2010-2011 EISA Award winning integrated amplifier, Denon PMA-1510AE
Denon & Marantz Holding Inc.
Manufacturer suggested retail price:
Before negotiation new retail price, $ 1142.
After negotiation sale price paid, $ 1000.
Used Market Average Price:
After one year of use this amplifier purchased for $ 1000 has a average market price of $ 950.
Power amplifier section:
Rated Output Power is 70W + 70W ( 8 ohm, 20 Hz - 20 KHz, T.H.D 0.07 %).
Dynamic Power is 140W + 140W (4 Ohm, DIN, 1 KHz, T.H.D 0.7 %).
High Frequency Distortion is 0.01% ( Rated output:-3db), 8 Ohm, 1 KHz.
Input Sensitivity / Input Impedance is 0.84V / 47 KOhm.
Amplification factor is 29 dB.
SN Ratio for CD, Tuner, Line, Recorder-1, Recorder-2 is 108 dB.
Maximum Power Consumption is 285 W.
Weight is 15.5 Kg.
Detailed Experience Using this integrated amplifier:
Inside The Denon Integrated Amplifier:
Inside the amplifier are two identical non-toroidal transformers. I assume one is the power supply for the left channel and the other one for the right channel. The left and right channel circuits are symmetrical. The transistors used are Ultra High Current MOS. UHCMOS delivers the advantages of both MOSFET and Bipolar transistors. This amplifiers UHCMOS sound texture is not quite but close to that of the 1995 Sony F808ES pure MOSFET integrated amplifier. Due to the UHCMOS producing greater current than bipolar transistors it packs a substantial bass impact for its size. From my experience with this amplifier, it requires, at least, 300 hours of use before it sounds its best. Please make sure when auditioning this amplifier that it is a fully run-in one.
Description of Sound quality:
This review is subjective and also subject to the limitation of my inexperience in writing about such matters. It is said that the eyes are like the windows to the soul. Similarly, subjectively, one can say electrostatic transducers are like the window to the soul or sonic signature of an amplifier.
In my opinion this amplifier matches well with the CLS 1. However, unfortunately, it does not sound like or is a far cry from tube amplifiers from the likes of Audio Research and Jadis. The manner in which the acoustics is delivered by the CLS allows me to compare the Denon with the smaller Krell integrated amplifiers of the past. It sounds at best approximately 60% similar to a small Krell integrated amplifer.
In absolute terms that is not comparing the Denon to any other amplifier its overall sound can be rated as mid-point between good and very good. Through the CLS 1 every individual instrument of orchestral music was clearly audible, positioned in its own space and distinct from the rest. No congestion. Clarity is between good and very good. Transparency to source material is between average and good. While playing some recordings i could hear the echo of the vocals being produced in the studio recording room. However, my system produces the above mentioned sound effect very rarely. Detail is between good and very good. Dynamics are very good. The ESL's are placed in a small room ( 16 ft. wide x 14 ft. length) with a high ceiling. At est. 40% amplifier power, my old but gold, amazing CLS 1's fill up the room with lively, clear and dynamic sound. One great quality of this amplifier is its ability to reproduce transients attractively. Transient sound effects recorded very fast are just that through this amplifier. Transients flow very fast and audibly from left to right ESL and vice Versa. The Essential Jean Michel Jarre is an CD audio album with many transient sound effects. Imaging on transients present in this album is visibly and audibly extended outside the speaker frame. Generally, sound images are precise but not razor sharp.
The amplifier is conservatively rated at 70 watts, 8 ohms and 140 watts DIN, 4 ohms. I say "conservatively" because my Sony integrated F808ES a pure MOSFET amplifier with Class A voltage output stage and max dynamic output of 200 watts DIN, 4 ohms, delivered less sound impact at 33% volume output compared to the Denon at one-third volume.
This amplifier may be considered to be excellent value at its retail price of $ 1000. Looking towards the future i can make a educated guess that the new Martin Logan Electromotion hybrid ESL might be driven well with this amplifier. This hybrid ESL may be just as easy to drive as my CLS 1 Version 2 ESL's. I may be mistaken but for the sake of positive synergy it is well worth auditioning together both these great audio products.
Name Of The Loudspeaker Driven With This Amplifier:
Martin Logan Curvilinear Line Source 1 version 2 ESL.
Inside Image Of The Amplifier:
Last edited by RAH; 04-01-2012 at 02:44 PM.