Having a home studio means that I have to pay good attention to detail to whatever goes in it. I have a Mac setup and need to buy an amp to go directly into my Alesis mixing desk, but didn't want anything too pricy. We have a Denon amp in the lounge, which accommodates our home speakers so wanted to stick to this very reliable make.
It's silver integrated amplified with metal chassis and plastic frontage, power = 2 x 45 watts/channel (8 ohms, RMS), has a phono input along with 3 x line level and 2 tape loops. Controls consist of a bass that can be bypassed, and treble and loudness. Signal to noise ratio is 105 dB Comes complete with remote control plus instructions. Needless to say it has a headphone output., and 1 AC switched outlet. When amp is on standby it draws .3 Watts.
It's a good little amp although it's not the best of the best sadly which surprises me for Denon as it's performance isn't the best I've used. It's all very easy to use and looks the biz. Reviews state that it sports a wide dynamic range playback, whilst supporting a variety of high-grade audio sources - this is true to a certain extent. It does contain great clarity in a lot of musical performance especially in the mid range frequency. The overall sound to be sounds very harsh and there's no sympathy so it I find. Fine if you just want to play your CDs through it, but attempting to complete a mix is virtually impossible and impracticable. Bass is horrible - there's far too much and you can't control this so well. Has A & B switchable speakers which is handy although pretty standard so you can switch from say big speakers to smaller speakers if your setup consists of that.
The RC-1022 remote control is good and does everything you'd expect it to do such as popping it into standby, adjusting the volume, choose different sources i.e. CD, stereo, TV (if applicable) etc
This amp is a strong candidate for Ebay now as I have since purchased another one as this model didn't really meant my growing demands. Nt a good amp for serious semi-pro music producers like me!
Purchased from Amazon for £225 in del.
This review is consermed with the Denon PMA 500 amplifier, a standart stereo amplifier.
General stuff about the amplifier:
This Denon amplifier has a very good built quality. It is very solid and has a metal body all the way. The front plate of the amplifier has an aluminium surface and the rest has a plastic cover, which is enforced with metal below the plastic. It has many imputs, so you can connect a lot of sources to the amplifier.It also has controls for Bass, treble and balance and a loudness button. With these controls the owner of the amp can control the outcoming sound in many levels and the controls work well. As far as I know the amplifier has 140 watts, which is not very loud, but with good speakers it will be loud enough for most home parties. The amp allows two pairs of speakers to be plugged.
It is not very difficult to connect speakers to that amp. The backplate has big connections with screw terminals which you can open and connect the cables of the speakers. The connection is very easy and fast to be done.
The soundquality of the amp is not bad, but I expected more. An amp should deliver the sound just as it is coming from the source if you do not turn the knobs of the sound controls. This amp is not doing that, the amp delivers too mcuh Bass at standart settings so the sound is not really neutral and the higher Bass frequencies just play too loud. I used the amp with some Magnat quantum 503 speakers and the sound was false at 80 - 200 hz, altough i did not increase these frequencies on the equalizer.
Otherwise the amp sounds a bit like metal to me and does not have a soft and smooth sound, as I want it to be. This amp is definatly not a good buy for users, who want to plug some passive monitor speakers to it and produce music, since even with headphones the sound was falsified and too much bass was added. It is not too bad though and for normal porpuses the amp will do just fine.
Otherwise the soundquality is ok, it is clear and details are played. It is also fairly loud, with a pair of good speakers who do not need a lot of imput the amp will play very loud and is able to turn your room into a party. You should cool it with an amp for example from the computer to make sure the amp will not turn off during a long party. Even a 120 mm fan at 9 v will cool the amp enough so it wont stop playing at very high volumes.
The remote control of the amp works great. You can turn the amp into standby mode if you want and turn up and down the volume. You see how the big volume knob is moving when you press the volume buttons, a motor is moving it. You can also choose a different source. You can not increase the bass and treble though. With the remote control you can control the Denon DCD 500ae aswell, but that is not a good buy, since it wont play mp3.
The Denon pma 500ae is a very well made product with great built quality. The soundquality is fine except it has too mcuh bass at standart settings and is therefore not suitable for mixing porpuses. It is loud enough and great for parties and normal listening. It is not an amp for enthusiasts
I bought a 500AE for my dad who is a classical music buff and needed to update his rather ancient hi-fi. Connecting the new amplifier to his elegant Kef IQ3 speakers left us both staring speechlessly at each other: the tonal balance, bass definition (all too often a problem with budget systems) and overall competence of the sound is just in a different league to other affordable amplifiers.
So much so, that I went home and ordered a second PMA-500AE for myself. Mine is coupled to Mordaunt-Short's award-winning 902i bookshelf speakers - and it's completely transformed them.
The very best thing a critical listener can say about any hi-fi system is that they didn't notice it, because they were too busy listening to the music. Put simply, a flawed system detracts from your enjoyment, while a great system goes largely unnoticed. I'd place the 500AE in the 'unnoticed' league.
The edge that this amp seems to have over some of its rivals lies, I think, in the way it delivers its mid-range. Listen to and follow a single instrument, and you'll hear it more clearly than with other budget (let's say sub-£300) amplifiers, and that very pure midrange sound also gives a freshness to vocal lines. As I listen to more and more of my CD collection through the 500AE, I keep noticing instruments and vocal detail that just weren't there before.
Pushed to the limit - say, by a complex track at high volume - the 500AE can sound almost too pure and even a bit strident, but perhaps that's because I'd grown used to a far 'mushier' sound. It's certainly true that the more I listen to it, the more I respect it.
Denon, as usual, have thought this through carefully and intelligently. The front panel is dominated by a large, central volume control with other rotary controls for the input source, bass, treble and balance. There's a headphone socket, a loudness button which alters the sound to suit low volume listening and a 'direct' button for purists who want to bypass the tone controls and hear things as they really are: and that's it!
If you want fancy features ('wake-up' timers, graphic equalizers, output level meters, and winking lights) you might be disappointed, but personally I like the simplicity, and the smug feeling that my money was spent on the audio components rather than on the front panel.
The remote control is worth mentioning for a couple of reasons:
* If you have other Denon separates (a tuner or CD player for instance) you can control them from the 500AE's remote handset, which is a lot simpler than fumbling about with two or three different controllers.
* the first time I used a 500AE I spooked myself quite badly, because when you change the volume using the remote control, that big, central volume control on the amplifier's front panel physically rotates too! When you see it happen, you could be forgiven for thinking there's a ghost in the machine...