Denon PMA-200AE

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Denon PMA-200AE
  • Denon PMA-200AE
  • Denon PMA-200AE
  • Denon PMA-200AE

Pros

  • Sounds brilliant, looks great

Cons

  • Heavy, expensive

Bottom Line

A wonderful amplifier that provides brilliant sound, but at a premium cost.

Would you buy this?

The Denon PMA-2000AE is a huge piece of machinery. It weighs more than most televisions and takes some real muscle to even pick up. As an analogue audio amplifier, we were expecting some serious sound quality and we were not disappointed in that regard. Don't get confused though, it's not a digital receiver; which means you can't run any video through it. It is purely for high quality audio reproduction.

Most sources, be they CD players, DVD players or PCs, lack the ability to adequately amplify sound. An amplifier won't actually make your music sound any better than it is already capable of sounding, but what it does is enhance the sound by reproducing the signal at a stronger level, helping to bring out the intricacies and nuances of each piece. When listening to music with a high quality amplifier you will notice a massive improvement.

The 2000AE definitely brought out the best in our music. The best way to describe the sound was punchy. It gave some serious strength to the mid range, and gave the bass a real kick, even without a subwoofer. The detail in Jeff Buckley's songs was absolutely fantastic; it allowed us to hear elements that we'd never noticed before, not even on $400 headphones with a solid source. The soundstage was similarly incredible; even on mediocre speakers we were impressed with the depth and positioning of the audio. We had absolutely no complaints about the sound quality; it was everything we could have hoped for, and more.

The unit itself is cased in slick, silver metal, with grates running along the top and presuming you've got The Hulk to help stack it for you, it will look fine in any home theatre setup. The control set is quite simple, offering a certain elegance that cluttered, digital receivers can't quite manage.

There are three controls for treble, bass and balance, as well as a volume knob, power button and input selector. Because it isn't a digital tuner, there are no preset sound modes or digital options such as DTS, but that is to be expected. The available options give more than enough control to manipulate most elements of the music.

On the rear plate of the 2000AE are the inputs and outputs, and there are an absolute mountain of them. The back is littered with ports, mostly stereo, as digital or coaxial signals would be worthless to this unit. The 2000AE has the capacity to support up to seven devices, with two able to record through it. There are connections for two speakers, both regular and bi-wired varieties, and a lineout for a subwoofer. It offers everything you need for a great audio setup.

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