What We Like
- Once of the best isolation solutions out there.
- Rock solid hardware that just works.
- New features that increase versatility.
What We Don’t Like
- No dust cover available at all.
Denon is currently one of the best brands to choose when you’re looking for high-turntables. Their VL12 Prime is among the best models you can grab for under $1000, and today we are going to find out why.
One simple glance at VL12 Prime will tell you right away that you are looking at a DJ oriented turntable. It’s not just the sleek brushed aluminum chassis, nor the large white font face. Everything about it hits to a proper DJ setup. In some ways Denon maybe even went overboard. Whether or not those RGB LEDs on the platter were necessary is up for discussion. Overall, it looks pretty good.
When it comes to build quality, this are as solid as you would expect. VL12 Prime inspires confidence with its heavy chassis. The weight is partially there due to all of the isolation aimed at minimizing vibrations as much as possible. Denon went with a very solid choice of materials for this one, thus significantly increasing both durability and reliability of VL12 Prime. At the end of the day, this is by far one of the best looking and well made turntables optimized for serious stage use.
The very core of Denon VL12 Prime is a powerful Quartz direct-drive system. This setup not only gets you the smoothest ride, but it offers very good feedback. You can be extremely accurate when manipulating vinyls thanks to the optimized, chamfered platter design. Moving on, we see an S type tone arm with an aluminum base.
Both the height adjustment and rest adjustment of the tone arm is possible, and extremely precise. The left side of the turntable is where you will find torque controls as well as RGB controls.
On the other side, you’ll see the simple I/O cluster which consists of a phono out and ground ports. When it comes to pitch adjustment, you have 8%, 16% and 50% settings available. Lastly, the we need to mention the isolation. Isolation feet combined with an isolated motor design will allow you to eliminate interference even in sound polluted environments. In other words, you can perform in loud places and still retain the quality of audio.
Denon VL12 Prime is yet to be field tested properly as this model is fairly new. However, it’s not that hard to conclude that it might just take the lead as the best DJ turntable in the industry. They’ve done a great job with isolating vibrations both on a chassis level and the motor. Even a large
bass cab right next to you won’t impact the performance. When it’s time to get your hands on the platter, you will notice how snappy it is.
Feedback is there and feels smooth but articulated. Since the tone arm sits on the ’lock or rest’ feature, you can quickly bring it to the vinyl, or push it off without altering its level. Moving on, the torque control definitely offers increased versatility. Even though most people will run this turntable in the high torque setting, having the option of low torque is a great thing to have.
Denon VL12 Prime is promising to be the new industry standard in DJ turntables. They’ve done a great job at pushing every component on this thing past the norm. With that said, time will tell how good it actually is.