Denon DP-300F Fully Automatic Turntable
Ratings & Reviews
This is an excellent turntable, with a few caveats. Pros: Pushbutton Start and Stop on the front panel, very good adjustable tomearm, looks very nice, excellent sound if you get a better cartridge. Cons: no tonearm latch, does not play 10" records (but I can't find an automatic that does, hardwired RCA plugs, no ground wire. I wish they would do away with the cartridge and provide RCA connections and a ground wire and a tonearm latch. But it is a good automatic turntable, and I like it a lot. I replaced the stock cartridge with a Grado Green.
This is a decent turntable if you need a fully automatic, but I have a few gripes. No tonearm latch/lock in case you need to move it; tonearm riser is not damped; no tonearm adjustments; RCA cable is hard wired; no grounding cable; preamp and cartridge both suck.
Remember you are buying an automatic TT, not just a turntable. If you want it to sound like an expensive one, then spend the money a quality cartridge, a good preamp for today's receivers and your turntable will truly amaze you. Under no circumstance are you to lock the arm with anything. Denon wanted this to always work the same, so the automatic device is actually a grooved plastic guide and that's why it shouldn't be locked or you will destroy your TT. For safety, just leave the cueing device on lift and then you want damage anything. I have this turntable with an Ortofon blue and a Cambridge preamp and it is as good as an automatic can be. I have a REGA RP1 with upgrade ($640), and I play both turntables on two separate systems about equally and I find the sound about the same.
by Steve B
I purchased this table back in 2010 to start listening to my vinyl collection again. I decided on the Denon because I own other Denon components and have been very satisfied with their quality. Out of the box the table sounded pretty good, however it definitely needs a cartridge upgrade. I purchased an additional headshell and loaded a new Sumiko Pearl as well as an old ADC PSX-40 I had just retipped. Wow, this thing came alive. I experimented between using the internal preamp and plugging it into a line level input and shutting off the internal preamp and using the phono input on my receiver. although the internal amp sounded better into a line level input, I decided to get an external phono preamp. Being the chronic tweaker that I am, I sound deadened the bottom of the plinth, purchased an upgraded belt and readjusted the speed to spec. I also replaced the component feet with inexpensive, leveling isolation cones, and a Music Hall cork mat. Some minor tweaks that made this a really great table. I thought I would upgrade to another automatic table so I invested in a Thorens TD-240. It's a nice table yet the Denon sounds almost as good. And for a fraction of the price, a great investment. I can highly recommend this turntable for anyone wondering which budget deck to buy.
There's only three companies that make quality automatic turntables: Thorens, Marantz (made by Dual), and the 300F. First the inboard preamp is low quality and you need a good preamp (at least $50 or more). The cartridge is a conical diamond (throw it away) and finally the best cartridge for this turntable is the Grado Prestige Green (none works better). Add at least $140 to bring it to its best performance ($480). What you get is a quality player with an excellent arm (cartridge holder disconnects, wonderful feature). It's capable of playing expensive cartridges and not too many are in this price range. You get what you pay for, and you get more than most. I highly recommend this turntable with additions, but if you don't wish to do that, then save you money and buy a $125 table and save yourself some money.
I use this turntable to transcribe vinyl to digital. It works well, even with the stock cartridge. All of the controls and adjustments are adequate and sensible. The fully automatic operation is helpful and allows me to turn to the computer while the platter is queuing. Automatic operation is smooth, including pickup at the end of play. I added a Grado Green pickup. This turntable replaces my Technics SL-J33 linear tracker (servo went bad) and I'm happy with the results.
Ed In Orlando
by Ed In Orlando
This turntable is far better than the price suggests: coupled with the Ortofon 2M Black and the Jolida 9 phono preamplifier (with Mullard 12AX7 tubes), this playback system will blow you away! And you don't have to run across the room to pick up the tone arm at end of the disc! Truly a great value.
A nicely priced turntable that functions as nice as it looks. I purchased this turntable after my previous turntable died on me, and I'm very pleased with my decision. This turntable is one of the few quality fully-automatic turntables and a good price out there. Pros: Comes with a dust cover Angled headshell makes aligning your cartridge easy, just make the cartridge perpendicular to the headshell Counter-weight is very responsive Number dial on the counter-weight does not shift position easily, so you know the number it shows is the tracking force Comes with a thick rubber slip mat Great tone arm Auto start and Auto return work with the dust cover down Very quiet Comes with an extra set of cables that run from the cartridge to the headshell should you break the ones it already comes with trying to remove them to change the cartridge. Cons: -No tone arm locking mechanism -Audio cable is short -Audio cable and power plug are not removable from the turntable meaning you will have to purchase a female to female audio cable adapter if the cord is too short for your needs -Throw away cartridge. As I said above the cartridge that comes with this table is just some generic cartridge, I could not for the life of me figure out if it was even eliptical or sphereical. Thankfully I already had a M97xE cartridge to replace it with. (That cartridge works great with this table.) I must also alert you to the fact that the switch for the phono-preamp is under the platter, mine came in the off position, so be sure to check to make sure it is on or off before you put a record on. This turntable also doesn't have a on or off switch, meaning the only way to really make sure it stays off is to unplug it. When the tone arm is just resting on the on the tone arm rest the motor is off, but because it does not come with a tone arm lock, if someone bumps the turntable or whatever, the arm could swing over the platter turning the player on, now depending if you have a needle protector on and how it works, this could be very bad news for your needle. I highly recommend the Denon DP-300F you will not be disappointing with its quality and performance.