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Denon N10 vs entry level Amplifiers (Denon, Marantz, Cambridge)

Arsenio Erico

Active member
Jun 28, 2020
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Hi!
I would like to know your opinions on this.
I listen to vinyls mostly but also stream from Spotify when Im in a hurry or doing something else with background music.
I thought the Denon N10 would be a good improvement over my KRK Rokit 6 active monitors. I have read that even CDs stand out when listening through the N10 and gives the feeling of "rediscovering" those good old CDs (I have about 500 stored in the basement).

It's around 500$ on amazon and an extra 110$ for international shipping where I live.
Locally, I can get the Denon PM800 (460$), Marantz PM6006 (575$).

So, I'm going to spend about 500-600$ on either one of them.

Would these Amps sound way better than the N10? I like all the features in the N10 but if sound wise there is a noticeable difference with the Amps, I would get one of these. But, if there isn't much difference, I would get the N10.

Thank you for all the feedback you can give me! Cheers!
 

ClarkNovember

Well-known member
May 24, 2009
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Have you looked at this thread from the forum where members have commented on the two amps you mention?


You’d probably get a better sound from a stand-alone amp but if you want streaming and CD playback then what are you going to use to do this if you don’t get the Denon RCD-N10?
 

Arsenio Erico

Active member
Jun 28, 2020
23
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25
The N10 has built in bluetooth, no problem there. As for CDs, I thought about an old Sony Walkman CD player or a Sony BluRay Player hooked up in the aux in of the N10.
 
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Arsenio Erico

Active member
Jun 28, 2020
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Im sorry about the "vinyl" word, Im not a native speaker and that's the only word I know for them. I have a Pioneer PL990 which has a built in pre amp.
 

ClarkNovember

Well-known member
May 24, 2009
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18,570
The N10 has built in bluetooth, no problem there. As for CDs, I thought about an old Sony Walkman CD player hooked up in the aux in of the N10.
Sorry I’m not sure I understand you:

- your original post asks to compare the Denon ‘N10’ with 2 amplifiers
- the only Denon N10 I can find is the CEOL RCD-N10 which has a built in CD player and streaming

so my question was: if you went for one of the 2 other amps, what would you use to stream/play CDs with?

Your answer seems to suggest the Denon N10 you are looking at doesn’t have a CD player..


If I were you I’d be tempted to go for the better amp (say the Denon PM800) as this seems a more long term solution. However you would need to be happy that using a portable CD player as the input would be acceptable to you. And you would also need to buy a Bluetooth adapter if you wanted to stream from your phone.

If the Denon N10 you are looking at really doesn’t have a CD player, the decision is pretty clear cut - i.e. why would you buy it if it costs more than a better amp? You’d go for the PM800 or the Marantz.
 
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Al ears

Moderator
Sorry I’m not sure I understand you:

- your original post asks to compare the Denon ‘N10’ with 2 amplifiers
- the only Denon N10 I can find is the CEOL RCD-N10 which has a built in CD player and streaming

so my question was: if you went for one of the 2 other amps, what would you use to stream/play CDs with?

Your answer seems to suggest the Denon N10 you are looking at doesn’t have a CD player..


If I were you I’d be tempted to go for the better amp (say the Denon PM800) as this seems a more long term solution. However you would need to be happy that using a portable CD player as the input would be acceptable to you. And you would also need to buy a Bluetooth adapter if you wanted to stream from your phone.

If the Denon N10 you are looking at really doesn’t have a CD player, the decision is pretty clear cut - i.e. why would you buy it if it costs more than a better amp? You’d go for the PM800 or the Marantz.
Good point, however his first post states that what he is looking at will play CDs, in a sense.
The only reference I could find to Denon N10 was the Ceol which does have a CD inbuilt.
I enquired about the turntable because it doesn't have an inbuilt phono preamp.
As to the other amplifiers he mentioned I have no idea how he plans to play CDs.
He obviously needs to do a bit more research himself and be sure about what sources are involved in the end product.
 
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Arsenio Erico

Active member
Jun 28, 2020
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Im sorry for all the confusion! My bad! Let me try to explain myself better.

I want to listen mainly to vinyls (records, LPs or whatever other words are suited) and secondary sources will be streaming via bluetooth and cds.

Option A is The Denon N10 CEOL, it comes with a built in CD player and bluetooth. I could hook my turntable (Pioneer PL990 which has a built in preamp) to it and also use it with my subwoofer. Reviews says it plays CDs with very good quality.

Option B: IF there is a big quality upgrade with dedicated Amps such as the Denon or Marantz I mentioned before, I would prefer this option. To sort out the other music sources I could connect a portable cd player or a Blu-Ray player to play cds; and a small bluetooth reciver (logitech) to stream content.

BUT, if there wouldn't be such a big step up in quality with a dedicated Amp, I think I would be better off with the Denon N10 CEOL.

Thank you very much for taking your time and replying! I appreciate it.
 

ClarkNovember

Well-known member
May 24, 2009
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18,570
That’s clear. If vinyl is your main source, I’d personally go with option B. It gets you a better, more future-proof solution and the RCD-N10 seems overly expensive based on the prices you quote.
 
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rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
339
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19,070
Hi - where do you live? The reason I'm asking is that I read about some Denon N10 quality control issues, and if delivery costs 100$, I'm not sure it's worth the risk.

Also, what would be the partnering speakers?
 
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Arsenio Erico

Active member
Jun 28, 2020
23
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Hi - where do you live? The reason I'm asking is that I read about some Denon N10 quality control issues, and if delivery costs 100$, I'm not sure it's worth the risk.

Also, what would be the partnering speakers?
Thank you very much for your feedback!
I have a pair of Q Acoustics 3030i and a 10" KRK Subwoofer.
I have just realized that both amps I mentioned above do not have a sub out. So I have to look for other options around 600$.

The quality control issue rainsoothe mentioned is a major warning! You are totally right about that.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
554
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18,920
I actually own the Denon Ceol N10, well it’s at my mother’s place. I got it with the matching speakers (had no choice) and it’s a brilliant piece of kit, but may benefit from other speakers. The system is apparently optimized for the matching speakers but since they’re tiny they would benefit from near wall placement. It also has a subwoofer output.

Having said that, while it has wonderful clarity and a reasonable soundstage, it would be a fool that says it would match a good active or separates system at a certain price level. Its cost and common sense would dictate that. If all you want is to play CDs well then just add a good CD player to your existing system.

But you’re right, the little N10 has a great CD player, it has the kitchen sink, all but MQA (who cares?). I’ve even connected it to my mum’s oldish LCD tv via optical as the tv doesn’t have arc or analogue out, and Netflix, YouTube and cable all sound great!

So don’t discard your existing system yet - just add to it if you can. And the N10 would make a great second system for a small to medium spare room.
 
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manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
554
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18,920
Arsenio, where do you live? I got the N10 locally during Black Friday week last December. The reasons I got it was

1. to replace my old Solo Mini which could not be connected to my mum’s digital audio output only tv.
2. I got it at a great price and was a no brainer. The little puppy does everything.
 
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Arsenio Erico

Active member
Jun 28, 2020
23
4
25
I actually own the Denon Ceol N10, well it’s at my mother’s place. I got it with the matching speakers (had no choice) and it’s a brilliant piece of kit, but may benefit from other speakers. The system is apparently optimized for the matching speakers but since they’re tiny they would benefit from near wall placement. It also has a subwoofer output.

Having said that, while it has wonderful clarity and a reasonable soundstage, it would be a fool that says it would match a good active or separates system at a certain price level. Its cost and common sense would dictate that. If all you want is to play CDs well then just add a good CD player to your existing system.

But you’re right, the little N10 has a great CD player, it has the kitchen sink, all but MQA (who cares?). I’ve even connected it to my mum’s oldish LCD tv via optical as the tv doesn’t have arc or analogue out, and Netflix, YouTube and cable all sound great!

So don’t discard your existing system yet - just add to it if you can. And the N10 would make a great second system for a small to medium spare room.
Well, thank you VERY MUCH manic!!!! That was a really useful answer!!! I love the idea of the N10 but with your feedback I have realized that it would be my least convenient option. First of all, the N10 plus shipping would make it the most expensive option. I can get locally dedicated amps such as Denons, Marantz or Cambridge Audios for less. E.g.: I'm digging the Denon PMA800NE which is 400$, the Marantz PM6006 is around 485$. If I get the N10 online plus shipping it would almost cost 600$.
I'm gonna have to focus on the amps better and buy a cd player in the future.
My priority are vinyls and sound quality. After all I've read from you guys I think I would get better audio quality from amps and save some money to buy a cd player later on. Meanwhile, I can use my Blu-Ray player to listen to CDs, and hook up a bluetooth receiver to the amp for spotify when occasionally listening to music.

Thank you!!
 

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