CES 2004: Denon Preview Flagship A/V Component Prototypes

CES 2004: Denon is previewing prototypes, including a universal disc transport, of its new flagship series of high-end separate audio-video components (first shown at IFA 2003) in Las Vegas this week.

The Denon press kit does not contain any images of the prototypes so I wandered off to the Denon booth where amid the pre-show organised chaos I bumped into Jeff Talmadge, Denon Product Manager, who was happy to let me take some pictures, except for the rear panels, which were still off-limits.

The new line consists of four components: the DVD-1x universal disc transport, the AVP-1x audio control center/processor and separate video pre-amplifier, and the POA-1x a new 7-channel digital power amplifier. All the prototypes have an attractive brushed silver finish.

Details are a little sketchy, but here’s what we know so far. When order has returned to the Denon booth I will pay them a return visit and see what else I can find out so keep your eye on High Fidelity Review for updates:

The DVD-1x will feature Denon’s newly developed disc transport mechanism, which has been specially designed to suppress vibration. It will support all the common formats including DVD-Video, DVD-Audio and SACD. It will feature Denon’s proprietary digital connection, Denon Link, as well as the industry-standard IEEE-1394 (Firewire). It will also incorporate both HDMI and DVI video outputs for the transmission of digital video signals. The DVD-1x is a transport only, having no DACs or analogue stage, so it will have to be used in a system with a compatible processor or receiver.

Denon DVD-1x Universal Disc Transport

Speaking of which… the Denon AVP-1x audio control center/processor will feature inputs compatible with the DVD-1x and, based on what we know about current and forthcoming features of the current top of the line AVR-5803, will have the full range of Dolby Digital, DTS and Dolby Pro Logic IIx processing, HDCD compatibility, and processing of DVD-Audio and SACD in their native formats (ie. no conversion of DSD to PCM for bass management and time alignment). It will also have balanced analogue outputs.

Denon AVP-1x Audio Controller

The AVP-1x features a dedicated video pre-amplifier, supposedly to keep those nasty video signals away from your precious audio… The video pre-amplifier will include DVI (HDCP) and HDMI switching and video upscaling.

Denon AVP-1x Video Switcher

Providing the system with its grunt is the Denon POA-1x, a 7-channel x 200 watt digital power amplifier.