Test Drive: Denon DN-C680 Professional CD Player

Denon-DN-680

by Steve Cunningham

There’s an old saying about choosing the right tool for the job, and that’s as true in the production room as anywhere else. We’re all doing more production work on tighter schedules than ever before, and our equipment has to be able to handle the abuse. As do we, but we aren’t always, and besides, that’s a topic for another article.

Denon’s flagship product for the production arena is its DN-C680 Professional CD Player. The DN-C680 is not only a robust player, but it includes all the features, functions and interfaces needed for the broadcast production environment.

Denon-Logo-Mar00The Front Panel

The front panel of the Denon DN-C680 packs a lot of controls into a clean and concise interface. The panel itself is done in a classy black anodized finish with white legends that are easy to read at a distance. This is most helpful to those of use with less than perfect vision.

The right side of the front panel is occupied by the large and bright display window, which provides lots of information — everything from track number and elapsed time to a graphic display showing the current play position within a track. All of this is quite legible even from across the room.

Below the display are the Search and Scan dials. The Search dial is a detented inner wheel that scrubs through the audio directly as you turn the wheel, with each click corresponding to one CD frame. The spring-loaded outer ring is the Scan dial, which plays audio forward or backward at increasing speed, depending on which direction and how far you turn the ring.

Also below the display are a collection of no less than 17 buttons that control the behavior of the CD player. These buttons allow you to define how the player responds at the end of a track, to set loop points, and even preview the last 5 to 35 seconds of a track in advance of playing it.

The left side of the front panel contains the power switch, the headphone jack and headphone level control. Next to those are the CD tray with its associated OPEN/CLOSE button, and the transport controls, which consist of large rubber buttons for STOP, STANDBY/CUE, and PLAY/PAUSE. To the right of the transport buttons is the Program Play buttons and the multifunction Select Knob.