Denon 1802 Review

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Chirs.'s review of Denon 1802

“Previously I had a Technics SU900-DMK2 which provided...”


written by Chirs. on 07/01/2003

Good Points
Like : Looks, sound, performance, detail retrieval drive, balance, musicality in stereo mode.

Bad Points
I have a gripe with 'personal memory plus' settings; the marketing literature, manual, and magazines all suggested that different settings are stored per input. However, if you have CD on PLII and TV on PLII, both share the same mode setup; in other words, if I select music mode in one PLII setting, it defaults the other to music mode.)

Cumbersome to use without the remote.

Remote is ugly, (although not as bad as the night day-glo buttons on the remote for my old Yamaha home cinema amp) One-for-all remotes do not have a single code to replace the remote, need to copy several functions to replicate full remote.

General Comments
Previously I had a Technics SU900-DMK2 which provided excellent detail retrieval, albeit a bit reserved for many UK tastes in the Bass department.

I chose the Denon as it seemed to have the same musical balance, good or bad depending on your preference (I find many amps 'tuned' for UK taste a biased towards large bass)


PLII does a good job of most CD's, retrieving Prologic Information and presenting it without being too harsh. Whenever listening to CD's I use PLII set to music mode, maximum width (i.e. no centre speaker, This is more because my main speakers are much more musically inclined.)


If I choose stereo mode, the Denon does a fantastic job of fetching back detail and is a little bit more controlled if things get busy on a rock track. (perhaps not quite so good at portraying the 'breathing' of bow on violin string when I very occasionally put my London Philharmonic recording of 4 seasons, or Pachebel's Canon) I find the cinema modes helpful.

DTS/Dolby Digital etc:

Setting up any of the preset modes as using a particular digital input is easy and selecting 'auto' selects the best available input. For example, CD inputs to both optical digital and coax. Tape deck monitors coax but CD playback is taken from digital input. Dynamics and stearing are good, although perhaps I could improve them by repositioning my rear speakers. There is some slam missing, again a subwoofer might help me here - the manual does not suggest setting speakers to 'large' to get subwoofer information sent through to the main speakers, trial and error suggests this is the case. Setup is easy enough, although this is not helped much by the manual which is very poor.

  • Value For Money

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