Denon PMA-800NE disappointment...burn in ?

Hawkmoon

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Feb 19, 2020
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Recently ditched my 25 year-old Kenwood KA-3020SE for a new Denon PMA-800NE. My amp had a dodgy right channel and a few other issues so thought I would 'upgrade'. The Denon was the right price (£400) and had very good reviews from various users on Amazon and Richer Sounds website, although few website or YT reviews. Have to say initial thoughts are that I am underwhelmed by the Denon - I find it to have a very dry and lifeless sound whereas my Kenwood was bright, warm and had a wide soundstage. Do you believe in breaking in periods? I am wondering if the Denon is not for me and I would be better off with something like an Audiolab or Arcam amp, or whether there really is some truth to the idea of breaking in/burn-in period? Any thoughts?
 

abacus

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Sep 24, 2008
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Burn in in electronics is just a con for manufactures and dealers to flog the customer something that they are not fully happy with.
It all comes down to synergy (Everything working together with your ears (Which are unique to you) so you will need to pop to a dealer and try a few out using similar equipment to what you have.
Also remember that it may be the Kenwood that is not up to scratch and you have just got used to it, and thus all the newer stuff will not sound right to you.

Bill
 
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Hawkmoon

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Feb 19, 2020
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Yes I have been listening to my Kenwood for 25 years so have definitely got a biased ear in favour of it, I have no doubt. I do think that I am partial to a warm and engaging sound as opposed to a very neutral one, and maybe I need to look for an amp that is not as neutral as the Denon. But I will give my ears a week or so to adjust and give the Denon a chance
 

daytona600

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Sell it on ebay & get a new one
 

gasolin

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Yes there is, atleast where i live, if your not satisfied with the product we can return it within 14 days, some places 60 days.

The best place to listen to a cdplayer or speaker is not in a store with a different system,room acoustics then you have, it's in your own home with the system and room acoustics you have, where you can play what ever you like to listen to and at the prefered level if you don't have any neighbours close to you.
 

Al ears

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You buy without auditioning and then realise it's not quite what you expect?
You are going to cost the dealer a goodly amount by returning it so wouldn't question their concerns about any possibility of having you back as a regular customer.
No, I don't believe in burn-in periods for solid state equipment and nor should you.
You have a right to return but should you?
To my mind if you have been given ample time to audition a product before purchase then once you have paid your money and removed from the shop them that's that, unless of course it fails under warranty.
Try doing that with a car and not a piece of audio equipment.........
 
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gasolin

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You buy without auditioning and then realise it's not quite what you expect?
You are going to cost the dealer a goodly amount by returning it so wouldn't question their concerns about any possibility of having you back as a regular customer.
No, I don't believe in burn-in periods for solid state equipment and nor should you.
You have a right to return but should you?
To my mind if you have been given ample time to audition a product before purchase then once you have paid your money and removed from the shop them that's that, unless of course it fails under warranty.
Try doing that with a car and not a piece of audio equipment.........
No no no, you can audtion in a store but to know if it's good enough (synergy) for your needs, you need buy and try it in your home with the system you have and the room, acoustics, how can you know if it sounds good if they don't have KEF iq5SE speakers?

Who can you know if it sounds good if the room is much bigger than you own room, has a different acoustic and won't let you play the music you like as loud as you prefer ?

How can you know if my high end amp (lets say 800-1000 euro) stopped working and you only have 400 euros to spend on a new amp, if it can handle the speakers you have that are hard to drive (if you happen to have spekaers that are hard to drive) unless you buy one and use it with your system.

A speaker is dependend on the room,your amp, how your music taste is and how loud you like to play

The same goes with an amp it depends on the speakers, the music your playing,how loud you like to play and source (losless tidal or spotify, turntable or cd)
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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No no no, you can audtion in a store but to know if it's good enough (synergy) for your needs, you need buy and try it in your home with the system you have and the room, acoustics, how can you know if it sounds good if they don't have KEF iq5SE speakers?

Who can you know if it sounds good if the room is much bigger than you own room, has a different acoustic and won't let you play the music you like as loud as you prefer ?

How can you know if my high end amp (lets say 800-1000 euro) stopped working and you only have 400 euros to spend on a new amp, if it can handle the speakers you have that are hard to drive (if you happen to have spekaers that are hard to drive) unless you buy one and use it with your system.

A speaker is dependend on the room,your amp, how your music taste is and how loud you like to play

The same goes with an amp it depends on the speakers, the music your playing,how loud you like to play and source (losless tidal or spotify, turntable or cd)
Nobody doubts what you're saying about the importance of trying things at home Gasolin - which is why some dealers are happy to let you do it.
As far as the UK goes, like I said, there's no automatic return entitlement on shop purchases. Yes I know about 60 day returns policies - I've bought stuff from Bax in Holland - (which I made sure was in absolute mint condition before returning to them).
 

gasolin

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hififreaks in denmark have 60 days buy and try, they just had probelms with marantz so they don't sell it any more.

Why you have 14 days return policy in denmark is because when you buy online you can't test it before buying, what many shops also do is offer minimum 14 days retur policy if bought in a store, im not 100% shure it's required by law to offer 14 days return policy in a store when buying hifi but all the good store have atleast 14 days return policy like thomann.de when ordering online
 

gasolin

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Nobody doubts what you're saying about the importance of trying things at home Gasolin - which is why some dealers are happy to let you do it.
As far as the UK goes, like I said, there's no automatic return entitlement on shop purchases. Yes I know about 60 day returns policies - I've bought stuff from Bax in Holland - (which I made sure was in absolute mint condition before returning to them).
Futureshop.co.uk (mostly cable) have 60 Day Cable Money Back Guarantee so it is possible in uk to have a return policy
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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Futureshop.co.uk (mostly cable) have 60 Day Cable Money Back Guarantee so it is possible in uk to have a return policy
Yes it is possible, many in the UK do it, Russ Andrews for example has a 60 day money back guarantee.
But this is the point. A UK retail 'bricks and mortar' SHOP
is under no legal obligation to accept back for return any item that is not faulty or unfit for the purpose for which it was sold. (No good saying, "I didn't like the sound of it"....you could have tried it in the shop or bought it from a shop that let you try it at home first).
 
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Al ears

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No no no, you can audtion in a store but to know if it's good enough (synergy) for your needs, you need buy and try it in your home with the system you have and the room, acoustics, how can you know if it sounds good if they don't have KEF iq5SE speakers?

Who can you know if it sounds good if the room is much bigger than you own room, has a different acoustic and won't let you play the music you like as loud as you prefer ?

How can you know if my high end amp (lets say 800-1000 euro) stopped working and you only have 400 euros to spend on a new amp, if it can handle the speakers you have that are hard to drive (if you happen to have spekaers that are hard to drive) unless you buy one and use it with your system.

A speaker is dependend on the room,your amp, how your music taste is and how loud you like to play

The same goes with an amp it depends on the speakers, the music your playing,how loud you like to play and source (losless tidal or spotify, turntable or cd)
Do your research
If you cannot find a dealer who will let you audition kit at home then don't buy it. The OP clearly didn't.
You are however entitled to your, very impractical, opinion.
 
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Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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hififreaks in denmark have 60 days buy and try, they just had probelms with marantz so they don't sell it any more.

Why you have 14 days return policy in denmark is because when you buy online you can't test it before buying, what many shops also do is offer minimum 14 days retur policy if bought in a store, im not 100% shure it's required by law to offer 14 days return policy in a store when buying hifi but all the good store have atleast 14 days return policy like thomann.de when ordering online
Yes, that rule applies for us in the UK too for items purchased ONLINE.
 
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Hawkmoon

Active member
Feb 19, 2020
24
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25
Recently ditched my 25 year-old Kenwood KA-3020SE for a new Denon PMA-800NE. My amp had a dodgy right channel and a few other issues so thought I would 'upgrade'. The Denon was the right price (£400) and had very good reviews from various users on Amazon and Richer Sounds website, although few website or YT reviews. Have to say initial thoughts are that I am underwhelmed by the Denon - I find it to have a very dry and lifeless sound whereas my Kenwood was bright, warm and had a wide soundstage. Do you believe in breaking in periods? I am wondering if the Denon is not for me and I would be better off with something like an Audiolab or Arcam amp, or whether there really is some truth to the idea of breaking in/burn-in period? Any thoughts?
OP here - thanks to those contributors who tried to be helpful. As for those who sought to admonish me for not auditioning in store - this wasn’t an option in my local area and my current poor health post hospital operation precludes me getting out much. FWIW the sound of the Denon is growing on me - likely my ears adjusting to a different delivery to that of my old Kenwood, but maybe there is something to the idea of burn-in, who knows. I know to some of you that’s like saying the Earth is flat, so I’ll get the popcorn and sit back as you foam at the mouth and tell me it’s all snake oil.
 

DougK

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Dec 8, 2013
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OP here - thanks to those contributors who tried to be helpful. As for those who sought to admonish me for not auditioning in store - this wasn’t an option in my local area and my current poor health post hospital operation precludes me getting out much. FWIW the sound of the Denon is growing on me - likely my ears adjusting to a different delivery to that of my old Kenwood, but maybe there is something to the idea of burn-in, who knows. I know to some of you that’s like saying the Earth is flat, so I’ll get the popcorn and sit back as you foam at the mouth and tell me it’s all snake oil.
I would term it as more akin to "ear burn-in" than electronics burn-in :)
However, my system does sound better after 30mins of playing??
 
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gasolin

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Mar 17, 2013
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Burn in ? (amp,ear burn in)

When you get a much bigger amp you get a much more distortion free sound and you don't experience any agressivness as much as you might do with a smaller amp, you have to get used to that.

As could it be when having a tube amp, you have to get used to the new sound

Could also be that the Electrolytic capacitor needs to be replaced in your kenwood amp and there for sounds differenet than a new amp

Considered biviring using a thick cable for the bass and the highs mabye a silver cable? Cordial cls 425 you can use for biwiring (or single wiring) it has a more bright sound (in my opinion) and won't break the bank

I find it to have a very dry and lifeless sound whereas my Kenwood was bright, warm and had a wide soundstage

Isn't it just the amp that has a neutral sound?
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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OP here - thanks to those contributors who tried to be helpful. As for those who sought to admonish me for not auditioning in store - this wasn’t an option in my local area and my current poor health post hospital operation precludes me getting out much. FWIW the sound of the Denon is growing on me - likely my ears adjusting to a different delivery to that of my old Kenwood, but maybe there is something to the idea of burn-in, who knows. I know to some of you that’s like saying the Earth is flat, so I’ll get the popcorn and sit back as you foam at the mouth and tell me it’s all snake oil.
I think that could certainly be true, the change in sound can be quite a shock.
I hope you will notice that I did not seek to admonish you - as far as I saw, you hadn't even mentioned returning the Denon!
All talk was of shop returns policies in general and a reaction to Gasolin's assumption that anything goes when it comes to buyer's rights. (Seems like it does in Denmark, for him at least!).
Hope your health is better and that it's just a case of getting used to what is actually a superior amp.
 
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