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Integrated Amp with DAC mode for high resolution audio
Denon is one of the rare audio brands that continued to actively develop Hi-Fi components and accumulate, refine, and pass down Hi-Fi audio technologies. The performance of the PMA-1600NE goes well beyond that of Denon’s previous PMA-1500 series. With its ultimate built-quality, unique Denon technologies and state-of-the-art connectivity, the PMA-1600NE truly is a masterpiece of sound technology. Thanks to the rear USB-B input and embedded high quality D/A converter, the PMA plays high resolution files up to 384kHz/32bit and DSD up to 11.2MHz from a computer in impeccable sonic quality. For the best performance from analogue inputs, the PMA-1600NE features an Analog Mode which allows to switch off all unutilized sections like the digital input circuitry or the low noise display for an unaltered audio reproduction.
The amplifier features Advanced UHC (Ultra High Current)-MOS technology that utilizes a minimum number of high-current amplifier elements to balance advanced speaker drive capabilities and improved sound quality.
Advanced UHC-MOS is an ideal amplifier whose power supply performance is superior to that of bipolar transistors and incorporates the sound quality advantages of MOS-FETs. The Advanced UHC-MOS is provided in a single push-pull configuration that eliminates deviations in the amplification stage and balances high power with delicate musical details. This circuit masterfully reproduces the full sonic range, from the delicate musical nuances to the powerful climaxes of rich musical expression.
The PMA-1600NE’s chassis is configured of six independent blocks that house the phono equalizer and input circuitry, volume control circuitry, USB-DAC circuitry, amplification circuitry, power section, and the control section.
The chassis constructed with 1.0mm thick steel plates protects the signal circuits from external vibration and eliminates the adverse effects of mutual interference among the circuits. The power section has been positioned in the center of the PMA-1600NE. With heat sinks on both sides, this construction of well-balanced mass is in an ideal location to prevent unwanted vibration from affecting sound quality. In addition, the feet supporting the heavy weight of the power transformer, heat sinks, and chassis are made of ABS resin with rigid rib construction.
For digital input, the PMA-1600NE employs Advanced AL32 Processing Plus, the latest version of Denon’s analogue waveform reproduction technology which utilizes unique data interpolation algorithms and also supports high-resolution 384-kHz/32-bit PCM signal input. These algorithms interpolate points that should exist before and after the points in large quantities of data to achieve a smooth waveform that is close to that of the original signal. By carefully restoring data that was lost during digital recording, the resulting playback sound is highly detailed, free of interference, accurately localized, richly expressive in the lower range, and beautifully faithful to the original sound.
The PMA-1600NE is equipped with a high-speed digital isolator to eliminate adverse influences on sound quality caused by high-frequency noise from a USB-connected computer or from the PMA-1600NE’s digital inputs. Since data is transferred magnetically via coils embedded in an IC chip, the input and output sides are electrically isolated. By isolating the signal line between digital audio circuitry and the D/A converter, adverse influences of high-frequency noise on analogue audio circuitry after the D/A converter are eliminated. The PMA-1600NE also adopted a dedicated secondary winding in power transformer for the digital circuitry to shut out noise from the power source. During analogue audio playback, the Analog Mode can be used to turn off power to the dedicated digital power source and completely stop operation of the digital input circuitry to avoid any high frequency influence to the analogue section. Analog Mode also turns off the fluorescent display, allowing the PMA-1600NE to operate as a purely analogue amp (during Analog Mode, USB-B, coaxial digital, and optical digital inputs are disabled).
The PMA-1600NE provides USB-DAC functions that support high-resolution 11.2-MHz DSD and 384-kHz/32-bit PCM input signals. DSD transmission methods support ASIO native playback and DSD Audio over PCM Frames (DoP). Since asynchronous transfer is controlled by the PMA-1600NE’s master clock rather than the clock of a computer the transfer is free of jitter. The D/A converter used in the PMA-1600NE is the same 384-kHz/32-bit and DSD capable top class DAC used in the DCD-1600NE to deliver a clean, high-grade sound.
The PMA-1600NE includes a phono equalizer that supports input from both MM and MC cartridges. This phono equalizer has high gain, and as loops in the circuit board pattern can cause adverse effects on sound quality, the “simple & straight” design represents a significant improvement. On the PMA-1600NE, the MM/MC toggle switch was changed from a push type to a relay type, which shortens the pattern on the circuit board and makes signal loops smaller, allowing delicate analogue signals to be amplified with greater purity.
The PMA-1600NE comes with a system remote control unit that can also operate the DCD-1600NE and other Denon CD players. The low noise FL display on the product front panel gives source and sample rate indication.