Denon PMA-300V Integrated Amplifiers


60wpc integrated amp

User Reviews (1)

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Nola   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 27, 2009]

Hi folks. I purchased this amp on eBay and was disheartened by the lack of reviews, so here's a basic run-down for the next guy in my shoes:

Let me start by saying that I doubt you will find this sort of price/performance ratio easily with another model. I paid $70 on flea-bay for a unit in pristine operating and cosmetic condition, and I did so fairly confident in the Denon name despite not having heard any of their dedicated stereo models. It is physically smaller than many models, making it an ideal desktop amp solution, which is precisely what I am using it as. The shallow depth (9.5") and comparably short height (4.5", including risers/mounts) are pretty ideal for this. It is a fairly standard width (17").
The 60wpc (8ohm) should not concern you unless your primary duty is to drive block parties. Also, this amp was made when watt ratings tended to be a lot more honest than they are now. I can only offer anecdotal evidence, but most quality, older amps that I have run around this rating easily compare power-wise with modern "100W" crapola that you tend to bring home from BestBuy. I am using this amp to drive a set of 400W JBLs (L100T3), but that's okay as I don't keep the JBLs around to thump their 12" LF drivers at chest-slugging SPLs; I keep them around for the superior mids and highs, and this amp STILL puts out a serious thump to the low end. I wasn't entirely surprised because, as I said, most of these older amps outperform modern consumer amps that are claimed as more powerful. Your only concern with the 60W rating should be to avoid clipping at high and irresponsible volumes. That IS a very real concern, so if you make a habit of making you our your guests' ears bleed, you should look into a serious power amp.
How does she sound? I know that a lot of people claim that all SS amps sound the same, but there are subtle differences. The Denon puts out a very tight, controlled low end. I can't say if the mids are particularly forward or highs particularly extended (or insert your own audiophile phrasings), but I will say that I do not notice an appreciable difference in quality (aside from what seems to be that above-average bass control) from other amps in this price and quality range (I've run quite a few Rotels and older Kenwoods, all similar is spec). In all, the Denon just sounds extremely clean and colorless. Ultimately, that's the measure of a competent amp.
If you're into vinyl, you might appreciate that the phono input is MM/MC switchable. That alone is a pretty nice feature for an amp that is apparently 'below the radar' in terms of valuation. on the used market.
The amp itself looks fantastic. Unlike many consumer amps of this dark, dark period (80's), there are no glaring clues as to its age. No slider controls! The knobs are solidy constructed and mounted and everything functions with the sort of smoothness you'd expect of a nicer manufacturer like Denon, despite this model not exactly being a flagship.
Some other features include a subsonic filter, which I'm guessing is for the phono input, and a 'loudness' button. I know, I know...I used to ridicule 'loudness' buttons myself, but I find myself using them at very low volumes, which was sort of the point. Anyway, it's there should you be into that.

If you are looking for an inexpensive but still mid-to-high fi amp, you can easily do worse than this one. It's smaller size is just sort of a bonus as far as I'm concerned. As of 2009, the average selling price for a working model is less than $100 with modest shipping compared to other behemoth amps.

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