My aging Sony 7.1 is barely worth mentioning and never really impressed me with its sound. I had always assumed it was just poor quality speakers keeping it from coming alive and was elated when I found a set of JVC S38BE's at a yard sale. Long story short they sounded terrible and I found myself yet again using my sub to try to compensate for their poor low end output. Enter the Denon PMA-800NE. I changed nothing, hooked this up to my system and those JBL's instantly sprang to life, (it was rather stunning to hear for the first time honestly). Suddenly there in my very less than ideal listening area were warm, strong lows, mids, and clear highs, it was all there. Even with no sub I was made a believer there on the spot. If I had any complaints about this unit is that it doesn't have a midrange setting. I found myself having to roll off a bit of lows to pull some of the mids out. An EQ could easily remedy this and it was a non-issue for me. Also, all my gear is in a Sanus rack and it's nearly impossible to see the volume knob position without a light. A rack light would help, but there should at least be a clearer marker on the knob itself. The amp is primarily used in my home studio. I typically turn on analog and tone bypass for a very warm and neutral amp, (the 800NE can also handle high bitrates well so using this with my DAW was a no brainer). Add in gaming and general listening and this amp is seeing many uses daily.
Pros: Various inputs and outputs make this ideal for many applications. Tone Bypass. Digital bypass. adjustable phono pre-amp.
Cons: No sub-out. Poor markings on the knobs makes them difficult to see unless in direct light. No Bluetooth.
0 of 1 found this helpful
This is a descent low to mid priced amplifier but it needs improvements.
Pros: Budget friendly, CD's and scratchy old vinyl sounds ok. DAC phone preamp is useful. Can run two pairs of speakers. Decent wattage output.
Cons: No Bluetooth. If you want to hear new music, affordably, you need BT. The lower priced counterpart model offers BT. The indicator on the Volume dial is nearly impossible to see. How about a silver paint streak or something. I would have liked a Mid Range control. Has a Direct Source button but your music will sound flat. I like a little Treble, a little MR and a little Bass. Just me maybe.
1 of 4 found this helpful
For context, IMHO qualify myself as a modest audiophile.Purchased the Denon PMA-800NE integrated amplifier a month ago after my 1985 Onkyo P-306RS pre-amplifier started having signal interruption issues. Faced with the choice of likely paying $200-300 to service/repair the Onkyo, or buy a new unit, I opted for the latter. Based my decision (primarily between the Yamaha A-S701 and the Denon. Given my set-up is my secondary stereo (e.g., basement BR/Office, 18' x 20' room), I knew I didn't need the full 100 watts the Yamaha offered. Albeit, the sub-woofer out the Yamaha had would be nice, not required for the 2 x pairs of 301s I was running. What the Denon did have was approximately 70-85 watts (for 2-pairs of speakers) and moreover, was MC capable. Which, I needed for my vintage Denon DP-62L monster turntable and recently purchased 110th Anniversary Denon MC cartridge. The analog and direct source switches on the Denon are phenomenal. The Denon's integrity to the recorded source is spot-on. It I had to describe the Denon's harmonic sound reproduction (e.g., Vinyl, CD, Bluetooth) in one word it would be "Nirvana." To date, exceeds my expectations and so grateful I made the right decision. P.s. wattage is "more" than powerful enough; 10-11 o'clock on volume knob and my wife is banging from upstairs for me to turn it down - LoL.
Pros: Phenomenal sound and plenty of power!
Cons: Plastic feel of control knobs; I'm old school and used to metal, heavy duty knobs. Nonetheless, does the job, especially with the ease of the remote control.
3 of 5 found this helpful
I was looking for an amplifier to use in a secondary system driving a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 speakers. The 12.1's have a balanced sound that I like and I wanted an amplifier with similar sound characteristics. I found it with this amplifier. The Denon has a balanced sound that does not emphasize one frequency over the others. It is not dull sounding however and it definitely has enough power for my 15 x 18 foot room. I am used to a 120 WPC amp/pre-amp combo that's in my main system and this amp has a similar sound to that one. The build quality is good, especially considering the price, and I think the 3 year warranty is a little longer then some other brands.
Pros: Balanced sounding without being boring. Will pair well with just about any speaker.
Cons: none at this price
4 of 5 found this helpful
Ok so I'm an inexperienced audio equipment buyer that just wants things to work easily and sound really good. I write this to all others like me out there because non-gear head reviews matter. I'm super happy with my unit thus far. Sounds great with the Wharfdale 12.0 speakers I got from Crutchfield. Works great with my Sonos connect / Sonos 1 and old Ion turntable, too. I live in a 700 square foot open floor plan space so footprint of the unit was a big consideration. The reviews on the Denon were solid but it was the footprint of the unit that sold me. Crutchfield's return policy helped me make the jump. I don't regret it! I want to note that I first got the NAD D3045 from another vendor but had issues with the controller (probably that firmware update that some people have posted about) and NAD customer service (which many people have posted about) was very poor. I returned the unit and went to Denon. I hope NAD is listening because I know people like them - fix your well documented problems!
3 of 3 found this helpful
I have been a Denon aficionado for the past 50 years, so when my old amplifier finally bit the dust, the natural thing to do, was to go, once again with the brand that I have trusted for all these years. Cannot say enough about the specifications and build quality. Also has built in mm/mc cartridge switching capabilities which is rare these days. Crutchfield delivered without a hitch and I am overjoyed with the new amp. All is good, great even!!
Pros: Specs, build quality, mm/mc capability etc.
Cons: None that I have found.
2 of 3 found this helpful
Reasonably priced, straight forward set up and operation, sounds good.
2 of 3 found this helpful
Very impressive. Went with this Denon based on recommendation from Colby at Crutchfield. I'm not a pro or a real audiofile at all but I know a good sound when i hear one. This one sounds fantastic using Raspberry Pi3/HifiBerry DIGI+ Pro/Spotify as source and B&W 602 S3 for speakers. Initially I bought Cambridge AXA35. I loved the sound from that one but it had two main issues against it. No DAC and just not enough power to drive my B&W speakers. Still the sound was so incredible that I had a hard time letting it go to send it back to CF. This Denon was said to replace the Cambridge and add other features I was looking for. I was sceptical until I heard it. Glad I trusted Colby's suggestion.
7 of 7 found this helpful
I compared this unit to the Cambridge AXR100. After listening to the Cambridge with some disappointment, I returned to the Denon and the music came back full, dynamic and pleasing. I like this amp. In particular I like the feature where you can preset treble and bass for less than the finest cds, and I have a lot of them, and with a single button, you can switch in your preset adjustments. I appreciate the flexibility. Build quality is very nice. The only thing that is oddly missing at this price point and time in audio, is a su- out and Bluetooth. I partnered this with Elac 62 speakers and Mogami 3103 speaker cables, and the combination is synergetic. I'm very pleased.
Pros: Great sound and features.
Cons: Missing sub out and Bluetooth.
16 of 17 found this helpful
I recently got some new speakers - also from Crutchfield - so an amp upgrade was definitely on the cards. The words 'integrated stereo amplifier' to me back to the amps I used to use for records cassettes and CDs so I read the specs for 2 similarly priced amps. This one over with the 'analogue mode' and the option to select the type of cartridge. I was not disappointed. The rich sound the speakers had given me was even warmer and richer. I usually put on Saga's 'Worlds apart' lp (don't judge me) and it was like standing in the hi fi department back in mid 82 listening to it on various mid and hi end systems. Then a couple of CDs of TV soundtracks from the sixties and seventies. Not so much blown away as stopped in my tracks with the clarity, warmth and depth.
Pros: just all round sound improvement over previous equipment
Cons: none that I can think of
8 of 9 found this helpful
This Denon receiver has brought new life to my vintage speakers (Klipsch KG1.2, Dahlquist m903 and Boston HD10) and has enhanced my listening experience. I love being able to "go analog" and bypass the DAC and tone controls when playing CDs and vinyl. The phono-preamp and MM option work great and bring out the most of my Stanton 681EEE cartridge. It has more than enough power and provides great definition, at low or high volumes. Overall, a great integrated amp.
5 of 5 found this helpful
After reading so many positive reviews about this amp I had very high hopes. While the build quality is generally good (except the cheap binding posts and AC cord) I found the sound to be very thin and tinny, even with the analog and source direct modes enabled. The latter actually made the unit sound bassless and hollow, and the midrange sounded noticeably veiled and distant no matter what the settings were at. Unfortunately, the tone controls are very sensitive and did little to help improve the overall sound. Crutchfield's customer service is excellent so I decided to send the unit back for a refund after a couple nights of letting the unit settle in. There is definitely something to be said about the sound and build quality of 1970's era solid state amps compared to today's mid-fi offerings.
Pros: Good build quality
Cons: Extremely veiled midrange; cheap binding posts and AC cordt
26 of 51 found this helpful
Great sounding integrated amplifier, especially with cds. Was building a bedroom stereo setup that I wanted music to be a focus but also needed to be able to pull av service. Opted out of stereo receivers because most are physically bigger than I wanted and don't carry any particular advantage over an integrated IMHO. I hooked it up to a pair of Klipsch RP-150M's with a turntable, blu-ray and a tv. Streaming spotify through the tv connected roku over optical and blu-rays sounded clear but it stood out playing cds. Vinyl also sounded good but I'm not super picky with vinyl. I just don't play cd's as much as I used to and went with another integrated that handled the streaming options slightly better, while also having BT and hdmi arc for av sources.
Pros: Great with CD's The knobs and dials are delightful, almost kept it just because of this Compact enough for most setups No obnoxious lights
Cons: Not as impressive with other digital formats Feels stuck between generations No front face display indicating volume level
7 of 9 found this helpful
The Denon PMA coupled with KEF LS50's prove, "You don't need no million-dollar hifi's, just get a little integrated and some good British two-way speakers." Its 50 watts are better than the 80 of my old Denon DRA-395 receiver: the bass is solid and well defined, voices have more body and presence, the treble is detailed without any cringing sizzle. The tonality is spot on and natural: I attend the Toledo, Detroit and Cleveland Orchestras and hear no unpleasant surprises from the PMA. (Greta van Fleet benefits from this excellence as well.) The headphone stage lets my low-impedance but efficient HiFiMan 400S sound as enjoyable as the KEFs. Its DAC is an improvement over my 2013 CD/DVD/Netflix box. The MM phono stage has no trouble driving my 2.1 mV Soundsmith Carmen cartridge, and it is good enough to detail the sonic differences between the Carmen and my Grado Reference Master. I look forward to trying the MC stage with a Denon true-mono cartridge. The Analog Mode and Source Direct (i.e, tone defeat) further demonstrate that Denon has used their technical skills to craft a special component with musical sensitivities.
Cons: The remote doesn't have enough PMA-specific buttons.
17 of 19 found this helpful
I conducted considerable research before making this purchase, and I could not be happier with the decision I made. The build quality of the Denon is excellent, the front and back panel layout and connections are logical and accessible, and the sound quality from the integrated amplifier is most impressive. I'd also like to address two concerns that were particular to me but that others may share. The first has to do with whether 50 watts at 8 ohms (it delivers 80 watts at 4 ohms) is underpowered to drive tower speakers. I also purchased Polk RtiA7 speakers, and the Denon drives them easily. The second concern I had revolved around the lack of a subwoofer out. After reading about my options, I decided simply to connect speaker terminal B on the back of the Denon to the speaker ins on a Polk PSW110 powered subwoofer (also purchased from Crutchfield). I then activated both speakers A and B on the front panel of the Denon and, once again, the sound proved to be excellent. The bottom line is that if you seek a mid-priced 2.1 system for music, the Denon PMA-800NE should be among the integrated amplifiers you give serious consideration. I have been happy with the way the Denon handles my turntable (it has the option of selecting MM or MC cartridges, and the Analog and Direct source options give you the ability to bypass all of the digital circuitry). The latter can also be implemented when using a cd player. The optical in works great, too, and is perfect for Airplay. Thumbs up!
Pros: Front and back panel layout and connections; ease of use; audio quality; ability to choose MM or MC phono cartridges; Analog and Direct modes
12 of 12 found this helpful
Denon has always been one of my favorite audio manufacturers since the 80s (I still have - and use - one of their terrific cassette decks) but of late, I had begun to wonder why they'd abandoned the American market when it came to stereo components that didn't involve video playback (they make integrated amps for the Japanese market but the voltage isn't compatible for the US and they live a short life). My NAD 7155 receiver had seen its day (a story that only angers me so we won't go there) and I began the process of looking for a replacement. Almost pulled the trigger on the Marantz 5005 but low and behold, this magnificent beast showed up on the Crutchfield site and it took about 5 minutes of research and conversation with Doc before I made the purchase. I can't imagine how much better this unit will sound after the "burn in" period, but it sparkles with detail and clarity already. It drives a pair of vintage ADS L520s and they sound more spacial than ever. Attention to detail has always been one of Denon's strong suits and being able to turn off all digital functions in favor of going all analog coupled with the source direct feature, brings out nuances in the music that previously were hidden. Mind you, the NAD was by no means a sonic slouch, but this Denon is flat out fantastic.
Pros: Source direct feature makes cds sound as they were intended.
Cons: Wished it had come out prior to being hosed by an awful stereo repairman.
27 of 27 found this helpful