Denon DP-S1 CD Players


User Reviews (1)

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RRGeels   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 21, 2003]

At home I was very glad indeed, I finaly had step into my dream by own Denon S1-serie components which six years before interrested me. I connected the cd-player to the amplifier with my Siltech SQ-28B G3 balanced interconnect. After a couple listening minutes I noticed difference in sound quality between the DCD-1550. The higher frequenties were precicer, cristal clear and well focussed. Little flinkers and quick fluctuations of the higher frequenties were noticablely stronger, better. The lower frequenties were directer and in some causes they appeared to have more volume, rounder of shape. The overall midrange of the music spectrum was more naturaly, smoother and well balanced out. I couldn't believe my ears it's just like that the music is played live in my room. The most obvious in hearing was the clearity, natural, low colouration and smooth sound produced by this cd-player. Every piece of the music is heard and noticed. (I now have also a sub-bass-system, the REL Stadium III, bought it another half year later). The smoothness and naturality of the sound is accomplised by Denon's ALPHA-processor. The ALPHA-processor takes the data from the cd and interpolates it to produce a waveform which is closely to that of an analog signal, reproducing 16-bit data with the quality of 20-bit data. It is the world's first technology of recreating analog waveforms that compensate even for the delicate nuances of sound that are often lost during the digital recording process. The effects are very noticeable at low levels, when music gently fades out or gradually emerges from total silence. I discribe it as a highly listenable, natural sound which fully relaxes rather than tires the ears.


Inside the DCD-S1 are two famous Lambda SLC's per channel. This is to prevent the occurrence of zero-cross distortion. The S/N ratio is also improved through this operation. The D/A converters are special versions 20-bit D/A converters and carefully selected. They convert the 20-bit digital signal reproduced by the ALPHA-processor into a analog signal with the delicate nuances of low level sounds. Further there is a fully isolated digital and analog power circuitry. The digital and analog sections are all well separated from each other to prevent any mutual interference. The digital filter used is one of the highest quality in the world, used for proffesional recordings. If you are going into high-end, every bit and piece inside a component and the layout of it with the materials used must be quality, bescause the result of the outcomming signal is equal to the weakest link in the component. So the ALPHA-processor and the Lambda SLC's and high precicion digital filter are so precise and accurate that they must have a good and steady readout by the laser. A high torque, non-cogging Hall motor provides accurate, extremely smooth rotation. It is one of outstanding high endurance and the bearing are made of ruby. The spindle shaft is an extra thick rigid type of 6 mm in diameter. The inside of the DCD-S1 is free from vibrations thanks in part to the bottom chassis which has been constructed of a sandcast material (an alloy of aluminum and sintered metal) that absorbs vibrations more rapidly. The mechanism-base wich supports the pickup-mechanism is floated from the frame with elastic rubber. The sand-cast pickup base is itself floated with an oil damper and spring. The linear motor used "floats" via magnetic coils so that the pickup can move with very high precision. At last there is a heavy weight stabilizer. This vibration free concept is guaranteed to readout the digital data on the disk with very high pinpoint accuracy.

This review is not about the DP-S1, but about the DCD-S1. I wanted to place a review about the DCD-S1, but there is no DCD-S1 at The basic concept of the DCD-S1 is from the reference DP-S1. My first Denon experience dated back to the year 1992 when my brother bought Denon components. When he played music on his set, I immidiatly noticed sound quality, clearancy and overall performance. I always knew that in the future I would own a good quality set of components, only I didn't know which brand to choose. So in 1992 my brother set my more or less into the Denon brand. I have been collected Denon brochures from 1992 till now on, and know the continuous divelopment and philosophy. My interrest in the S-serie was born when I collected the 1996 brochure from my hifi-shop. I read the articles of the components, looked at the pictures, diagrams, specifications and thought I want to own some of these components! From that year till 2001 I saved money to buy an amplifier and a cd-player from the S10-serie. I called my dealer to send me a special brochure about the S-serie. Then I read about Denon's Lambda SLC (Super Linear Converter) and ALPHA-processor. Step by step I knew more and more about the technics. I know Denon is one of the best cd-player manufacturers in the world and placed some milestones in the world of digital audio. In the year 2001 I called my hifi-shop and asked about the PMA-S10mk2 amplifier and the DCD-S10mk2 cd-player. It seemed that it was selled out and couldn't be ordered any more. The whole S-serie was going to end. My dealer could get my an PMA-S10mk2 which was a demo and a new DCD-1550 (now Denon's top model). I also asked about the DCD-S1 (I couldn't afford this component) but my dealer made me an offer: a demo PMA-S1 and a demo DCD-S1 together for half the price! This was bescause that were almost the last S1-components in the shop. My hifi-dealer was going to set up the S1-components in the listeningroom and I was going to come the next day for a listening experience. The nex day, I entered the listeningroom and looked for the first time at the S1-components, which I only knew from pictures in brochures. I immidiatly noticed the heavy duty quality high-end components. The finish-off and materials used to make the outside is made of average 6 mm thick extruded aluminum. The frontplate is in "gold" colour and 10 mm thick. There are no sharp corners anywere, every corner or edge has a round shape. The layout of the cd-player is of the top-loading-type mechanism that harks back to days of turntables, analog records and the first cd-players in the '80. I started a cd, and immidiatly noticed the clearity and natural smoothness of the sound. I turned the volume on the PMA-S1 a bit further up and noticed a well balanced, very high natural, smooth, live alike and steady high-end sound wich I had never heard before. This is what I want, what I dreamed about... I'm done this is it! The salesman entered the room after 5 minutes and we went into conversation. We talked about some technical terms, Denon's philosophy, etc. The PMA-S10mk2 and the DCD-1550 were also connected and listened to. I didn't noticed substantial difference with the second set. But I knew there were differences and that it would be noticed by listening a longer time. I maked up my dissision, couldn't afford S1-serie, and bought the PMA-S10mk2 and the DCD-1550. With this option I hade an amount of money spare to start saving for new speakers. After a couple of weeks enjoyable listening at home, unfortunally with my old "common-brand " speakers, I noticed differene in performance in contrast to the listening experience with the S1-components in the hifi-shop. I knew the difference in music quality/presence and high-end, professional approach of the S1-serie in contrast to the PMA-S10mk2 and the DCD-1550. I couldn't get the thought out of my head having the S1-components, for half the normal price and I knew I would regret it for the rest of my live if I didn't buy the S1-components. I walked to the shop and saw the components placed in the showroom, and I was still thinking to buy them, but the next week they were gone. A half year later I bought new speakers: KEF Reference model 3.2. The very last in the hifi-shop which I layed hands. Another half year later in 2002 my brother saw another PMA-S1 and DCD-S1 in the hifi-shop and noticed me. It were the very last ones the shop had layed hands on and were half the normal price. I knew the specifications and soundquality from the listening experience the year before. I had saved some money for a half year and bought the S1-components. I sold the PMA-S10mk2 to he shop and the DCD-1550 went to my brother.

Similar Products Used: strenghts Top built quality, like a tank, very solid and good looks. Excellent high-end, durable transport, using a floating mechanism to minimize vibrations. Extremely detailed, high definition and focused. Absolutely smooth, natural, clear high-end sound. Uses separate power supply for all critical components. Chassis is awesomely constructed. Note that the DCD-S1 has a S/N-ratio of 120 dB, this is a very impressive number. The DCD-S1 can also act as a digital to analog converter, it has two types of digital inputs, so you can benefit from the high-end components inside. weaknesses Hard to find Denon S1-serie components, they are not easy to come by. I saw that there were few functions like play, stop, forward, reverse and open on the top. On the frontpanel displaydimmer, external input and invert. Denon's philosophy for high-end components, only the music is important. The remote control has more functions like program and repeat.
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