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Denon POA-A1HDCI 10 Channel Power Amplifier Review

by May 22, 2008
  • Product Name: POA-A1HDCI 10-Channel Power Amplifier
  • Manufacturer: Denon Electronics
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStar
  • Review Date: May 22, 2008 16:50
  • MSRP: $ 7,500
  • Buy Now
  • Power Output: 150 wpc x 10; 8-ohms @ 0.05% THD + N / 300wpc x 10, 4-ohms @ 0.08% THD + N
  • Monoblock amplifier construction with shortened audio signal paths and direct mechanism grounding scheme
  • 4 large E-core power transformers and 200,000uF total power supply capacitance
  • 3 Analog VU power meters assignable per channel
  • Amp Configuration options: fully configurable channel assignments
  • Amplifier Operational Modes: bridgeable, bi-wireable and bi-ampable
  • Speaker Terminals: high grade 5 way binding post banana plug
  • Completely Configurable Amplifiers
  • THX Ultra2 Certified
  • UL Rated down to 4-ohms
  • Link Control for matching AVP-A1HDCI pre/pro
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 11.1” x 17.1” x 20.9”
  • Weight: 132 lbs

Pros

  • Endless array of configuration options
  • Phenomenal build & sound quality
  • Has no problems driving low impedance speakers to reference levels

Cons

  • Uber expensive
  • Bulky and heavy

 

boxed.jpgDenon POA-A1HDCI Introduction

Somebody forgot to tell the engineers at Denon that just because you can build a thing, doesn’t necessarily follow that you must build that thing. The more familiar I become with Denon flagship products, the more I realize two things: Denon is always the first to implement new technologies without consideration if the end result is a box that weighs and costs more than most mere mortals can swing. Enter the new POA-A1HDCI 10 channel amplifier whose name may be forgettable but its momentous stature isn’t. When I first saw the prototype at CES two years ago, I remember thinking I can’t believe they actually produced a multi-channel amplifier that makes their AVR-5805 flagship receiver feel envious. Standing in at a hefty 132 lbs, it’s the largest and heaviest amplifier I’ve ever tested. When Denon shipped it to me with their matching AVPA1-HDCI pre/pro on a large palette, my wife was concerned where the shipper was going to place it while I was trying to figure out how I would hoist these monsters up my flight of steps. The Denon separates actually took priority in my garage over my Acura TL, at least until I managed to get them installed into my theater room. I was more than a little excited to test out the new Denon gear which I pegged as being the hottest items to review in 2008. Now that they had finally arrived, I wanted to be sure they would live up to all the hype and deliver true high end performance one would expect from the very best “separates” components.

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About the author:

Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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Recent Forum Posts:

chjo100 posts on February 22, 2009 23:39
Hi Gene,

I realize this thread is fairly old but I was looking at some older amp reviews and came across this one and the review of the Integra Research RDA-7.1. It seems that the Denon is clearly better, as it should be due to it's cost, but I was wondering if the quality of the two amps is fairly close.

Thanks!
gene posts on June 20, 2008 14:54
Friends;

I am hanging onto the Denon Separates to do followups on updates to the products. I have made the Pre/Pro thread a sticky on our forums to support and tech questions you may have. I will also email your questions to Denon tech if I or others on here cannot answer them.

Please use this thread for related AVP and POA questions:

> Denon Separates Support Thread <
Seth V posts on June 05, 2008 18:57
AVTguy, post: 418476
The D&M Holdings venue at CES 2008 proved exactly what AcuDef. is saying. The POA-A1HDCI is really a remarkable piece of equipment. While the McIntosh demo room was absolutely fantastic and wonderful and every McIntosh, the demo room with the Denon AVP/POA/BR-Transport was an incredible 123 punch.

The POA is truly a high end audiophile grade piece of equipment. Plus its just cool for Denon to have the largest Amp. (physically speaking) out there.

BTW, the demo was so impressive my partner and I ordered the AVP/POA/BR-Transport 123 punch for our demo room. It's fantastic.

123 punch indeed! Killer setup for your demo room! Very cool!
eljr posts on June 01, 2008 08:50
Great review/thread
thanks
eljr
AVTguy posts on May 30, 2008 20:23
So True…

AcuDefTechGuy, post: 418233
But what you get with the Denon POA-A1HDCI is true ultra-high-end build & sound quality comparable to the likes of Mark Levinson, Krell, McIntosh, and the high-dollar Marantz - IMO.

I just can't compare Emotiva, Outlaw, or Axiom to this same ultra-high-end crowd. I think they all sound very similar in most cases, but the build quality and the ability to drive even 1 ohm speakers is what separates them.

The D&M Holdings venue at CES 2008 proved exactly what AcuDef. is saying. The POA-A1HDCI is really a remarkable piece of equipment. While the McIntosh demo room was absolutely fantastic and wonderful and every McIntosh, the demo room with the Denon AVP/POA/BR-Transport was an incredible 123 punch.

The POA is truly a high end audiophile grade piece of equipment. Plus its just cool for Denon to have the largest Amp. (physically speaking) out there.

BTW, the demo was so impressive my partner and I ordered the AVP/POA/BR-Transport 123 punch for our demo room. It's fantastic.
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