Thursday, December 25, 2008

Denon DP-500M Direct Drive Turntable

Now this is an interesting candidate. I have no idea if it's any good or not, despite much searching on the internet. Denon is famous for their excellent phono cartridges, and they've made some classic turntables back in the '70s. But what about this modern unit? For $700, it does look nice. But how does it sound? How does it compete to Technics, or the belt-drive giants, Pro-Ject and Rega?

I honestly don't know. Perhaps this truly is a cheap table. And perhaps it's bias against direct drives. The audiophile community is heavily tilted to the side of the belt-drivers, so it's tough to say. My own experience shows that a direct drive can produce excellent sound. But they have also fairly earned a poor reputation, due to many cheap tables in the '80s.

So what about the Denon DP-500M? I don't know. But I'd like to at least hear this table in action once. If it's good, then we'll have another competitor in the sub-$1,000 market. If not, ehh. Whatever.

Update 12/30: Nope, avoid this one. Turns out the stats on this table are weak, really weak. It really does demonstrate how much smaller the turntable world is now, compared to 25 years ago. You can't get a fraction of the old performance with the same money today. A far wiser choice would be to find a vintage Denon table, one of the old masters. You'll find something truly brilliant for half the price of this simple box.

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