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For some reason I recall a recent post on a thread to the effect that this player is vastly underrated and still an excellent player by today's standards, a hidden gem so to speak. Tried to find it but couldn't. Denon's earlier CD players, starting with the 1500, were highly regarded in their day as being among the few listenable players out there.
Of more importance, how does it sound to you? I am pretty sure it has a digital output, an easy way to see how it stacks up to today's equipment would be to borrow a DAC in roughly the same price range from a dealer or friend and see how music sounds through the DAC vs. through the player.
Try this guys website. He claims to be using a Denon DCD-3520 as his source. He has an email link and encourages correspondence.
I have also looked around the internet and it seems that the DCD-3520 was reviewed in December of 1985 in various publications. It looks like you can purchase copies of specific reviews from various sources as well as service manuals for this unit.
First of all the Denon DCD-3520 was not released until Spring, of 1989.
The now defunct magazine "High Fidelity Magazine" did a full impressive review on it May, 1989.
I had bought my Denon DCD-3520 brand new back in October, 1989. And must say even today sounds excellent. I have owned many CD Players & Transports and DACS over the years.
And the Denon DCD-3520 still sounds pretty amazing.
The Denon DCD-3520 over 40lbs, and has both XLR balanced and unbalanced. Also coax or optical if you want to use just as a transport. Furthermore, has both fixed and variable outputs if you want to bypass a preamp.
In my main Rig I usa a UnModifed Marantz SA-1 player. And my second reference system the Denon DCD-3520 in Balanced mode.
I sold dozens of players , dacs and transports since the purchase of the Denon DCD-3520 player in 1989. But could never release this player. I still have all the original packaging, reviews, brochures. It's like the day I bought it back in 1989 fresh out of the box.
All I can say is there is something very, very special sounding about this Denon player. I've had others including the Denon DCD-3560 which replaced the DCD-3520, but the DCD-3520 brings a little magic sound.
At the price of $1500 when it was released in 1989, seemed alot then. But compared today machines, it's worth every penny sound and build quality. Remember I paid $7500 for the Marantz SA-1 new and or one fifth of the price on the Denon it's a pretty , pretty, pretty (all you Larry David Fans out there) fine player.
Thanks for your help on this. I will be keeping the player in and try to get some decent ICs to connect it. The Odyssey amp is getting closer to burn in stage so we shall give it a listen.
I will be keeping an eye out on a Audio Refinemnt CDP for a special price for now.
Thanks again for the information and advice,
I'm currently using the 3520 as a transport in my main listening system (with an mf v-dac) and i couldn't be happier. smooth, built like a tank, reads everything i throw at it, and (unlike modern denon gear) bulletproof. as a standalone player, it may not achieve the clarity of good modern players, but it's actually quite credible--as hyperactive a trader as i am, i'm unlikely to ever part with it. email me for more.
I have owned my DCD-3520 for about a year now and could not be happier. I almost snagged one about six months before that for $40.00 locally and was bummed when the seller sold it right before I was about to start my car to go get it. Either way I picked up mine for $200.00 and with build quality alone is worth(IMO)five times that much. It is the proverbial "tank" with a rock solid transport mechanism. You would have to spend upwards of $2500.00 to come even close to a player that tips the scale at over 40 pounds and has such a solid transport.
As mentioned in an earlier response, this thing is hard to let go of even if someone offered three times what I paid. It does possess something magical.
The DCD-3520 used PCM64P dacs and a KSS-151A laser. both of these highly rated today and rare and expensive to buy.
For Redbook replay you would be hard pressed to find a better d/a converter than the R2R Lader Multibit PCM63K.
R2R multibit is the only way to convert PCM Redbook "bit perfect".
All these newer DSD types, bitstream,1bit, ESS Sabre ect are not as good for Redbook as R2R is.
This is why you find all the big heavy hitters MSB, Trinity, ect, going back to R2R for PCM Redbook conversion
To make the Denon DCD3520 into a absolute giant killer for Redbook, you’ll need to get someone good with mods, to bring the I/V stage and output buffers up to date. This could cost a couple of hundred bucks.