After some time here is the new post – Denon DP-450 USB Review.
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
- 1 Denon DP-450USB Review – Intro
- 2 Denon DP-450USB Specifications
- 3 Features
- 4 Denon DP-450USB – Technical Description
- 5 Denon DP-450USB – Tonearm
- 6 Denon DP-450USB – Calibration and Service
- 7 Denon DP-450USB – Cartridge and USB Recording
- 8 Denon DP-450USB Sound Test
- 9 Denon DP-450USB Video Review
- 10 Denon DP-450USB – Final Verdict
- 11 Is Denon good quality?
- 12 What cartridge comes with the Denon DP-450USB?
- 13 Does the Denon DP-450USB have a preamp?
Denon DP-450USB Review – Intro
It can also be said that the Denon DP-450 comes in two versions – basic and USB, i.e. with the addition of such a socket and accompanying electronics. Denon made sure that the DP-450USB was original, and distinguished by numerous additions. It is an elegant and modern device, although the solutions are both rational and … controversial. The rectangular plinth is combined with an additional, lower “floor” – the base that houses the electronics. The top is finished to a high gloss, covered with several layers of varnish, and carefully polished. Denon DP-450USB is available in two color versions – black and white. I would choose the latter, because shiny black will require constant care, and the Denon DP-450USB does not have a typical anti-dust cover – its role is only partially fulfilled by the original, irregularly-shaped plexiglass cover.
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 will not hit the cover with great force, the engine is too weak for that. In this situation, we will not hear any disturbing noise, which means that the blocked drive will work for a long time unless the manufacturer has thought about some protection. The set includes a special stand, into which you can insert the cover, and also rest the cover of the album you are listening to on it.
Denon DP-450USB Specifications
- 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
- 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
- Phono (MM) In
- RCA Output
- USB Input/Output
- USB Functions: Music Recording (Software Included)
- 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 the manual here -> Denon DP-450USB Manual
Denon DP-450USB – Technical Description
All the key components of the Denon DP-450USB turntable are mounted to the plinth. Formerly Denon used to worship direct drives but now focuses on the popular belt drives. To maintain elegance, everything is installed under a platter(it is slightly smaller than the record itself). There are inspection windows in the platter that allow you to conveniently attach the belt to the motor. The motor was attached to the plinth by rubber absorbers.
There is also something extra – an RPM sensor coupled to a system that constantly makes the necessary adjustments. In the 1980s it was a flagship Denon solution (but then as a direct drive). The speed control in the DP-450USB is electronic, we have a knob that is also a switch, and all three options are available (33.3, 45, and 78 rpm). The set includes a thick, rubber mat.
Denon DP-450USB – Tonearm
The style of the Denon DP-450USB fits perfectly into the S-Shape arm. The tonearm suspension rests on metal bearings, the tube ends with a socket into which the headshell is screwed. It is also a very “Japanese” solution, enabling a quick change of the cartridge (complete with the headshell), and at the same time an additional calibration tool for advanced users (such a way is opened by additional headshells and accessories available on the market).
Denon DP-450USB – Calibration and Service
In line with the current Denon trends, the DP-450USB delivered straight from the factory is to be as easy to use and adjust as possible. Screw a cylindrical counterweight on the rear section of the tonearm, and set anti-skating with a convenient knob. These are actually the only adjustment tools (apart from the cartridge mounting system), and they are perfectly sufficient at the beginning.
These are also the only steps (apart from putting on the platter and unpacking the turntable) after the purchase. Denon claims that starting the turntable will take literally a moment. And it really is. Especially the DP-450USB has a built-in preamplifier (MM), as well as an automatic tonearm lifting system when the needle reaches the end of the record. However, each of these two add-ons can be turned off.
Denon DP-450USB – Cartridge and USB Recording
The MM-type cartridge has a replaceable needle (labeled CN-6518). There are no markings on the cartridge itself, but from its design, we can expect that it is a variant of the Audio-Technica AT 3600 cartridge. Quite a good start, but Denon offers various cartridges, including excellent MC models.
The distinguishing feature of the Denon DP-450USB is, as the name suggests, the USB connector. This time it is not used to connect a computer but to rip records directly to a USB stick connected to the turntable. The DP-200USB is equipped in a similar way, but the transfer is limited to the MP3 format, while in the DP-450USB we can choose: whether we record compressed material (MP3 – 192 kbps), or save it in a lossless form of WAV files (PCM 16 bit / 44, 1 kHz).
Denon DP-450USB Sound Test
From the very first sounds, the Denon DP-450USB tries to enchant the listener in a way that most new turntable owners expect. Harmony, musicality, warmth, peace … All this is achieved with skillful modeling of the frequency response. So we have an attractive bass, low, slightly rounded, but constantly active, as if joyful and emphasizing not so much the pace of the music, but its juiciness.
Without clear contours, but with a good pulse, it effectively enhances any record that you put on it. However, the midrange is the most responsible for the success of “analogy” – coherent, dense, but not heavy, light melody, a little letting go of articulation. The vocals are fluid and sweet, without screaming or even being pushed forward, yet pleasantly present and soothing.
The treble is subtle, smooth, and polite. Despite a slight dimmer, the DP-450USB creates the correct space, the stereo is wide and stable, well filled in the center. I imagine that the sound of the DP-450USB will be a dream come true and a good solution for many novice record listeners for a long time. If, however, there is a desire to improve something, first, even before buying a more expensive cartridge, it is worth trying with another preamplifier, which can most likely “open” the sound more, and add sparkle, and details to it.
Denon DP-450USB Video Review
Denon DP-450USB – 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 easily digitize your vinyl records this is the best option on the market today.
Denon DP-450USB Pro & COns
- Good audio quality
- Excellent features
- Light weight
- Unimpressive cartridge
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.