DP-37F vs DP 61F?

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DP-37F vs DP 61F?

Post by deabdome » 13 Jul 2018 16:35

Getting back into vinyl; my old ADS 1600 still works, but it's too cheap looking to go in my living room. I'm checking CL and estates sales for a while for Thorens & Linn mostly, but those two Denons look nice, are both in great condition & have gotten pretty dam good reviews here & elsewhere.
I saw something about how the higher model # for the 61F USUALLY means it's 'better' than the 37F, but is that a fair assessment? Are the arms equally good? What are there important differences in specs & performance?.
The asking prices $450 for the 37F & $600 for the 61F (but I plan on bargaining deeply on each offer.
Thanks for any help you can provide!!

update; VERY nice DP-30Lii table available too, so throw that one in the mix for this "better/best/how do they differ?" questioning.. BTW, kinda frustrating that I can't correct the spelling of my Username...I'll have to look like the idiot I am forever here!!


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Re: DP-37F vs DP 61F?

Post by EdAInWestOC » 16 Jul 2018 17:48

I am a long time Denon user. I have owned my DP-62L since I bought it new in 1983. What I am about to say comes from someone who loves Denon turntables.

Be careful about buying vintage Denon turntables. Denon turntables are based on sophisticated electronics and those electronics have components that do not age very well.

Other turntables that are based on synchronous motors and that have simple drive systems don't have the things that can go wrong on a Denon. In their day Denon turntables were very good but that day has passed.

If you insist on buying a Denon turntable be aware that you will have to have the electronics recapped (all electrolytic capacitors replaced), have the main bearing cleaned and relubed (minimally) and the bearings in the tonearm will need to be checked.

If the main bearing is not just old and dried out, you may have to have the main bearing reworked, including machining the metal parts so they work as intended. If the bearings in the tonearm are shot you may have to replace the tonearm.

All the warnings above are not something to take lightly. I took very good care of my 62L and still it required the recapping (all will require this step) and I had to have the main bearing reworked.

I replaced the stock Denon tonearm with a hot-rodded Rega RB300 because I wanted better performance but the stock tonearm's bearing were fine in my 62L.

If I were you I would avoid a vintage Denon unless you know what you are getting into.


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Re: DP-37F vs DP 61F?

Post by Spinner45 » 16 Jul 2018 18:40

Increasing model numbers do not always relate to being "better"
Discussions and reviews of Denons have stated that a DP-51L has been chosen over a DP-61L model for several reasons.

This also applies to other brands as well, newer, more expensive, is not always better.
Yet you are led to believe that because the manufacturer "says so" - and of course they'll say that - to sell their products.

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Re: DP-37F vs DP 61F?

Post by captmark » 26 Aug 2018 08:48

*I wrote this post below over at another forum-maybe it will help put into perspective what you're in for when choosing a vintage table of the years and types we're talking here.

As someone who has worked on and restored hundreds of mid 70's - 80's tables from Denon, Kenwood, Pioneer, Yamaha, Marantz, JVC/Victor and others, I'll give you some advice that I've learned from that experience.

All the below are based on the premise that you want to buy a table, do a little external clean up and lube, and enjoy it. Restoring/refurbing changes this scenario massively (see last section below), but again in ways you may not realize. Sorry if this gets a bit long-I'm pretty passionate about these things... :-;

First off- SURPRISE! ALL these brands overall fail at about the same rate (REALLY), but for different reasons. I know this based on my several hundred sample size, verses most people's 1 or 2 good or bad experiences and believing 3rd person reporting as an indication. Yes, certain models from each brand are just piss-poor designs, but that's for another novel. This is important to know, to base your purchase on what you are or are not willing to do with your new puppy.

1) Mechanical-based tables like most popular Pioneers, Duals, the more popular Sansui, early Micro & Marantz, and early JVC/Victor just flat wear out. Common sense; cables and belts stretch, arm gears and plastic mechanisms get brittle and crack, and old-style lever switches get dirty and fail. Because of this, if you are looking for one of these tables, finding a new in box or lowest mileage example you can is your best bet. Again, common sense; the more moving parts it has, the greater benefit to find one that has moved the least... * (see below)

If you do buy a used one of these and there is a problem, the average shadetree mechanic can at least visually diagnose it. That that doesn't help fix it, but the odds of what you see being really what is wrong are at least decent. The problem here, and especially if you get a table not originally available in your country, is finding a working part from a cadaver table in any better shape than what you have. And, maybe .001% of dedicated TT repair guys worldwide will have a working worm gear or for your PL-630. The weak link of any design tends to fail across the board, so what caused your table to break most likely caused their table to become a donor.

2) Electronic-based tables, like the Kenwoods, Sony's, Yamaha's, newer JVC/Victor's and my beloved Denons thrive on being used regularly. There are many, many less moving parts, and many less actual physical contact operations going on. Most of these tables have some kind of electro magnetic, photo sensor or otherwise IC controlled operations. Because of that, being used a lot doesn't cause anywhere near as much physical wear. BUT, not being used causes the caps to dry out, go out of spec and fail, taking out a control IC chip. causing all these models to seem possessed by Satan and do crazy motor, display and arm movements. Because of this, you REALLY need to avoid any new in box, low mileage examples. Like a classic collectable car, driving it sparingly but regularly is way better than keeping it on blocks in storage for 35 years. I do not do outside repairs, but if I had a dollar for every poor eBayer who emailed me asking why their "new in box" Denon or Victor they just got from someone else has gone Loco...

If you do buy a used one of these and there is a problem, you are 85% screwed in my (and it seems many reader's here) experience. When they die, they tend to DIE. Many of the main IC's and such are obsolete- chips now 1/10 the size can do 1000x more operations so why keep making the old ones? And, maybe, .0001% of dedicated TT repair guys have an ICT302 chip for your DP-60L. Since there are very few mechanical adjustments your shadetree mechanic isn't going to McGuyver a lifter trigger from a guitar pick and some Super Glue and get you home...don't ask

On the surface, it seems these observations make going for a low mileage mechanical-based table the obvious choice...It might be if you want the best odds of being able to set and forget your investment for the longest amount of time. BUT, if you are willing to look into getting a restored/recapped electronic table or getting your Japanese Dealer-purchased table redone by someone is, in my experienced opinion, a fantastic option. By and large (90% of the time), if your electronic-based table is working when you go into the turntable hospital, doing the recap and overall resto is like a quintuple bypass. it will come out performing better than new if they use quality parts and dyno-tune it for peak performance. *-see above- Mechanical-based tables have a few caps, but they are mostly in the motor-control circuit, so doing a recap will give it an as new, if not better-performing life. You still have to deal with the mechanical/parts refurbishing with used parts hopefully better than yours, with the goal to get it back to Day 2 status. Well worth doing, but not as easily accomplished if anyone out there doing it is willing to admit.

I hope this helps you and others who are wondering about whether to buy new or go old school. If any of this scares you, do yourself and all of us here a favor and just buy new...be prepared to spend $1k+ for anything comparable to the DP-57M/L or KP-990-both excellent choices and definitely worthy of bragging rights on this or any other forum above and beyond your new Planer 3...

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