Denon 110th anniversary – Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier and Denon DCD-A110 SACD Player

What better way to celebrate a round birthday than with fine solutions, especially since, like Denon, it is the 110th birthday. Among other things, the company is presenting an outstanding new stereo pairing, the Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier and Denon DCD-A110 SACD Player, which is described as a combination of subtle beauty and maximum performance.


In 1910, Denon was founded, making it one of the oldest and in any case one of the most renowned brands in the consumer electronics industry as a whole. Already for its 100th anniversary in 2010, Denon surprised with the presentation of a limited edition model series, the Denon A100 Series, and this is now also the case for its 110th anniversary.

Even though the company is involved in many areas of consumer electronics, classic stereo solutions have always been and still are a very important line of business, especially since it is one of the handful of remaining manufacturers that offer solutions in both the entry-level segment and in the premium class, skilfully incorporating developments that were initially developed for the higher product classes into the more affordable segments.

Given Denon’s history, it is almost obligatory to celebrate an anniversary such as its 110th birthday with the presentation of a worthy stereo pair. In 2010 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary it was the Denon PMA-A100 Integrated Amplifier and the Denon DCD-A100 CD/SACD Player, today the combination of the new Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier and Denon DCD-A110 SACD Player solutions is intended to be a truly worthy “birthday present” – not only to the company itself, but also to its customers. Sound United LLC. describes Denon’s latest solutions as a combination of subtle beauty and maximum performance, and these are limited special editions that are associated with the Denon 110-Year Anniversary Edition.

Not surprisingly, it is on record that the new Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier has been developed based on 110 years of audio engineering experience, and that it is said to be perfect for music lovers looking to create the ultimate two-channel hi-fi system. Of course, it’s all the technology that’s currently on offer, and it’s an impressive number of outstanding technologies to say the least.

For example, the new Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier is based on Advanced Ultra High Current Power Amplifier (UHC) technology with a single MOS push-pull output stage with seventh generation Schottky blocking diodes.

The carefully designed amplifier circuitry is designed to provide a frequency response of up to 100kHz, ensuring extremely precise, detailed imaging with exceptional dynamic range. The power that the new Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier can deliver is specified as two times 80 watts for loudspeaker systems with an impedance of 8 ohms and two times 160 watts for speakers with an impedance of just 4 ohms. According to the manufacturer, even demanding loudspeakers should be easily controlled by high output currents and outstanding linearity in the output stage, guaranteeing excellent imaging.

In particular, the manufacturer emphasises the volume control of the new Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier, which has been newly developed and presents itself as a highly precise electronic volume control. It is said that the appearance of earlier generations of equipment should be retained, i.e. the volume control gives an “analogue touch”, even if this is actually done on a digital level. The position of the volume control is here converted into digital signals by a processor in order to ultimately control the volume. In this way a smooth, linear and above all precise control free of noise is guaranteed. This principle is also applied to the balance and tone controls, which of course are also featured in the new Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier in good tradition.

Very important for a stereo integrated amplifier is of course its power supply. Thus the new Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier is to have two transformers mounted in a so-called LC system in opposite directions to prevent any mutual influence of the magnetic flux, which could serve as a “noise source” in a transformer. New high-capacity, high-performance electrolytic capacitors for rectification have been specially made for Denon. Low-loss and low-noise high-speed Schottky barrier diodes are used in the rectifier circuit. This ensures a sufficiently clean power supply. To achieve a simple and direct circuit configuration, the connection unit between the diode group and the block capacitor was removed. In this way the power supply line to the output stage could be drastically shortened. To reduce the impedance, the extremely thick power lines were made of oxygen-free copper.

Three independent power supply units are used in the new Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier to guarantee optimum separation of the essential groups, especially between the analogue and digital circuits.

The new Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier offers all the options you would expect from a modern amplifier system. Three analogue inputs in the form of RCA sockets are initially available, plus one input as a phono preamplifier, which is designed for both MM and MC pick-up systems. To stay in the analogue world for a short time, a record out and pre in are also available. For digital sources there are three optical and one coaxial S/PDIF interface available, whereby one of these TOS-Link connections was explicitly designed for TV sets. When the TV is switched on, the Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier is also awakened from standby. Of course, this also works the other way round: if the TV is switched off, the amplifier also switches back to standby mode.

An essential interface at the digital level is of course the USB port, which can be used for direct connection to a PC or Mac and which exploits the full spectrum of the D/A converter integrated in the Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier. It can process data in Linear PCM format at up to 32 bits and 384 kHz, and DSD up to DSD256.

The fact that the new Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier uses a Texas Instruments PCM1795 Burr Brown DAC is not unusual, but it is unusual that four of them are used. This means that two DACs are used per channel in mono mode, which is called a Quad DAC configuration.

In addition, the new Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier is also based on Denon’s tried and tested DSP-based signal processing, known as Denon Ultra AL 32 Processing. This uses special data interpolation algorithms and supports high-resolution PCM input signals up to 24 bits and 384 kHz. In large amounts of data, the algorithms interpolate missing points to produce smooth waveforms that are as close as possible to the natural signal. With up to 32-fold oversampling of the input signal, the output signal sampling rate is either 1.411 MHz at fs 44.1 kHz or 1.536 MHz at fs 48 kHz, which, according to the manufacturer, enables particularly detailed reproduction of the audio signal.

It should be emphasised that the new Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier features a Pure Audio mode, which allows any digital circuit to be turned off if desired, even disabling the display on the front panel. In Pure Analogue mode, the Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier is designed to guarantee absolutely clean sound reproduction of analogue input signals.

Naturally, the new Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier has a particularly solid, optimised design, with the individual function groups separated and isolated from each other as far as possible. This is known as modular design with Direct Mechnical Ground Construction, which also eliminates unwanted vibrations. The chassis is thus built from a solid metal construction and the front is decorated with a solid aluminium front with a brushed black surface. Apart from the emblem, which refers to the 110th anniversary and thus the limited number of this special model, the front features a massive central rotary encoder, balance, bass and treble controls, a few buttons, a rotary encoder for input selection, a headphone connection in the form of a 6.3 mm stereo jack socket, the main switch, and a discreet but probably sufficiently large OLED display.

The Denon DCD-A110 SACD player is intended to be the right playing partner for the stereo integrated amplifier just described, although this is also a limited special model to mark Denon’s 110th birthday.

It is obvious that Sound United LLC. will use the new Denon DCD-A110 SACD player as their flagship product, as it will also feature the concentrated expertise that Denon has been able to gather in tens of years of development in the field of CD and SACD players.

At the heart of every CD or SACD player is of course the drive, whereby the new Denon DCD-A110 SACD player relies on the patented Denon Advanced Suppress-Vibration-Hybrid-Mechanism, or S.V.H. mechanism for short. This mechanism is based on a particularly solid construction, such as a copper top plate, a die-cast aluminium frame and a suspension system made of two millimetre thick steel. This is intended to prevent vibrations that could have a negative effect on the exact reading of the optical data carriers. A particularly low centre of gravity also contributes to this. In addition, the focus is already placed on the shortest possible signal paths.

The Denon DCD-A110 SACD player has been perfected with this approach of particularly short switching paths, whereby Sound United LLC. speaks of the principle “simple and direct”.

The digital section of the signal processing is based on a quadruple D/A converter, whereby four Texas Instruments PCM1795 Burr-Brown DACs are also used here. Two clock generators are used as the basis for the signal conversion. Depending on the sampling frequency – 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz – a separate clock oscillator is thus available, so that particularly accurate signal processing with reliable jitter suppression is guaranteed.


As if that were not enough, signal processing is once again carried out by the Denon Ultra AL32 Processing Engine mentioned above, which, by means of 32-fold oversampling of the incoming PCM signal, is intended to guarantee extremely precise reproduction of the waveform. The basis for this, by the way, is an Intel Cyclone 10 FPGA, a so-called Field Programmable Gate Array, which provides the necessary performance and thus ensures that the Denon Ultra AL32 Processing Engine of the new Denon DCD-A110 SACD Player, just like that in the new Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier, is superior to all previous solutions. To briefly recall the key data already mentioned in this context, in concrete terms, for example, content with 32 bit and 384 kHz is extrapolated to 1.512 MHz, so there are enormous amounts of data to be handled.

Sound United LLC. states that instead of a simple analogue filter circuit as used in conventional operational amplifiers, a completely discrete filter stage is used to guarantee outstanding audio performance.

Incidentally, the Denon DCD-A110 SACD player can play back data CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs in addition to Audio CDs and Super Audio CDs, whereby files in Linear PCM with up to 24 bits and 192 kHz as well as content in DSD are supported. The signal processing is not open to external sources, so the new player has no digital inputs whatsoever and streaming is not provided for in any way.

According to the manufacturer, the new Denon DCD-A110 SACD player uses only high-quality, strictly selected components, and these are even called hand-picked components. The new Super Audio CD player from Denon uses AMRS and MELF resistors for the audio and power sections, and has an impressive number of specially manufactured parts for the power supply alone, such as bipolar high-performance transistors, a fully discrete voltage regulator circuit, electrolytic capacitors with high sound quality and polyphenylene sulphide capacitors. According to Denon, all these custom-made components have been developed and optimised in collaboration with selected manufacturers through countless listening tests.

Here, too, the best possible separation of the power supply by means of separate power supply units for the digital and analogue circuits is aimed for right from the start, whereby this is further supported by an appropriate structure of the different groups.

Of course, the new Denon DCD-A110 SACD player also uses a very solid housing, which follows the Denon Direct Mechanical Ground Construction principle. The construction is based on a 1.2 mm thick wall, which is reinforced at critical points with two 1.6 mm thick steel plates. This results in a highly rigid three-layer structure with sufficient vibration-inhibiting inertial mass, according to the developers’ description.

Since the Denon DCD-A110 SACD player, as described, is completely dedicated to the most accurate reproduction of optical data carriers, the rear side does not have too many interfaces. In addition to the obligatory analogue output in the form of a pair of cinch sockets, there are at least digital outputs available, once optical, once coaxial S/PDIF.

The elegant aluminium front is also adorned with the 110 Anniversary logo, and in addition to buttons for playback control, the standby button and the drive drawer, there is also a display located centrally under the drive, which is naturally deactivated in Pure Direct mode.

The new Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier and Denon DCD-A110 SACD Player as Limited Edition Anniversary Model are offered in Silver Black and Silver Graphite only. And yes, it is a thoroughly exclusive offer that Sound United LLC. is hereby making to mark Denon’s 110th birthday.

The recommended retail price for the new Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier is € 3,499. The corresponding Denon DCD-A110 SACD player is priced at € 2,999.00 according to the manufacturer.

Getting to the point

Due to the history of Denon, it is almost obligatory to celebrate an anniversary such as the 110th anniversary with the presentation of a worthy stereo pair, and the combination of the new solutions Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier and Denon DCD-A110 SACD Player should be a truly worthy “birthday present” to oneself, but also to the customers. Sound United LLC. describes Denon’s latest solutions as a combination of subtle beauty and maximum performance, and these are limited special editions that are associated with the Denon 110-Year Anniversary Edition.

Manufacturer:Sound United LLC.
Distribution:Denon Deutschland – A Division of Sound United
Price:Denon PMA-A110 Integrated Amplifier € 3.499,-
Denon DCD-A110 SACD Player € 2.999,-

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