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scoobs
18-04-2009, 18:14
Fellas, can anyone tell me more about these old pro and semi-pro arms and thier pedigree, I'm thinking in particular about the DA-309 10" to accompany my DL-103 & DP-80...not that I'm becoming a Denon Fan boy or anything of course, honest. :eyebrows:

http://i41.tinypic.com/v46hxt.jpg

Step forward DSJR. :)

cheers

Marco
18-04-2009, 20:00
Indeed, and I suspect that Dave Cawley may also have something to say on the subject if he's sampled one of these particular classics in the past.

My view would be that if everything's in full working order (especially the bearings) then a DA-309 would be a great match for your 103. As ever though with vintage tonearms, condition is crucial! Might be worth speculating on if you can find one at a decent price :smoking:

Marco.

Marco
20-04-2009, 19:16
There's a DA-307 for sale on Ebay now:

http://cgi.ebay.com/DENON-DA-307-TURNTABLE-TONEARM_W0QQitemZ130300986651QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH _DefaultDomain_0?hash=item130300986651&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1234%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C 240%3A1318%7C301%3A0%7C293%3A7%7C294%3A50

And a DA-305:

http://cgi.ebay.com/DENON-DA-305-TONEARM-PERFECT-MATCH-FOR-DL-103-CARTRIDGE_W0QQitemZ320362180570QQcmdZViewItemQQptZ Vintage_Electronics_R2?hash=item320362180570&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1234%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C 240%3A1318%7C301%3A1%7C293%3A10%7C294%3A50

And there's also this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Tonearm-Sedco-from-turntable-Technics-SP-10-MK-II_W0QQitemZ120406731639QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Defa ultDomain_0?hash=item120406731639&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1234%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C 240%3A1318%7C301%3A0%7C293%3A7%7C294%3A50

:)

Marco.

scoobs
20-04-2009, 19:51
Cheers Marco
I took a punt on the 309 pictured above, it was going for a good price and they are pretty rare in the UK too. Let's see what the postie brings tomorrow.

Marco
20-04-2009, 20:09
I'm sure that it will be a very nice tonearm and a great match for your T/T and cart. Keep us posted! :)

Marco.

selfaddict
16-02-2010, 12:42
Cheers Marco
I took a punt on the 309 pictured above, it was going for a good price and they are pretty rare in the UK too. Let's see what the postie brings tomorrow.

Hello Nick.

How did you find the Denon DA-309 with your Denon DL-103 cartridge?

DSJR
16-02-2010, 14:15
Martin Colloms gave a very average/iffy review to the DA307 amd 309, the main problem being the tube to bearing housing decoupling screwing up depth and spatial information with a thickened quality. The 307 scored marginally better in the same group test for some reason.

Just because some of these relics are beautifully made, rare as hens teeth (I wonder why?) and fetching good prices on fleabay really doesn't guarantee a top grade product (I've heard from a very trusted source that the kenwood L-07D is easily bettered by a rega on music discs and the rep agreed) despite this thing being worshipped elsewhere . having said that, a modern exit cable, decent headshell and a suitable platform (not a hollow old Denon plinth IMO) may improve things no end.......

selfaddict
17-02-2010, 21:41
Martin Colloms gave a very average/iffy review to the DA307 amd 309, the main problem being the tube to bearing housing decoupling screwing up depth and spatial information with a thickened quality. The 307 scored marginally better in the same group test for some reason.

Just because some of these relics are beautifully made, rare as hens teeth (I wonder why?) and fetching good prices on fleabay really doesn't guarantee a top grade product (I've heard from a very trusted source that the kenwood L-07D is easily bettered by a rega on music discs and the rep agreed) despite this thing being worshipped elsewhere . having said that, a modern exit cable, decent headshell and a suitable platform (not a hollow old Denon plinth IMO) may improve things no end.......

Hello Dave.

Have you personally heard DA-309 or DA-307 yourself played? Reason why I am asking is that I am trying to find another arm to go with my 12" Jelco :scratch:. This mystery arm should be on the heavy side, because it will paired with Denon DL-103R in the future.

DSJR
18-02-2010, 00:13
Yes, back in the day we had the denon decks and arms and didn't care overmuch for the arms then as they sounded a bit fat and sluggish...

Solid shells and lead ballast weights can weigh down a jelco 250 for example. A shame the Ortofon arm from this period fetches silly money now as it was rather good and you couldn't give them away not that long ago....

hifi_dave
18-02-2010, 11:41
The original Rega R200 is/was a very good arm and is available for not too much nowadays. Also it's big Daddy, the Acos Lustre is a goodie.

oldius
21-04-2021, 06:59
I have a DA-401 arriving soon as a partner to my ADC ZLM. I always wanted to try one as I am a Denon fan but it is also said to be a perfect match for that cartridge because of its incredibly low mass (carbon fibre arm tube and resin headshell). I will report back.

walpurgis
21-04-2021, 07:05
Should be interesting, post some photos.

As I'm sure you know, The Mayware Formula 4, Mission 774 and Hadcock arms are good with most ADCs.

oldius
21-04-2021, 07:27
Yes, I just had a Denon itch - Japanese deck too.

walpurgis
21-04-2021, 07:39
The only Denon tonearm I recall owning had the wobbly 'dynamic' counterweight. DA-307 I think, very nicely made but too heavy for high compliance carts.

oldius
21-04-2021, 08:02
Yes, definitely too heavy. I think that was designed more for the 301/304 cartridges and the 309 for the 103.

The 401 is ultra-low mass, specifically designed for the high compliance carts of the day. The ADC ZLM works well with my AT (Phonomac) arm, very well in fact, but I think I can eke a little more from it because the Phonomac arm is a medium mass, rather than a lightweight, arm.

oldius
23-04-2021, 09:27
The DA-401 arrives today, earlier than expected given it was only posted in Japan on Wednesday!
Armboard currently on the lathe with Magna Audio.

Marco
25-04-2021, 17:16
Good luck with this, Geoff. Hope it hits the spot - post some pics when you've got things up and running:)

My preference is to go the other way with Denon: the high-mass route, with low-compliance MCs, as it produces a sound I prefer.

Marco.

helma
13-07-2021, 09:49
I have a Denon DA-305 which seems very "broadcast" in it's design except it's only 9", though of the longer variety as far as that goes - 230mm mounting distance which seems pretty common for vintage Japanese arms. It's a well made arm with good looks, but it has that weird decoupling thing at the bearing. What that means in practice is that if you take hold of the arm tube and try to twist it, you can actually feel the damping (rubber?) compound giving in a bit. In normal use it doesn't feel odd or squishy or anything, just a bit "soft". If you take a hold of a Rega RB series arm tube for example, you can instantly feel how solid everything is, the Denon feels the opposite of that. It's not a bad feeling though, so from aesthetics view point all is good.

As for sound quality, I feel it's a mixed bag. The downside of the decoupling is some apparent loss of detail, things just aren't as crisp and defined as with some other arms, what I can compare with is Fidelity Research FR-54 and a Sumiko MMT since those are the two other arms I've used with my Lenco. The overall sound is also a bit 'soft', maybe overly smooth. The upside is the arm is not adding any fake detail either from high frequency ringing/resonances, the sound is quite composed, the bass is clear and well controlled, if maybe a tad soft as well. It's certainly not the best arm for any kind of "hifi fireworks" where your breath is taken away by the holographic stretching of images across a 4-dimensional time space and where you can hear the triangle player adjusting his grip on the beater between the 2nd and 3rd joint in his finger, but it's a perfectly fine arm that will never scream at you. It lacks antiskating and it's somewhat on the weighty side. I would love to hear it with a DL-103 one day, I think it could be a nice match.

Ultimately better option though IMO is a rigidly coupled arm (like most of them are) with fluid damping - that really seems to give the benefits of damping without the downsides of the Denon approach, so you get best of both words. That said, after a fairly recent move I've yet to set up my Lenco, so I've been listening to my Denon DP-3000 w/ the DA-305 arm & AT-30E MC cartridge and I've been perfectly happy with the combo. The Denon arms seem usually pretty affordable on the used market, so if you are curious, it's not a big investment. For what it's worth, used with my DP-3000, I could not hear that much of a difference between the DA-305 and FR-54. Maybe it's some weird synergy between the Denon components, or more likely the particle board plinth I build for it.