Lately, the indie record companies or the most modern music groups tend to accompany the release of their works on CD with small runs on vinyl . This format, as old and out of fashion as it may seem, is making a comeback, and hence the manufacturers of hi-fi equipment are turning to present players like the one at hand today. The Denon DP-200USB is a hifi turntable that combines the advantages of the latest digital equipment, thanks to its USB portand its audio editing software, with the best of analog audio and all the features of classic turntables: speed change, automatic boom return start and a practical cover to protect records from dust.
Leaving aside the eternal discussion about whether the analog sound of vinyl offers a warmer response and better bass than the cold digital process of CDs , it is clear that in terms of graphic presentation, vinyl wins by a landslide. The larger size of the folder allows designers to better display their work, and in addition, there is the baggage of years and years of mythical cover designs, such as the "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band" by The Beatles or the famous zipper ( real) from the “Sticky Fingers” that Andy Warhol designed for The Rolling Stones. These factors have made many groups continue to release on vinyl, and others are seriously considering it for their next releases. If to all this we add the collections of records and vinyl records that almost all of us have at home from parents, relatives or better times, it is clear that the turntables were not going to take long to return to the catalogs of the great manufacturers, although that yes , conveniently updated.
Design and features
The Denon DP-200USB has the look of a classic turntable of a lifetime, so it will blend seamlessly with our other audio equipment. It is available in two colors, black and silver , and includes a transparent plastic cover to protect the discs from dust even while the DP-200USB is operating. Its dimensions with the lid closed are 360 x 98 x 358 mm , and weight of 3.2 kg . If we decide to leave the dust cap open the DP-200USB occupy 360 x 415 x 363 mm . The tonearm is straight and the capsule is of the typeMM or moving magnet, the usual thing in players of this level. Needle attached is a DSN-84 of Denon , easy to find when it comes standard is spent. The turntable system uses a belt drive motor , which is also the norm for a hi-fi turntable . To put us in place, DJ turntables like the classic Technics SL-1200 incorporate a direct motor-to-turntable drive system for almost no-throttle start-up for easy song synchronization when using two or more turntables. Like on a turntableIn high fidelity we will simply put on a disc and, in principle, we will not alter its speed or brake it by hand, the belt system guarantees us a more than correct operation.
If we take a look at the buttons we will see that almost all of them are typical of the turntables of a lifetime. At the top next to the platter, the speed and size selection knobs for large or small discs and, on the front, the Start and Stop buttons plus the off switch. In terms of handling, the DP-200USB offers fully automatic operation. Simply select the disc size so that the arm automatically moves to the correct position and playback begins. After the record is finished, the arm will return to the home position by itself.
Continuing with the review of the front panel of the DP-200USB , the record button and the USB input on the front panel are quite different from what is normal on a turntable. And is that the Denon DP-200USB allows us to directly transfer our vinyl collection to MP3 on a memory stick or external USB hard drive without having to resort to the computer. You just need to insert the pen drive and press the Start and Record buttons . The DP-200USB will automatically start playing and converting music into digital files compatible with any MP3 player . The format chosen for the conversion isMP3 at 192 kHz resolution, enough to preserve audio quality without taking up too much space. In addition, thanks to this USB input we can use the DP-200USB to play the MP3 files contained in the memory stick.
For those who prefer to perform this conversion with more control and precision, the Denon DP-200USB comes standard with the Trans Music Manager software . In addition to converting the music from the disc to MP3 , this program will allow us to separate the songs into independent track numbers automatically, detecting the silences between song and song. It also offers access to the Gracenote MusicID database for information on song name, album, author, etc. As we have said, all this process is carried out automatically, although if we prefer we can also manually assign the track numbers or enter the disc information with the names that we want.
The Trans Music Manager software can be configured in English , French and German , and for its operation it is necessary to have a computer with Microsoft Windows Vista, XP or 2000 operating system . It is a pity that the program is not available in Spanish, which would facilitate its handling for a large part of the public to whom such a product is directed, although on the other hand, the DP-200USB already offers the direct conversion system that we have described before.
Another advantage of this Denon DP-200USB is its integrated phono preamplifier , which solves another of the problems that those who decide to buy a turntable again may encounter: do I have a phono input on my equipment? If we do not have and connect the turntable to a normal line input such as that of the CD or the typical AUX , we will obtain a distorted and very unpleasant sound. The type of signal that turntables deliver requires a special preamplifier that some, but not all, hi-fi receivers or amplifiers typically incorporate. To solve this, the DP-200USBIt incorporates this pre-built into the equipment as standard, allowing us to connect the turntable to any line input, as if it were a normal player. If our amplifier already has the phono input , the DP-200USB allows us to disconnect this function, so that we can take advantage of all the connectivity of our hi-fi equipment .
Price and opinion
Finally, another aspect to highlight the Denon DP-200USB is its price, of approximately 300 euros . This price places it in the mid-range of vinyl players on the market, but if we consider the Trans Music Manager software and, above all, the direct recording function to USB, the DP-200USB becomes a very interesting option for those who are looking for a team of these characteristics.