Denon DP-450USB Review

by Bruno Brozovic

Denon DP-450USB impressed me with its solid build, modern design, and cool features like direct USB recording. It delivers a warm, harmonious sound that’s perfect for enjoying and preserving my vinyl records, making it a fantastic addition to my audio setup.

Intro

Denon has a beautiful turntable tradition, in the 1980s it boasted many excellent designs, such as the DP-70L, DP-59L, or the legendary DP-100M weighing over 60 kg. At the same time, Denon has not made much effort in this field recently, especially in favor of turntables. Until recently, he had only three very cheap (and old) models in the catalog. In the second half of last year, something changed and two new, although related, designs appeared – DP-450 and DP-450USB.

Read all about the most popular Denon turntable in a Denon DP-300F review article

Denon DP-450USB Review

Denon DP-450USB Review

Construction & Design

The Denon DP-450 comes in two versions: the basic model and the USB model, which includes a USB socket and additional electronics. Denon has ensured that the DP-450USB stands out with numerous features. It’s an elegant and modern device, though some design choices are a bit controversial. The rectangular plinth is paired with a lower “floor” that houses the electronics. The top is finished in high gloss, with multiple layers of varnish and careful polishing. The DP-450USB is available in black and white. I prefer the white version since the shiny black finish requires constant maintenance. Notably, it lacks a typical anti-dust cover, relying instead on an original, irregularly shaped plexiglass cover.

Denon DP-450USB with cover

Denon DP-450USB with cover. The cover is placed directly on the platter (just like a record), and the additional part protects the tonearm mechanism, but does not cover the entire plinth.

I must admit that the Denon DP-450USB looks great in such a “disguise”. But we can’t play records if we don’t take the cover off. And what happens if someone accidentally (or intentionally) turns on the rotation with the cover on? I had to check it …

The tonearm won’t hit the cover with much force because the motor is not strong enough for that. This prevents any disturbing noise, meaning the blocked drive can continue running unless the manufacturer has included some protection. The set also includes a special stand where you can place the cover, and it can also hold the album cover you’re currently listening to.

Denon DP-450USB record stand

Denon DP-450USB record stand

Sale
Denon DP-450USB Semi-Automatic Analog Turntable, USB Output for Recording, Speed Auto Sensor, Specially Designed Curved Tonearm, 33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM (Vintage) Speeds, Superior Audio, Black
  • REDISCOVER YOUR PASSION FOR VINYL - Give your old analog records a digital rebirth with this state-of-the-art automatic...
  • MORE FEATURES, MORE FLEXIBILITY – Equipped with a weighted belt-driven platter, MM & MC cartridge support, speed auto...
  • A UNIQUE CURVED TONEARM DESIGN – Carefully designed horizontal tracking angled tonearm with auto-lift and playback...
  • BUILT-IN PHONO EQUALIZER creates an open, enveloping sound stage that enlivens your vinyl collection while staying true...
  • EASY INSTALLATION & SETUP - Comes with a pre-mounted cartridge, setting the turntable up in your living room or home...

Technical Description

All the key components of the Denon DP-450USB turntable are mounted on the plinth. While Denon once favored direct drives, they now focus on popular belt drives. For a sleek look, everything is installed under the platter, which is slightly smaller than the record itself. The platter features inspection windows for convenient belt attachment to the motor. The motor is attached to the plinth with rubber absorbers, ensuring smooth and quiet operation.

There is also something extra—an RPM sensor coupled with a system that constantly makes necessary adjustments. In the 1980s, this was a flagship Denon solution, though it was used with direct drives back then. The speed control in the DP-450USB is electronic, featuring a knob that doubles as a switch, offering all three speed options (33.3, 45, and 78 rpm). The set also includes a thick, rubber mat.

Denon DP-450USB speed selector

Denon DP-450USB speed selector

Tonearm

The style of the Denon DP-450USB perfectly complements the S-shaped tonearm. The tonearm suspension rests on metal bearings, and the tube ends with a socket for screwing in the headshell. This “Japanese” solution allows for quick cartridge changes (complete with the headshell) and provides an additional calibration tool for advanced users, thanks to the availability of extra headshells and accessories on the market.

Calibration and Usage

In line with current Denon trends, the DP-450USB is designed for ease of use and adjustment straight from the factory. Simply screw the cylindrical counterweight onto the rear section of the tonearm and set the anti-skating with a convenient knob. These are the only adjustment tools needed, apart from the cartridge mounting system, and they are perfectly sufficient for beginners.

These are also the only steps I needed to follow (apart from putting on the platter and unpacking the turntable) after purchasing it. Denon claims that setting up the turntable takes just a moment, and they are right. I found the process to be quick and straightforward. The DP-450USB comes with a built-in preamplifier (MM) and an automatic tonearm lifting system that activates when the needle reaches the end of the record. Both of these features can be turned off if I prefer.

Cartridge and USB Recording

The MM-type cartridge has a replaceable needle (labeled CN-6518). While there are no markings on the cartridge itself, its design suggests it is a variant of the Audio-Technica AT 3600 cartridge. This is a solid starting point, but Denon also offers a range of cartridges, including excellent MC models if you want to upgrade.

The distinguishing feature of the Denon DP-450USB is, as the name suggests, the USB connector. Unlike typical USB ports that connect to a computer, this one allows you to rip records directly to a USB stick connected to the turntable. Similar to the DP-200USB, but with more options, the DP-450USB lets you choose between recording in compressed MP3 format (192 kbps) or saving in the lossless WAV format (PCM 16 bit / 44.1 kHz).

Denon DP-450USB save to usb

This is one of the few turntables on the market that allows you to save vinyl directly to a USB memory stick; the signal can be encoded to MP3 files or lossless WAV (16 bit / 44.1 kHz)

Denon DP-450USB Sound Test

From the very first sounds, the Denon DP-450USB enchanted me in exactly the way I hoped a new turntable would. It delivers harmony, musicality, warmth, and peace—all achieved through skillful frequency response modeling. The bass is particularly attractive—low, slightly rounded, but consistently active. It feels joyful, emphasizing the juiciness of the music rather than just the pace.

Without clear contours but with a good pulse, the Denon DP-450USB effectively enhances any record I put on it. The midrange is the star of the show—coherent and dense, yet not heavy, with a light melody that slightly relaxes the articulation. The vocals are fluid and sweet, never screaming or pushed forward, yet always pleasantly present and soothing.

The treble is subtle, smooth, and polite. Despite being slightly dim, it creates a correct spatial experience with a wide and stable stereo image, well-filled in the center. I believe the sound of the DP-450USB will be a dream come true for many novice record listeners for a long time. If there’s a desire to enhance the sound further, I’d recommend trying a different preamplifier before investing in a more expensive cartridge. This can potentially “open up” the sound, adding more sparkle and detail.

Denon DP-450USB Video Review

Denon DP-450USB Specifications

Features

  • Motor: DC
  • Drive System: Belt
  • Bearing: Metal
  • Operation: Manual
  • Speed: 33-1/3 & 45 RPM
  • Wow & flutter: 0.10 % (WRMS)
  • Phono EQ: built-in (switchable)
  • Stylus: MM
  • Stylus version: DSN-85
  • Belt Rubber: Silicon
  • Dust Cover: Included
  • Power Cord: Built-In
  • Tonearm Style: Static balanced type

Specifications

  • Rated Output 2.5 mV / 1 kHz
  • Frequency Range 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • S/N ratio 62dB
  • Rated Output Phono EQ 150 mV / 1 kHz
  • Frequency Range Phono EQ 20 Hz – 20 kHz

Inputs/Outputs

  • Phono (MM) In
  • RCA Output
  • USB Input/Output
  • USB Functions: Music Recording (Software Included)

General

  • Maximum Dimensions (W x D x H) in inches: 16.2 x 13.7 x 5.2
  • Weight in LBS: 12.4

You can download & view the manual here -> Denon DP-450USB Manual

Final Verdict

I enjoyed every second of my time with the Denon DP-450USB turntable. This is a sturdy turntable with a great sound. If you are looking for an audiophile turntable with the possibility to digitize your vinyl records easily this is the best option on the market today.

Is Denon good quality?

Yes. They still make really good audio. Multichannel audio has made power supplies shrink, so it might but be as powerful as their older stuff, but it's still quite impressive overall by today's standards.

What cartridge comes with the Denon DP-450USB?

It comes with the factory-installed cartridge from Denon.

Does the Denon DP-450USB have a preamp?

All current Denon turntables have an EQ switch to enable or disable the turntable's built-in phono preamp.

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4.2/5 - (10 votes) - Click on stars to leave a review

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