Vinyl is here to stay.
Thus, several audio companies are not releasing new turntables to complement the increasing demand for audiophiles. This makes it choosing the right turntable to be confusing and tricky, due to the several options available, especially for the beginners.
With that said, if you are just starting out, then the Denon DP-300F is a great choice for you.
Here is a comprehensive review of the infamous Denon DP-300F.
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The Denon Brand
The name Denon has been a table staple over the years, boasting a solid reputation in terms of manufacturing quality music players like the one being reviewed here. The easiest.
Denon is an extremely well-established company within the music industry. This means that everyone is going to notice their name. If you are hoping for quality and consistent equipment from a brand, then Denon won’t let you down.
The Denon DP-300F Design and Key Features
The DP-300F comes in an all-black look that may look generic and common, however, it still manages to offer to be sophisticated and beautiful at the same time. It is coated with the dark black paint that is not quite piano black but like a dark gray with something like metallic flakes in it.
With that said, it features a heavier base construction that helps in reducing vibrations for better performance as well as overall durability. Still, to say the lease, the button could have improvements.
This turntable is belt-driven. Meaning, its Aluminum platter dampens motor vibrations. The plinth is also well-damped, however, it picks more vibrations and footsteps when compared to some entry-level hi-fi turntables.
Taking a look at the tonearm, it is made of plastic and features a straight design and a replaceable headshell. This makes cartridge swapping easy and simple. Also, Denon offers an extra set of headshells, but you can always buy one for yourself to attach other needles and cartridge to experiment on sound quality.
What makes it a great option for beginners is that it does not require a manual belt to switch from 45 RPM to 33 1/3 RPM. There is the previously mentioned button next to the tonearm for switching between speeds.
Next to the speed button, there are other buttons you can press to switch from 7 inches and 12 inches record. However, if it does not work for you, then you can just queue the needle manually through the tonearm lever.
A flaw in the design of the DP-300F would be an on/off switch for the built-in phono preamp. That switch was placed under the platter. Meaning, you will have to lift the mat, then rotate the platter in order to access it. Although you will not have to hit that switch often, Denon could have placed it somewhere convenient.
With the Denon DP-300F, you can pretty much start listening to your music right out of the box.
Okay, maybe not right as you take the turntable out, but after a few easy and quick tweaks and simple assembly, and you’ll be in business. Also, Denon’s website offers a 3-minute setup video that you can check out.
In terms of performance, the Denon DP-300F is challenged. This turntable is lovable but it does fall a bit short. It features Denon’s own DSN-85 stylus and cartridge, both of which are at the lower end of the sound spectrum. These are what contribute most to the table’s average sound quality.
The highs lack extension while the bass does not have a visceral impact of the more expensive cartridges. The sound stage is a bit confined and the cymbals sound splashy. You will not expect this needle and cart to please the serious audiophiles.
Thus, it is highly suggested that you upgrade some of its components.
When it comes to damping, this model is average. So, if you have wobbly floors, then you need to prepare for the needle skipping here and there.
In addition, the Denon DP-300F doesn’t offer USB output. So, for those who want to digitize their records, you might want to look somewhere else.
With the said, this turntable shines in its playback controls and easy set-up. If you’re a little lazy to manually queue the tonearm, then you will love the start/stop button. You only need to place your record on the platter and press that “Start” button— watch as the tonearm automatically moves into position.
Furthermore, the tonearm also auto-return once one side of the record is done. Then, the platter will automatically stop, so you can simply turn the record over and press that Start button again.
Customizations and Upgrades
As basic as it can get, the Denon DP-300F can be upgraded to meet your needs. It is rather easy to customize and upgrade and reap major rewards.
For instance, switching the cartridge and installing a different preamp can help in improving the sound quality of this record player. You can even upgrade its belt if you wish to go that far.
- Very easy to experiment in terms of upgrades and customization
- Built-in phono pre-amp
- Perfect for beginners with easy setup
- Fully automated playback
- Style is generic
- There’s no USB recording support
- If you want better sound quality, you will need to upgrade the cartridge
- Buttons feel cheap
All in all, the Denon DP-300F is a pretty good choice for those starting to have an interest in vinyl. It can be easily put together and operated, basically running itself, and comes at a good price.
Aesthetic-wise, it is not the most glamorous one, but not necessarily ugly. You also have the option to upgrade in order to make it livelier.
So, if you wish to listen to your records without worrying about queuing, premature needle wearing or not interested in digitizing your record, then the Denon DP-300F should be a viable option.
However, as you develop a keener sense of hearing, then the basic offering and performance of the Denon DP-300F won’t be able to satisfy you. If that’s the case, then you will have to turn into the more expensive turntable out there that offers better cartridge and tonearms for superior sound quality.