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Thread: Denon 301 mk2

  1. #11
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,048
    I'm James.

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    A few thoughts on the 301 Mk2 before I try the K&K SUT. I am currently using the Firebottle Head amp.

    My system has never sounded this good!

    The 301 is glorious, it has all the top end info you could want with a magnificent midrange / lower bass. The texture this adds to instruments is fabulous. If you want to hear bottom end tonal quality and balls this is a cartridge worth considering.

    I know where your coming from now Marco with the Denon sound.

    In terms of VTA, this cartridge likes dead flat / horizontal tonearm and tracking at 1.55g.

    I honestly can't think of one area I could improve on as the 301 integrates with my system so well. Wish I had tried one of these years ago.

    One more observation - this cartridge although MC I think bridges the gap between a MM and a MC. It does not sound all airy fairy detail at the top with little at the bottom. It has the balls of a MM with the tonal textural properties of an MC .
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  2. #12
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 71,433
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Nice one, Jim. You've pretty much nailed it, mate. That's exactly how Denon MCs sound, and why I love and prefer them to most other types, simply because in the right system, they get the tonal balance/musicality factor spot on!

    Enjoy, but trust me, as good as what you're hearing things are now, when you pop the K&K in, there'll be a lot more 'grinning time' to come....

    Marco.
    "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. #13
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 27,685
    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    this cartridge although MC I think bridges the gap between a MM and a MC. It does not sound all airy fairy detail at the top with little at the bottom. It has the balls of a MM with the tonal textural properties of an MC .
    Which MCs are you referring to James? The majority I've used have as substantial a sound as any MM I've come across. Only two exceptions I can think of are the Denon DL-304 and Transfiguration Aria, which are very sweet, but don't exactly do body and scale too well.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  4. #14
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,048
    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    Which MCs are you referring to James? The majority I've used have as substantial a sound as any MM I've come across. Only two exceptions I can think of are the Denon DL-304 and Transfiguration Aria, which are very sweet, but don't exactly do body and scale too well.
    Some of the Audio Technicas and Dynavector MC,s I have heard have sounded like this but to be fair I can't be sure they were optimised with the correct SUT/ loading or preamp.
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  5. #15
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,048
    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Nice one, Jim. You've pretty much nailed it, mate. That's exactly how Denon MCs sound, and why I love and prefer them to most other types, simply because in the right system, they get the tonal balance/musicality factor spot on!

    Enjoy, but trust me, as good as what you're hearing things are now, when you pop the K&K in, there'll be a lot more 'grinning time' to come....

    Marco.

    Its the tonal balance and musicality that has impressed me most. Even on bright steel stringed guitar tracks it has dug out a tonal depth I did not know exist and has shifted the whole tonal spectrum down a notch therefore sounding more full bodied, less bright but much more agreeable.

    There isn't anything missing at the top but the midrange body is captured in a much more convincing way.

    If I can improve on this with the SUT then I will be extremely happy.
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  6. #16
    Join Date: Sep 2012

    Location: Dunblane

    Posts: 417
    I'm steve.

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    Jimbo/Marco
    As you both are familiar with the Denon, how would you say they compare with an AT33ptg/ii or AT OC9/iii? Jimbo you mention AT carts so guess you meant one of these and I know Marco is familiar with them both also.

    All this talk has intrigued me. I don't think I can afford a DL S1 even if I could find one but the 301 are easily sourced and are relatively cheap.

    Do either of you have an opinion on how it would suit a Funk Firm F5 arm?

  7. #17
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

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    I'm Geoff.

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    Try and get a listen to a ZYX R50 Bloom H. It will outperform anything I've heard at anywhere near the price (under 450) and is cheaper than the DL-S1.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  8. #18
    Join Date: Sep 2012

    Location: Dunblane

    Posts: 417
    I'm steve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    Try and get a listen to a ZYX R50 Bloom H. It will outperform anything I've heard at anywhere near the price (under 450) and is cheaper than the DL-S1.
    Hi Geoff
    The ZYX carts have also intrigued me. Too many options......

  9. #19
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,048
    I'm James.

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    Hi Steve,

    I have not heard the AT cartridges in my system but elsewhere and I have found them a bit more explicit towards the top end and the expense of the midRange/ bass so they have come across a little thin in my opinion.

    Not heard the ZYX but would like to try one, it was a little out my price range at the time but in 12 months I may go there as I believe Geoffs assessment would suggest it a very worthwhile MC to listen to? I have a feeling that it may well be better than a DL-S1 in my system but that is open to question.

    I am sure the 301 Mk2 will be ok with your Funk arm.
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  10. #20
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,048
    I'm James.

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    A little black box has made its way into my system, a big thank you to Marco for making this available.
    [IMG][/IMG]
    It is the K&K Audio SUT. Initially I tried it with the gain set at 1:20 but this proved to be too much and incompatible with the Denon 301 MK2, however gain has now been adjusted to 1:10 ratio and it suits the 0.4mV output of the Denon much better.

    The first thing that comes across using the K&K SUT is its ease and transparency. The soundstage is open and detailed with enough bite and grunt in the bass to make a convincing integration in my system. Vocals are particularly well portrayed with a natural unforced full bodied presentation.

    I was expecting less weight to the sound than a head amp but it is nearly there, however there is a slight lack of dynamics but nothing unduly so. I would say the top end is slightly rolled off but again it is not lacking in detail.

    The openess of the sound, transparency and very good midrange make this a very easy to listen to SUT which works very well with the Denon 301 MK2.

    Marco has reviewed this SUT at greater length elsewhere and I would certainly agree with his synopsis. Certainly very good value for money and easily recommended.

    There is however something else on the horizon which I have a feeling will release the full potential of the Denon 301 and maybe bring even more to the party. This is Firebottles fully realised Head amp. I have had a taste of it with his prototype which I must say is at least as good as the K&K SUT.

    It will be interesting to hear how the finished article works with the Denon 301.
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

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