Review: Denon DCD-1650ar CD Player

Category: Digital

This is quite a good player, especially in my system, where its analytical tendencies are balanced by the warmer leanings of my Dynaudio speakers. I would not use this player with bright speakers, as that would likely be very fatiguing. In comparison with the Meridian player that I auditioned (an old meridian player, mind you), the Denon has clearly better bass and treble presentation. It also images better. The Meridian had a slight edge in midrange and vocals, which are sweeter. I would imagine that a new Meridian player would kill this one (but it would cost twice as much). The thing is that my speakers will not add detail that they are not fed from upstream, so the detail and imaging on this player are very nice. I should add that it tracks very well, and that the controls are very simple and easy to use. I do not like the cheezy 1970s/early 80s remote control, nor do I like that it has only skip (no fast forward) control on the face of the unit. Considering, however, that the player is REALLY solidly built, sounds great, and that I bought it used for $425, all of my complaints are extremely minor.

Associated gear
Dynaudio Audience 52 speakers
Rotel RX-975 receiver
Velodyne VLF-810 subwoofer
monstercable throughout

Similar products
sony, meridian
i also love this player. i did a modification to it, changing the op amps to bb627's. it has completely blown away everything i've put up against it, including the music hall cd25, nad 541i, rega planet 2000, and arcam cd73. i am in the process of replacing the op amps in the arcam with the bb627's to compare again, as this is the only player that has come close so far. i can't see parting with this player any time soon, it's just too good a performer.
I also have a 1650...and overall it is a great player...even better on the used market...however...I would have to disagree this is a highly revealing, clinical fact...if is a bit too smooth and laid back at times...but soundstaging is exceptional(both in width and depth)...great build, warm unfatiguing presentation, and incredible soundstaging are its strengths...