Denon DP-300F - decent turntable?

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drabina
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Denon DP-300F - decent turntable?

Post by drabina » 05 Feb 2020 20:19

I think I am finally done with used/vintage turntables. I want something new with warranty that doesn't require constant tinkering and can be serviced if an issue arises.

So I am looking for a decent automatic turntable. After reading tons of reviews, spec sheets, and watching countless YouTube videos, I have picked Denon DP-300F. Not that there are tons to choose from anyway. Marantz was second contender but Denon allows for cart changes whether Marantz doesn't.

What's your opinion on this Denon table? U-turn, Pro-ject, AudioTechnica's are out because most of them are manual and I want automatic. Some super entry level ones are automatic but I rather go for the DP-300F which should be a bit better. My budget is up to $500 for the table.

cafe latte
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Re: Denon DP-300F - decent turntable?

Post by cafe latte » 05 Feb 2020 20:28

drabina wrote:
05 Feb 2020 20:19
I think I am finally done with used/vintage turntables. I want something new with warranty that doesn't require constant tinkering and can be serviced if an issue arises.

So I am looking for a decent automatic turntable. After reading tons of reviews, spec sheets, and watching countless YouTube videos, I have picked Denon DP-300F. Not that there are tons to choose from anyway. Marantz was second contender but Denon allows for cart changes whether Marantz doesn't.

What's your opinion on this Denon table? U-turn, Pro-ject, AudioTechnica's are out because most of them are manual and I want automatic. Some super entry level ones are automatic but I rather go for the DP-300F which should be a bit better. My budget is up to $500 for the table.
New for that money you are not going to get a great turntable. Probably the cheapest really good semi auto is the Technics sl1500c which is just over 1,000 dollars. Buying used you need to get the right turntable, non of my used need any tinkering.
Chris

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Re: Denon DP-300F - decent turntable?

Post by Ronnie61 » 05 Feb 2020 21:23

Bought myself a Denon DP-300F two months ago and i'm satisfied with it, just needed to change the stock cartridge and stylus, now its running with a Pickering XV-15/625DJ with a brushed Stanton 681EEE III stylus and the sound is great, BUT i must admit, i miss my vintage Thorens TD 145, so i bought today a Onkyo CP-700M as a second TT so i can still have that old school feeling... :D

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Re: Denon DP-300F - decent turntable?

Post by raphaelmabo » 05 Feb 2020 22:03

The Denon is an entry level automatic, it works and it competes with the Audio-Technica LP3 which is a full automatic turntable. They are easy listening turntables. A better full automatic is Thorens TD240-2 or the semi-automatic TD 402 DD. But the DP300F works.

drabina
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Re: Denon DP-300F - decent turntable?

Post by drabina » 07 Feb 2020 00:59

Thanks guys. The Thorens is nice but three times the price of the Denon or double my budget. I could probably wait a bit and save more but I am not sure that I am capable of hearing the difference between a $300 and $1000 table. The Denon deck plus an upgraded cart should suit my needs.

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Re: Denon DP-300F - decent turntable?

Post by cafe latte » 07 Feb 2020 08:35

drabina wrote:
07 Feb 2020 00:59
Thanks guys. The Thorens is nice but three times the price of the Denon or double my budget. I could probably wait a bit and save more but I am not sure that I am capable of hearing the difference between a $300 and $1000 table. The Denon deck plus an upgraded cart should suit my needs.
The deaf will hear the difference between a 300 dollar turntable and a 1000 dollar one. Like the difference between HiFi and your car. My advice is save up a bit more.
Chris

drabina
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Re: Denon DP-300F - decent turntable?

Post by drabina » 07 Feb 2020 12:19

The problem with Thorens in USA is that their site lists only one distributor and nowhere I was able to find a list of authorized service centers. I can buy their turntables at more than one place but without a service centers to fix them it is not a good investment for me.

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Re: Denon DP-300F - decent turntable?

Post by chgc » 08 Feb 2020 01:47

I used a DP-300F for a few months. It was clearly designed by a large manufacturer for mass production. Economies of scale enabled Denon to make a decent full auto turntable at an attractive price. I don’t plan to swap out my Technics direct drive for the DP-300F any time soon, but I can’t recall having any major problems with the Denon.

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Re: Denon DP-300F - decent turntable?

Post by lenjack » 08 Feb 2020 03:33

It's obviously decent.

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Re: Denon DP-300F - decent turntable?

Post by chgc » 08 Feb 2020 04:12

Too bad common decency isn't more common.

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Re: Denon DP-300F - decent turntable?

Post by RetiredBob » 08 Feb 2020 12:58

Recently went through the new vs vintage decision making process. Ended up with picking between a new semi-auto Fluance RT85 or a vintage full-auto TT. Ended up going with a refurbished vintage Dual 701 that works great.

Like you, I wanted a full auto. I had initially considered the TD190 & later considered the more expensive TD240. Decided fairly early in the process that I wanted a TT better than the DP-300F.

You can mitigate the risk of vintage by buying from a small local shop that specializes in vintage hifi sales & service. Lots of them are online & many of them list their inventory online. So you can start the search online.

In retrospect, the difference between full auto & semi auto is not nearly as important as I had believed. And that’s especially true if you like to use an anti-static record brush before playing an album.

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Re: Denon DP-300F - decent turntable?

Post by Dr_Wu » 08 Feb 2020 16:47

This discussion is very familiar. I went through many of the same issues a few months ago. I'd had enough of fiddling with a vintage changer, and decided to get a new automatic. Surprisingly, found very few choices, including the Denon 300F and AT LP3. Ultimately bought the AT and put a VM540Ml cart/stylus on it. Works perfectly and sounds very nice. But . . .

. . . while making some other changes in the arrangement of my equipment, I built a platform for my turntable that raises it to a height where I can comfortably see and deal with the controls, cueing, cleaning, etc. Turns out that my preference for auto tables had much to do with the discomfort of bending/squatting to deal with record handling and maintenance. If I had changed my setup before choosing the new turntable, it would definitely have widened my search to include semi-auto and manual decks.

Before narrowing your focus to automatics, figure out why you are doing so, and whether those factors can be changed.

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Re: Denon DP-300F - decent turntable?

Post by lenjack » 08 Feb 2020 17:20

Dr_Wu wrote:
08 Feb 2020 16:47
This discussion is very familiar. I went through many of the same issues a few months ago. I'd had enough of fiddling with a vintage changer, and decided to get a new automatic. Surprisingly, found very few choices, including the Denon 300F and AT LP3. Ultimately bought the AT and put a VM540Ml cart/stylus on it. Works perfectly and sounds very nice. But . . .

. . . while making some other changes in the arrangement of my equipment, I built a platform for my turntable that raises it to a height where I can comfortably see and deal with the controls, cueing, cleaning, etc. Turns out that my preference for auto tables had much to do with the discomfort of bending/squatting to deal with record handling and maintenance. If I had changed my setup before choosing the new turntable, it would definitely have widened my search to include semi-auto and manual decks.

Before narrowing your focus to automatics, figure out why you are doing so, and whether those factors can be changed.
Very interesting observations. A different point of view.

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Re: Denon DP-300F - decent turntable?

Post by wolfie62 » 08 Feb 2020 22:08

Out of the 10 tables I have, only 1 is NOT full auto. I prefer full auto because it lets me take better care of my carts/styli and Records. I roll cartridges a lot, switching out carts/headshells several times a week.

All of my tables are vintage. I’ve made each one truly mine by doing all the servicing/repairs myself. Most were bought very dirty, needing TLC, and a few needed circuit repairs. But each one I have full confidence in. They sound and work extremely well.

I haven’t found that using any kind of dust brush is hampered by the full auto functions. In contrast. I like only having to place the record on the platter, cue up, remove dust and close the cover. Then I cue down. It does all the rest, and does it flawlessly from proper cue position to returning the arm at end of play and stopping the platter.

I don’t have to mess with dropping the needle, or worrying about wearing out my stylus in the end groove. Some of my carts track at 0.75 grams, and the full auto features never get in the way of the arm tracking with a small VTF.

Sounds like you’re giving up better quality just to get full auto operation at an affordable price, with a new table. That’s a trade off I’m not willing to make. Vintage.

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Re: Denon DP-300F - decent turntable?

Post by drabina » 09 Feb 2020 02:33

Thanks for all the replies. Some good observations. Unfortunately, I am 6' 4" so it is going to be hard to rearrange my media center so the turntable is high enough for ease of access. My listening room was just remodeled so the media center is new and kinda low. I am also sure I want a full auto. Currently, I own one auto-return and one full-auto table and use the full-auto almost exclusively.

Besides Thorens, are there any other new full-automatic turntables that I should consider that are better than the Denon?

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