Let’s see whether the Denon DP-300F is a turntable worth considering for under 400 dollars
Denon is another electronics company that, as almost all of them that produce their own turntables nowadays, gained popularity and originally had success selling quality AV receivers and audio speakers. Then, they decided to create their own turntable. We’re lucky that they decided to do so…
Their selection of turntables is rather weak: there are only 3 Denon turntables you can buy today: the DP-29F, the DP-200USB and the DP-300F which is their most expensive and most popular record player and actually the one we are going to take a look at today. <Compare their 3 turntables yourself>
- 2 speeds turntable – belt drive system with a rotation speed of 33 1/3 or 45 rpm
- It comes with a MM cartridge stock
- Product Dimensions: 15 x 17.1 x 4.8 inches ; 12.1 pounds
- The turntable is made of rigid diecast aluminum
- Automatic startup feature
- Available in one color: Black
The DP-300F has a very strong aluminum body that reduces he vibration generated by the motor. It is more important than most people think. One of the reasons why the more expensive turntables provide much better sound quality than the cheaper ones is that they are mostly built of aluminum. In the case of cheaper turntables usually the manufacturer cannot put much aluminum in the product because it would increase the costs so much that they couldn’t make any profit.
The Denon DP-300F is a fully automatic analog turntable. Automatic, because it puts the arm and the stylus on the vinyl and takes it off it automatically and it does all this in a very gentle way. This way you know your vinyl is safe when playing it on this turntable. You don’t want to damage your vinyl in any ways, do you? The fact that it is automatic is one of its advantages compared to its closes competitors.
Let’s talk a bit about design. We really like it although it is not something special. It is a simple modern style turntable. What is more interesting is the built quality and the finish of this product which is utterly beautiful. You could think it’s not really a pro, it is expected at a price tag of over 300 dollars but still, you won’t see, touch many turntables better built than this.
We also have to mention the turntable sheet as it is pretty spectacular, too. It’s 5 mm thick and uses hologram vibration analysis to improve its ability to hold a record. This also aims to give a better sound quality. These are the things you pay the extra money for: aluminum body, beautiful finish, new technology. <Read some real customer testimonials>
Nothing is perfect and of course no turntable is perfect neither. So, let’s see what the disadvantages of the Denon DP-300F are.
We wrote how well it is put together, how beautiful the built quality is etc. The problem is that it is only available in black within the US. Unless you’re the fan of black and this is the color you’re looking for probably, you will need to look for another turntable where more color options are available. <Check the special silver version of DP-300F imported directly from Japan>
The needle, always the needle. This is a common problem when buying a turntable. You usually get it with a stock stylus. Let’s be honest, it’s usually not that great. People start using their new turntable and it happens quite often that they are disappointed with the sound quality. The truth is that in most cases that’s not because the turntable is bad but because the needle is not good enough. In most cases a simple stylus upgrade does wonders. This is the case here, too. The stock needle that comes with the DP-300F is not bad but we are sure, this record player deserves something much better, like the <Shure M97xE audiophile cartridge>. Believe us, you will feel the difference! If you spend this amount of money on a turntable, give it the stylus it deserves.
It plays at only 2 speeds. Unfortunately, it doesn’t play 78 rpm. It may be a disadvantage for you, you may not care about it, it really depends on your preferences. It also plays 7″ and 12″, but not 10″.
As we mention several times on the site, if you decide to buy a turntable in the 300-400 dollars price range you aren’t in an easy situation. Let us list the best ones you can buy for under 400 bucks apart from the DP-300F: Audio Technica AT-LP1240, Rega RP1, Teac TN-300 and the Project Debut Carbon.
They’re all great record players in their own way. If you have read our other reviews, you may know already that we think the AT-LP1240 to be the best of all. That product is close to perfection. However, each has its own advantage and disadvantage compared to the rest. For example, you may not like the design of the AT-LP1240. Or you may like the design of the Denon DP-300F but you don’t want to spend any more money on a better cartridge.