What We Like
- Extremely easy analog to digital conversion.
- Decent build quality with a simple layout.
- Good performance that won’t disappoint the casual user.
What We Don’t Like
- Lack of versatility in terms of cartridges and styluses.
Denon’s DP200USB is arguably one of the best turntables on the market in the sub $300 price range. It is simple, compact and gets the job done, which is what many casual users are looking for.
On the surface, DP200USB is a very basic turntable. Denon went with a compact chassis which leaves just enough room for the platter and tonearm base. The chassis itself is made of a fairly durable material, giving the whole unit some weight. In terms of colors, you are looking at an all black turntable.
The only two elements which stand out in this regard, are the aluminum platter and aluminum tonearm. Dust cover is a basic transparent model, which is hinged on an extruded edge at the back of the unit. While this solution is practical, it takes away from the DP200USB’s appearance should you decide to pop the dust cover off.
Denon’s choice to mount most of the controls on the front face of the turntable was a solid move. Aside from regulating the speed, you can pretty much operate everything on DP200USB with the dust cover down.
What we have here is essentially a belt driven, fully automatic turntable. It is capable of playing both 33 1/3 RPM and 45RPM records. Denon has opted to install a switchable phono amp, which is a decision we wholeheartedly support. This way you get a plug and play system which can be customized to an extent should you decide that you want an upgrade.
Having upgrade paths in affordable turntables is never a bad thing. The tone arm is your standard straight design with a DSN-84 stylus sitting comfortably in the cartridge. The main downside here is the fact that you can’t change cartridges. Up next we have the USB port that allows you to record music directly from vinyl to MP3. In order to do this, Denon has included a piece of software that makes the whole task super easy.
All in all, the features are fairly average for this category of turntables and are geared towards the casual user.
Performance wise, things are so and so. On one hand, this is a solid performer that caters mainly to those who want to digitize their vinyl collections. From an audiophile point of view, you are getting an average performance at best. Is that a deal breaker? Absolutely not.
Denon DP200USB’s main purpose is to offer decent tone to those who want full automation. Sure, there is a number of manual turntables which could blow this one out of the water, but those require constant engagement. This one? This one is designed to be used as any other piece of home audio equipment.
Press the On switch when you want to listen to music, and off switch when you are done. In that context, DP200USB does a very respectable job. Most of these issues could havebeen solved with Denon allowing us to change the cartridge for an aftermarket one.
Great unit of anyone who wants to digitize their vinyl collection. Otherwise, you are getting a decent performance, but one that is neither better nor worse than the average. Denon has clearly made this turntable specifically for the casual user.