I sold my Denon S-101 on eBay just before Christmas and I am writing this review in loving memory. Hopefully it will provide some useful information if you intend to buy one second-hand or purchase a similar but more recent up to date Denon product.
Setting up the Denon S-101 was quite straight forward - I remember it took me about an hour from unwrapping the package to playing my first DVD. I chose a Denon system because of past experience with a Denon Hi Fi unit that provided long lasting quality. The unit came with two small speakers and stands, a subwoofer (100W), and a DVD player. This was a 2.1 rather than a 5.1 system so in truth it was not really surround sound cinema, but it suited my needs and took up less room due to only having two speakers. The total output was 200W.
The Denon S-101 was slim, sleek and stylish although I had to hide the rather bulky subwoofer. The unit featured a bright orange display and backlit touch responsive controls. There was no DAB radio but there was a AM/FM radio tuner with RDS which provided excellent reception that never withered during the whole time I had it. The system had the standard set of connections: a RGB Scart, composite, S-video and progressive scan component video inputs, and optical and coaxial digital audio in and out.
After nearly two years of use my Denon S-101 never let me down and always put in a good performance whether it were DVDs, CDs or radio. It came with Dolby Digital Virtual sound and the speakers provided an expansive range whilst the DVD produced crisp fine detailed picture as you might expect. The remote control wasn't too complicated nor too fiddly.
The system came with an iPod connection that I made good use of. You could charge your iPod via a connection on the front panel. Once your iPod was connected there would appear an iPod option highlighted onscreen. You could then use the remote to navigate via an on-screen simulated graphic display that mimicked that of an iPod front panel. On the screen you could then easily navigate to all your play lists, artists, albums and songs.
There were no doubt bigger and better systems out there but the Denon S-101 was versatile enough to meet my needs. In fact I loved my Denon S-101 and wonder why I sold it. Ah yes, to be replaced by a superior 5.1 surround sound system that I still haven't found. As this model is a discontinued product you will now only find one second hand but if you intend to buy a later model I would recommend the Denon brand for reliability.
The S-101 is one of the most innovative and stylish home theater systems that merges the latest technology for dynamic sound, vivid picture quality, the simplest connectivity and operation available, and elegant design to integrate into any room decor. With the S-101, you can experience a new and exciting way to enjoy the most diverse variety of home entertainment, including direct connectivity to your portable players - such as iPod or Rio MP3 players.
The S-101 uses the critically-acclaimed Dolby Virtual Speaker technology to produce the most accurate virtualized surround sound listening experience ever achieved with only two speakers. In addition, with innovative AL24 Processing technology incorporated into the S-101 in order to provide the most natural sound reproduction from any digitized audio source - from DVDs, CDs or music from portable players.
Easy and smart set-up and operation is the primary foundation of the S-101 - simply connect the main unit, the two speakers and a subwoofer with the included cords to your television with absolutely no complicated procedures, and you are ready to enjoy any type of entertainment source available. Features and functions can be easily accessed via the remote, the front panel controls or by using the intuitively-designed onscreen interface.