New carousel CD changers from Denon: DCM-280 and DCM-380.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KeithH, Nov 29, 2002.

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Crutchfield is showing two new carousel CD changers from Denon on its web site, the DCM-280 and DCM-380. These models will replace the '270 and '370, respectively. The '280 is in stock for $200, but the '380 is not yet in stock. The '380 is, however, available for pre-order for $300. No ETA is provided for the '380.
    Both changers are said to play CD-Rs, CD-RWs, and MP3-encoded CDs. Importantly, the '280 has a coaxial digital output, which the '270 lacks. Like the '370, the '380 performs HDCD decoding. Finally, both players are said to have a "Multilevel Noise Shaping DAC", but it does not say which company makes the DAC(s) (the '270 and '370 have Burr-Brown DACs).
    Here are links for the two players:
    DCM-280
    http://www.crutchfield.com/cgi-bin/S...DCM280&o=m&a=0
    DCM-380
    http://www.crutchfield.com/cgi-bin/S...DCM380&o=m&a=0
    Pictures of the '380:
    [c][​IMG][/c]
    [c][​IMG][/c]
    [c][​IMG][/c]
    Interestingly, both models look to have a foot at the back center of the chassis. I don't recall my '370 having one there. Unfortunately, it looks like both players lack gold-plated stereo analog outputs. As I recall, the stereo analog outputs on the '370 are gold-plated. I haven't looked at the back panel of my player in a year-and-a-half, though.
    Hopefully Denon improved the carousel mechanism on these changers. The loud, "jumpy" mechanism on the '370 has always been a pet peeve of mine.
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    In looking at the pictures of the '280 and '380 a bit more closely, it looks like the track number on the display is more subdued than on the '270 and '370. The track number is still very large on the '280 and '380 displays, but in the photos, it doesn't look to be as thick, which makes it look too bright on the '270 and '370 for my liking. I always found the track number to be distracting on my '370.
     
  3. Lin Park

    Lin Park Second Unit

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    I purchased the 370 about a year ago and it has the exact same remote as the one you show (right down to the catalog number). My 370 actually has 5 feet - 2 in the front, 2 in the middle directly behind the fronts, and then one in the center rear. My 370 also has the disc exchange feature already. Don't you just hate when all they do is change the model number? [​IMG]
    I'm looking to replace this unit with the 555ES if I get lucky. Any thoughts on what I might hear differently because I know you have both you lucky dog.
    Lin
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lin, I knew the remote for the '380 looked at least similar to the one for the '370. You know what, of course the disc exchange feature isn't new. My bad. What the Denon changers lack is the ability to change discs in the carousel while one is playing. With most five-disc carousel changers, you can changer four discs while the fifth is playing, and with the Onkyo/Integra six-disc changers, I believe you can swap out five while the sixth is playing. Anyway, I will go back and edit my initial post here.

    One obvious difference between the '370 and '380 is that the new model plays MP3-encoded CDs. That's of no consequence for me, but it matters to a lot of people. There could always be other difference. The new models may use a different DAC, and there could always be other differences under the hood. That said, I bet the '370 and '380 are quite similar inside.

    Thanks for the info. regarding the feet on the '370. As I said, I haven't looked underneath mine in a long time.

    Regarding sound quality, the '370 is quite good for the $250 I paid (brand new). It is suprisingly warm for a budget player in that it does well with vocals. However, the 'C555ES is in another league. With the 'C555ES, the soundstage is wider and there is more punch. The 'C555ES is more dynamic and accurate. In other words, the '370 does not convey all the detail, so the sound is not as layered and "there" as what I observe with the 'C555ES. I am quite confident that you would notice a significant improvement in going to the 'C555ES. I use the '370 exclusively for recording tracks of off CDs to minidisc now. Even HDCD decoding does not render the '370 better than the 'C555ES with HDCD-encoded discs.
     
  5. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Keith,

    This is interesting. It appears that Denon strikes out again by not giving these players the respect they deserve by leaving off the gold-plated analog outputs. I mean, couldn't they have at least included this on the 380? As you know, Denon pulled the same crap with the 500.00 DVD-1600. Needless to say, I know that Denon had a carousel model, the 460 or 470 I believe, which was one step above the 370, so I wonder if that one will be replaced as well. It will be interesting to see how the new ones differ sonically from the ones they're replacing. If the DAC's are top notch Burr-Browns similar to those found in the Denon 3800 DVD player/3803 receiver, then these new players will be easily wirth the money despite their lack of gold outputs.

    Reg
     
  6. Lin Park

    Lin Park Second Unit

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  7. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Keith,

    Here is some info on the DCM-380 from the Denon site....

    5 Disc Carousel CD Changer • Playback of CD/CD-R/CD-RW • MP3 Decoder • HDCD® Decoding • Burr-Brown 20-Bit D/A Converters (PCM-1748) • Synchro Record function • 3 Mode random playback • Coaxial Digital Output • Intelligent Disc Scan • 20 Track Music Calendar Display • 32 Track program memory • Front panel headphone jack • Remote controlled volume up/down • Remote I/O Ports • Dimensions: 17.1"w x 4.5"h x 15.3"d • SRP $299

    I am not familiar with the PCM-1748 DAC that the 380 employs, but the DAC's in the Denon AVR-3803 and in the Denon DVD-3800 are quite different and are 24 bit. I do realize that Receiver and DVD DAC's must be 24 bit to accomodate DVD-A and DTS 24/96 these days, so this probably doesn't necessarily mean that the DCM-380 DAC isn't nearly as good just because its 20-bit, but I'm guessing that it probably isn't as good as the others just by looking at the respective price points of the components.

    Reg
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Reggie,

    Thanks for posting the info. from Denon's web site, as I hadn't gotten over there yet. I have not heard of the Burr-Brown PCM 1748 DAC.

    The apparent lack of gold-plated analog outputs on the '380 is disappointing, however, the player is only $300. I am more disappointed from the standpoint that it is a Denon player, but $300 components rarely have gold-plated outputs.

    Denon did offer a DCM-460 changer, but it was discontinued quite awhile ago. While I suppose it was a step-up changer from the '370, it lacked HDCD decoding. The '460 was from a previous generation, and I believe there was a '360 and possibly even a '260.


    Lin,

    No problem here. Thanks for sharing the knowledge. Frankly, I did not know that the '370 has a disc exchange feature. The implementation is not straightforward, which must explain why a lot of owners and I were not aware of it. It's a nice feature to have, but to be honest, I rarely use it with any of my changers. I usually listen to discs all the way through, and with five discs loaded, I am in good shape for awhile. So I don't swap discs too often.
     
  9. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I have a 19 year old Pioneer receiver & a 19 year old Technics TT, both with plain ol' chrome plated RCA jacks.
    Both sets of jacks are as shiny and corrosion-free as they were in May of 1983.
    Er, what exactly is gold plating supposed to do then?
     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lance, gold plating does prevent oxidation. I have a Kenwood turntable from 1989 with corroded chrome analog outputs. It can happen.
     
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lance, regarding the DAC, there may be some similarities, but Denon is using a Burr-Brown 20-bit DAC, while Matsushita is employing a 1-bit DAC from, possibly, NTT. I have never heard of NTT, but the web site you referenced says the following:

     

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