Denon DP-300F Turntable Review

The Denon DP-300F is a fully automatic turntable that is well priced to rival offerings from Pro-ject and Music Hall. But does it equal them in sound?

The Denon DP-300F turntable is a modern turntable manufactured by Denon. Its reasonable price will satisfy those looking for a fully automatic turntable that produces great sound.

Deconstructing the Denon DP-300F

Vintage Denon turntables tend to be either semi-automatic or automatic, and Denon have continued this trend with their new offerings. Also included is a cueing lever to allow the user to select tracks on the record, a must for any good automatic turntable. I generally find automatic play a little slow and enjoy using the manual cueing lever more often than not, but the automatic option can be nice in dim environments. Another nice thing about the automatic function is that it makes using the turntable easy for guests that are not familiar with vinyl, as they can safely push play and spin vinyl of their choosing without risking damage to your records.

The motor is a belt drive DC motor (as opposed to AC) which allows you to use the turntable on different voltages i.e. overseas. On the outside, the Denon  DP-300F looks absolutely terrific. It has a far more vintage feel to it than, say, the Pro-ject Debut III. This is a welcome feature as a lot of ‘entry-level audiophile’ turntables look ultra-modern. It would fit right in to a vintage amplifier and speakers set-up.

The Denon DP-300F includes a built-in phono pre-amplifier, which is typical of a turntable in this price range. This means it can be used on any modern amplifier or receiver. A sizeable number of people looking to purchase this turntable or others in its price range will be looking to hook it up to their home theatre receiver, and that’s perfectly okay as there is no need for a phono input. The inbuilt preamp is a little dull, and quality vintage receivers will improve the sound if you run the turntable through the phono input. There is an option to switch between outputs so that it can be put through either an auxilliary or phono input.

Denon DP-300F

Apparently the DP-300F includes hologram vibration analysis to improve the ability of the platter to hold . I had absolutely no idea what this meant, and a quick Google confused me even more. If any engineers or techies are able to shed light on this it would be appreciated.

The Denon DP-300F matches its vintage appearance with its sound. It has a rolled of treble and full mid range. It’s a little dull in the bass, however, even through a good phono stage. The sound is very full and involving, with a touch of warmth.

Denon DP-300F Cartridge Choice

An appropriate feature for this price range is a removable headshell, which allows the user to easily change cartridges. It’ll accept any cartridge that weighs between 5 and 10 grams. Good choices are the usual moving magnet options that suit this price range: the Shure M97xE or the Audio Technica AT440MLA are excellent options. Many people initially dissatisfied with the sound of the Denon DP-300F become much more enthusiastic when listening to a better cartridge, and the DP-300F is worthy of an upgrade straight away.

Other notable things that can be done to improve the sound of the Denon DP-300F is a separate phono pre-amplifier (as already mentioned) and improving the isolation using some pads or feet. The Denon DP-300F really benefits from being placed on a heavy, sturdy surface. Its isolation is not fantastic, so it needs a bit of help in this regard – some feet such as these will do the job.

The Denon DP-300F is a solid alternative to offerings from Music Hall & Pro-ject, with unique looks. With a few tweaks, the Denon DP-300F will make all but the most hardcore vinyl enthusiasts very happy campers.

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