Test Drive: Denon DN-C680 Professional CD Player

Real Time Editing

Like most searchable CD players, the DN-C680 switches into a “stutter” mode when using either the Search or the Scan dials. About a second of audio at the current location loops over and over, allowing you to find an exact point for cueing. It’s not an effect I like listening to, but it was most effective in helping me locate an exact start point for recording.

Index marks on CDs are notoriously inaccurate, and it’s not uncommon to have a couple of seconds of dead air between the index mark for a track and where the sound actually begins. The DN-C680 deals with this problem by providing an AUTO CUE function, which cues the player to the onset of audio rather than just to the index mark. The CueDet. preset sets the audio detection level. There are seven choices between -72 and -36 dB, with -60 dB as the factory setting. AUTO CUE gives you really tight starts, so when you hit the PLAY button the music begins with no dead air.

The AUTO SPACE button inserts four seconds of silence between tracks during continuous playback.

The AUTO EDIT function is kind of a throwback to the days of vinyl. It divides the CD’s tracks in half, giving you a side A (the first half) and a side B (the second half). Pressing the AUTO EDIT button causes the display to show the playing time of side A. To see the playing time of side B you press the “B” button. Touching the PLAY/PAUSE button begins playing side A. When it’s finished, it will pause itself at the first track of side B.

The DN-C680 features varispeed, which allows you to speed up or slow down the playback by as much as 9.9% in either direction. You can engage varispeed in real time by pressing the PITCH button and using the “+” and “-” buttons to speed up or slow down. The PITCH % line in the display shows exactly how much speed change you’ve applied. However, when you change play speed, the sampling frequency of the digital output signal also changes, so you may not be able to use the digital outputs in varispeed mode.

You can program tracks to play in a certain order using the PROGRAM PLAY and PROGRAM buttons. Pressing the PROGRAM button prompts you to choose a track using the Select Knob, pressing the Knob in when you’ve found one. Pressing the Knob again lets you enter another track by turning it. You can enter up to twenty-five cuts in one program. In addition, the DN-C680 will store three separate programs for three different discs in its preset memory. It will then automatically load the correct program when you insert one of the three discs.

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