Review: Denon dp-500m Turntable

Category: Analog

i spent several months of shopping before buying this table
after the early years of many junk tables , i purchased a denon dp-45f table and it has served me well over the years.
i looked at many of the moderatly priced belt drive models,honestly they seemed cheaply made. and i was unimpressed. i searched agon and ebay. for a decent used table but the ones that intrested me. were going for more than what i paid for this that price i decided it would be new.
i finally narrowed it down to two. the thorens td-295 , or the one i purchased.the thorens had one feature i liked, the auto shut off,and two that worked against it. price, the best i found online was about 200.00 more than i paid for the denon, second that wierd string and weight thing that it and about all the other belt drive tables seem to have.
now for the denon. it seems built very solid the plinth is finished out nice and is very attractive in the living room. set up was easy and straight foward.the platter is different than any other ive had , in that it has a dome and magnet built to the under side, the underside is also coated in silicone to control ringing or howling.the tonearm is also easy to set up with its removeable headshell cartridge set up was easy.
when turned on the table reaches speed instantly, it also has a nice feature in that when its turned off it stops cold, no coasting to a stop. the sound is great, i noticed from the first record that it was more revealing than other tables ive owned.i believe i will upgrade my preamp hopefully the table will respond even better.
i know there are those of you that think direct drive means noise, but i purposly put on some of my quietist albums with long pasages of very quiet delicate music. i turned it up loud and i tell you i heard nothing but music
the table runs silent.
i was unable to audition many tables around my area, but i believe in this price range this table is a winner. i would have liked to audition a rega but not in my sure there are better tables out there but after much research this one has the best bang for your far as complaints i havent really found any yet. its built well, spins silently and accuratly.the tonearm tracks well, and is adjusted easily.i would have liked an auto shut off or lift at the end of the record, but other than that the denon gets a thumbs up.thanks for reading.

Associated gear
grado gold cartridge
cambridge 540p preamp
cairn 4808 north face amp
polk lsi15 speakers

Similar products
denon dp-45f
project debut 111
other low end tables
This is actually a very interesting table with great potential. I replaced tonearm on mine with SME M2 with very good results.

After examining one up close today, I think the motor unit is very similar to the Technics SL-1200mk2 and looks more sophisticated electronically and the plinth is very well constructed and pleasing to the eyes. MDF may not the ideal material but it's still more sturdy than particle board or plastic. I think wood is good for DD table instead of exotic composite material like the Technics or Sony and, I hope, to give it a more tonal and harmonic richness to the sound. The tonearm is the weak link. Flimsy and not VTA adjustable. I think replacing the tonearm should not be that hard. In fact if one files the tonearm cut out on the plinth a little bit, you can drop in the tonearm from the SL1200 which is what the Denon arm tries to emulate and in fact shares the same geometry with 230mm effective length. Placing an arm plate over the hole allows for many arm choices like the Rega, Jelco, SME, etc... Bought mine second hand and has a bent arm wand so I have to replace the arm and might use a Rega. Hope to have a listen soon.
I think the VTA is adjustable by the ring at the tonearm base. This TT seems as it may be made by Technics. Maybe an SL-1200 arm too. What does any one else think. I like it.
Sister company Marantz also sells a Stanton-based model, using what looks like the same basic stuff as the Denon:

Strictly for the Japanese market, though. I found a gray market import on eBay...for $1,495. About the same as the Clearaudio-based TT-15S1. I know which one I'd rather.