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Thread: 2010-2011 EISA Award winning integrated amplifier, Denon PMA-1510AE

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Karachi, Pakistan

    Smile 2010-2011 EISA Award winning integrated amplifier, Denon PMA-1510AE

    Amp Manufacturer:
    Denon & Marantz Holding Inc.

    Denon PMA-1510AE.

    Manufacturer suggested retail price:
    Before negotiation new retail price, $ 1142.
    After negotiation sale price paid, $ 1000.

    Used Market Average Price:
    After three and half year of use this amplifier purchased for $ 1000 has a average market price of $ 300.

    Basic Specifications:
    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.
    Overall Performance:
    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:

    Name:  Inside PMA1510AE.jpg
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    Last edited by RAH; 09-10-2014 at 02:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Newport, Maine USA


    Hi, I'm using a Denon PMA-550 to drive my new (old 1993) Sequel lls. I'm very happy with the sound, and the build is brick outhouse. This amp looks like the same quality build. Don't need much on the volume control to shake the house. ENJOY!

  3. #3
    Super User M15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014


    Quote Originally Posted by aburnham2 View Post
    Hi, I'm using a Denon PMA-550 to drive my new (old 1993) Sequel lls. I'm very happy with the sound, and the build is brick outhouse. This amp looks like the same quality build. Don't need much on the volume control to shake the house. ENJOY!
    I think you should buy a powerful and refined power amp for your Sequel loudspeakers. The Denon 1510ae is very good for the first 2 years but then needs repair. For the 5 years I have had my 1510ae has been repaired thrice. Perhaps the Denon struggles to provide the amperes to adequately drive the CLS. First two years the amp does a good job but later on driving full range electrostatic speakers is too much strain on this small amp. I have been searching for a power amp that delivers the goods sonically and does not give up its ghost too soon. The day keeps on getting delayed but I plan to audition soon the Anthem MCA 225 power amp. The reason why I hope this amp will be good is that Anthem MRX 510 drove the EM-ESL very well.

    To you I recommend not Denon integrated but a power amp designed to drive electrostatic loudspeakers. On the negative side it may be somewhat expensive however on the positive side will not give up ghost driving punishing load and may deliver sonic rewards in spades for comparatively larger number of years.
    Last edited by M15; 03-26-2016 at 07:52 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Newport, Maine USA


    I'm going to hook a Crown D150a I just finished. Changed the power supply capacitors and tried it on my Klipsch Quartets, sounds good but they require very little power. I'll be interested to see if I can hear a difference from the Denon.

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