“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Denon AVR-A100 100th Anniversary Receiver Preview

Denon AVR-A100 AV Receiver

Denon AVR-A100 AV Receiver


  • Product Name: AVR-A100
  • Manufacturer: Denon Electronics
  • Review Date: October 15, 2010 00:15
  • MSRP: $2500
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

Power and Processing:

  • 140 watts x 9 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.05% THD

  • Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD™ Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, Pro Logic IIx, Pro Logic IIz and DTS Neo:6 decoding

  • Audyssey Laboratories' MultEQ XT 32 auto setup and room calibration system (microphone included)

  • Audyssey DSX processing for enhanced surround sound height and width effects using additional front speakers 

Digital Music Options: 

  • iPod integration: USB direct connection (audio playback only), optional Denon ASD-11R control dock for audio and video playback

  • Built-in HD Radio tuner with multi-casting reception

  • SIRIUS satellite radio capable (requires SIRIUS subscription and optional SiriusConnect™ home tuner kit)

  • XM Satellite Radio Ready with decoding for XM's HD Surround channels (requires XM subscription and optional XM tuner kit)

  • Audio and photo streaming on a wired PC network, plus Internet radio (broadband connection required)

Audio Performance Features:

  • Compressed Audio Restorer for better sound with compressed music sources

  • Pure Direct modes switch off all unused circuitry for the cleanest possible sound

  • HDCD decoding

  • 16 separate PCM1791A 192kHz/24-bit digital-to-analog converters

  • Conversion of optical or coaxial digital signals to analog audio output for 2nd and 3rd rooms (PCM signals only)

  • Detachable power cord


  • 1080p-compatible HDMI switching: 7 in, 2 out (including 1 front-panel input)

  • Analog-to-HDMI video upconversion (up to 1080p/24/60 output via HDMI) with Anchor Bay Technologies VRS advanced video processing and scaling

  • HDMI version 1.4a with support for 3D Video, Audio Return Channel, Deep Color, x.v.Color, lip-sync, and HDMI-CEC

  • Three-room/three-source output:

    • Powered and line-level stereo audio output for 2nd room (using powered 2nd or 3rd room stereo output allows 5.1 home theater in main room)

    • Composite video output for 2nd room

  • Line-level or powered stereo audio output for 3rd room

  • Component video switching: 3 in, 1 out

  • Component video conversion (composite and S-video to component)

  • Digital audio inputs: 2 optical, 2 coaxial

  • Optical digital audio output

  • 6 audio/video inputs, including:

    • 1 front-panel input with composite video

    • 4 rear-panel inputs with composite video

    • 1 rear-panel input for iPod control dock (S-video plus stereo RCA)

  • 2 audio-only inputs (including phono)

  • 7.1-channel analog audio preamp input

  • 7.1-channel analog audio preamp output

  • Front and rear USB ports for audio playback from USB flash drives, hard disk drives, and portable USB music players (including iPod)

  • Ethernet port for music and JPEG streaming from a wired PC network, and control via a PC

  • Denon Link jack (4th edition)

  • RS-232C port for automated control systems

  • 1 set of main speaker outputs

  • Back surround speaker channels re-assignable for bi-amping front left and right speakers

General Features:

  • On-screen GUI (Graphical User Interface) superimposed on HDMI output (up to 1080p)

  • Learning/multibrand LCD remote

  • Basic remote for second or third listening room (requires remote control extender system, not included)

  • 17-1/8"W x 6-3/4"H x 16-5/16"D

  • Weight: 41 lbs.

  • Warranty: 5 years

AVR-A100_insideThere are people in the world that take birthdays to the extreme. They concoct lavish parties, wild outings, or buy themselves outrageous presents. One hundred years ago, the company that we now call Denon Electronics got their start. To celebrate their "Legacy of Firsts" (which is not a century of camping on websites waiting for new content so they could be the first poster in the thread), they've released a number of products. The AVR-A100, is their anniversary receiver.

While speakers, amps, and transports often are kept around for years, the ever-changing nature of displays and receivers/processors demand that they be updated every so often. The fact is that the technology is changing so rapidly that you can't help but want to upgrade to take advantage of the latest and greatest features. Right now, it seems that we have come to an acceleration of this phenomenon in that this year's receivers seem light-years better than lasts year's. 

If you are going to release an anniversary edition receiver into such a climate, you'd better pack it full of features. When it is coming from a company like Denon, known for implementing new features early, this is doubly true. The AVR-A100 is missing almost nothing in its feature set. It has nine internal amps with discrete mono amp construction. The 41lbs AVR-A100 sports 140 watts per channel and is rated to drive 4 ohm speakers. This is paired with 11.2 channel analogue audio outputs for adding on additional height and/or width channels from Audyssey DSX or Dolby PLIIz processing or additional zones. There are seven (six on the back, one on the front) HDMI 1.4a inputs that are 3D, ARC, and CEC enabled with two outputs. The AVR-A100 supports up to three zones of audio (can power them as well) and two zones of video (Zone 2 is relegated to a Composite connection only). 


Denon has included 11 pairs of five-way binding posts on the AVR-A100 so that you can switch configurations without having to manually change wiring. There are three component, two optical, and two coaxial inputs with a single output for component and optical. There is a "Certified for iPhone" USB port on the front and the back. This means you can plug your iPod/iPhone directly into the AVR-A100 with the included cable and have full control from the Denon remote. This is a nice feature which Denon usually relegates to their add-on dock (though the dock connector is still included in case you already have one).

There is an Ethernet port that is Compatible with Windows 7 and can stream Internet radio, Pandora, Rhapsody, flickr and Napster. Also, you can stream from networked computers/drives. The AVR-A100 even includes FLAC HD, High-resolution audio format support. If you have a Mac or a newer iPhone/iPod, the AVR-A100 is one of the first devices to support the new AirPlay which will wirelessly stream not only music but movies and other content. 


If it seems like we've left a bit out - we have. More than a bit. The AVR-A100 has just about everything on the market. There is support for all the latest HD audio formats (DTS HD, TrueHD), all the latest DSPs (including Audyssey Dynamic EQ/Volume, Dolby Volume), the best room correction (Audyssey MultEQ XT 32), Denon Link 4th - HDMI Clock Control, AL24 Processing Plus, and dual subwoofer support. Its got Anchor Bay VRS video processing on board which will upconvert all your video sources to 1080p along with video calibration adjustments for each input and GUI overlay. Add to this the custom integration support and you've pretty much covered all the bases. While $2500 seems like a chunk of change, it really isn't considering the cutting edge nature of this product. While some are wondering if this limited edition offering will be "collectible" someday, we're more worried about functionality. From what we can see, Denon has actually put together an anniversary product that not only is cutting edge but also value oriented. While this pretty much bucks most current thinking, we love it.

For more information, please visit www.usa.denon.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
author portrait

As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

View full profile