Denon DRW-660 Cassette deck

This is a beautiful device with perfect ergonomics and interesting design. An amazing effect of relief is created on the absolutely flat faceplate; I mean that the aim, for which the others remove bevels and make grooves or ledges, is achieved here per se. And relatively to ergonomics I want to emphasize quite a comfortable control keyboard of DRW-660.

Like in most devices Denon has one and very spacious plate inside and two simple single-engine tape-moving mechanisms. By capabilities 660th can be confidently refered to the strong middle group. Let's us list, so to speak, the equipment of the devise in a one line. Noise dampers Dolby B and C, the system of dynamic bias HX-Pro, search of fragments by pauses (Music Search), rewind to zero of the counter. There is a manual setting of bias with the fixation in the "standard" position and the phone amplifier, Synchro CD input and the receiver for the remote control. The counter, by the way, is single four-digit into two decks and is switched by the knob. Someone will find it uncomfortable, but using two counters at the same time happens rarely and design looks better.

Despite of the lack of automatic calibrator of tape types in Denon, AFC, recorded at the nominal speed, is linear. There is nothing surprising taking stable characteristics and a good repeatability of modern magnetic tapes into account. Quite typical failure of mid frequencies (from 2 to 7 kHz) attracts attention, although its level is small - not more than 2dB. Quite strong "snake' with nonlinearity of about 6dB is noticeable on low frequencies and this is natural. In the second copy, recorded at double speed, AFC is worse - a sharp rolloff begins already with 10 kHz and the failure's depth of mids is doubly bigger. By the way, we performed all the measuring in the middle position of the bias current regulator. But noises are not bad - about 55 dB - golden mean. The standard set of noise dampers works standardly too - turning on Dolby B is not enough by modern standards - noises stay noticeable at playing. Dolby C a bit improves the situation, although also in this case there is no point to speak about low noises. In some listened fragments basses became noticeably more "incompact", especially after the second rewrite. The detonations turns out to be quite strong - "ten" by DIN.

Speaking about ergonomics, lever indicator gave a good taste of quality - stretched scale near zero point allows you to set the level more precisely, preventing the overloading of a tape. It's a pity that the developers haven't provided the memory of peak level. Rewrite at a normal speed showed a greater noises' level in the copy; the only possible variant - the use of Dolby C. In addition to more amplified noise, high frequency interference, comparable to the noise level, is noticeable in the copy, made with double speed.

Denon DRW-660 Cassette deck photo