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Thread: Denon 301 mk2

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,092
    I'm James.

    Default Denon 301 mk2

    The journey for a replacement for the 2M black continues.

    After the revelation of the M55e/Jico SAS comes the Denon 301 MK2

    [IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]

    Just running in.
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 72,196
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Oo-er, exciting biting!

    Looking forward to your thoughts on the 301 and its pairing with the K&K

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,092
    I'm James.

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    So 15 hours on the Denon 301 Mk2 and my thoughts so far.

    Setting up was very easy, beautiful build quality and so easy to adjust in the headshell due to some very long slots in the cartridge body. In fact Denon mention using 4 bolts for ultra rigid securing to the headshell. The large bolts I used were ample. With regards to the bolts the cartridge bolts supplied were extremely light weight, so much so I could not get a tracking weight in the recommended VTF with the counter weight I use on the VPI. I therefore resolved to use some nice chunky steel bolts that gave me ample scope for VTF.

    I had intended to use the 301 with a K&K SUT kindly sold on by Marco but very quickly I established the gain was set to high so I need to alter this by moving the internal jumpers and increase loading a bit.

    As it happened the previous week I had had a visit from Mr Firebottle who knowing I was going to be using a MC cartridge had kindly knocked up a battery powered head amp for me from his spare parts bin. I used this head amp to partner the Denon 301 into the Croft 25R MM phono stage. We had used the headamp in a session at mine with a MC in the Lenco and it sounded OK until Alan inserted his KIN - game over!

    However I changed the battery over to a new Duracel and connected everything up. Silent apart from some tube rush at high gain. What I didn't expect was how good this head amp was going to now sound like with the Denon.

    Super smooth and detailed with a lovely wide and deep soundstage and a lovely richly textured organic flow to the music. Of course I used all my best known material and ran it by the Denon. Everything was handled superbly with an open musical presentation. Bass is textured and tight but well extended and the top end is perfect. All the detail you could wish for without any nasties at all. No sibilance or harshness and not in your face. In fact across the whole spectrum this cartridge was sure footed and sounded just right. It is a cartridge you can listen to all day without any fatigue what so ever.

    Vocals are presented with realism and a smoothness that I have not experienced before. The midrange is absolutely superb. I just asked my other half what her thoughts were as she has a very good ear and her comment was Natural. This is not a hifi cartridge with extreme lazer detail, it is more rich and analogue sounding, in fact it seems to be a perfect compliment with the valve set up I have. This is not a cartridge for the detail obsessed. It pulls out of the recording all the high end information you want but in a sweet sounding way and does not stand up and shout in your face look at me!

    These are my early observations as it has to run in a few more hours yet but the potential for more to come is certainly there when I get the SUT sorted or when Mr Firebottle comes up with a fully developed head amp. I would say even on the impressions of what I have heard this one can do this will be something definitely worth listening too and release the full potential of the Denon 301!
    Last edited by Jimbo; 21-02-2016 at 16:54. Reason: spelling
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  4. #4
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 3,641
    I'm Alan.

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    Good one James

    Will be following this as things improve

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 72,196
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Hi Jim,

    Looking good, mate! When you get the gain sorted on the K&K, I think you'll be in for some superb sounds, as those Lundahl transformers are ace

    I know it's early days, but how would you say the 301 sounds in comparison with your Jico'd M55?

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,092
    I'm James.

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    Marco the 301 MK2 is absolutely stunning! There is no comparison to the Jico M55e. It does everything so much better!

    I am sitting here gobsmacked. This is the perfect cartridge for my system.

    I feel I have finally found a replacement for the 2M Black which honestly is on another level altogether.

    This weekend I have been listening to record after record almost non stop -it is that good!

    Your hunch this would be the Denon cartridge for my system was absolutely right !!

    I would very strongly recommend you buy one of these!
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 72,196
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Nice one, Jim. Glad it worked out well.

    It's always difficult trying to give recommendations that (hopefully) turn out to be spot on, when you haven't heard the system that the kit is going in, but I think we have similar tastes, in terms of the kind of sonic/musical presentation we like

    Yes, I know how good the DL-301 is from using its bigger brother, the DL-S1, which you heard at NEBO. It's a superb cartridge that makes music very addictive to listen to, as its revealing and detailed, but never harsh or sterile.

    Trust me, you haven't heard the best from it yet. That'll come once you get the K&K sorted and/or hear it with Alan's head amp. *Then* it will truly blow your mind!

    In the meantime, enjoy!

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 72,196
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    How are you getting on with things now, Jim? A wee update would be good

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,092
    I'm James.

    Default

    Hi Marco,

    Update coming soon - still running in.
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 72,196
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Okies, no worries. Have you sorted out the gain of the K&K yet? Because when you do that, you'll be in for a real treat - I promise!

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

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