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Denon DCD-960

Compact Disc Player (1990-91)

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Denon DCD-960

Specifications

Disc format: CD

Digital converter: PCM61P

CD Mechanism: KSS-150A

Frequency response: 2Hz to 20kHz

Dynamic range: 98dB

Signal to Noise Ratio: 110dB

Channel separation: 102dB

Total harmonic distortion: 0.003%

Line output: 2V

Digital outputs: coaxial, optical

Dimensions: 434 x 105 x 280mm

Weight: 5kg

Accessories: RC-224 remote control

Year: 1991

Price: GBP £300 (1991)

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Reviewed Sep 20th, 2019 by ilkkasuni

In my opinion, a CD player starts being seriously built, has the player phones out control. Even more so, has the player digital output.

DCD-960 has plenty features and functions. The player is equipped with both fixed and variable line-outs, as well as optical digital out. So being, with an external DAC, the player works fine for just a CD spinner, with the actual sound relying on the external DAC.

Due to lots of functions, the front panel is stuffed with push-buttons. It takes a while, to get accustomed to each tiny button with its function. Even so, the basic functions with their buttons respectively, are properly sized and clearly located, in the upper right section of the front panel. The remote control, naturally makes a difference.

The multi-function display is informative enough.

The sound, then. I was not too impressed, at the first impression. After having listened to DCD-960 for a few days, I got accustomed to the sound.

The sound is very vinyl-like. I have listened to numerous turntables and their cartridges, needles ever since the '60s. Having began my CD-era in early '80s, have listened to numerous, currently own 20 CD players.

Denon DCD-960 kind of sounds *not digital*. The positive aspect is, even CD masters sounding harshly cold in upper mid-range and highs, on other players, on DCD-960 play pleasant. Then again, the DCD-960 sound not only lacks clarity in the upper mid-range and highs, but also lacks punch in low bass. Frankly, I like the TDA 1541A/R sound better, for one, comes it to a CD player sounding analog.

DCD-960 is a CD player for the long-time vinyl buff, having been disappointed in CD players sounding sterile cold.

PROS:
+vinyl-like, pleasant sound
+lots of functions
+digital optical output [external DAC]
+both fixed and variable line-outs
+phones out has level control

CONS:
-lacks punch and clarity

Ilkka Suni
Joutseno, Finland

 

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