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soundfanz
29-08-2009, 22:01
Hello all,

This is my first post here, and hopefully the first of many. I came across this site while researching the Denon DL103R in its various forms, and there seems to be great info here.

What I am hoping to hear is that a DL103R is a good match for the tonearm I just purchased? The arm will be placed on a Technics SP10 MKII in a slate plinth.
I have been wanting to try this cartridge for years now, but as its unsuited to my current modded Rega RB300, I am yet to get there.
And I would love to try either the 103PRO or the ZU DL103 or any other recommended variant apart from the standard 103R.
But I am struggling to find stockists of the DL103PRO.

Maybe I am getting ahead of myself here, I think the arm and cart are a good match, but need some feedback before I go ahead.


Chris

Alex_UK
29-08-2009, 22:07
Hi Chris, welcome. Can't help you on your arm/cartiridge question, I'm afraid, but hi anyway. Someone will be along soon who knows, I'm sure!

DSJR
29-08-2009, 22:13
No No! The Alphason arm is rubbish and you really need to sell it to me for scrap value - 50 should cover it........;)

Seriously, as long as the bearings are good and the cueing device still works properly (both easily sorted with the arm off the deck), then you can stick anything you like into this arm and it should work ok. Even Decca's sound stunning in this arm (and they don't take prisoners of "conventional" arm-wisdom).

Others may challenge this statement, but the arm and turntable can do so much better than a Denon 103 "anything....." IMO. I'd be looking at an AT33PTG at the very least, or one of the ZYX models (R100) which very much impressed me last I heard a decent turntable. I'm out of date now on current "mid priced" moving coil cartridges and old favourites of mine, such as the Dynavector 17D series is a bit passe now it seems, all the "in" crowd going for EsCo rebuilt Troika's instead :(

of the 103's you mention, I have a leaning towards the ZU version, although that wooden conversion on another thread here could well be the answer in both mass and vibration-absorption - the compliance should be fine, although a little more mass in the shell may be an advantage.

Oh yeah, forgive my manners - Welcome indeed :)

Mike
29-08-2009, 22:16
What I am hoping to hear is that a DL103R is a good match for the tonearm I just purchased?

No it won't!... no cartridge will. You should send the arm to me for safe disposal ASAP! :eyebrows:

Well, maybe not. Marco is the bloke to answer that one, but he usually recommends something akin to the forth road bridge for all things 103 related.

I do know an AT-OC9 MLII sounds brilliant in one though! :)

Mike
29-08-2009, 22:18
No No! The Alphason arm is rubbish and you really need to sell it to me for scrap value - 50 should cover it........;)

Bugger off, Dave. I'll fight you for it! :lolsign:

Spectral Morn
29-08-2009, 22:26
Hi Chris


Over my still lifeless corpse, springs to mind in regard to the Alphason HR100S. Its one of the best of the older arms and sadly points back to a company who once made fantastic analogue audio, arms, TT and good speakers too. Now all they make are crap av tables and the like. How the mighty have fallen.

Good find...don't sell it.



Regards D S D L

speakers-1989
29-08-2009, 22:33
This must be a very nice sounding arm! I don't see them come up very often on ebay.

Spectral Morn
29-08-2009, 22:36
This must be a very nice sounding arm! I don't see them come up very often on ebay.


Fantastic indeed, as was the turntable it was designed for The Alphason Sonata.

http://www.hi-fiworld.co.uk/hfw/hfwImages/oldeworlde/alphasonhr100s1.gif

http://digilander.libero.it/bellocaddo/turntables/alphason_sonata.jpg

Regards D S D L

soundfanz
29-08-2009, 22:52
Thanks guys for the warm welcome.

And the other cartridge suggestions are very handy too, I am not committed to the Denon, but would love to try one sometime and at this stage am leaning that way.

As for the Aphason arm, there is one listed on aust ebay at the moment, and am sure he could be convinced to ship it overseas. Its $800 aust BIN which seems to be a decent price.
Here is the link ( hope I am allowed to do this?)

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180401407910&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT


Chris

StanleyB
29-08-2009, 22:53
That arm looks suspiciously similar to one in my spare tonearms box. Are they worth 50? :idea:.

http://www.homehifi.co.uk/images/a1.jpg

The Grand Wazoo
29-08-2009, 22:54
Thanks guys for the warm welcome.

As for the Aphason arm, there is one listed on aust ebay at the moment, and am sure he could be convinced to ship it overseas. Its $800 aust BIN which seems to be a decent price.
Here is the link ( hope I am allowed to do this?)

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180401407910&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT


Chris

Hi Chris & welcome.
That seems a bit of a steal to me - someone should tear his arm off to get hold of that

Spectral Morn
29-08-2009, 22:57
That arm looks suspiciously similar to one in my spare tonearms box. Are they worth 50? :idea:.

http://www.homehifi.co.uk/images/a1.jpg


And a bit more Stan. Uses a Linn arm mount if I remember right, fantastic arm. If I had access to an arm board for my Oracle for sensible money, I'd ask to buy it off you, but I don't have access to the board or the money so I won't ask to buy it off you assuming you were selling it.


Regards D S D L

StanleyB
29-08-2009, 23:01
This is just half of my collection. The day I got a DDX-1000 TT I ended up collecting tonearms the way some people accumulate opamps...

I actually prefer that MA-505MKI myself.

These are some of tools I use in the A/B testing of my DAC versus my vinyl set up.

Stan

Spectral Morn
29-08-2009, 23:06
This is just half of my collection. The day I got a DDX-1000 TT I ended up collecting tonearms the way some people accumulate opamps...

I actually prefer that MA-505MKI myself.

Yes..collecting arms is a nice hobby and if you have a deck that can take more than one arm, you can use them as well;all the time. I have 3, a Graham Phantom B2, Graham 2.2 and a SME 5....all very nice but I reckon the HR100s would go well on an Oracle Delphi, as it has similar design elements to the Alphason Sonata just not as much of a heavy weight in the platter .


Regards D S D L

Barry
29-08-2009, 23:26
Stanley,

You have an excellent arm in the Alphason arm. It was the first to 'integrate' the cartridge mounting platform into the arm, years before Rega and SME tried the same. I cannot speak from experience, but I would hope that the Alphason is a good match with the Denon 103.

I have obtained 'satisfactory' results running a ('cooking') 103 in an SME 3009 and 3012, mounted in an SME S2 headshell, but I am about to try the same mounted in the heavier EMT TSD-G shell, on either an SME 3012 or EMT 929 arm, as advised by those 'in the know' .

My findings will appear on AoS in due course.

Suggest you appeal to the 'Denon-meister', Marco for further advice.

Regards

StanleyB
29-08-2009, 23:30
There is true tale to that arm of mine. The Alphason turntable that it was fitted to had to be abandoned on an island. The TT was shipped to that island by a well to do friend in the 70's. One day a parcel arrived from my friend, with the arm in it. It turned out the TT had failed and it would have cost a fortune to have it shipped to the UK to get fixed, due to its immense weight.

Stan

Marco
01-09-2009, 09:15
Hi Chris,

Welcome to AOS :)

Things have moved on a bit since I recommended the 103Pro. It's still an excellent cartridge, but experience now tells me that the plastic body shell of the 103 is what holds it back most (not the spherical stylus) which of course is used on the Pro, and of course the stock 103.

Unless you're up for buying a Pro and nuding it, preferably then fitting one of the 'fancy' wooden body shells (as shown on NRG's 'cartridge morphing' thread), I'd go for a 103SA (available from Sound Hi-fi) or the ZU103, which are head and shoulders the best 103s I've heard - and would trounce a 103R.

Ignore Mr 'DSJR' (Dave, you don't half talk some pish sometimes! ;)) A 103SA, ZU103, or a nuded 103Pro fitted with a nice wooden body shell, properly set-up, are absolutely stunning cartridges and can compete with many high-end designs on the market and outperform them in areas such as midrange clarity (here they are truly 'valve-like'), bass solidity and 'presence'.

Unfortunately, your Alphason (superb though it is) is a (lowish) medium-mass design and doesn't have enough 'heft' for a 103 of any description, but could be suitably modded by the likes of Audio Origami from adding internal mass to the armtube.

In the meantime, you could do the same to the headshell by obtaining a brass cartridge stabiliser of appropriate mass (I'd suggest around 5g for the Alphason) from Dave Cawley of Sound Hi-fi, which simply bolts onto the headshell, and should increase the arm's effective mass to something much more suitable.

The problem you've got is that you own a truly superb tonearm - one which outperforms many modern designs (for example, it would truly piss all over any Rega and compete with some SMEs), but as standard it's not the best match for your chosen cartridge. So you either modify the arm to suit the 103 or you go for the likes of an AT-33PTG, which is a brilliant cartridge, and will suit the Alphason down to the ground - or you sell the Alphason (you'd get good money for it) and buy something like a Jelco SA-750D, which with a heavy detachable headshell is talior made for any DL-103.

Whatever you choose to do from the above will guarantee excellent results, albeit by obtaining different sonic presentations.

With regard to buying a 103Pro, try here: http://www.eifl.co.jp/index/export/export2.htm

Scroll down to near the bottom of the page and you'll see the Denon cartridges, including the Pro. You'll have to import it, I'm afraid.

Hope this helps :cool:

Best,
Marco.

Beobloke
01-09-2009, 14:39
The problem you've got is that you own a truly superb tonearm - one which outperforms many modern designs (for example, it would truly piss all over any Rega and compete with some SMEs), but as standard it's not the best match for your chosen cartridge.

Well said that man. The Alphason is a stunner but it would still be worth sending it to Audio Origami for a check-over anyway as it uses ceramic bearings which can tend to be a bit fragile in old age. Acquiring a Jelco SA-750D made me realise my own HR-100S was a bit sloppier than it should have been, so off it went to Johnnie and he reported that one bearing was in quite a bad way. It came back renewed and sounding better than ever. I have directly compared it to an SME V and, although the SME was still better IMHO, the difference wasn't as huge as I was expecting. It really is a superb device as far as I'm concerned and I won't ever be letting mine go.

As to cartridges, let's just say I'm not the greatest fan of the DL103 and leave it at that, but I have used an AT-OC9MLII in mine for two years and loved every minute of it. This has only recently been ousted by an Ortofon Kontrapunkt B which is even better. As Marco rightly says, though, if you do want to use a DL103 in the Alphie, it will need beefing up a bit.

NRG
01-09-2009, 16:04
Hi Chris, I've heard first hand a 103 / HR100 / SP10 MKII combination and it works really well. The HR had been modded and sported extra mass at the head shell (heed what Marco is saying)...stick with it and it will prove a good combination.

DSJR
01-09-2009, 16:24
Hi Chris,

Ignore Mr 'DSJR' (Dave, you don't half talk some pish sometimes! ;)) A 103SA, ZU103, or a nuded 103Pro fitted with a nice wooden body shell, properly set-up, are absolutely stunning cartridges and can compete with many high-end designs on the market and outperform them in areas such as midrange clarity (here they are truly 'valve-like'), bass solidity and 'presence'.


Best,
Marco.

Marco's emotions totally taking over from scientific fact again, but I'm not going to argue this one :D

The 103 currently available isn't that low in compliance (higher than a Decca for example) and it's probably the extra mass needed which takes the arm/cart resonance down low enough to keep the audible bass range secure and flatter. Use one in your Alphason if you wish - you won't do any harm doing so...

I'd still like someone to post on here just exactly how far one has to *really* go these days to genuinely trounce a Denon 103 - and don't joke about overpriced Koetsu's either - they're the most contrived of them all and I don't think they've got any better recently either!

The OC9 and 33PTG Audio Technica's track beautifully right to side end, don't have a "driving" bass though, but make up for it elsewhere IMO. If you really want to hear what a 103 can do, I'd suggest a 12" Jelco - as soon as Marco gets one on an SP10, his former deck as used today will be *pish* by comparison - you know I'm right :D :gig: :ner:


As said above though, so sad that Alphason turned their collective back so totally on their audio gear. I suspect the Linnie/Naimie thang had a lot to do with it (Richard Dunn isn't the only one with an old axe to grind I'm afraid..)

I believe Audio Origami do some good work on Alphason tonearm re-wires - worth asking at some point...


P.S. Oh, to have that tonearm collection of Stanley's........

soundfanz
02-09-2009, 07:42
Thanks for all the feedback guys.
I will leave the Denon DL103R for another day on another arm.
I have had Johnnie7 at Audio Origami modify a tonearm for me in the past, and he does superb work.
But..... I have just purchased an Accuphase AC-2 MC cart from a seller on the Audio Asylum site, and it has minimal hours on it. I did a lot of googling about this cart and it seems to be an excellent cartridge.
I also was considering a Denon Dl 304 and an AT OC9 ML II, but went for the Accuphase.
I have done some checking and it is a good match for the Alphason arm, and I really look forward to hearing the combo when I get home in November.
Depending on how it sounds I will then consider sending the arm off for mods from AO, or just leave it standard.

I will also post pics at that time.

Chris

Marco
02-09-2009, 08:01
Hi Chris,

Sounds like a good outcome. The Accuphase is highly rated, by all accounts :)

Much as I'm a fan of the DL-103, I'd be reluctant to sell an HR100S because it wasn't compatible. Yes you could modify it quite successfully to suit the 103, but there's nothing to say that the Accuphase/HR100S combo won't be as good as, say, a Jelco SA-750D/103Pro - just different!

Anyway, enjoy and keep us posted of the final outcome, of course with pictures :cool:

Marco.

DSJR
02-09-2009, 08:08
Next time I visit HiFi Dave I'll take the camera - he has some fantastic vintage stuff and should have the Harbeth 40.1's by then - a modern *big* speaker I really want to spend some time with - fed by valves and a decent source of whatever persuasion the music is presented on.. I want a play with his SL110 in any case for old time's sake :)

"Used" Accuphase looks to be a great idea, but I think that both they and Luxman deliberately priced their gear out of the running to maintain that aloof cachet so beloved of audiophools - a great shame IMO..

Good luck with the combo once you get it working and don't give up on the 103, just take Marco's advice on getting one of the better ones.

Haselsh1
02-09-2009, 08:16
Hello there... I use an Alphason Xenon tonearm which was almost identical to the HR100 S MCS but without quite as much stainless on the gimbal mount. At the moment I have a Denon DL160 in it but I'm looking forward to next year when I shall be fitting a much better cartridge. Can't wait...

The Grand Wazoo
02-09-2009, 10:57
But..... I have just purchased an Accuphase AC-2 MC cart from a seller on the Audio Asylum site, and it has minimal hours on it. I did a lot of googling about this cart and it seems to be an excellent cartridge.


Chris,
I'd be very interested as to how you get on with the Accuphase - please keep your promise to let us know, mate.

Cheers

Beobloke
02-09-2009, 13:20
As said above though, so sad that Alphason turned their collective back so totally on their audio gear. I suspect the Linnie/Naimie thang had a lot to do with it (Richard Dunn isn't the only one with an old axe to grind I'm afraid..)


It's actually more complicated than that. It's a long story, but if I may quote a summary from Haden Boardman, who used to work for Alphason, -

Basically it started with a few issues relating to Alphason's then new range of electronics but, to rub salt into Mike's wounds, at the time of the electronics problems, a representative was going around telling everyone that Alphason were in dire straights when this was simply not true.

On top of this, an enthusiastic customer, thinking he was doing Alphason a favour, would badger local dealers into getting the Sonata in stock by ringing up and posing as a potential customer. Unhappily, the gentleman had a pretty distinctive accent and would also accompany Mike on dealer demonstrations! Dealers aren't stupid and spotted the 'plant' even though Alphason were completely in ignorance of his activities!

Thanks to this mis-directed enthusiasm, Alphason began to lose what dealers it had and was forced to sell 'factory seconds' direct to customers. This way, you soon end up with no dealers at all.

Between 1980 and 1990, Alphason had its (unfortunately unpatented) ideas copied by other manufacturers, was ripped off for dodgy amplifiers, bad-mouthed by an ex-employee and suffered an enthusiast muddying the water with the dealers.

As Haden said, the odds seemed to be stacked against Mike which is a great shame as he is a talented chap. I have heard rumours that he may be designing a new arm for a UK manufacturer but this was in the very early stages when I was talking to the manufacturer in question last year and I don't know if anything more has happened. Personally speaking, however, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

goodattitude88
30-12-2009, 00:03
And a bit more Stan. Uses a Linn arm mount if I remember right, fantastic arm. If I had access to an arm board for my Oracle for sensible money, I'd ask to buy it off you, but I don't have access to the board or the money so I won't ask to buy it off you assuming you were selling it.


Regards D S D L



Hi D S D L,

Any taught of selling your Alphason HR100S tone arm for I'm in the market for one.

Cheers,

James T :)

The Grand Wazoo
30-12-2009, 00:15
Hi James,
Welcome to the Art of Sound!
I think we'd all appreciate it if you could veer over to the Welcome area & introduce yourself to us.
Some of the things we'd all like to know about are your taste in music, whereabouts ou come from & your system & what it is made up from - I'm guessing that if you know about Alphason arms, you've probably got a system we'd like to hear about!
Then if you feel like it, you can stop by at the Gallery & show us some piccies.
Cheers

pure sound
30-12-2009, 13:46
Using my J7 rebuilt, AN rewired Xenon with an AN Io on a Voyd at the moment & really enjoying it. This cartridge is 22g so the arm has a heavier stainless steel c/weight made by John (Thrunobulax) to allow it to balance.

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh107/pure_sound/voydshot.jpg

I'd describe the Alphason as perhaps more explicit but less rooted than my SMEV. A very pleasant alternative though.

Spectral Morn
30-12-2009, 15:05
Hi D S D L,

Any taught of selling your Alphason HR100S tone arm for I'm in the market for one.

Cheers,

James T :)

Sorry re-read my post...I was saying that if one was up for sale I would (assuming I had the money..and I don't) buy one. I don't have one for sale.

Please pop into the Welcome section of the forum and say hello please.


Regards D S D L

DSJR
30-12-2009, 17:09
Darned great arm that one. I suspect a mdern re-take on this thinking would end up costing a grand at least though, which makes the 300 - 500 used costs of old ones a great buy still..

I suspect the Void may prefer the more "solid" performance of the SME bigies. My mate used Helius arms on his Voids as I remember, but it's over twenty years ago and he lived hundreds of miles away.. I think he went the whole hog with AI amps and SBL shaped Snell speakers (Type C's?)

The Grand Wazoo
30-12-2009, 17:16
SBL shaped Snell speakers (Type C's?)

Yes, type C's had the sloping upper baffle & an extra tweeter on the rear.

soundfanz
31-12-2009, 18:01
Hi all,

Just an update. I do have the Alphason arm now, and the Technics SP10 MKII that it will be mated with........but am still waiting for my slate plinth to be finished and delivered. Then I can set it up and give my thoughts here.
I have both an Accuphase AC-2 and an Ortofon Jubilee to try on the arm too so am looking forward to hearing the results.

Have a great New years, and stay safe.

Chris

Ali Tait
31-12-2009, 18:13
Hi Chris,
I don't think you'll be disappointed.A friend has an SP10,which sounded great in it's wooden plinth.The change to slate was not subtle!

soundfanz
30-03-2010, 06:29
Just a quick update. I'll have my plinth in the next day or so,(only 4 months late ) and will finally post up some pics of the table and arm and plinth once I have it together.

Chris

DSJR
30-03-2010, 06:54
Drool......... :)

electrafixion
05-04-2010, 21:41
Just a quick update. I'll have my plinth in the next day or so,(only 4 months late ) and will finally post up some pics of the table and arm and plinth once I have it together.

Chris

I'm looking forward to those photos. I've got a SP-10mk2 that's arriving this week, and I'm still undecided on what to do for a plinth. I'm also looking forward to your impressions of the Alphason arm as I've got a Xenon that J7 adjusted and rewired for a me just a few weeks ago.

pure sound
05-04-2010, 21:59
SP10 Mk2 Xenon in double layer slate plinth

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh107/pure_sound/slatesp10.jpg

electrafixion
06-04-2010, 13:30
Looks great. How do you find the sound of the Alphason vs. the Rega arm?

pure sound
06-04-2010, 14:07
The Alphason (also J7 re-built) is in an altogether different class to the Rega. The cartridge feels as if it is being allowed to retrieve far more from the record without blurring or fuzziness. I keep the rega there with an mm fitted for quick testing of phono stages and uncritical (ie not in the same room) listening.

The Alphason has since moved to another deck and a 12" Jelco will shortly be tried in its place.

electrafixion
07-04-2010, 00:36
Please keep us posted...I've been contemplating a long Jelco myself.

soundfanz
12-04-2010, 11:33
The wait continues. I received my plinth, but snapped 2 of the cartridge tags off with my clumsy hands when installing the cartridge. :(
So I decided, bugger it, I will send the arm over to johnnie7 at Audio Origami (who did an awesome rewire of my RB300 arm a few years back) to do his magic again with the Alphason for a rewire,tags, new cable etc, and will report back as soon as I have it back and up and running.

Chris

DSJR
12-04-2010, 14:10
As I re-discovered myself this weekend, fine soldering is now beyond me with the limited resourses at hand. I had to re-wire a 4 pin DIN plug and got it right first time, or so I thought, until I noticed the barrel of the plug sitting on the floor..... I had to de solder and do it all over again, by which time the plastic part of the plug was looking a bit worse for wear, although the joints were clean and "wet" enough... I dare not even look at cartridge tags now and shall have to save for sets of the litz style Cardas ones..

hifi_dave
12-04-2010, 17:10
Silly old sod....:ner:

DSJR
12-04-2010, 19:54
I'll deal with you later sunshine......... :bike:

soundfanz
19-05-2010, 20:20
I'll post more pics soon when I have my system set up, but here are two of my table,arm and slate plinth.

DSJR
19-05-2010, 20:40
No! That arm isn't butch enough for the SP10 and you need to retire it to me while you get a real man's 12" arm for the techie.. :eyebrows:

soundfanz
20-05-2010, 06:01
No! That arm isn't butch enough for the SP10 and you need to retire it to me while you get a real man's 12" arm for the techie.. :eyebrows:

Lol. The thought crossed my mind to try a 12" arm but am very happy that I went with the Alphason.

Chris

DSJR
20-05-2010, 06:49
You may well do in time with the knowledge that the HR100S, especially one which has been properly fettled, will retain and probably increase its value further - grrrrrrr :)

soundfanz
20-05-2010, 10:03
You may well do in time with the knowledge that the HR100S, especially one which has been properly fettled, will retain and probably increase its value further - grrrrrrr :)

I had it rewired at AudioOrigami in Scotland, and Johnny (owner) said that its amongst the best 100HRS arms he has come across. He only had to blow a little dust out of the bearings. And he does great work too. :)

Chris

chris@panteg
20-05-2010, 10:16
I like that Chris ' that's Van Damme mic cable if i am not mistaken ? very good it is too.

DSJR
20-05-2010, 16:32
Yeah, twin and drain "pro-Patch" cable which is amazing value for money and excellent performance IMO.