PDA

View Full Version : Denon 160 setup?



Simon
06-05-2009, 09:07
Hello there the world at large,

Recently acquired a Manticore Mantra in splendid shape for a Christian price.

I'd like to replace the supplied K9 with a Denon 160 - it'll take me a while to rebuild a decent vinyl library so nothing more exotic is billed for the near future and I've heard the Denons reduce surface noise quite a bit on 'mature' vinyl.

It'll run into a Project Tubebox II for the time being but there's the rub - will a high output mc cart.- of which I have no experience - work better on the mc or mm setting? Mm would appear to be the obvious choice....

(Apologies if this is a repeat question)

Anyone have any tips on the setting up of these Denon high output mc's, VTF, antiskate etc? I'd be very grateful for any info!

chris@panteg
06-05-2009, 11:20
The DL160 has a healthy output so should work fine.

Simon
06-05-2009, 12:14
The DL160 has a healthy output so should work fine.

Thanks Chris. I'm hoping it'll be a breeze to set up so I can get on with enjoying.

(On a separate note, I see you have a pair of Snell J's - I'd like to mail you in private if I may.)

DSJR
06-05-2009, 13:05
Many people prefer the DL110 and 160 (naff all quality difference between them, despite the 160's fancy cantilever and slightly higher compliance) used into the mc input regardless. Whether they like the overload compression/distortion this *may* introduce is another matter. Just be aware of what *may* be going on and try it for yourself, as different phono stages have differing characteristics where headroom and overload is concerned. You WON'T do any harm in trying anyway...

The standard tracking force to start with is aound 1.7 to 1.8 grammes, which I think is optimum for this cartridge. Set the bias to "1" as most early RB arms have too much bias correction.

If the Mantra has a Linn or their own arm, then use the settings provided..

snapper
06-05-2009, 13:31
Hi Simon

I use a DL160 on an LP12,Ekos arm,into the MC stage of my Linn Kairn and to me,it was a big upgrade from an Akiva.

Recording on to my Mac,there doesn't seem to be any overload problems that occurred using a Denon SUT into the MM stage.

I also have a DL110,which,on my system sounds a bit more ragged than the DL160,but still preferable to the Akiva.

MartinT
06-05-2009, 17:50
I run my DL-160 into a standard MM phono stage and it has very healthy output. Tracking weight for me is 1.7g in the Jelco arm with the bias set accordingly. VTA is set with the arm parallel to the platter. Surface noise is very well suppressed and the 160 in every way shows good MC traits such as wide soundstage, excellent dynamics and nice midrange voicing.

I'm soon to mount my new AT33PTG so the Denon and Gram Amp 2SE will go on sale shortly.

sc_ita
06-05-2009, 21:47
I like using my DL160 on the stock arm of my Tech1210m5g, attached to a Yamamoto ebony headshell of 12.5 g. This setup gives an equivalent total mass of about 29.3 g, and a calculated first natural frequency of about 9.2 Hz. In this manner, the response in the low frequency range seems enhanced to me with respect to using a lighter headshell.
The DL160 absolutely prefers to be connected to a phono unit with input impedence higher than 10k ohm, to avoid audible distortion in the high frequency field.
The gain of an MM phono stage is generally enough.

Bye,
Siro.

chris@panteg
06-05-2009, 22:53
Thanks Chris. I'm hoping it'll be a breeze to set up so I can get on with enjoying.

(On a separate note, I see you have a pair of Snell J's - I'd like to mail you in private if I may.)

Yes by all means the snell's are wonderful , i read recently that David Price dislikes the Audionote versions, interesting.

jakwb
07-05-2009, 06:37
I used a DL110 for a while and had tried it using both the MM and MC settings on my AT PEQ20. The MM setting did have enough gain, but I always thought it sounded better in the MC setting so that's what I used.

chris@panteg
07-05-2009, 11:13
Hi Simon

I use a DL160 on an LP12,Ekos arm,into the MC stage of my Linn Kairn and to me,it was a big upgrade from an Akiva.

Recording on to my Mac,there doesn't seem to be any overload problems that occurred using a Denon SUT into the MM stage.

I also have a DL110,which,on my system sounds a bit more ragged than the DL160,but still preferable to the Akiva.

I used to have an lp12/Ekos/Troika ,how would you describe the Akiva then,
i always felt that the troika was probably Linn's best ' since then its gone downhill a bit as far as mc carts go anyway.

Fascinating comment though imagine saying that on the Linn forum :eyebrows:

snapper
07-05-2009, 12:08
how would you describe the Akiva then,



Flat,dull,shut-in,grey and compared to the DL160,pretty lifeless.

Marco
07-05-2009, 12:27
Linn's finest, eh? :eyebrows:

It hits home hard just how much bullshit is attached to their products these days. It's all changed since you first got into Linn, David!

I didn't think much of the Radikal/Ekos SE/Dynavector XV-1s-based LP12 we heard in L&C either, did you? I certainly wouldn't swap my modded Techy for it!

Marco.

snapper
07-05-2009, 12:46
I didn't think much of the Radikal/Ekos SE/Dynavector XV-1s-based LP12 we heard

Marco.


I think there was an Urika in there,as well as a Keel.Pretty sure the cartridge was a Dynavector Te Kaitora.Although I may be wrong.

But no,I wasn't too impressed.

TBH I can't see me changing my LP12 now that Johnnie @ Audio Origami rewired my s/h Ekos and set up the T/T with the DL160.

If only I could afford to get the Whest p/s repaired (again) I'd be very happy.

Marco
07-05-2009, 13:07
Oh yes, I forgot about the 'glorified manhole cover'! ;)

What's an "Urika" when it's at home?

I thought the DV was the one up from the Tikky-Tora, but I'm not sure. Either way, it wasn't any better than your 160 or my 103SA, in that system.

Do you know what's wrong with your Whest in terms of what needs fixing? If so, how much have you been quoted, and have you thought about asking one of our resident 'techies' like Leo or Anthony to have a look? :)

Marco.

snapper
07-05-2009, 13:36
What's an "Urika" when it's at home?



The new Linn phonostage.

This quoted from a retailers web page.

Price of the Klimax Radikal is 4500.00 and the Urika is 2250.00. They can both be purchased together as a package for 6200.00, a saving of 550.00. An alternative version, the Akurate Radikal, will be available shortly priced at 2500.00.


Do you know what's wrong with your Whest in terms of what needs fixing? If so, how much have you been quoted, and have you thought about asking one of our resident 'techies' like Leo or Anthony to have a look? :)

Marco.


It went dead in one channel last year,so I sent to Whest for repair.It came back with both channels working,but now hums,badly.

I haven't had a quote yet and not really in a financial position to have it repaired,again.

chris@panteg
08-05-2009, 00:27
Flat,dull,shut-in,grey and compared to the DL160,pretty lifeless.

I have to say this but that pretty much sums up the way all Linn Hifi sounds to me ,except the LP12 with a decent cart' it can sound good .

As for the Denon dl160 as soon as i played the 1st track i knew this was the cart for me.

i know this is a bit off topic but i have done a couple of small recent tweaks to my techie and its really starting to sing now ,its one of the most satisfying pieces of audio i have ever used, and the dl160 seems to me to be a wonderful match, i think i have simply got to try out a 103 at some point when funds permit.

Marco
09-05-2009, 09:05
David,

I reckon Anthony or Leo would be able to fix your Whest for next to bugger all :)

I'd send either of them a PM and take it from there.

Marco.

snapper
09-05-2009, 11:00
Maybe later on when I've saved up some penny's.

Simon
18-05-2009, 11:27
Hello everyone,

And thanks very much indeed for the helpful suggestions regarding the Denon 160 which I installed over the weekend, substituting the K9.

Set up was indeed the hoped breeze - tonearm leads to output pins of cart. were a little overcrimped and had to be widened with a jewellers' screwdriver before getting a good fit but nothing too exasperating.

I lined up the body laterally by eye - not difficult, it's square - and didn't worry about overhang - I pretty much lined it up with the front of the headshell. Set tracking force to 1.7 as advised and away.

Tried MM and MC, preferred MC - bit like a loudness button, or a 'go live' button, more of everything, maybe a little distorsion? I love distorsion! (in the right measure).

The vinyl sound I have now is much more epic - lots of energy, great high frequencies. Previously, doing an A/B of vinyl versus cd of Little Feat's 'Feats Don't Fail Me Now' with the K9 the difference was minimal - they both sounded a little flat.

The vinyl now rocks righteously as I remembered it from years back!

( Could it be that deteriorating hearing in no-longer-young audiophiles is what spurs people on to spending spiralling amounts in order to get the same sensation as was possible on an 8 watt no-name music centre as a youth? I'm into psych-acoustics so I can't help but ponder that. )

Anyway, well pleased with the valves and vinyl I now have. The cd continues to get a lot of play too - bit like red wine/white wine or Windows/McIntosh, they're by no means mutually exclusive, nice to have both!!

Unfortunately however, according to Noteworthy Audio - a truly exemplary retailer - there has been a huge price rise on both the DL110 and the DL160 in the last week or so, making existing stocks more attractive at the price-point as was.

So get in there fast if you want one!

Cheers:eyebrows:

chris@panteg
18-05-2009, 11:36
Hi Simon what phono stage have you got and what is the gain on the mc input ,are you noticing any overload distortion then , glad you like the DL160 BTW i do too but it is a bit of a compromise.

Guy has put me right on some of the weakness and trade off's of high O/P mc's

Simon
18-05-2009, 17:35
Hi Simon what phono stage have you got and what is the gain on the mc input ,are you noticing any overload distortion then , glad you like the DL160 BTW i do too but it is a bit of a compromise.

Guy has put me right on some of the weakness and trade off's of high O/P mc's

Hi Chris,

Well I'm a born-again vinyl addict, having stored it in favour of a series of digital courtesans, so got back in fairly recently with an eBay Manticore Mantra with Linn LVX. As the K9 was an MM, I had to have a frantic look around for a phono stage and came up with the Project Tube Box II, affordable, liked the idea of more tubes 'tho it's not of course a proper tube output, and came recommended from Peter at Noteworthy as great value for the er...non-overly-demanding without heavily upholstered money-belts.

So I stuck a couple of Tung Sols in it, plugged in and pretty much forgot about it....it's only been a couple of months. Gain? No idea but I could look it up. I didn't mean that the MC distorts - it just sounds more enthusiastic and exciting than MM, but there again I haven't sat down yet and listened to the 160 for more than 20 mins on MM.

Is there something I'm unaware of? ( Reminds me of the old 'Bishop and the Actress' jokes )

DSJR
18-05-2009, 18:25
Despite the DL110 and 160 being "high output" moving coils, designed to work into a standard MM input, many people over the decades like to use them into an MC input as the sound is "ballsier." Nowt wrong with that at all, as if the input was being overloaded, you'd have heard it by now..

I'd change the LVX as soon as possible though, the Basik Plus was better IMO and the Mantra should do full justice to any half decent arm such as the Rega's (Michel techno-arm is my choice) or the smaller Jelco (ask Dave Cawley on here). If funds are very tight, then Jon at Audio Origami could refurb and re-set the arm to a higher standard for less than a ton I think.

Simon
18-05-2009, 19:05
Despite the DL110 and 160 being "high output" moving coils, designed to work into a standard MM input, many people over the decades like to use them into an MC input as the sound is "ballsier." Nowt wrong with that at all, as if the input was being overloaded, you'd have heard it by now..

I'd change the LVX as soon as possible though, the Basik Plus was better IMO and the Mantra should do full justice to any half decent arm such as the Rega's (Michel techno-arm is my choice) or the smaller Jelco (ask Dave Cawley on here). If funds are very tight, then Jon at Audio Origami could refurb and re-set the arm to a higher standard for less than a ton I think.

Oh no...don't do this to me - a new arm.....already, I knew I should never've mentioned it....no, please don't hit me in the nethers again with that knotted rope mister......

I was actually offered a Rega RB250 at the time of purchase but getting rolling was my top priority. Even though sound for pound is my main onjective, it's nice to know that the Mantra is rated, however, and - joking apart - I would be very curious to hear of recommendations, the Techno-arm sounds interesting, might have probs getting one fitted in Italy 'tho! Having said that, I reckon their sales figures are pretty healthy hereabouts ( source: local Comet ).
I'm equally interested in phono stages but that's for another thread I guess.

Anyway, yes - Denon DL160 thru MC = a very ballsy presentation with excellent finesse at the pricepoint. :cool:

chris@panteg
19-05-2009, 07:04
I think i was worrying about nothing really ' OMG i am turning into a hifi obsessive again i thought i was cured of that .

I was thinking yesterday now what if i got a nice Triode valve amp and stick a Jelco arm on the techy or maybe an SME IV then get a get a lovely MC like the at AT33 or try a 103' oh god its happening is it not.

sc_ita
19-05-2009, 11:46
@simon
The DL160 is very fine cartridge. This notwithstanding, in order to get a "ballsier" sound, the DL160 is not the optimum choice. Why don't you try a Denon DL103 or DL103R?
Using the MC input with an high output cartridge could produce an effect that is similar to that of the loudness war which has destroyed the dynamics of many RBCDs.
Bye,
Siro.

Simon
20-05-2009, 04:58
@simon
The DL160 is very fine cartridge. This notwithstanding, in order to get a "ballsier" sound, the DL160 is not the optimum choice. Why don't you try a Denon DL103 or DL103R?
Using the MC input with an high output cartridge could produce an effect that is similar to that of the loudness war which has destroyed the dynamics of many RBCDs.
Bye,
Siro.

Hi Siro,

I think you are referring to the 6db boost engineered into some cd recordings - Red Hot Chilli Peppers 'Californication, or Radiohead 'OK Computer' come to mind so not just Britney Spears boombox bubblegum pop - which indeed boost volume, sometimes at the expense of quality, not always.

I should have been more specific - the mc input with the 160 widens the soundstaging considerably so not just a question of volume although the extra couple of (volume) clicks it gives me on my valve amp is a benefit I'd say.The sound remains very, very natural. I go to see 'live' stuff whenever possible so any component that gives that sensation is good in my book - horn speakers anybody?

My setup is pretty modest by the standards of some guys here so rather than enter the upgrade spiral straightaway, I'd like to get maximum 'bang for buck' in the meantime and the Denon does that beautifully! I'm sure the 103 is an extremely good cartridge and in fact I almost went for one this time. But first there's the arm to consider, then the phono stage. then the power supply, how about a tweaked tonearm and mains cable.......oh bugger, Chris, could we start a support group, it's not going to go away is it? Oh no, the bells, the bells............

(Qui a Bologna c' un caldo africano soffocante!)

Simon
20-05-2009, 05:09
I think i was worrying about nothing really ' OMG i am turning into a hifi obsessive again i thought i was cured of that .

I was thinking yesterday now what if i got a nice Triode valve amp and stick a Jelco arm on the techy or maybe an SME IV then get a get a lovely MC like the at AT33 or try a 103' oh god its happening is it not.

A wafer thin mint, sir? I'm sure Mr Creosote would approve. BUT.....valves and vinyl can be a very seductive offering - the only way I can get the sort of audio fix I need is via, currently, 300Bs and the old black plastic.
I couldn't stop myself enquiring yesterday about a Jelco arm..........there must be a cure, surely. I suppose I could opt for the 'Van Gogh' technique and settle for low-rez mono!!

chris@panteg
20-05-2009, 10:36
Funny you should say that ' i was listening to an old python album this morning from 1969 in glorious mono .

The Jelco is very desirable and not silly money either' mmm i have seen some for sale and its starting to itch .

MartinT
20-05-2009, 11:25
The Jelco is indeed a superb arm, far better than I had expected it to be. I have the 250 and I'm sure Marco will wax lyrical about the 750. I doubt you could go wrong with one of these arms.

Marco
20-05-2009, 11:34
Chris,

Don't listen to *some* of that crap RD was telling you on pfm about the stock Techy arm and the Jelco! :no:

Jeez, he doesn't half talk pants sometimes about stuff he knows little about!! Agenda, agenda, agenda...

If you're going to use a 103, then the SA-750D murders an unmodified Techy arm. The stock Techy arm is only worth using if it's been rewired and fluid-damped by KAB, or if you're using it with an MM cartridge - otherwise bin it. It's a decent arm (the bearings are good) badly hampered by poor quality internal wiring, tonearm cabling, and a dreadful headshell, fit only for a DJ cartridge.

Mind you, he's right about one thing - I'd still rather use it than an unmodified RB250 or 300 :eyebrows:

I've had the Techy arm in both modded and unmodded form, and of course I'm currently using a Jelco, so I know what I'm talking about!

It's up to you, if you like the Techy arm then get the KAB mods or send it to J7 to be similarly 'pimped', otherwise invest in a Jelco.

I'm having my lunch now but will reply after in more detail about this :)

Marco.

chris@panteg
20-05-2009, 11:46
I was looking at the 750' a very reasonable price ' but i have to factor in arm cable and obviously phono stage and SUT's, my little 640 might not be enough for the 103.

Marco thanks for the advice i know about Richard he really has trod on a few toes i see on PFM, you must read some of the ramblings on there with some amusement i am sure .

Ohh one thing ' my techy arm has Van damme instrument cable now for the princely sum of 12.99 ' i went against Dave's advice (sorry Dave) i just had to try it ; its bloody good anybody else tried this cable.

Marco
20-05-2009, 12:22
Hi Chris,

I'm sure that the Van Damme is excellent, as is most good quality Pro-audio cable, like Belden, too, so you have no worries on that score since you've obviously binned the wet string posing as tonearm cable which Technics supply!

However, there's still some nasty stuff lurking inside your armtube which needs sorting... The question is what's your total budget for the arm, phono stage and SUT, and I'll give you the best advice I can on which way to proceed :)

Have you definitely settled on a 103? If not, the SA-250T which Martin uses works wonders with something like an AT33PTG without the need for SUTs or 'high-mass'.

The answer to that last question will greatly influence what I recommend, so think carefully ;)

Marco.

chris@panteg
20-05-2009, 23:58
Marco
Yes i am giving this some thought , its a toss up between the 250st and the 750 ' as much as i like the stock arm i realize it will have to go ' i have come this far .

The reason i am considering a change of cartridge is after some consultation with Guy 'who rightly pointed out the weakness and trade offs of a H/O mc ' its still a great little cart and i will keep it , which is why i fancy the 750 with its detachable headshell .

I am tempted to try the 103 but it seems logical to me to get the arm 1st' live with it for a while ' then the 103 with something like Guy's SUT and the P10 .