass over HDMI. I listened to a DVD Audio track, a DTS track and a couple scenes from the HD DVD of Batman and then my 1 year old had to go night night which ended my listening session.
I'll be back from vacation next Monday and took Tuesday off as well so I'll have some more time then to take some measurements with the spl meter and compare pcm over HDMI and bitstream over coax.
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post #16 of 213 Old 04-10-2007, 08:03 PM
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This is all good stuff! Appreciate your input.

Oh yes, what amplifier(s) and speakers are you using in your set-up? What is your general impression of audio sound-quality? Is it a [noticeable] step above using one of the upper-model Denon recievers (by itself)?
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post #17 of 213 Old 04-10-2007, 08:48 PM
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I need more time with it to gauge the sound. I've been using a Marantz SR8001 as a pre/pro running off an ATI 3007 amp, Monitor Audio GS-60 fronts, gold center and surrounds, an infinitie baffle sub with 4 Ascendant Audio Arsenal 15's (those running off a Crown K2) and a Velodyne SMS-1.
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post #18 of 213 Old 04-10-2007, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Corr View Post

And it does do 7.1 PCM over HDMI! (just confirmed it myself with a HD-XA2 and Batman Begins in DD TrueHD)

Are you sure that 'Batman Begins' is 7.1?

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post #19 of 213 Old 04-11-2007, 06:02 AM
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Sorry, I posted more detail about it in the other thread. Batman is 5.1 TrueHD but the denon will apply 7.1 to the TrueHD pcm feed.
Being there isn't squat out there right now that is 7.1 pcm, it's kind of hard to test for.
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post #20 of 213 Old 04-11-2007, 07:05 AM
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If this is good, my Outlaw 990 may soon go up for sale.
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post #21 of 213 Old 04-11-2007, 07:35 AM
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The question remains: is it truly balanced, or did they just slap XLR outs on there?
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post #22 of 213 Old 04-11-2007, 07:50 AM
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According to the link at the top:

"At the top of the DN-A7100 feature list is its 8 true balanced line-level outputs."
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post #23 of 213 Old 04-11-2007, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Corr View Post

Batman is 5.1 TrueHD but the denon will apply 7.1 to the TrueHD pcm feed.

OK, that's different from transmitting 7.1 channels over HDMI.
Quote:


Being there isn't squat out there right now that is 7.1 pcm, it's kind of hard to test for.

I don't know if you have a Blu-ray player, but there are a couple of BD titles ('Crank' and 'The Descent') with 6.1 soundtracks encoded as 7.1 discrete channels (the two surround-back channels contain the same info). Some Denon receivers have had no problem accepting those 7.1-channel soundtracks, so hopefully their pre-pro shouldn't have problems either.

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post #24 of 213 Old 04-11-2007, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bri1270 View Post

According to the link at the top:

"At the top of the DN-A7100 feature list is its 8 true balanced line-level outputs."

Uninformative. Putting a SE-to-BAL ic in each channel satisfies this definition as does having a fully balanced circuitry.

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post #25 of 213 Old 04-11-2007, 08:28 AM
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Quote:


Uninformative. Putting a SE-to-BAL ic in each channel satisfies this definition as does having a fully balanced circuitry.

Fair enough, I guess I'm hoping more than anything else, but I guess realistically, Denon could have cheesed out.
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post #26 of 213 Old 04-11-2007, 01:52 PM
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This unit sounds promising.
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post #27 of 213 Old 04-11-2007, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Uninformative. Putting a SE-to-BAL ic in each channel satisfies this definition as does having a fully balanced circuitry.

Agree with your assessment... however Denon Pro's target market would be sorely dismayed by their persistent claim of "true" balanced outputs and their placing this this at the top of feature the list if it proved itself out to be a cheap marketing ploy with IC's at the root of the deception. Wouldn't go over well with mainly consultant/installer buyers in the markets for boardroom, church or other commercial systems.

Most A/V manufacturers prefer to reserve that sort of trick for their relatively "uninformed" consumer markets.

A "fine" is a tax for doing wrong. A "tax" is a fine for doing well.
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post #28 of 213 Old 04-11-2007, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickS View Post

Agree with your assessment... however Denon Pro's target market would be sorely dismayed by their persistent claim of "true" balanced outputs and their placing this this at the top of feature the list if it proved itself out to be a cheap marketing ploy with IC's at the root of the deception. Wouldn't go over well with mainly consultant/installer buyers in the markets for boardroom, church or other commercial systems.

Most A/V manufacturers prefer to reserve that sort of trick for their relatively "uninformed" consumer markets.

It is not a trick and, frankly, I think the 'relatively "uninformed" consumer markets' are more likely to be upset that the pre/pro is not fully balanced from input to output. FWIW, simply adding a balanced output to a SE device takes care of the long cable concerns and many studio devices are SE with bal in/outs for that reason. At this price, it might even be advantageous to have a well-executed SE circuit than a balanced one made cheaply.

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post #29 of 213 Old 04-11-2007, 04:46 PM
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Kal,

Do the presence of level switches (-10dBV/+4dBu) for the balanced connections on the backplane provide any clue to their "trueness"? These are not commonly found on consumer pieces. What purpose do they serve and what is their impact on the sound?

A "fine" is a tax for doing wrong. A "tax" is a fine for doing well.
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post #30 of 213 Old 04-11-2007, 05:09 PM
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Studio-standard XLR levels are different from those used in most consumer devices and this lets you set the appropriate output level. This does not prevent you from using whatever setting works best. And, no, afaik, this does not preclude having a bal output driver on a SE circuit.

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