I can recall Denon equipment back in the 70s and 80s, when I owned stereo rack systems. Back then, most people owned equipment from the larger, more well-known companies (some of whom still exist today). However the slightly more sophisticated audiophile opted for higher end equipment from the likes of Denon, Carver, Luxman, etc.
Denon’s sound quality still remains high with this D-M41S Personal Component System. Right out of the box, the first thing you notice is the weight of each component. The receiver and two speakers are each quite hefty, considering their smallish size. It is an attractive system to boot. The Denon sound quality is as rich as I remember from decades ago.
There is a lot to like about this system, and there are some things I’m not wild about. Let’s start with the mini surfboard that they call a remote control. The remote is HUGE! It is, without hyperbole, the largest remote control in my house. The remote is nearly as tall as the speakers (Mini stereo; massive remote. Makes perfect sense ...) Many of the buttons on this remote you probably won’t use, and some actually serve no function at all; but I guess they had to fill all that SPACE on the remote with something. Ironically, with such a large remote, there’s no eject button on it (they could have included it instead of the functionless DAB/RDS button).
My biggest gripe with this unit is the lack of compatibility with some of your CD-R/RW discs. Unless your disc was burned using the ISO 9660 level-1 format, it won’t play (sorry UDF compatible users, you’d better update your equipment/firmware). The unit didn’t read ANY of the discs I burned on my older (soon to be replaced) desktop. If the CD-R you burned doesn’t meet the ISO standard, you’ll hear exactly 2 seconds of a song before it jumps to the next track (on the bright side, you can run through an entire disc in under 30 seconds). C’mon, Denon, even the jankiest, no-name CD players can handle most CD-R formats. Given your high quality reputation, and the high price point of this unit, I expect better. Also, if you’re a fan of CD-Text, as I am, you’ll only get that feature on Mp3 discs. Obviously, commercial CDs played perfectly.
The Bluetooth feature works well, however, the display doesn’t show song titles or artists, it only displays the name of the Bluetooth device you are using. Boring…
The sound and build quality are definitely present in the Denon D-M41S PCS. The bass response is awesome, with no distortion. The midrange and highs are clean and crisp. However, given the price point and reputation of the manufacturer, I expected more bells and whistles from this unit. If those small extras aren’t important to you, or if you only play commercial CDs, then you won’t be disappointed. Even though I’d like to see those features incorporated, I still recommend this system because the sound quality is just that good.
- Sound quality
- Quality build
- Variety of input options (Bluetooth, radio, analog…)
- Small size
- Ridiculously large remote
- Only reads discs in one format (ISO 9660 level-1)
- Minimal LED display