Does anybody have experience with the Denon VL12 Zu Audio is selling?


My Project Classic crapped out after one year of use, either the motor burned out or the switch did.  What a piece of junk.

I’m considering buying a Denon VL12 that is on sale at Zu Audio website if it turns out the Project is finished

Anybody have any experience with those Zu Audio Denon turntables?

Thanks!
phillysoundfun
It is actually a Denon with some Zu Audio mods. They are dealing with Denon because they sell Denon cartridges. 

I remember when Zu Audio offered Technics SL1200 mk2 MOD long time ago. It was a nice version with Audiomods tonearm. Look here.

They know what they're doing, so the Denon must be nice and definitely better than those cheap belt-drive turntables like Pro-Ject. 

Not sure if they can offer 60 days return for Denon, but for any Zu Audio products they're offering 60 days return with full refund. 

Try it!  
Thanks Chakster, appreciated!

Sort of comical, my Project cost close to $600 more than the Denon. Peanuts in the nutty world of audio but still big noteworthy in my little world.   I should add the Project sounded good (it was stock) before it conked out.

Thanks again.
I’m familiar with Pro-Ject, i think it’s crazy that belt drive cost as much, if you like the look of the Denon you can definitely try it. I’m a big fan of Zu Audio as i use their Druid speakers. On the shows they are using Luxman PD-444 turntable, this is what i have. Regarding Denon my favorite is DP-80. You can ask people at Zu about their Denon mods, they are always very helpful.

But for that Denon tonearm you definitely need a decent MM cartridge, not Zu Denon 103 low compliance MC with conical tip.

If you can pay more go for used technics SL1200GR instead of Denon


Good to know.  I would have figured the Zu 103 MC they have would be a perfect fit for it, only because they made it.  
I have been using the non-Zu modified Denon VL12 Prime as my main table since it was introduced to the US market back in 2017 (see my unboxing post here: https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_forum/viewtopic.php?f=98&t=97400) IMHO, the VL12 Prime is the best DD table you can buy new in the $1K or less price point. Fact of the matter is that there just isn’t a lot of good choices for new, really good sounding & playing DD tables in this price range, so the VL12 is an easy choice.

Having owned both the original Technics SL-1200 & SL-1200 MKII back in the 80’s & 90’s, I can tell you the new Denon betters those decks when they were new themselves, let alone now. Don’t let the DJ features take away the fact that the VL12 has everything most audiophiles would need to play & listen to their records.  The Denon has all the punch, accuracy, immediacy & simplicity that DD tables offer, with true rock-solid build quality. I am sure Zu’s mods only make it that much better. 

Even though the Technics 1200GR is a better table, it’s price point is close enough to the VL12 that I doubt the extra $500 or so for the entry-level Technics models gets you that much more table. IMO, stepping up from the Denon only makes sense in going with the reference-quality models like the Technics 1200G/GAE or the new VPI HW-40 Direct Drive tables. 

You’ll be happy with the Zu VL12...solid choice. 

For reference’s sake, my system:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/arvincastro/sets/72157713245305663


Good luck!


Arvin C
I think DL-103 stock (or from Zu) is better for superheavy tonearms like Fidelity-Research 64s and related.

That models Denon tonearm is for mid compliance cartridges (like everything today). 

The only Denon in my arsenal is DP-80 and it's absolutely amazing reference class Direct Drive turntable. The price for this DP-80 is affordable on used market. DA-401 tonearm is great too! 

An alternative to everything NEW is some killer vintage DD turntables.  


Thanks ArvinCastro!

Good to know that you have one and use it as a your main deck for audio listening purposes.   I'm giving serious consideration to buying one.  

I was concerned the light ring around the platter may cause some hum.  If you're using it with that fantastic rig you have pics of clearly its not.  

Oh and great unboxing pics.  I wish that video was still up.

Thanks!
Thanks for the tone arm input and DP80 recommendation chakster!
@phillysoundfun

Glad to have helped however I could...Good luck and let us know how you make out!

Arvin