As many of our regulars would be aware we are enamoured with the Denon product as a mainstream surround sound and mid fidelity product.

Denon's engineering virtues and Australian price points alongside its enthusiast level sound quality make it very difficult to retail with probity much other product alongside its particular category strengths.

Recently we have been in attendance at a technicsl session wherin the Australian Product Manager - a gentleman of much esteem and 33 years experience - introduced some of the new networkable and i Pod compatible products to ourselves and to a new retailer.

It was particularly interesting as he had taken pains to open up three entry point receivers from Denon Pioneer and Yamaha to show the novitiates the differences.In previous exercises of this nature it had always been the flagship products that had suffered vivisection but in this case it was the Denon AVR2106 and the equivalent $995 RRP Surround Receivers.

The differences internally were stark and obvious.

The single chip output devices of the Pioneer with bunged in fan cooling. The ringing bent tin heat sinks of the Yamaha. The malnourished capacitors. The feeble and tiny power supplies. the lack of proper rectification. The lack of discrete circuit boards in these alternatives is frankly inferior.

I will endeavour (ie not likely) to put some photos up but the engineering superiority is so very far ahead in the Denon that it demonstrates the competing products as being over priced and over margined to the retailer and distributor.

The other retailer reps there happened to be an experienced Bose reseller which was very interesting listening to their comments as they were demonstrated the new Denon 101 and 301 systems...
While the $2995 Denon 301 system makes 70 watts RMS minimum into stereo with 140 watts RMS into the subwoofer it turns out by their own words that the the same price Bose Lifestyle 2.1 makes 14 watts per channel measured by an "independant reviewer".

What was more interesting to me was how much the representatives of this reseller were prepared to disparage this product that they purveyed. They clearly held the product in technical contempt and treated it as merely the shortest possible distance to gross profit.Not quite the ideal unbiased representation of product...this is the first time that perhaps a Denon device has sat alongside the Bose Lifestyle in the same product and price space.

One suspects Denon only need to sell a fraction of Bose numbers to break even on this type of product.For some years now Bose through astute placement and design have evolved an altenative wife acceptable norm of device that frankly there has been no competition for in particular groups. In fact a greatly positive by product of the Bose systems is that it has contrived to bring new consumer types into the audio market, sonme of whom then buy alternate brands and devices.

A more hallmark product from Denon at another market position is the Denon AVR4306. This is a true hi fi piece of kit with IP adress particulars and is the progenator of a future crop of stuff that one day will combine a high end media engine a la Chord along with really good (probably class D..) amplification.

The Chord media engine by the way is a beautiful piece of Countache level AV tech but hampered by an ongoing environmental change of storage capacity and speed. two point four terabytes (2.4 tb) just isnt enough for 2007...
although the Chord has an undemonstrated upgradeability...

The Denon AVR4306 specs are elsewhere on this website. it offers the next level of connectability and upscaling alongside traditional good sound with full I Pod isms thrown in...dosnt do the new video i pod video image replay (which is dreadful for large screen use anyway) but its fabulous for stored music, podcasts, internet radio, and class leading upconversion of inputs to still a piece of techno beef that is a bargain at $3995.

The AVCA11 is the next step up, For $6995 you get the most cleanly made mid size ish surround amp of all. Unlike any other Japanese company Denon are offering retrospective processor upgrades on avc a11 and avc a1x surround amps. This is consistent with the brand in its versatility and discrete internal design that makes it not only sound better but also be far more repairable than other products...

Just to cream their product portfolio cake Denon also have some $1200 systems in boxes that are armed with "What HiFi?" fivestars and greatly feared by immediate competition.

In this product range Denon have become the tier one brand of good hi Fi for a professional reselling company to have. Right now if a retailer dosnt have this brand they will be playing a second fiddle to their competitors sales.

In real practice other brands are bringing in increasingly less of their specialist product lines. They will usually move their good stock through competing assiduous retailers at the right price and at the minimum amounts to keep their numbers live for the demands of their overseas manufacturers...