Denon DCD-1650AR CD Players

4.56/5 (41 Reviews)


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Reviews 1 - 5 (41 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by extreme_boky a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 10, 2004

Bottom Line:   
I bought 1650 SR version with 4 Burr – Brown PCM 1704U DACs (dual differential). I would like to point out that interconnects selection is very important, as well as power cable. It appears this CD player does not like high impedance interconnects. I’ll start with what’s good about this player:
1. As I mentioned, 4 DACs in dual differential mode is the best configuration you can get for the money. Unfortunately, dual differential configuration had not been followed through analogue stage all the way, therefore – we get only single ended RCA connectors at the back.
2. Excellent layout of ICs on the PCB. ICs are of high quality sourced from Sanyo in digital section + DENON proprietary Alpha Processing 24 chip. Sound does appear to be very neutral and free from distortions. Tracks are laid - out impeccably minimising RF induced artefacts. Analogue section + analogue side of DACs get A LOT OF Elna Silmic II capacitors, where particular attention was payed to bypassing. Some capacitors get the bay-pass, where some don’t – a sign of trial and error invested in this model – truly excellent!
3. Analogue power supply is, again, excellent with a lot of money spent on Elna Cerafines + very exotic bypass capacitors, but only 2 here + 2 on main PCB. Very fast 35 nano-sec. diodes are used for AC rectification. 2 in parallel (8 total) – outstanding.
4. Mechanism is one of the better ones, with over – scanning to detect either standard CDs, or CD – R / RW discs. There is also a disc clamp – excellent again!
5. Good OP ICs in analogue section – could be better (at much higher price).
6. Potted transformers – one for digital and one for audio.
7. Use of ferrite beads, but only limited!

Now, the things I do not like about this CD player:
1. Cheep 50 cents RCA connectors – shocking at this price point.
2. No use of copper shielding whatsoever! There is a thick metal plate located at the top of the mechanism, which has copper plating only.
3. Digital power supply gets very cheep $3 bridge rectifier. My 20-year long experience in modifying Hi-Fi equipment tells me that digital power section is more important than analogue. Fast switching soft recovery diodes are mandatory here. Fortunately, there are some Elna Silmics, but only on the power supply board. Digital section of the main PCB gets cheep capacitors – maybe a way to keep this player “away” from truly high – end DENON players.
4. Display is bright and characters are too small.
5. Headphone circuit sounds horrifying. There is no point in disabling this circuit to prevent its influence on analogue stage because everything’s been buffered to prevent headphone circuit affecting the analogue stage.
6. Cheep crystal 16.9334 MHz clock solution.

The sound?

It is very neutral, free from any distortions. Bass-mid region is a bit anemic. What lacks is intimacy and the feel of being there… This can be rectified with a bit of money spent on good clock with couple of buffered outputs – one for DSP chip, and the other for AL24 chip, which would in this design benefit tremendously + good quality OP analogue ICs + copper shielding + deadening of side panels / the chassis’ sides + good quality RCA connectors + removal and replacement of two back-to back Silmics with something better, at least AURI caps or similar + more ferrite beads for isolation and levering the noise floor.

I hope this would be helpful...

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   Sydney



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bacobits a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 31, 2004

Bottom Line:   
After doing some research on the Denon DCD 1650AR I purchased it used. This is a “B” rated player included on Stereophile‘s listing for 3 years. A revelation in its self. Most of the time I don’t care. Not too much stays on those lists for too long, it was in this case as long as Denon made it.

This 27 pound player is an excellent choice until things shake out concerning the Format wars. I don’t want to spend $25 each from a limited SACD list. The better players are to expensive. The cheaper ones are 2 pound lightweight pieces of junk as far as I’m concerned. I have over 700 Redbook CDs I am not at all interested in DVD Video etc. that most of these players include. The transport on the Denon is so solid I would add a DAC down the road.

A few criticisms in past reviews here on the Denon are not warranted. All you have to do is review their equipment used to make the comparisons. The Denon has a refined sound and does not sound digital at all. I don’t think it has bass slam as stated here compared to the CAL Icon HDCD I have. It is a very detailed bass for sure. The main thing that needs to be addressed with this player is to trash the power cord. An aftermarket PC will take it to the next level. It is that sensitive. I’m using an older XLO Green PC ($250). This cable completely transforms the Denon. Blacker backgrounds, Instrument separation, layering and width were just a few big improvements. This PC change has not been brought up on any other review here. I have been skeptical in the past on these expensive Power Cords. You can hear differences but usually subtle ones. This time it was jaw dropping.

I have no foolish criticisms of the plastic remote. You are not going to get a remote made of a solid billet of aluminum in this price class. I have also never seen a remote on/off switch. Most of the time players have to be turned off on the unit itself. A few nice touches are the “Fade” volume to Pause and the Indicator dimming and complete turn off.

This is a highly recommended player and well built. I like it. Period!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   Audiogone



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by handymnami a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 24, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I have two systems. One for every day use, and another I only listen to on the weekends. I bought the Denon for daily use.
Its built like a vault, great appearance, and it sounds fantastic. It made my Arcam FMJ23C-T sound so sterile, I ultimatey replaced it. I don't know how the Denon was eliminated from the Stereophile list, while the Arcam remains. This is my first Denon product and I am extremely impressed. Do yourself a favor and give it a try. Forget what the elitists say. Go with what you hear, and how the unit makes you feel. Its a steal at its price.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by SPY a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 21, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Acquired the asian version Denon DCD-1650SR. What can I say after a day of listening is awesome! I really like the purity of the sound coming from this beauty and the beast player. I can now clearly hear what music is all about. I think what makes this player so distinct compared to much expensive is the build quality as well as the DAC used by Denon. You'll be surprised how it delivers sound from your cd collection. Truly wonderful highs, clarity is magnificient.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $420.00

Purchased At:   Hong Kong



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Sanlyn a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 15, 2002

Bottom Line:   
A curious product, this. Intended to replace my trusty Denon 1500-MkII. I placed my better judgement in a Stereophile review of the 1650AR, only to find in new issues that the 1650 has been deleted from Recommended Components -- the reason being, apparently, that a new 1650AR isn't what the old one was. Mind you, this has a rock-steady transport (you could pay $2K plus for a good one), but the analogue output is emaciated, brittle, and undernourished. High end is smooth, but poor lower-midrange output gives the highs too much emphasis, resulting in tinny sound. Good, deep bass, but no slam to it like the 1500-II. Audibly, a sad case of instant and persisting boredom. Good width & depth, but highs lsuch as string sections seem blurred and unfocussed. Vocals lack realism, orchestras lack solidity. Beefy transport like a $2000 machine, but sound like a $99.95 Circuit City Special. Adding the basic $500 MSB Link DAC III made it sound closer to the hype in Denon's ads. Has a pro-quality transport, but don't expect much musically without a good outboard DAC added-on.

Overall System used:
Modified Dynaco PAS3 Preamp, also
Adcom GPT450 Tuner/Preamp
Dynaco Stereo 400 Power
PSB Alpha Mini w/PSB SubZero5 subwoof
AR EB101 Turntable, various pickups
Monster M1000 (original 1990),
+ Original M1/Time-Phase cable,
other cable or wire now and then.
MSB Link DAC III Converter

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $999.00

Purchased At:   American Audiophile,




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