View Full Version : All aboard the 103...

Jason P
06-05-2009, 22:13
I finally got fed up with the frankly cr***y tracking of my Grado Prestige Silver and bought a 103 - just the cooking model, nothing fancy. It was a bit of a punt, bought secondhand from avforums, but the chap seemed genuine and proved to be so - it arrived today boxed and in great knick (as it should be only having done about 100 hours)

First impressions - very favourable. Bearing in mind I don't have a spacer-weight thingy for my Sumiko headshell, as a stopgap I've resorted to putting the original mat AND the SoundHiFi one on to get the VTA spot on. Blimey, there's bass!! Drums had real slam and attack, a very visceral sound and music certainly swings along. I thought it sounded 'slow' at first but it was, I think, separating stuff out in the soundstage more - less mush, more detail, more time to think rather than straining to make out what's going on.

Running it through the MC stage on my current amp (a NAD 3130) was fine, but my MF X-LP2 revealed a whole lot more.

Curiously it really suited older albums well - I'm talking 70s and earlier rather than 80s - my original pressing of 'Year of the Cat' has never sounded better, and for the first time 'Rumours' made sense, sonically. I guess its to be expected as the cart is of a similar era. Later stuff sounds fine, but it really shines on earlier material - and it's not just the pressings, I have a recent re-issue of Judee Sill's eponymous album on 180gm and it sounded fab.

So a bargain for 55 and I'll get working on a spacer soon enough... when I've stopped rifling through the vinyl :eyebrows: