Denon DP 80

Denon DP-80

Direct Drive turntable, introduced 1978


My story :

After having top-class beltdrive turntables like the Thorens TD 127 and classic idler wheel driven masterpieces like the TD 124 or the Garrard 301 in my collection I felt the need for something different - so what about a direct-drive tt ?
It had to be a top-class model too of course, and so I watched Hifido for a while (, and suddenly there it was : a Denon DP-80 was offered, with a large plinth and tonearm DA-304.
Shipping from Japan to Germany was not cheap, and I was a bit anxious if the precious turntable would arrive undamaged. But everything worked out fine, and so here it is - my first direct drive.

Right next to it the TD 125 LB and the Rabco SL-8E parallel tracking tonearm (see the extra pages for these classic pieces - SL-8E coming soon).

Well, back to the Denon. I have to tell you that it was a fascinating experience when the speed locked in at precisely 33.33 rpm in less than a second - when you are used to the Thorens TD 124 which is driven by an idler wheel (and not serviced by a pro!) you are counting in minutes until the speed is stable. That's not a problem at all, don't get me wrong, but in comparison the Denon is high-speed in perfection.
The DA-304 tonearm is almost unknown outside Japan, so it seems. It does not have any antiskating devices, but it is common opinion that antiskating is negligible when the tracking force is 2.5grams or higher - the classic Ortofon tonearms come without antiskating too. And the common cartridge for broadcast use in Japan - especially with Denon turntables and tonearms - is the Denon DL 103, which is mostly used with a downforce of 2.5grams or higher.
So I installed one of my 103s. At first I chose a DL 103 S (as seen in the pictures above), but later I replaced it with a standard DL 103 modified by A. J. van den Hul because I needed the S for another tonearm.
The DL 103 vdH sits in a headshell by Jelco-Ichikawa and feeds the Audio Technica AT-650 transformer.

Oh boy, this combo rocks - it's fast and in-your-face, the bass is deep and firm and the treble is crystal clear and crispy. It's almost too sharp when you play Madonna's "Confessions On A Dance Floor" ... but this is an extremely "sharp"-produced album anyway (in my opinion).
With "Hair Of The Dog" by Nazareth it's 100% adrenaline pure and simple ...