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jantheman
09-03-2010, 17:44
Just bought a 1200 in what I would call VG condition. I also have a new Rega 301 arm lying around from an earlier project that I have since scrapped. I was wondering if its worth fitting the 301 to my 1200. I see lots of recommendations for the likes of Jelcos and SME but the Rega doesnt seem to figure.
I would welcome your comments. Thanks in advance.

Marco
09-03-2010, 18:17
Hi Ray,

Welcome to AOS :)

The 301 is a good arm, although it's not one I would normally recommend to use with an SL-1200, basically because their respective 'sonic signatures' can clash.

The operative word though is "can", as that effect is not always guaranteed, and as you've already got a brand new 301, it makes sense to use it and choose a cartridge that will work well in this situation :cool:

Have you thought yet about cartridges, and if so, what's your budget? Also what is the rest if your system?

Once I know these details, I can help further.

Marco.

jantheman
09-03-2010, 18:35
Thanks for the reply Marco. I have updated my sig to show my system. I also have a Goldring 2100 cart which I intend to fit. Not planning on spending anything for a while. I supose the question is should I expect an improvement with the 301 over the stock arm.

Marco
09-03-2010, 19:05
It should be fine, but don't be surprised if the stock Technics arm is just as good with a moving magnet design, such as the Goldring...

If you want to make more of the 301, a Denon DL-110 (or DL-160), AT33PTG or Lyra Dorian would be a better bet, but I guess it all boils down to budget :)

An option you have is to sell the Rega, which you'd get decent money for, and the Goldring, and buy something like a Jelco SA-250 and (if you can afford it) an AT33PTG, which ultimately would be a better synergistic match with your SL-1200.

Marco.

The Vinyl Adventure
09-03-2010, 19:51
i dont want to kiss marcos arse to much, but there are a lot of happy 1210 onwers that have followed his and the advice of others with similar levels of experience in this area.

jantheman
10-03-2010, 07:17
Thanks again for the replies. Marco, I have taken on board what you have said and maybe a Denon will be my next purchase. The AT is not available in the UK it seems (although they are available on ebay from Japan) and the Lyra, although very nice is beyond me at the moment.
Hamish, if cuddling up to Marco does it for you then thats cool...:lol: Thanks for your response.

The Vinyl Adventure
10-03-2010, 08:21
Ha! Cheeky swine! ;)
"Cuddling up" to people on this site has done me proud over the last year, so if "cuddling" is what it's called then a "cuddler" I am! :grouphug:

jantheman
10-03-2010, 08:27
Hamish...I wasnt trying to be offensive, I just thought it was funny......

The Vinyl Adventure
10-03-2010, 08:39
Yeah, it's cool, I thought my reply seemed jokey too... All good! Forums are shit sometimes eh?
Il insert a smily for you to take the edge off....

The Vinyl Adventure
10-03-2010, 08:41
.... How's that?

jantheman
10-03-2010, 08:50
Ahhhhh. Thats nice, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. :lolsign:

Marco
10-03-2010, 09:34
Hi Ray,


Thanks again for the replies. Marco, I have taken on board what you have said and maybe a Denon will be my next purchase. The AT is not available in the UK it seems (although they are available on ebay from Japan) and the Lyra, although very nice is beyond me at the moment.


If you can at all afford it, then my advice would be to order an AT33PTG from Japan. Quite a few people here (and on other forums) use them - and to great effect. It's a spectacularly good cartridge for the money (think as good as anything up to a grand), and would work very well in your Rega.

At a later date when funds permit you could send your 301 to Johnnie from Audio Origami to have it rewired, stripped and polished, and this would form a formidable partnership with your SL-1200... That's the route I would go anyway if you want to hold onto your Rega :)


Hamish, if cuddling up to Marco does it for you then thats cool...:lol: Thanks for your response.

Yesh, we're all very 'close' here on AOS... Don't let it trouble you too much :eyebrows: ;)

Marco.

MartinT
10-03-2010, 20:59
If you can at all afford it, then my advice would be to order an AT33PTG from Japan.

Strongly seconded. Audiocubes II have good prices and deliver incredibly fast.

http://www.audiocubes2.com/

Marco
10-03-2010, 21:17
Everytime I look at that site, I drool! :eek:

Marco.

MartinT
10-03-2010, 21:31
Funny you should say that, I was just drooling over it a few minutes ago... :)

jantheman
11-03-2010, 11:35
Great link Martin.....Many thanks

REM
11-03-2010, 13:24
Blimey, check out the Denon cartridge prices on the AC2 site($800 for a 103SA), given the sinking pound is that an indication of what we're in for over the next year or so?:(

dmckean
12-03-2010, 05:00
It's much cheaper here:

http://www.needledoctor.com/Denon-DL-103SA-Cartridge

Marco
12-03-2010, 08:01
That's about the cheapest I've seen it for sale, Dave :)

I completely agree with this (from the site):


DL-103SA is the special edition of DL-103R. Both of them share the same specifications. The wires are 6N OFC cable with metallic blue fiberglass composite housing. Thus it makes the new DL-103SA provide a much more modern sound and represents the new age of Denon analog sound. The DL-103SA is packed with a luxury walnut wood case and is a limited production of 2000 pcs.
DL-103SA is a dream MC cartridge for an audiophile.


Indeed.... Quite simply, in the right arm and headshell, through the A23 SUT, vinyl reproduction doesn't get much better - at any price.

Marco.

jantheman
12-03-2010, 08:41
So....the only difference it seems between the 'SA and the 'R' is that the 'SA' is blue in colour and comes in a nice box. Forgive me if I am being a bit thick here but I would be interested to know how that makes it sound better than the 'R' given that there is a $120 difference in price.
Most of the description on the Needledoctor site refers to the 'R' version. Would someone please enlighten me.

Marco
12-03-2010, 09:10
Hi Ray,

The key is in this bit:


The wires are 6N OFC cable with metallic blue fiberglass composite housing.


The improved body shell of the 'SA' makes all the difference!

Basically, and I know this from considerable experience over many years of using these cartridges, the black plastic body shell of the stock 103 is singularly *the* thing which holds back its performance most, as it's rather resonant (much more so compared to the fibreglass composite material of the 'SA'), and thus quite badly colours the sound.

This is why people 'nude' stock 103s to remove the coloration of the plastic shell, but this can sometimes cause its own problems. The best solution is to dispose of it and fit something better, such as is used on the 'SA' version, or fit one of the aftermarket shells (wooden and suchlike) available from numerous specialist companies on-line. Doing that then releases the full potential of the 103's superb generator and stylus assembly. The secret is in its use of Alnico magnets, which have wonderful sonic characteristics.

Oh, and regarding stylus profiles, when properly partnered with the right ancillaries, spherical tipped cartridges can sound truly stunning and lack little in upper frequency detail retrieval compared to modern elliptical and fine-line types, and you get a glorious sounding 'valve-like' midrange and bass to die for, too - far better in my experience than most modern cartridges are capable of!

Is that a comprehensive enough answer for you? :)

Marco.

jantheman
12-03-2010, 09:23
Good 'ere innit. Post a question and get a quality answer in minutes. Thanks again Marco. Looks like I have alot to learn...more input, more input.

Marco
12-03-2010, 09:29
We aim to please, matey :)

I look forward to lots more of your contributions.

Marco.

MartinT
12-03-2010, 09:47
Having heard Marco's 103SA, I can only attest to the fact that you can look at specs all you like (such as spherical stylus) and it won't tell you a thing about how it sounds. That cartridge sounds absolutely glorious - in the right arm.

Marco
12-03-2010, 09:58
Hi Martin,

I know you really liked it, and going for one (with all it entails to get it right) is a decision you'll have to make once getting your head around what the Dynavector tonearm is doing :)


I can only attest to the fact that you can look at specs all you like (such as spherical stylus) and it won't tell you a thing about how it sounds.

...such is the case with most things in hi-fi, which is why we have ears... I prefer to know the FULL story, not merely a fraction of it, which is all that specs or measurements will ever tell you! ;)

Marco.

jantheman
12-03-2010, 10:08
Having heard Marco's 103SA, I can only attest to the fact that you can look at specs all you like (such as spherical stylus) and it won't tell you a thing about how it sounds. That cartridge sounds absolutely glorious - in the right arm.

Would you consider the RB301 that I am proposing to fit...'the right arm' or at least good enough to get the best out of the cart.

Marco
12-03-2010, 10:24
Hi Ray,

It's not the most ideal match in the world, but could be made to work with some judicious fettling! You'd also have to factor in the use (and cost) of an SUT (step-up transformer).

It depends if you're up for that or just want a 'fit and forget' solution. I can advise on what the former would entail, if you so wish :)

Marco.

MartinT
12-03-2010, 10:25
Would you consider the RB301 that I am proposing to fit

Hi Ray

That's a tricky one. I am familiar with the Michell TecnoArm, which is a souped-up Rega arm. It worked well enough in my previous deck but I never tried it in the Techie - reminds me, I must put it up for sale. To be honest, I don't think it's in the same class as the Jelco SA-250ST as it always had a slightly laid back and grey sound, not as dynamic. However, these things need to be tried out; I have a friend running a Linn LP12 with a Rega RB300 arm (supposedly a poor combination) and it sounds very good.

I think you would have to try it and see. It will only cost you an armboard.

chris@panteg
12-03-2010, 10:51
Can i just say i thought Marco's Deck with the 103SA ' sounded sublime it had a gorgeous open presentation with that liquid mid range ' that the best MC's seem to have ' reminded me of my m8's IO on his Voyd , which is one of my fave cartridges ' can't say better than that:)

mike1210
12-03-2010, 15:19
I had an Origin Live Silver on mine (Origin Live Armboard) but wasn't really feeling it. Now have the Jelco SA-750D on it and much prefer it. Denon DL-160 cart:)

chris@panteg
12-03-2010, 23:06
Hi Mike

I see you have the Dino ' what do you think of it with the DL160 and what setting are you using ?

mike1210
12-03-2010, 23:24
Hi Chris, Tidy to be fair, Ive got it on the lowest gain setting ATM and resistor set to off 47k. Haven't experimented as yet on different values. When I first got it I thought the top end was a little harsh but the Cart has grown on me.

Not sure if the Origin Live Silver was a good match for it, seems better on the Jelco 750, bit more open and lively, Origin Live Silver sounded a but dead and dull and to be honest wasnt much better than the standard arm

If you want to record vinyl to a PC beware the dino's output is very loud and will overlord most soundcards unless you have a pre-trim on the inputs. I had this problem with my Soundblaster and had to get Focusrite but it was better sound card so not the end of the world. If you want ill send you some recordings and see what you think. PM me with your email addy if you want some

I havent got much to compare the Dino too as I was at first using the phonostage of my Marantz PM6010OSE which to be fair wasn't bad for the price, then a Cambridge Audio 640P which I thought was dreadful. The Dino beats both of those....but you may be able to find better for a Dino price

chris@panteg
13-03-2010, 00:02
Thanks Mike

You know what ' i have the 640p ' and am getting an itch to try something else ' i have already decided to upgrade the stock arm to something quite a bit better (just waiting for Dave C) .

I was leaning towards a valve stage ' Croft ' P10 or Icon PS1 , but recently met a guy from Bristol (Jon) who uses a Dino mk2 with upgraded psu and he loves it with DL103 in preference i might add ' and this will surprise some to an Audio innovations P2 and a Croft super Micro with SUT's .

This really stunned me to be honest ' i only know the Croft by repute but the P2 is a stunning bit of kit ' well i thought so .

I would love to hear some rips if possible ' Mike .

mike1210
13-03-2010, 00:25
My planned next cart was going to be a Denon DL-103R so it's good to know it's a good match with the Dino:)

jantheman
17-03-2010, 15:08
Well the 301 is in and all set up with regard to VTA, VTF, protractor alignment etc etc. The Goldring is on at the mo...(maybe an upgrade to come permittng). Fitting was a doddle considering I have never had one of these apart before. I willl give it some time before I decide on my next move as most of the TT stuff is new (cart, arm and V-LPS) and I think would benefit from a few hours on the clock. A mat is definately on the cards but thats it for now. Thanks for everyones help and opinions, I will post once I have had some time to listen some....