Review: Denon DP-300F


Vinyl resurgence is here to stay, and as a result, many audio companies are introducing When starting to play vinyl, choose a turntable that is right for you because there are so many options – especially for those who are new to For those just starting out, the Denon DP-300F audio receiver is a top choice since it’s fully automatic, which means it’s easy to start and stop playback when pressing a single button rather than having to Also, you may have noticed that once you have finished playing one side, the tonearm automatically lifts up and returns to rest. This prevents needles from prematurely wearing out. Audiophiles will not find much to like about the $329 (about £245, AU$417) Denon DP-300F, but beginners who aren’t looking for great sound will likely be happy with its sound, especially those without good speakers or headphones to begin with.


This DP-300F is a truly stunning black turntable with some metallic flake patterns that make it look far from generic. It’s covered with a black paint that’s not quite piano black, but almost a dark gray with some metallic flake patterns Belt-drive means the platter’s aluminum material is well damped from motor vibrations, which makes playing records more enjoyable. Although the plinth (the base of the turntable) is relatively well damped, it even picks up more footsteps and vibrations compared to, for example, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, an entry-level hi-fi turntable. Featuring an adjustable rotating headshell and a straight design, the plastic tonearm is easy to swap cartridges. For experimentation with the sound, you can buy additional headshells and attach different cartridges and needles. There is even an extra set of headshell leads included in the box from Denon. Thanks to its automatic belt change, the Denon DP-300F can switch from 33 13% to 45 % speed without the need for manual maintenance. There is instead a button next to where you hold the tone arm that can be pressed to switch Although 33 1 3 and 45 rpm are the most popular, Denon didn’t worry about including 78 rpm as it wasn’t a very common record format today but it might have made a nice addition if they had managed to do so. You can switch between 12” and 7” records by tapping a button next to the speed dial – but if these sizes don’t work for you, you can queue the needle manually by pushing Only one complaint we had with the design of the Denon DP-300F was the position of the switch allowing you to turn the phono preamp on and off. It’s under the platter, which means you have to lift the mat and turn the platter to reach This is a fairly minor complaint since you probably won’t need to hit the switch all that


Denon’s own DSN-85 cartridge and stylus are both on the lower end of the sound spectrum, so the DP-300F has a low sound. The turntable results in weak sound quality as a result. In comparison with more expensive cartridges, highs are not extended and bass doesn’t have the same visceral impact. The cymbals may sound splashy, and the soundstage may seem a bit limited, but you wouldn’t expect an audiophile to appreciate a $40 needle and cart. One of the things that makes the Denon DP-300F stand out is how easy it is to set up and playback. Using the start/stop button on the Denon turntable will be a breeze if manually queueing the tonearm of your turntable seems too strenuous. Press the start button after placing your record on the platter and marvel as the tonearm moves itself into place. When one side of the record is finished, the tone arm will return automatically, and the platter will come to a complete stop, making it easier to simply turn the record over and press “Start again.” Denon offers relatively average damping. Due to the turntable’s inability to isolate itself from quite as much vibration as more expensive models, the needle will skip if you live in an apartment with wobbly floors. The damping performance of a budget beginner turntable wouldn’t be expected to be good. You will also notice that the Denon DP-300F doesn’t have a USB output, so if that concerns you, you can miss out on Crate-diggers, however, may miss the USB-out feature found on Audio Technica’s AT-LP120-USB because many records nowadays come with codes that allow you to download MP3 files of the record.


As an entry-level turntable, the Denon DP-300F is on par with others in terms of performance and features but is better in terms of design. The Audio Technica AT-LP60 is an automatic turntable with a lower price point, but the Denon has a better tonearm and lets you swap out the cartridge, which Audio Technica does not. In spite of the AT-LP120-USB’s larger and more complicated size, and its lack of auto queueing, the Audio Technica AT-LP120-USB sounds a little better than the Denon. Denon’s DP-300F, however, is an excellent choice if you are not struck by the style or features of the Audio Technica DP-150F.