Denon DCD-100/PMA-150H CD Player/Amplifier Lab Report

Lab Report

While Denon rates the PMA-150H at 70W (into 4, not 8ohm) in practice it delivers slightly more at 2x44W/8ohm and 2x87W/4ohm. The Class D architecture means there's no appreciable dynamic headroom – the power remaining unchanged into 8 and 4ohm – with 145W available into 2ohm and limited by protection at exactly the same 145W/1ohm [see Graph 1, below]. Distortion climbs gently with output, levelling off at 0.007% from 1-20W/8ohm through bass and midrange but climbing quite significantly to 0.1%/5kHz, 0.25%/10kHz and 0.65%/20kHz (all 10W/8ohm). This is mirrored by the output impedance which also climbs at HF from 0.05ohm/1kHz to 1ohm/20kHz, and with the impact on frequency response discussed in our boxout. The A-wtd S/N ratio is above average at 87dB (re. 0dBW) and unwtd. hum low at –89dBV.

The partnering DCD-100 player is based around the popular Burr-Brown PCM5102A DAC and offers a generous 107dB A-wtd S/N from a maximum 1.94V output. The 850ohm source impedance is rather higher than I'd like to see, but distortion is consistently low at ~0.003-0.007% over the top 30dB of its dynamic range through bass and midrange [black trace, Graph 2], increasing to 0.008-0.03% at high (20kHz) frequencies [blue trace]. Digital jitter is close to the measurable limit for 16-bit CD at 124psec. The DAC chip offers both FIR and low-latency IIR filters, with Denon evidently opting for the former with its impressive 120dB stopband rejection traded for transient pre- and post-ringing on impulses. There's a slight ±0.05dB in-band ripple but the response merely dips to –0.1dB/20kHz and stereo separation is held to >85dB across the 20Hz-20kHz span. PM


Dynamic power output versus distortion into 8ohm (black trace), 4ohm (red), 2ohm (blue) and 1ohm (green) speaker loads. Max. current is 12A


THD versus 16-bit CD digital signal level over a 120dB range at 1kHz (black) and 20kHz (blue)

Continuous power (<1% THD, 8/4ohm) 44W / 87W
Dynamic power (<1% THD, 8/4/2/1ohm) 45W / 86W / 145W / 145W
Output impedance (20Hz–20kHz) 0.063–1.06ohm (850ohm, CD)
Freq. resp. (20Hz–20kHz/40kHz) +0.1 to +0.95dB/+2.0dB (Amp)
Distortion (20Hz-20kHz, 0dBFs/0dBW) 0.0029–0.0031% / 0.0068–0.65%
A-wtd S/N ratio (re. 0dBFs/0dBW) 107.4dB (CD) / 86.8dB (Amp)
Digital Jitter 124psec
Power consumption (idle/rated o/p) 25W / 115W (4W, CD)
Dimensions (WHD / Total weight) 280x(71/104)x(305/337)mm / 9kg
Prices £549/£1099 (CD/amp)

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