Yes you need a SUT to get the best out of your 103; the PS-X65 is a perfect arm for the 103. The ideal step-up ratio for the 103R is 1:24 but 1:20 will give excellent results. Keith Aschenbrenner of Auditorium 23 makes a special Denon 103 SUT (Stereophile class B) but you can find cheaper solutions. I prefer passive transformers on active head amplifiers.
As I do not have any experience with better/expensive high end cartridges that’s interesting to know, I really haven’t known what to expect performance wise as you move up the ladder with carts other than knowing I liked qualities of the P77 SAS combination getting a SAS for the P77 was one of the best bits of advice I have had even if I chocked a bit at the price at the time. So it has been interesting for me to gauge the performance of the 103 which is my most expensive cart to date against the P77. I will perceiver with the 103 set up I have a couple of decks and when the 103 is on song its enjoyable and offers something different. I also have a new Bottlehead Eros phono kit on the way from the USA so looking forward to trying both carts out with the Eros in the system.
Exposure XXI preamp in black with remote control, original box and XLR leads. In really superb condition.
£360 delivered in the UK.
Poor picture from phone but there it is in the rack:
Tonight I've tried powering the buffer board from my Pi instead of the 5v out from my DAC. I'm surprised firstly that there is an audible difference given the clock board is isolated from the buffer. Even more of a surprise is that it sounds better powered by the Pi 5v out pin. Maybe this is because there's only a 2cm wire connecting the Pi and buffer compared with 20cm from the DAC board. Anyway, I'll leave it like this until the Salas boards arrive.