Denon DP 400 Review (Our Top Turntable Pick)

Maybe you are just starting out with vinyl or maybe you have never left your record player in the dust. It really doesn’t matter as we all want to experience our records in the best way possible, hearing every small detail of a certain song. Now in order to do this, you need a great record player. And we don’t know how you have done this, but you have just stumbled upon our absolute favorite, the Denon DP-400.

We from RecordSoundPro have reviewed lots of record players and think that within the current market the Denon DP400 is the best performing turntable currently on the market. Now, this might sound like a sales pitch but after reviewing dozens of turntables in multiple articles such as the best direct-drive turntables, beginner turntables and best-valued turntables we honestly think the DP400 is the best deal.

We think this turntable offers a great combination of multiple modern features, amazing sound quality and ease of use. The use of high-quality materials leverages this turntable to a height that can actually compete with high-end record players. Quite an achievement when we take the price into consideration as it is priced as a mid-range model.

Our Verdict

Denon DP-400

Type: Belt Driven || Speed: 33, 45, 78 RPM || System: Semi-Automatic || Cartridge: Moving Magnet || Preamp: Yes

Pros

» Sound Quality. A high-end, transparent, and warm sound.
» Stylish and made out of high-quality materials such as aluminum.
» User-friendly. Easy to set up and semi-automatic.
» Great features. Such as an auto-stop function and speed button.

Cons

» It is a bit heavy (5.8 kg with the dust cover). The weight provides enhanced stability but makes it not the easiest to transport.
» Dust cover has a particularly modern look that not everyone might enjoy.

Design And Build Quality

The Denon DP400 Turntable features a slim and sophisticated design that can fit even in the most elegant rooms and furniture. Available in black and white color, the DP400 is constructed to even fit together with existing HI-Fi systems thanks to its compact size (only 414mm W x 342mm L x 132mm H). The S-shaped tonearm enhanced the quality sound and fits harmonically in the turntable’s elegant design.

The Denon DP400 comes with a removable dust-cover that can be placed upright on the included base while playing the record. It also acts as a cover holder this way. A perfect way to display what you are currently playing. The cover will also eliminate the vibrations associated with the dust covers that can be found on other record players. Whether the curved cover is placed on the platter or standing upright while the music is playing, it adds a further touch modern to the overall design.

The durable aluminum materials used don’t only offer a modern aesthetic but also provide the strength and density needed to reproduce resonance-free music. The thick cabinet walls and the weighted platter provide the best isolation from external vibration.

Features

Belt-driven turntable

The Denon DP400 features a belt-driven weighted platter, which is always preferable to direct-driven systems. In belt-driven systems, the motor isn’t directly connected to the platter so it can be better isolated from the motor vibrations. This can result in a cleaner and better-quality sound.

Semi-automatic system

The Denon DP400 features a semi-automatic system. Now besides fully automatic systems, this is actually one of the easiest turntables we have tested. It features a lever that lets you simply raise and lower the tonearm. But besides that it features a auto-stop function that as soon the record ends, would automatically lift the tonearm and turn to its resting position while the platter would turn itself off. A semi-automatic system is always preferable to a manual one, because, since the platter doesn’t keep on spinning after the record is ended, it can preserve the condition of both your vinyl and cartridge.

S-shaped tonearm

The S-shaped curved tonearm design optimizes the tracking angle at any point in playing a record. This can reduce resonance and distortion. The tonearm also features a counterweight with detailed marking so you can make exact adjustments, helping you protect your records in the long run. lastly, it comes with a cue lever that helps you lift or lower the tonearm in a precise way.

Speed control

Directly on the plinth is a hardware button where you can set the speed to 33, 45 or even 78rpm. In short, this device allows you to play every type of record. A great addition as this requires little effort to other record players where you need to remove the platter or move the belt to a different position.

The Denon DP400 features auto speed sensors that can continually measure the speed of the platter (both linear velocity and acceleration). They can also adjust these parameters to eliminate every speed variations which would result in frequency fluctuation and poor sound quality. This system is able to provide a wow and flutter of 0,08%. During tests, the Denon DP-400 performed as one of the most speed accurate record players on the market.

Cartridge

The Denon DP-400 comes with an included Moving Magnet (MM) cartridge that allows precise listening and enhanced music details – but it is also compatible with Moving Coil (MC) cartridges. You could easily upgrade your setup by just replacing the cartridge.

Pre-amp

The DP400 features a built-in preamp. You can choose whether o use it or not through the on/off button on the back of the turntable. If you turn the pre-amp off, you can connect your own external preamp or connect it to the phono stage of your amplifier. If you turn the pre-amp on you can directly connect your record player to amplifier or powered speakers.

What is nice is that on the back you can find standard RCA phono jacks and not integrated cables. This means you can replace it at any time and can choose the exact length you need.

Set Up and Sound

Sound Quality

The Denon DP400 offers top-quality sound. You can hear all the details and nuances of your analog records. The sound is warm, transparent, and clean. It really minimizes the cracks and pops of older records because of the quality platter, tonearm, and cartridge. You might think this is the charm of vinyl however, it should be minimized at all times as these sounds indicate dirt or damage to the records.

One thing that could be better was the detail in the bass, there is enough bass but it could be more refined. The rest of the sound spectrum really is something to behold. Because of the good materials and the fact that it is belt-driven you can enjoy the sound while not being distorted with low hums or resonance coming from the motor.  

Setting it up

As with every turntable, once you’ve purchased and brought your turntable home, you’ll need to start assembling it. The Denon DP400 assembly process isn’t that complicated as an easy and user-friendly manual is included in the package, but it will require some patience. After you’ve mounted the turntable, the counterweight, and the headshell with the cartridge you’ll need to make some adjustments such as stylus pressure.

When setting it up correctly it can improve the quality of the sound but also the speed consistency and minimalizations of pops and cracks. The manual also shows how to connect the DP400 to devices that don’t have a phono input, to devices that have a phono input and how to connect the AC adapter.

Conclusion

To start with the most important factor, the sound the Denon DP-400 reproduces is amazing. It is transparent, warm and very detailed, you will clearly hear the difference coming from any lower-end to mid-range model.

With that, the sound also has no distortions and is very accurate in speed. There is hardly any resonance or hums to be found because of the use of high-quality materials.

The device is easy to set up and use. It comes with a built-in preamp, meaning you can connect it directly to an amplifier or powered speakers. As for modern features, it offers speed control and an autostop feature that stops playing records after they are finished.

Lastly, we think the design is really something to behold. Just look at the photos, it is clean minimal and curved. It has the look and feel of an Apple product. As this model comes in white and black it can easily blend into any interior and be a great centerpiece. 

Buying Options

Denon DP-400

Type: Belt Driven || Speed: 33, 45, 78 RPM || System: Semi-Automatic || Cartridge: Moving Magnet || Preamp: Yes

Looking for something else?

If you are looking for a turntable with a specific feature or within a certain budget you can take look at one of guides below.

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