Densen Beat-400 CD Players

4.36/5 (11 Reviews)


Product Description

Lineoutputs: 2 Digital outputs: 2 Powersupply size: 2x20VA Storagecapacity: 25.000uF D/A converters: 2 D/A converters type: Just listen...


Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jorn S. a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 22, 2004

Bottom Line:   
As the price paid informs you, this is a review of the top of the line Densen player, the "XS" version. As a matter of fact, it's "XS G" by now. (Whatever that means.)

As other reviews of the Densen players state, Densen is all about the much quoted "air guitar factor" - or "air conductor" as they have added recently with hinsight to lovers of classical music, rather than rock. The focus is on musicality.

When I started looking for a player to fit the Pathos Classic One + Dynaudio C1 combination I had already decided on (see my reviews of these products), I wound up with the usual suspects: Naim, Phonosophie (german for Naim, if you like), Rega (Jupiter) and Densen. Densen was clearly the least known to me then. They have great reviews on their pages (www.densen.dk) mainly in english and german magazines. What is important, they don't seem to have left out any! Check google - what reviews there are, they have them on their pages. They can afford to! When a reviewer in an english magazine said that the Densen 400 XS sounded pretty much "like avery good (!) record player" and that it played ALL kinds of music well, I had to check it out. Well, it's all true!

The Densen needs about 100 hours of listening to break in, and 12 hours to warm up. Densen actually discourage ever turning it off. They recommend stand-bye instead. Give the player that, and it might just be the best digital source you've ever heard. In fact, unless you have a tremendous record player, it might be the best source you've heard, period.

Laid back, not-in-the-face like the best of Meridian, detailed like the finest of Linn, engaging like Naim or Phonosophie. All that in one player. Sounds just floated at me out of a black nothingness, engulfing me completely in music. If you have 3 - 4k to spend, audition this player! But most importantly: even if you have 13 - 14 or 30 - 40k to spend - audition this player! Unless you are a member of the Berlin philharmonics I doubt you will find it inferior to even the most outrageously expensive player combos there are.

If that isn't good enough, the Densen (like all Densen) is upgradable. Should they ever succeed in coming up with something even more spectacular (unlikely though it is), you will be able to upgrade the XS for the price of the difference in retail prices. And, of course, you get the life long (another "!") warranty for first owners: as long as it is possible, Densen will repair your player for you, for free, if you handle the shipping to Denmark.

This is the most musically engaging player ever. It is also tremendously detailed and dynamic and it creates an enormous soundstage. On top of that, the design is timeless (positively so). I never thought CD could sound like this.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $3150.00

Purchased At:   ROIAUDIO Finland



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by wout de zeeuw a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 22, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Review Densen Beat 400 vs Helios 1 cd player, 21 Aug 2002.

I auditioned these cd players for two days. I had one evening two compare both players on my system at home, consisting of an Aaron 1 integrated amplifier and a pair of Cerwin Vega speakers (with 12" bass speakers). Both CD players have a similar minimalistic philosophy. They both have class A preamps, the Densen having a no-feedback class A preamp. The Helios puts out a hefty 3 V which I experienced is too hot for some (pre-)amplifiers!

The remote control included with the Helios is very good with lots of options (amongs others the Helios is programmable through the remote). The Helios' response time to the remote is very quick. The Densen remote costs another 315 Euro! Another small drawback of the Densen is its user interface. It has no standby button on the front, and it has no fast forward/reverse (at least not without the remote!). The display looks cheap and it takes a while to show which number you just entered when the CD is just inserted. On the plus side the Densen has 2 pairs of output sockets, so one could be used for a head phone amplifier for example.

I eventually bought the slightly more expensive Densen, because I found its overall sound quality somewhat better: in speed, stereo imaging, level of detail, and instrument separation. The Helios is a very good player however. If I'd have to grade the players I'd give the Helios an 9- and the Densen a 9.5. The tonal balance of the Helios is very nice, maybe slightly nicer than that of the Densen: because the Densen is very direct it sometimes is somewhat on the bright side. I prefer this brightness over the creaminess/muddiness of the Helios though. Level of detail and bass of the Helios is good. The Densen shows what could be improved upon though. Stereo image of the Densen is sharp and stable, the image clearly being outside the speakers. The Helios stereo image is not as coherent. Generally the Densen is more "in your face", maybe too much so for some people.

To reach my judgement I listened to the following kinds of music: Drum and bass (moloko), electronic/dance (Bastian), R&B (d'Angelo), pop (Coldplay), metal (Metallica), symphonic rock (Dream theater), acoustic (Tuck & Patti, Eva Cassidy). A few highlights from my listening sessions:

Moloko - Day For Night (electronic drum and bass with sharp transients)
Helios -

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1520.00

Purchased At:   Audio home, Eindhove



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Martijn ten Napel a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2002

Bottom Line:   
A cd player that opens up the sound of any cd. When the recording is good and the performance of the artist(s) is there, you're floating away on the music. The player is very unforgiving of poor recordings.

Example: Joni Mitchell's album "both sides now" brings tears to your eyes by the sheer beauty. Queen's album "Innuendo" brings tears to your eyes, because all the studio trickery kills the music.

I have it hooked up to a Beat 100 amplifier and Audio Physic Spark II speakers.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1580.00

Purchased At:   local store in Rotte



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Maverick23 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 20, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Densen sounds different than anything else on the market. You can hear the hart and soul of the music and it just makes you want to listen for ever. The sound is very present and make you want to dance and be apart of it all.Try it!!

If you are interested in Densen products check out their website. www.densen.dk

Life is too short for boring Hi-Fi

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile



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

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I have owned all the above players and no more. I have always been into vinyl replay and been unsatisfied with the sound from CDP`s. Actually I can´t understand that anyone can claim that CDP´s sound better:-)
The Densen B-400 is NOT nearly as good as my record player, but definetely the last CDP I will buy. The sad news is that the digital formats are not getting any better;-)
The Densen player walks a very solid ground, and is a player you tend to forget, which IMHO is the best praise for any equipment. It clealy lives up to the company´s motto "life´s too short for boring HiFi!". It is fast as a Naim, analogue as the Thorens and it sure as h... boogies more than the Linn. I wont mention the Sony, just say what was initially impressive, turned out to be an unmusical and truly fatiguing CDP. Fabolous build but poor sound:-( It is a Hot-Rod with an oversized power supply, detailed yet smooth with tremendous bass presence.
To the S.A:T fanatic, be serious next time you post a review. You compare a balanced cdp in an balanced amp of the same make against a nonbalanced cdp???Do you have shares in S.A.T?? Anyway, the B-400 IS a troublesome kid, and I can understand why some find it unsatisfying. It sure took me some time to match it with the right kind of interconnect and also run it in. At first I was more than disappointed and ready to sell it again, as it sounded both dull and harsh, quite digital actually.
I couldn´t believe it was that bad so I tried lots of cables to see what would be a good match. My guess is that it is sensitive to the different electrical characteristics of cables. Densen use NordOst and Audioquest at the factory, but I don´t like any of then. I ended up with a Tom Fletcher (Nottingham Analogue) interconnect, and that is the caviar to the champagne. Open dynamic midband, punchy bass lines, and and open yet smooth treble.

A final word, you should defenitely try this player out for yourself, and your patience could be rewarded fully:-)

Not the best CDP as there ever was one:-), but one that doesn´t get in the way of the sweet music.

I give it 4 stars, as 5 stars should be rubbish for any CDP;-)

Oh did I mention that it is cool looking IMHO!

regards Kenn

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $1000.00




Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating



PSB Speakers:



PANAMAX: