Fan's of Denon Turntables, what are the best Denon TT

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Black Matrix
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Fan's of Denon Turntables, what are the best Denon TT

Post by Black Matrix » 10 Dec 2015 05:00

Hey all,
Been looking over some forums and reading some of the reviews for various Denon Turntables and I'm trying to get my head around the product lines. So below is a list of the various model numbers grouping the ones that are basically the same as I understand it.
DP-1000
DP-1100/DP-1250
DP-1200
DP-1700
DP-2000/DP-2500/DP-2550/DP-2800
DP-3000/DP-3500/DP-3700
DP-5000F
DP-6000
DP-6700
DP-7000
DP-3
DP-5
DP-7D
DP-7F
DP-11F
DP-15F
DP-21F
DP-23F
DP-30L
DP-31F
DP-31L
DP-32F
DP-33F
DP-35F
DP-37F
DP-40F
DP-45F
DP-47F (1985)
DP-51F
DP-52F
DP-55K
DP-57L
DP-59L
DP-60L
DP-61F
DP-62L
DP-67L
DP-72L
DP-75
DP-80
DP-A100
DP-100M
DP-500M
DP-200USB
DP-300F

Logically speaking, I understand the higher the number, the better the turntable. And I kind of understand the 1100, 2000, and 3000 series adding the plinth, or the plinth and tonearm. But all the DP-XX models are confusing. I have no doubt some good units are in there, but its hard to believe each one was a little better than the one prior. SO, I wonder if there is an F series, L series, M series, etc. So my question is does anyone have any insight as to the model rollout as they related to each product line and when was each line manufactured. My second question, and probably more useful, is which of the above Turntables are actually really great units and worth looking for and owning. And lastly, what was the pinnacle of Denon Turntables. Top 5 should suffice. I know all that is kind of subjective which is why I posted in the Denon section. I figured it had to have a few die hard fans that might have some insight into the questions. Thanks in advance.

Dimal
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Re: Fan's of Denon Turntables, what are the best Denon TT

Post by Dimal » 10 Dec 2015 12:55

Doesn't work that way with Denon TTs... ;)

A lot of people would consider the 4th TT from the bottom of your list to be the best by a significant margin...

If opting for just a Motor Unit, then the DP-80 takes a lot of beating...

Mal.

captmark
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Re: Fan's of Denon Turntables, what are the best Denon TT

Post by captmark » 11 Dec 2015 08:19

Wow that's a big question! To break it down a bit more-I'm sure others here can add their experiences and catch me in a wrong generalization...it get's a bit odd between the series' based on what years they were introduced.

"F" model Denon's are "f"ully automatic
"L" models are "l"ift at the end of a side
"M" models are "m"anual

Denon DP models lower than a DP-37 have plastic plinths

Denon DP models above a DP-47 have 244mm arm lengths vs. 220

Those above a 55 (??) have swappable S and straight arms

Three digit model numbers (and the DP-70) are non-servo arm

Many of the four digit numbers (x000) are flying saucer motors only-when factory combined with a plinth they take on x500. So a DP2000 is a motor but a DP-2500 is a 2000 on a plinth.

What's the best Ford ever made? The best guitar? There's no correct answer without adding "for me" on to it...starting with that and some background info on where you've been and where you want to go I'm sure out of every 10 of us here you'll get at least 17 opinions... :-)

Black Matrix
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Re: Fan's of Denon Turntables, what are the best Denon TT

Post by Black Matrix » 14 Dec 2015 05:09

Thanks for the informative break down. That's exactly the kind of things I'm looking for. As for what is the best, I know its subjective. Like the first person that responded, it would appear the DP-100M is the end all be all of turntables. Plus you can install a router bit on it and make a cabinet :D
But build quality aside, it is kind of aesthetically ugly. From my research and moving down the list, the DP-80 is advanced and pretty, but it runs on 100V and requires a step down transformer. The DP-75 doesn't have that restriction best I can tell, and it appears to have better specs than the DP-80 oddly enough. But I think those are both just turntables. The DP-62F seems very nice and it will pickup your arm if you fall asleep listening to it rather than burning out a 300 dollar cart. But I just don't know if I like the plasticy strait tonearms on them. They just seem cheap. But since I haven't heard one, they may sound awesome. Although I doubt you can put a heavier cartridge/head on them. As for the thousand series, you have the 1K, 2K, 3K, 5K, 6K, and 7K. The 2K/3K seem really accessible and easy to find in a decent setup. The 5K seems impossible to find. The 6K and 7K seems to be the upper echelon here. But how do they compare with say a DP-70 or DP-80. I read about the DP-2800 that sounded like an awesome little unit. It comes standard with a Marble plinth, and DP-2000 + tonearm IIRC. Currently, I have a DP-1200....that I accidentally burned out the speed control on and hadn't gotten around to trying to repair it yet. Personal experience with these units is the kind of thing I'm looking for. Things like is a 1K, 2K, or 3K unit even worth building around considering they are at the bottom of the list. Does that make them any less audiophile worthy. Are any of the plastic plinth units that are audiophile worthy and worth looking at. My guess is no, but I haven't listened to all of them. That's why I asked you guys. Research can only take you so far. Maybe I should have posted "What's your favorite Denon Set up." That would have given me a gauge of which decks you like to listen to along with your favorite carts and or tonearms you like to pair them with.

Dimal
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Re: Fan's of Denon Turntables, what are the best Denon TT

Post by Dimal » 18 Dec 2015 07:02

The DP-80 and the DP-75 are both excellent Motor Units but if I was going to lay money down to buy one, it would always be the DP-80. It is a more ruggedly built unit and has more flexibility in operation. The requirement for an external power unit is minor in my opinion and in a lot of people's eyes, an advantage... 8-)

As with everything though, it's a 'horses for courses' kind of thing and everyone has individual requirements to suit their preferred outcomes.... ;)

Mal.

mawari
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Re: Fan's of Denon Turntables, what are the best Denon TT

Post by mawari » 27 Jan 2016 02:13

The model list is missing the DP50M and DP50L from 1978.

I own the DP50L, which I bought used for $50 - including a DL103. I bought a second one for less, to use as parts if necessary. But so far, no issues other than the damped arm lift requiring a little cleaning and light oiling. It's a phenomenal turntable and re-wired my understanding of sound reproduction. I wrote about it here http://porlm.com/toys/pitch-perfect/

Somewhere in the Denon turntable timeline, the products start to become a little more plasticky. The DP50L is from the era of 20mm MDF cabinets ( 60mm under the arm ), 1.2Kg platters, metal arms and quality engineering. Even the mat has its own laser holographic analysis:

http://www.denon.jp/jp/museum/images/dp50l/001.jpg

(DP50L/M on the left)

Going much earlier than these though, you may miss some of the quartz servo development. The DP50L has the bi-directional system ( ability to both brake and accelerate ) and manages a speed deviation regardless of load of 0.002% ±, effectively below measurable limits of even test records. In other words, somewhere around the late 70s / early 80s would be my guess as the sweet spot for decent engineering and sufficient ( I hesitate to say "perfect" but ... ) performance.

Info: http://www.denon.jp/jp/museum/products/dp50lm.html

M

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Re: Fan's of Denon Turntables, what are the best Denon TT

Post by WerewolfVm » 03 Jun 2017 03:25

A great question to ask with no real logical answer to respond. I guess I am somewhat older than most people conversing here on this particular forum. I retired from the USAF and was stationed overseas in Japan back in the late 1980's. Access to stereo equipment heaven at the PX and off base. My biggest mistake was not to buy a Denon turntable back then, brand spanking new for a great price around $300.00 or more. Well I been wanting one since I left in 1992 until recently. I purchased a used model a DP-1200 on Ebay and was so elated in doing so but my bubble was broken the day I got home from work and picked up the box. The guy I bought it from did not remove or secure the platter down. Well it did some damage and I have had regrets since. I was able to fix mostly everything cosmetically except the dings on the tone arm from the platter. Finding parts has been and still is a nightmare to obtain. These TTs are a work of art to look at but to find parts or electronic servicing forget about it. I need a tonearm rest for a DP-1200. Cannot find one to buy anywhere. I may have to buy another TT to consolidate and combine to get good used parts. Another 350.00 to 450.00 just for parts or to replace this one and use it for parts. This is turning out to be a huge investment just to fill my modest bucket list item to have. Good luck choosing your model and but be aware of the parts problems and repairs. You may get lucky and find a real solid decent good one that will last you for years with minimal servicing. :)

captmark
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Re: Fan's of Denon Turntables, what are the best Denon TT

Post by captmark » 03 Jun 2017 08:00

No need to buy a donor table just for a 1200 armrest...Order a technics 1200 generic arm rest clip from Amazon or elsewhere for $10-$15. Get a piece of all thread or a metal bolt that fits the Technics thread (I think a 10-24 will but I forget) Hacksaw off the head to length and insert that part into the holder/set screw, tighten and Bob's ur Uncle. If the holder is broken off you can make something trick with a wooden dowel glued to the plinth as a base for the above-if your 1200 is natural (light finish) the dowel will look right at home.

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