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Denon vs. Audio Technica

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:05 am
by Airstud
Soon it will be time to purchase an phonograph/record player/whatever those things are called nowadays.

The most cursory Google search has revealed that Audio Technica is in this game, which threw me for a bit of a loop since I thought they just made microphones. In any case I've always liked that company name; "Audio Technica" sounds like it could be some grand philosopher's treatise (like De Anima, only grander and more philosophy-y).

Also Denon makes the blamed things. I got nothing against the Denon company either. The point of course is that the turntable purchase is an opportunity to expand the List of Audio Equipment Manufacturers Whose Products I Have Purchased; that kicks Sony, Aiwa, and Panasonic off the slate.

Any of y'all got modern turntables? Apparently they now have Bluetooth but I question the applicability of remote control when it comes to playing old vinyl discs. :boggled:

Re: Denon vs. Audio Technica

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:49 am
by Kiwirob
I'd go with a Rega,

Re: Denon vs. Audio Technica

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2022 7:07 am
by Virtual737
Had no problem with multiple Audio Technica purchases.

Dual rack mount Denon CD player was the dogs danglies back in the day though.

Re: Denon vs. Audio Technica

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2022 8:26 am
by penguins
I have owned an AT LP240 for six years and couldn't be more satisfied! The build quality is very strong, and it has weathered many shipments without damage. Of course, the sound quality depends greatly on your choice of cartridge and speakers. With a higher end AT cart, my setup sounds close to the quality I got off the Technics at my radio station.

Re: Denon vs. Audio Technica

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2022 9:49 am
by TheSonntag
Buy an old Technics-1210 with a decent system. Restored stuff from the 1970s and 1980s is better than everything you get today.

Re: Denon vs. Audio Technica

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2022 9:49 am
by TheSonntag
A friend of mine has two EMT - 950 and 948 he got for free from his radio station. No, I am not jealous, no, never ever...

Re: Denon vs. Audio Technica

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2022 2:49 pm
by wingman
I don't know much about audio technology but my life long trick is to pick up the two finalists and buy whatever weighs the most. Is that still a good quality measure? I grew up with a Telefunken system in the house and it was definitely heavy, perfect for Iron Maiden and Rush.

Re: Denon vs. Audio Technica

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2022 4:38 pm
by TheSonntag
Good idea, unless it is too heavy, then it has tubes which is not ideal again. Generally, the quality of the 1970s and early 1980s has never been met again. Hifi was a mass market then, yet the prices were still pretty high. My father in 1974 paid around 1200 D-Mark for the HIFI system, and this is quite remarkable if you look at inflation. Since then, pricing came under pressure, numbers and quality declined.

Re: Denon vs. Audio Technica

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2022 7:18 pm
by wingman
Off topic but thinking about that Telefunken system got me wondering what happened to them. They are gone now with various operations sold off. German companies were early pioneers of all things radio-related, and that leads me to another off topic comment - anyone interested in radio and WWII drama would do well to read All The Light We Cannot See - a beautiful book that won the Pulitzer in 2015. German radio technology is a central element and it's a cracker of a story. Sorry for wandering so far off the rails.

Re: Denon vs. Audio Technica

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2022 8:46 pm
by M564038
German broadcast technology!
One of my favourite subjects!

Their immediate post WWII products, often refined versions of 30s and 40d models by engineers that all of a sudden couldn’t make aircraft or rockets anymore, are still in use today in the world’s top recording studios.
The amount of money poured into making your propaganda sound the best it could in cold war europe was amazing.
Microphones and signal processors the late 40’s, 50s, 60s and 70s with names such as AKG, EMT, Telefunken, Neumann and a host of others are still heard on the radio every day providing especially the vocal sounds of todays top artists. New microphones are usually based around 3 or 4 classic german or austrian designs, and in a lot if cases the circuits and components you find inside aren’t much different from the original modern microphone which was the Neumann CMV bottle of Hitler fame.

The Beatles in the 60s? German microphones, tape machines, and even the EMI mixing consoles was based around Telefunken amplifiers.
Sinatra? Always pictures with a Neumann/Telefunken U47. Frank Zappa even mention them in one of his songs. These microphones were based on tubes and components made for German WWII effort and in particular shares a certain tube with the V2 rocket.

Which also led to the production needing to stop, as these tubes were no longer produced. These are now the holy grails of unobtainum in professional audio, since the world’s best microphones require them to work.

Telefunken was mostly an export and consumer brand slapped onto equipment made by smaller german outfits, btw. I believe they, through buy outs and mergers is now part of AT&T.

There is a company called Telefunken Elektroakustik in the US making expensive copies of old microphones.
They are very good, but not the original company.

Anyway.
Audio-Technica or Denon.
Both are resoected brands. I usually recommend Audio-Technica microphones for musicians wanting good, unhyped sound and can’t afford the german classics.
Denon, while best known for power amplifiers, was the actual pioneering company in digital audio, and released its first digital recordings late 60’s and early 70’s, pretty much 10 years before it started taking off.
These are serious companies.

wingman wrote:
Off topic but thinking about that Telefunken system got me wondering what happened to them. They are gone now with various operations sold off. German companies were early pioneers of all things radio-related, and that leads me to another off topic comment - anyone interested in radio and WWII drama would do well to read All The Light We Cannot See - a beautiful book that won the Pulitzer in 2015. German radio technology is a central element and it's a cracker of a story. Sorry for wandering so far off the rails.