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Thread: Denon 103r - is it worth the aggro?

  1. #101
    Join Date: Jul 2011

    Location: Northamptonish

    Posts: 1,595
    I'm Peter.

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    Agree with all the comments about the 103, and how to use it. My day-to-day cartridge is a 103R, which is in a 20 gram headshell on a very heavy stainless steel arm (FR-64S) ... the heaviness being essential to getting it to work effectively ime. TBH, I wouldn't bother trying it with light/medium mass arms, as that's not what it's designed for.

    Here's someone who is playing around with a 103 ... http://jeffsplace.me/wordpress/?p=12537
    Quote .. "The stock Denon DL-103 has a somewhat tipped-up top-end and a slightly emasculated & unresolved bass response". Makes me wonder if he's ever had one set up properly!

    In terms of cartridges for 'normal' arms, I'd seriously consider a moving magnet Audio Note IQ1. It has much the 'body' of something like the103, combined with a good dose of the detail retrieval that better mc's give. It retails for around £340 now. I much preferred it to an AT-33PTG/II, which I found a bit 'insubstantial' in its presentation.
    “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” - William Bruce Cameron

  2. #102
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 73,198
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Hi Peter,

    Quote Originally Posted by petrat View Post
    Agree with all the comments about the 103, and how to use it. My day-to-day cartridge is a 103R, which is in a 20 gram headshell on a very heavy stainless steel arm (FR-64S) ... the heaviness being essential to getting it to work effectively ime. TBH, I wouldn't bother trying it with light/medium mass arms, as that's not what it's designed for.
    Just for the sake of accuracy, I should point out that the DL-103 was originally designed for use on Denon's own 12" broadcast arms (such as the DA-303, shown below), the required mass achieved by their overall effective length, and which featured headshells weighing no more than 8g.



    I have that very headshell. Wish I had the arm to match though, and the right turntable to put it on! It's the arm I'd fit to the likes of an SP10, for that true 'beefy' broadcast sound...!

    Therefore, when most of us are using 103s on 9" arms, what we need to do is make up for that loss in mass (over a 12" arm), in the headshell used, and also the general design of the partnering arm itself, which is why things such as FR64s work so well. However, you can also overdo the mass, if you use a high-mass headshell on a 12" arm, in which case a 103 will sound rather 'phat' and bloated...

    As ever in audio, it's about getting the balance right - and the 'mass factor' with 103s is crucial!

    Here's someone who is playing around with a 103 ... http://jeffsplace.me/wordpress/?p=12537
    Quote .. "The stock Denon DL-103 has a somewhat tipped-up top-end and a slightly emasculated & unresolved bass response". Makes me wonder if he's ever had one set up properly!
    Lol... Complete nonsense, providing it is partnered and set up properly. I'll read the rest of the article later.

    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. #103
    Join Date: Apr 2009

    Location: Near Saffron Walden, Essex

    Posts: 5,308
    I'm Dave.

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    IMO, one of the very best arms for MC cartridges especially, is the FR-64S. Sounds wonderful with the Denon.

  4. #104
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 73,198
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Agreed, Dave. It's just an all-round very well engineered arm, and most MC carts like a bit of mass, anyway

    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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