Denon DRM-555

Auto-reverse cassette deck

  • Denon DRM-555


  • Denon DRM-555


Item #: 033DRM555

Review Summary

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Our take on the Denon DRM-555

by Barry Montgomery

Make great-sounding cassette recordings every time with the Denon DRM-555. It's got Dolby B and C noise reduction to combat tape hiss, plus Dolby HX Pro, which lets you make louder, more dynamic recordings without distortion. The manual bias adjustment control lets you fine-tune your recordings to get the best possible sound from whatever type of blank tape you're using.

Denon has also loaded this deck with convenience features, like auto-reverse playback and recording. Its handy music search system lets you easily skip forward or backward to the beginnings of tracks. And if you hear something on a tape that you want to return to later, just press the "Memory" button — the DRM-555 will remember this spot on the tape and let you rewind or fast-forward back to it with the press of a button. You also get easy CD synchro recording when you use this deck with compatible Denon CD players.


  • auto-reverse play/record
  • Dolby B and C noise reduction
  • Dolby HX Pro
  • full-logic controls
  • music search
  • memory function
  • manual bias adjustment control
  • CD synchro record
  • switchable MPX filter for recording FM
  • record mute
  • display dimmer
  • headphone output with volume control
  • frequency response (±3dB) 20-17,000 Hz — metal tape
  • signal-to-noise ratio 74 dB (Dolby C)
  • wow and flutter 0.08%
  • 17-1/8"W x 5-5/16"H x 9-7/8"D
  • warranty: 1 year
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Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Number of Heads
Number of Motors
Auto Reverse
Relay Play
Relay Record
Parallel Record
High-Speed Dubbing
Full Logic Transport
Closed Loop Dual Capstan
Dolby NR
Dolby HX Pro
Auto Music Search
Multi Track Search
Track Programming
Bias Adjustment
Pitch Control
Same Brand CD Synchro
Blank Skip
Time Counter
Timer Compatible
Mic Input
Headphone Jack
Parts Warranty
Labor Warranty
Best Frequency Response
Best Signal-to-Noise Ratio
Wow and Flutter
Width (inches)
Height (inches)
Depth (inches)
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Single-well cassette deck with attached 6 foot AC power cord
  • Two 40" RCA stereo patch cables
  • One 40" male mono-to-male mono RCA patch cable
  • Operating Instructions (English/French/Spanish)
  • Warranty information sheet
  • Warranty Registration card

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Inputs and Outputs


Music Search System: This feature detects blank sections (lasting for at least 4 seconds) between tracks in order to locate the beginning of a track in the forward or reverse direction.

Automatic Tape Selection (ATS): Automatically sets the appropriate equalization characteristics and bias current for the type of tape you're using.

Synchronized Recording Function: Synchronized recording can be performed when this cassette deck is used in combination with a Denon CD player that also has a synchronized recording function.  The Synchro jack consists of a single female connection on the back panel (male mono-to-male mono RCA connector cable is included).

Input Level Control: This knob allows you to adjust the recording input level in both channels.

Bias Fine Control: This control is used to fine-adjust the bias.  Standard bias is obtained at the center position.

Timer Switch: This switch is provided for use with an optional audio timer, to allow time-shift recording or playback.

Reverse Mode Switch: This feature allows you to listen to only one side of the cassette, or listen to repeat playback of both sides.

Counter Memory Button: This features allows you to automatically stop a fast-forwarding or rewinding cassette at the "0000" position.

Peak Level Meter: This feature in the display area indicates the recording and playback levels for the left and right channels

Dimmer Adjustment: This cassette deck allows you to adjust the brightness of the display in seven steps (brightness levels).

Inputs and Outputs

Front Panel:

  • Headphone input: standard 1/4" gold-plated headphone jack with level control

Rear Panel:

  • RCA input: gold-plated stereo RCA line inputs

  • RCA output: gold-plated stereo RCA line outputs

  • Synchro jack: mono input connection

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Denon DRM-555 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

The best tape player ever

Written By Paul, Markle, IN on Friday, January 20, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Nice, very nice. Even if it does not come with a remote you can use most of your remotes that come with your receiver. Nice frequency response (±3dB) 20-17,000 Hz for metal tapes. Would like the have it half repeat side 1 and 2 and then stop.
I use it to play all my old tames and they play great.
11 out of 11 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Denon DRM-555

Written By Douglas, Albany, NY on Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
If, like me, you have a large collection of cassette tapes and need a deck that will bring out the best in them, this deck is an excellent choice. In fact, if you want a **single-well** deck it is just about the only game in town unless you buy second hand. You don't need a double well if you don't plan to dub tape to tape - to back up your tapes, my advice would be to dub onto CDRs. In principle, a single well should give better sound quality per $ spent compared with a double (although, surprisingly, the quoted specs are identical for the equally priced Denon single and double well units). What sold me on the single (DRM-555) is that the controls are nicely laid out: the front panel is uncluttered and not overloaded with buttons and features that I don't need. It is easy to use. The electronic counter zeros itself when you open the cassette door, which is a useful feature. It doesn't come with a remote, but I was pleased to find that it can be controlled by the remote for my Denon HT receiver.

Strengths: Excellent sound quality, easy to use, looks good, can be controlled by remotes supplied with Denon recievers.

Weaknesses: The only negative I can think of is that some of the knobs and buttons on the front panel seem less robust than I would have expected from Denon - they work OK but feel a tad flimsy.
74 out of 93 people found this helpful
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