Denon and Marantz Preview New CD Players and More at Munich Audio Show

The format that ushered in the age of digital music 40 years ago refuses to go away.

The latest statistics from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reveal that sales of CDs jumped 21% to more than half a billion dollars in 2021, representing the first year-over-year increase since 2004 — a statistic that is not lost on a number of audio companies, including Denon and Marantz.

Both brands showcased new CD players at the High End Munich audio show that wrapped up yesterday, with Denon also previewing a pair of integrated amplifiers, one with built-in wireless streaming capability.

The high-performance Marantz CD 60 player (shown in silver) evokes the CD 63 Compact Disc player the iconic brand introduced in 1982. Slated to sell for $999 when it becomes available in June, the player boasts a striking industrial design and features a front-panel USB-A port that supports the playback of PCM up to 24 bits/192kHz and DSD up to 5.6-MHz from a connected USB drive, though it does not play SACD discs. Also on tap is a new reference-class 24-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that provides the choice of two filters — one with a gentle roll-off and one with sharper roll-off for “more precise imaging.”

Other highlights include an analog output stage featuring a new version of Marantz’s proprietary Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module (HDAM), reengineered to reduce high-frequency distortion, and a high-performance HDAM-SA2 headphone amp with settings for low-, mid-, and high-gain settings for matching its output with different headphones; the circuit can be turned off when it’s not in use to eliminate unwanted interference.

"With so much attention devoted to the burgeoning vinyl market plus the popularity of streaming content, we sometimes forget that an entire generation of music lovers built sizable collections of beloved compact discs,” observed Marantz brand president Joel Sietsema.

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Denon One Ups Marantz
One upping its sister company with three product announcements, Denon’s DCD-900NE CD player ($549) is joined by the companion PMA-900HNE integrated streaming amplifier ($949), slated for delivery in June and July, respectively, and the upscale PMA-1700NE integrated amp ($2,099), which ships in June.

Built on a vibration-resistant chassis, the DCD-900NE CD player incorporates Denon’s AL32 Processing Plus circuitry and features a front-panel USB port that supports PCM playback up to 24 bits/92kHz and DSD at 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz from a connected USB drive but does not play SACD discs. Optical and digital outputs are provided along with a Pure Direct mode that turns the display and digital outputs off to minimize interference.

The PMA-900HNE, designed to complement the DCD-900NE player in a mini-stack arrangement, is rated to deliver 50 watts per channel into 8 ohms (0.07% THD) and is Denon’s first integrated amp to incorporate the company’s proprietary Heos platform, which supports multiroom streaming over Wi-Fi in addition to supporting wireless streaming via Apple’s AirPlay 2 platform and Bluetooth. The amp is equipped with optical, coaxial, and USB (A and B) digital inputs and supports the playback of high-resolution ALAC, FLAC, and WAV lossless files up to 24 bits/192kHz and DSD at 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz.

Engineered for an audiophile-grade listening experience, the step-up PMA-1700NE integrated amp has a high-current power section rated to deliver 70 watts per channel into 8 ohms (0.07% THD) and supports the playback of PCM up to 32 bits/384kHz and DSD up to 11.2MHz through its USB-B input, which is mated to a master clock and high-performance DAC to minimize jitter. The amp has one coaxial and two optical digital inputs, four analog inputs with support for moving-magnet and moving-coil phono cartridges, and boasts a vibration-resistant design, precision electronic controls designed to mimic the feel of analog controls, and gold-plated speaker terminals and input jacks.

Click here for more information on the DCD-900NE CD player and here for details on the PMA-900HNE integrated amp.

Denon and Marantz are owned by Sound United, which has amassed a stable of iconic audio brands that includes Bowers & Wilkins, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Boston Acoustics, and Classe. Sound United itself was recently acquired by the Masimo Corporation of Irvine, California.