Many years have passed since the universal popularity of music centers. Despite this, the legacy of that era in audio for many remains relevant to this day. For quite a long time for me it remained a mystery why the manufacturers now produce equipment in this seemingly archaic format. Write this post led me to a situation in which I myself did not find anything better than to buy a mini-system (in fact, the same music center), instead of purchasing individual components.
Looking ahead, I note that this device was the Denon D-M41. In the post I will tell you in detail why I chose this particular device, describe its features, and also why the mini-system has become the most suitable option for me. I emphasize that in my assessments I was partly subjective, and conclusions about the qualities of the device should be made independently, with personal listening, testing. People perceive sound differently and such differences can be quite significant. Meanwhile, Denon D-M41 definitely deserves attention.
The essence of the problem
The problem was as follows: my good old DVD-ROM drive, wandering from computer to computer, which I have not changed since 2005, ordered to live long and went to the dump. On the laptop, there was no one. In active shelves, thanks to the intricate games of the son, the midrange / woofer diffusers were turned into a sieve with neat holes the diameter of a child's finger.
At a reasonable price, the system was sold to one of the handy friends for upgrade experiments. Speaking quite frankly, the old shelves did not suit me for a long time. What happened with them, I used as a weighty argument in favor of the fact that money from the family budget will not be spent in vain.
Since the sale of seriously damaged acoustics, my family has also lost the opportunity to watch movies with normal sound. In the long run, the purchase of a multiroom loomed. Before its acquisition (about 12 months) it was planned to use active acoustics with the TV. The consequences of its “sudden” sales naturally required something to replace, with more or less equivalent opportunities, and ideally, with the presence of optical inputs for TV.
Thus, only two pairs of headphones remained from the sound, which did not fully satisfy my needs and a mountain of old CDs that were never duplicated to hard. Search and listen to your favorite albums on streaming services through headphones did not deliver much joy. The budget for the purchase of all necessary was limited to the amount of 30 000 rubles.
The main problem was acoustics. Among the active "shelves" nothing suitable for my far from golden ears for moderate money I did not find. Perhaps work at Pult has already managed to form my audiophile approach. Although, rather, it is not a matter of pretentiousness, but of personal features of the subjective perception of sound. Passive bookshelf speakers (from serious brands) were characterized by a no less serious price tag.
In addition, I did not even think about purchasing an expensive, and in my deep conviction, useless CD transport and a separate DAC for it, as well as a separate player. These options were strongly recommended to me by some of my colleagues. Probably, someone and for some reason certainly need such delights, but not to me. For a not too long life, I completely managed first with a SONY CD player, and then with quite ordinary and trivial computer CD / DVD drives.
Periodically returning to our showroom, I realized that the sound that I can really arrange, costs a lot more than 30,000 rubles. In particular, this concerned acoustics and more or less decent stereo UMZCH. In the end, I began to pay attention to the combined options. One of our specialists, after listening to my story with an almost simultaneous loss of acoustics and drive, recommended me to buy some mini-system. In terms of sound, price and characteristics, I liked the D-M41
more than others.
I conducted the system selection itself according to the following criteria (the selection criteria were applied sequentially):
- matching the price tag to my budget (ceiling 30,000);
- correspondence of power to the volume of the room (in my case RMS is enough - 25 W);
- the presence of optical inputs;
- the correspondence of sound to subjective preferences (blind test on the “like / dislike” principle);
- the presence of low-frequency output, to connect the subwoofer in the event of situations in the series of "little bass";
- an estimate of the maximum volume at which no audible distortion occurs (sine test);
- subjective assessment of intermodulation distortion - blind test - listening to the choral (thanks to melchermax for the recommendation);
- detailed study of datasheets for unnoticed problems;
- evaluation of functional convenience.
The least important criteria were the design of the device and the ability to play a CD (for I was going to save on this functionality). I don’t bother with the amplifiers of amplifiers, although I know by myself that sometimes the D-class really justifies the letter assigned to it.
Integration with streaming services, which for many is almost paramount, I was also worried little. My main audio service is still HDD (500 GB in flac and mp3 - 320kb / s) and a big heavy stand with a CD.
On the basis of the above criteria, the Denon D-M41 has become the most appropriate.
Decision making logic
The first thing that confused was the presence in the mini-systems of a CD-drive and FM-radio, in which I did not feel the need. It is logical to assume that this “appendage” is somehow worth it. At the same time, the control capabilities, including the CD player via Bluetooth, were attractive to me, which in turn made me leave in sight the devices of this type. Looking at the price, I realized that the price of Denon D-M41 (25 000 rubles) corresponds to the budget, and left it for further testing.
The power of the device (RMS - 30 W) with a margin of 5 W met my needs, which also helped the Denon D-M41
to remain on the list of tested devices. Optical inputs were present in the amount of 2 pieces. This resolved the issue of effectively using the mini-TV system.
The subjective perception of the sound system revealed several significant differences from analogs in the same price segment. The sound is highlighted: a wider (horizontal) stereo pan, accents in the low and low middle, impressive for this class, the absence of distortion at high volume. The test was repeated 4 times. Of the 7 systems, the D-M41 four times entered the top three of my personal preferences. Sinusoidal test revealed no problems. I believe that the whole thing is that the speakers and the amplifier were developed taking into account the joint use.
A similar blind assessment of IMD with listening to the chorals Schnittke confirmed that the system practically does not “blur” a complex signal. According to our specialists, the high fidelity of reproduction in this system is due to the use of an AB class amplifier and high-quality speaker components (crossover, radiators). Nisa too was enough, for those who do not have enough - there is a woofer output for the subwoofer.
Regarding functionality and management: there is no integration with streaming services, no USB, no Wi-FI, no AirPlay, no Bluetooth, and the ability to manage system settings from a mobile via Bluetooth is also present. For traditionalists provides a classic remote control.
Considering that there are no uniform ideas about the reference characteristics of devices, everyone can independently evaluate the main technical parameters. I will limit their listing:
- RMS power (6 Ohm, 1 kHz): 2x30 W
- Amplifier Class: AB
- Number of lanes: 2
- Acoustic design: phase inverter
- Frequency range: 20 to 21 000Hz (+ -2 DB)
- THD: less than 1%
- Disc support: CD-DA, CD-R / RW (MP3, WMA)
- Tuner: FM 85.7-108 MHz
- Inputs: analog, 2 optical
- Outputs: for subwoofer, for headphones (headphone amplifier)
- Additional functions: clock, timer, alarm clock
- Weight: 4.2 kg
- Speaker Type: Shelving Acoustics
- Acoustic design of speakers: bass reflex
- Tweeter: 25 mm, cloth dome MF / woofer: 120 mm
From the datasheet also learned that the system is equipped on the principle of Triple Noise Reduction Design. The latter involves shielding everything that can give background noise, separation of analog and digital circuits, as well as compliance with the “short path” rule, which reduces the signal path from the source to the radiator as much as possible. I don’t know how relevant this is, since I haven’t heard much fading equipment for a long time, but in general, the principles of noise-phono-suppressive solutions seem logical.
Denon D-M41 liked - bought. The sound outside the showroom did not disappoint. The CD drive, which at first seemed like a useless thing, turned out to be very helpful. The untimely dead drive I had long used exclusively as a player. Accordingly, it was not necessary to purchase a new one (I don’t know if they are on sale). I hope that my story and review will help those who are in a similar situation.
In the selection process, I tested a lot of interesting speakers, amplifiers, mini-systems, receivers. If you like the review, I can continue to talk about my personal experience in choosing audio. In the selection process with a limited budget, I learned a lot of new and interesting things.