Denon PMA-1700NE Stereo Integrated Amplifier with built-in DAC and Phono Preamplifier (Made In Japan)
THE POWER AND THE GLORY – IF YOU WANT A SOUND COMBINING PLENTY OF GUTS WITH EXCELLENT REFINEMENT, LOOK NO FURTHER
The PMA-1700NE, an integrated amplifier with a power output of 140W, promises 'true audiophile' performance and support for high-resolution audio playback up to 11.2MHz DSD and 32-bit/384-kHz (when using the jitter-reducing USB-DAC input).
Prefer a 12-inch platter to a stream of 1s and 0s? Vinyl lovers will be pleased to note that the PMA-1700NE boasts a built-in phono preamplifier that caters for both moving magnet and moving coil phono cartridges.
It also features good analog connectivity—including an MM/MC phono input and three line-level single-ended stereo inputs (RCA)—along with one coaxial (RCA) digital and two optical (TosLink) digital ins, a USB-DAC connection that supports DSD (DoP) up to 11.2MHz and PCM up to 384kHz/32-bit, and an HT bypass labeled “EXT.PRE,” something that was missing on the 1700NE’s forebear, the 1600NE.
With its 70W per channel output into 8 ohms, doubling into a 4ohm load, it has more than enough power to drive even demanding speakers, not to mention gripping and controlling even extremely high-quality speaker designs to excellent effect. Yes, the PMA-1700NE will drive hard without any signs of compression, thanks to a generous set of output devices, a substantial power supply system and big heatsinks to keep everything in order even when you ask it to show what it can do, but with everything from live rock to full-scale symphonic recordings, the sound has powerful dynamics and unflappable clarity. It’s one of those ‘just gets louder’ amplifiers, and if you want a relatively compact design with both flexibility and a sound combining plenty of guts with excellent refinement, you won’t go far wrong here.