freefallrob

The Denon 103(R) appreciation society

111 posts in this topic

Have you tried something decent in the arm yet?:Tumble:

I'm having fun, what would you recommend Bob?

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Here is another,

review%20-%20denon%20dl103%20-%20hfp%201976.jpg

Its interesting how both reviews found the same discrepancy in left and right responses.

Id be interested in messing with one, just out of curiosity. However I don't think I would ever use a conical stylus, or a cartridge that tracks over 1.5gms.

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I'm having fun, what would you recommend Bob?

For not much money second hand;

1. Audio Technica AT-F5 - majors on detail and tracking, a little bass light with big monitors. (used to own one)

2. Goldring 1042 (or AN something or other as ANUK like to call it) - great all rounder (I have one)

3. A&R Cambridge P-77 (dynamic but not masses of detail, but tracks well) (I have three)

Assuming you are looking at £100 or less.

At more... Audio Technica AT-OC7 or 9, Dynavector 19D/2 (superb cart), cheap Benz's, Supex SD900 (for the full fat rounded sound, opposite of an AT or Lyra), etc..

- - - Updated - - -

Here is another,

review%20-%20denon%20dl103%20-%20hfp%201976.jpg

Its interesting how both reviews found the same discrepancy in left and right responses.

Id be interested in messing with one, just out of curiosity. However I don't think I would ever use a conical stylus, or a cartridge that tracks over 1.5gms.

I don't touch things that track more than 2g or less than 1.3g tbh.

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I don't touch things that track more than 2g or less than 1.3g tbh.

I like Shure V15s which without the damper track at 1gram or so, but I know I'm in the minority with that.

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I like Shure V15s which without the damper track at 1gram or so, but I know I'm in the minority with that.

I had the V15II and III when they were current product, then managed to find a genuine NOS Microridge stylus for a V15III body I bought on eBay. Recently bought a V15-V body for which I got the Jico SAS stylus. Very happy tracking at 1gm (nett).

I also use an EMT TSD15 which I track at 2.75gm so am happy at either end of the tracking weight range. Not sure about using cartridges where the tracking weight is measured in ounces, but a few grams is fine.

S.

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You get a printout with a new 103 which shows a very level output, as the HFW print shows.

I would strongly encourage trying a retipped 103, the transformation is remarkable. ESCO claim it becomes a £1000 cartridge equivalent.

Last I heard from them they now have stocks of cartridges already converted, so you just buy one already done instead of sending one in and enduring what used to be a rather lengthy wait.

I believe several other people are retipping 103's now.

Tracking force with new tip is 2g if I remember correctly. If the stylus has a good profile and hence good contact with the groove that isn't a very high figure and isn't going to wear your records unduly rapidly.

You will wonder why on earth you listened to a standard one once you've tried a retipped one. That's why ESCO are so busy. They were sending 103 by the boxful back to Asian enthusiasts.

Denon are unwise to not offer this cartridge with better tips. It's not as if they would upset their more expensive models since they don't do any. They could massively increase their sales for little effort.

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I would strongly encourage trying a retipped 103, the transformation is remarkable. ESCO claim it becomes a £1000 cartridge equivalent.

Well they would wouldn't they? Not that they have any vested interest. :roll:

This is the same firm that told me that any MC stylus would need retipping after 400 hours.

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Well they would wouldn't they? Not that they have any vested interest. :roll:

This is the same firm that told me that any MC stylus would need retipping after 400 hours.

I knew that would happen as soon as I wrote it.

They could just sell you a new cartridge instead.

I suppose you haven't tried a retip since you don't trust them.

Are you sure they didn't advise inspection at 400 hours?

1000 hours life, 400 hours inspection is what I've always been quoted by them for a good tip.

Do you have any issues with any of the people selling the new £1000 cartridges?

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I don't touch things that track more than 2g or less than 1.3g tbh.

So that would rule out all of the top end Clearaudio cartridges, including the Goldfinger at £10,000. They all track at 2.8g, do you know something they don't! :P

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I knew that would happen as soon as I wrote it.

They could just sell you a new cartridge instead.

I suppose you haven't tried a retip since you don't trust them.

Are you sure they didn't advise inspection at 400 hours?

1000 hours life, 400 hours inspection is what I've always been quoted by them for a good tip.

Do you have any issues with any of the people selling the new £1000 cartridges?

No they didn't advise inspection, they told me a retip would be required for any cart with 400 hours use.

1000 hours life is also nonsense, another hifi myth like spending 10% of your system value on cables, there are no hard and fast rules. As for the 103 it is a dreadful cart to start with, about the worst stylus profile you could use, why any one would want to polish a turd is beyond me.

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Didn't the general wisdom hold that lighter weights were more damaging to vinyl than using top end of manufacturers recommended ?

Or was that a sales ploy by M coil cartridge sellers to denigrate the gentler M magnets as they (MM )gained initiative ?

rattling about in the groove would bash treble cut higher in the vinyl wall perhaps?

Addendum - some goodly accurate comments on cheap Denon 103/r on here but for BBC to use them so long must mean something if not just reliable singalong style?

I Like the 110 a lot and it's cheaper and ideal for systems limited at both ends of frequency scale where it boosts output eg tiny old style speakers - it's just jolly! It's a bit red tho!

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Didn't the general wisdom hold that lighter weights were more damaging to vinyl than using top end of manufacturers recommended ?

Or was that a sales ploy by M coil cartridge sellers to denigrate the gentler M magnets as they (MM )gained initiative ?

rattling about in the groove would bash treble cut higher in the vinyl wall perhaps?

Addendum - some goodly accurate comments on cheap Denon 103/r on here but for BBC to use them so long must mean something if not just reliable singalong style?

I Like the 110 a lot and it's cheaper and ideal for systems limited at both ends of frequency scale where it boosts output eg tiny old style speakers - it's just jolly! It's a bit red tho!

Broadcasters need a cartridge that won't break, and isn't fussy about setup. That's why most broadcast cartridges use a spherical stylus, and are fairly rugged as far as cantilevers go. The Denon 103 fits that specification. Having said that, I don't think I ever came across a Denon or EMT moving coil cartridge at any broadcast facility, all those I saw used Stanton, Pickering, Ortofon or Shure MM 'DJ' cartridges. Having said that, the use of turntables in Broadcasting has been rare altogether since the mid 1980s. Any records that needed to be played on-air, usually for historic reasons, were transcribed to CD-R or hard-disc in a transcription studio that may well have used rather better stylus profiles to get the best out of the record.

I can't help feeling that the Denon, like the Ortofon SPU and EMT TSD15 versions with spherical stylii are there to appeal to a certain 'retro' mentality amongst certain audiophiles. I cant be for sound quality reasons, as the performance is pretty poor compared with a line-contact stylus. Having said that, maybe the increased distortion appeals to some.

S.

Edit:- Cartridge mistracking occurs more readily as tracking weight is reduced, and mistracking causes real groove damage, as opposed just to normal wear. Consequently, it's sensible to track any cartridge towards the top of the recommended range, say 80-90% of that. In some cases, even exceeding the recommended weight can improve tracking further, but then there are other consequences like suspension non-linearity, so keeping just under the recommended maximum is most sensible.

As to low tracking weights, that's not a problem if the cartridge is designed with high compliance and very low tip mass. Shure and ADC cartridges particularly were very good trackers at 1gm or less. However, that required a very low mass arm to keep the resonance in the right area and there was one ADC cartridge, (the ADC26 if I recall correctly) that had such a high compliance that its own weight was excessive and would have needed a negative arm mass to get the resonance right!

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Spot n Serge. That sound signature was my part of youth . I might use a new fangled iPad but as I've more reminiscing time I find myself drawn to those imprinted sound scapes like mono and quad and chesty paper drivers with valves behind them .

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