Denon DR-M4

1 9 8 2 november 1982
1 9 8 4

Flat surfaces and Hi-Tech automated functions : like Sony with the earlier TC-FX1010 or Pioneer in '81, Denon went all out on design&technology with the M series.

The DR-M4 was filled with all the then-hot niceties : C Dolby, Quartz Lock Direct Drive Closed Loop Dual Capstan, Computer Servo Mechanism.
However, front and chassis were here made of plastic for the most part.

The big thing, though, was the Computer Tuning System : it could adapt the deck's bias & eq for each individual tape inserted, with a capacity of 100.000 possibilities !
Pop the tape in, press Computer Tuning, wait six seconds and the DR-M4 has its bias & eq set for the actual tape inserted. Three slots automatically keep settings in memory for each tape type.

Added to this was a programming mode (Music Search with 4s blanks), realtime digital counter and an (optional) (wired) RC-57 remote-control, separate power supplies for the motors and audio stages and DC signal path.

The DR-M4 topper was released in Japan, in black, but after the 3, 2 and 1 ; it was mostly export-only.

The series was actually built, previsibly, not by Denon, but by Columbia which was/is the other part of the Denon corporation.
Columbia was since the 1970s delegated to lower-end things but gradually lifted to quality offerings throughout the 1980s : Denon CD players such as DCD-3300 or the DCD-3500 series were handled by Columbia for Denon.

T-Tag for Denon cassette recorders generally are CTX or T.Denkai, both contractors to Columbia.

I have owned a DR-M4 for 15 years and can attest to its audio qualities : the drive and CTS system were truly excellent. Too bad the chassis was so lightweight.

Despite the quality of the DR-M4 the audience seemingly wasn't yet ready for that kind of looks for the next lineup (DR-M44) sported quite conventional controls, knobs and panel layout - modernism is a fleeting thought.

Denon DR-M4, image 1 Denon DR-M4, image 2 Denon DR-M4, image 3
Denon DR-M4 specifications
Title Value
Heads : 1x S&F for record
1x S&F for play
1x F double gap for erase
Motors : 1x DD FG (capstan)
2x AC (reels)
Speed drift : ± 0,04% (peak)
Measured speed drift : -0,01% (averaged over 3 seconds)
Wow & flutter : < 0,027% (WRMS)
Measured speed fluctuation : 0,28% (tape's beginning)
0,34% (tape's ending)
0,31% (averaged)
Measured averaged speed fluctuation : 0,08% (tape's beginning)
0,08% (tape's ending)
0,08% (averaged)
S/N ratio : > 74dB (Dolby C, CCIR/ARM, THD 3%)
Measured S/N ratio : 53dB / 59dB (linear / weighted ; Dolby B ; Type III)
55dB / 60dB (linear / weighted ; Dolby B ; Type II)
55dB / 60dB (linear / weighted ; Dolby B ; Type IV)
56dB / 65dB (linear / weighted ; Dolby C ; Type III)
58dB / 68dB (linear / weighted ; Dolby C ; Type II)
57dB / 68dB (linear / weighted ; Dolby C ; Type IV)
Measured channel separation : 54dB (Dolby B)
Frequency response : 61dB (Dolby C)
20Hz...23Khz (Type IV)
Inputs : MIC (0,35mV / 10kOhm)
Line (77,5mV / 50kOhm)
Outputs : Line (775mV / 10kOhm)
Headphones (1,2mW / 8 Ohm...2kOhm)
PC : 22W
Dimensions : 43,4 x 11,5 x 28,6 (sans sideburns)
Weight : 5,8kg
Accessories : RC-57 wired remote control
List price : 599$ (1984)
Denon DR-M4 : 0 topic
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page online since : november 2004
page updated : august 2010
page type : LGT / KNB
page weight : 198.86 Kb / 0 b

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