For anyone interested here are some of my thoughts.
It does a great job on both HT and 2ch duties, and I’m now on the lookout to purchase the Audyssey installers kit so I can have more options available to me.
When I plugged the unit it, my first thoughts were okay this doesn’t sound very good, the Rotel 1098 sounded much better. I then tried 2ch in Stereo, Direct & Pure Direct modes and again I thought wow for all the hype this thing is pretty average.
The next night after getting home from work I decided to start playing with some of the settings. The unit has a GUI which shows on the screen if you happen to have it running, also the options show up on the display on the front of the processor. Being the lazy bloke that I am, I decided to go the easy route, and connected the unit to my LAN. Now this is how life should be…I can sit back and relax and play to my hearts content.
One thing I noticed the second night the system sounded much sweeter, whether this was because I was becoming accustomed to the sound or maybe it’s because the unit was settling in, either way I was now happy with my purchase.
Over the last couple of days I’ve done some comparisons between the Denon and the Moon P-5 on 2ch out of the CD player. IMO the Denon does a great job, I’ve tried the different options of Stereo, Direct, and Pure Direct, utilising the LFE sub, and disabling it, utilising Audyssey and disabling it. The Moon pre just does things better, the music sounds more real and has those nice subtleties that you don’t realise are there until you compare different products and realise what you are missing out on.Moon P-5
The Denon can also stream music from NAS drives, etc, it can also access internet radio. I’ve not at a play with these as yet other than go into the menu and have a peek, it even recognises the Sonos and when accessed, lists all the albums and tracks available on the NAS drive.
Currently I have the Sonos connected via digital into the Denon, so it can use the Denon’s DAC’s, having the Audyssey invoked I can’t recall hearing the Sonos sound so good on my system, it is very close to CD quality IMO. I've compared before and after results, and so far utilising the smarts built into the Denon, I very happy with the results.
Somehow I don’t believe it to be in the same calibre as the Moon for 2ch duties from a CD player/Transport, however the results are very good, and since most of my listening these days is via streamed the use of the CD player and 2ch pre is limited to when I get visitors, which is not very often these days.
Moving forward I also want to try some more of the smarts of the Denon including the ability to control 3 subwoofers, these can be configured in different ways but the way I’m looking at is L/R/LFE, so I’m hoping this will eliminate the external crossover I’m using to integrate my 2subs for 2ch listening. Of course some of this will depend if I can sell some of my gear, since while I still own it I may as well use it. I’m afraid the cupboards are becoming rather full of good equipment from days gone by.
So there you go you all now know just as much as me…Rotel 1098