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Marco
01-08-2008, 22:56
I've just came across this video and thought our resident 103 fans would find it interesting :)

http://www.thomas-schick.com/Denon103/Denon103final.wmv

I've yet to hear the effect of removing the 103's body. I can envisage though how it could improve things. Trouble is, when you've got one sounding utterly superb avec body you just can't be arsed fiddling with it...

I'd have to send mine to someone anyway because with my 'butter fingers' I just *know* I'd end up trashing it :lolsign:

Can anyone who's tried a 103 with and without its body comment on the difference removing it makes. I'm only interested in those who've done a direct A/B comparison.

Marco.

Prince of Darkness
02-08-2008, 10:08
It's well worth doing, I was amazed by how much better the nuded version sounded. Still very much got that 103 sound, but an extra level of detail just appears as if from nowhere.
It's a lot easier to do than you might expect. The main hazard is damaging the fine wires running to the output pins. This happened to me the first time I tried it:doh:. Fortunately it was an old cartridge, near the end of it's useful life:).

Mike
02-08-2008, 10:14
I'll do it for free if anyone wants it done...

Surely no-one needs those fine wires or cantilevers n' stuff do they? :lolsign:

Yomanze
02-08-2008, 15:03
Glad someone else offered haha - I'd have been happy to 'nude' a standard DL103 :lolsign:

Marco, agree wholeheartedly with Prince of Darkness, the difference is 'night and day', not subtle.

Marco
02-08-2008, 22:38
I must arrange to have this done sometime. Interesting that Mr Schick after 'nuding' the cartridge chooses to put it in a different body...

So the question is - does a 103 sound best 'nude' or simply in a better quality body (wooden or whatever)? After all that's what Zu do :smoking:

http://www.zuaudio.com/dl_103.htm

No 'nudity' there.

Marco.

Yomanze
03-08-2008, 07:35
Uh oh Marco, we seem have moved into the realms of taste! I couldn't comment on the Zu, looks nice though. From what I've garnered, wooden cases enhance the tone of the cartridge, whereas either going the Zu route or nuding the cartridge brings out more detail.

If you look at how the plastic case attaches to the cartridge body (and how it bolts to the headshell), it's easy to see how this could cause a loss of resolution. It really does not seem like a rigid coupling from cart to headshell in standard form. Unlike the standard DL103 Your DL103s have a small dampening pad between case & body, so Denon are aware of this ;)

Just to throw more petrol onto the fire, a lot of people feel that loose coupling of the DL103 and an arm with 'loose' bearings (like an SME 3009) is the way to go! Obviously a lot of energy emitted from the DL103, which is why I went the ultrahigh mass, nude route. I seem to prefer tight coupling too...

Having a DL103 in a wooden shell AND a nude one... I may do this in the future - the joys of removable headshells!

Marco
03-08-2008, 09:45
Interesting, Yom. I think if I were to do anything with my 103s it would be that which facilitates the pursuit of more detail - there's enough 'tone' with 103s already.

The Zu is interesting and I've contemplated getting one for a while, but as the purchase of an EMT XSD-15 is imminent I'm not sure that I need another cartridge! :eyebrows:

Regarding your thoughts on arms with "loose bearings", I think there is merit in this approach. I've heard a 103R working very well in for example a Hadcock (with extra mass added to the headshell), which is of course a lightweight unipivot, so I'm sure a 3009 could work equally as well. I'm still of the opinion though that high mass arms are best. After all, that's what the 103 was originally designed to be used with (think what Denon's own arms are like, and the Fidelity Research, etc, from the same era).

The key I think is in a high mass headshell. Whichever way you cut it, a 103 will not work well in a lightweight headshell. As such, as far as 3009s are concerned, the best bet is the detachable headshell version so that something like a Sumiko, or the AT LH-18 I use, can be fitted. The counterweight balance would also have to be replaced with a 'Thruno special'. That done, I think the results would be none too shabby :)

Right, I'm off to spin some vinyl and assess in detail what the HA-500 is doing! Full report later.

Marco.

Yomanze
03-08-2008, 10:10
EMT XSD-15 looks very interesting! RE: the DL103, well, each increase in mass has yielded a positive improvement so far! I have over 30g now just with the headshell & cart. The plate & headshell come to a combined 25.6g... how spooky that the headshell & plate weigh exactly the same at 12.8g!

thrunobulaxx
04-08-2008, 21:47
EMT XSD-15 looks very interesting! RE: the DL103, well, each increase in mass has yielded a positive improvement so far! I have over 30g now just with the headshell & cart. The plate & headshell come to a combined 25.6g... how spooky that the headshell & plate weigh exactly the same at 12.8g!

"Spookey" Nah, i saw that the H/S was 12.8g and the plate was a shade over so i tweaked it to have the same mass, thats why its 21mm long and not 21.5 :eyebrows:

Ken R
08-08-2008, 13:22
Did'nt fancy taking knife to the 103, so butchered my spare sumiko bluepoint instead. Just finding a way to fit to the clearlight headshell isolater that I use.

sastusbulbas
11-10-2008, 15:28
Interesting.

What about mounting the NUDE (Ooh) 103 on one of those sticky Cartridge Man Isolator thingies which decouple the cart from the head shell?

dmckean
11-10-2008, 21:50
Someone should try nuding a DL103PRO.

scoobs
12-10-2008, 09:01
http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee15/indypepa/3.jpg

This is my 103pro that I recently trashed, it's coming back at the weekend with new sapphire cantilever and stylus. It's taken ages for Expert Stylus Co to turn this around, as they're inundated by orders from the States.

Barry
15-04-2009, 20:51
The Zu is interesting and I've contemplated getting one for a while, but as the purchase of an EMT XSD-15 is imminent I'm not sure that I need another cartridge! :eyebrows:

Marco.

Marco, have you got any further with this? I would be interested in a comparison of your DL103SA (a variant which is new to me; I assume that it does not have a conical stylus) with the EMT.

As for any comparison between 'nude' versions, I am afraid that I'm reluctant to have a go, as I don't want to damage my 103 (I've had it for less than 6 months and it has had only 25 hrs of use). My nude EMT is so delicate that again I would be apprehensive about removing it from the arm, to allow its replacement with a nude 103.

Perhaps a good slug of whisky is called for, but there again, maybe not.

Regards

Barry

scoobs
15-04-2009, 21:51
Perhaps a good slug of whisky is called for, but there again, maybe not.

Barry

Maybe not!
Setting up these nude carts calls for a large slug of sobriety IME, to my cost I have brushed my original 103 stylus into oblivion using too much cleaning fluid, and laterly twatted the ESCo retip whilst fiddling, upon reflection the common denominator in both cases invloved varying measures of alcohol. :cool: :doh: :(

Barry
18-04-2009, 00:37
Scoobs - I was actually joking, though I take what you say seriously. The only experience I have had in 'nuding' cartridges was to remove the cover from a Linn Asak - can't say I heard any difference.

It is not easy to report on differences between a nude EMT and the EMT in its integral headshell as mine are fitted in separate arms.

Sorry to hear about your cartridges; I regard my nude EMT as rather vulnerable and clean it very carefully with a camel hair paint brush. The fine wires emerging from the coils appear especially delicate. One day they will probably become damaged - then I will have a big glass of whisky, to drown my sorrows.

Barry

Marco
18-04-2009, 15:17
Marco, have you got any further with this? I would be interested in a comparison of your DL103SA (a variant which is new to me; I assume that it does not have a conical stylus) with the EMT.


Hi Barry,

Sorry I missed this! No, I haven't taken the plunge yet with an EMT. Basically, I've still to decide which 'hi-end' classic MC to invest in - either an XSD-15 or some type of Ortofon SPU.

Given my current experiences with the Shure M3D, I suspect that I may have sated (slightly, perhaps) the lust for an SPU, as the M3D sounds remarkably similar, and at a mere fraction of the price, so this may give me the green light to invest in an EMT. Incidentally, do you know of any good suppliers, perhaps ones you've used? The ones I've seen are mostly in Germany.

With reference to the 103SA, yes, it does have a conical stylus the same as the standard 103. The advantage of the 'SA' is in its use of OFC wiring and, the 'biggie', a vastly improved low-resonance body shell, which removes the very issues Yomanze discussed earlier. Consequently, this moves the 'SA' into another league, sonically.

I hope this helps :)

Marco.

P.S I'm really enjoying your contributions, and particularly your taste in wine (which I'll get to later), so keep up the good work!

Spectral Morn
18-04-2009, 15:33
Nude.....


Many years ago I used to use my VDH MC10 nude and the Lyra Clavis. It was easy to remove the bodies but a very scary thing to do....boy those internal wires look like hairs, very delicate. There was a difference but for me the fear factor took the enjoyment away so I put the bodies back on. The sound was a wee bit more open...I guess a subtle layer of colouration due to vibration may have been removed.

I was using an ET 2 arm at the time and I was once in the process of lowering the arm for playing when I sneezed, the arm went flying across the record (air bearing, no friction)but thankfully no harm was done. Cart body went back on after I recovered.

Its worth doing if you can, but living dangerously is part of the experience and maybe the fun too, but with expensive carts its to scary for me.


Regards D S D L

jonners
18-04-2009, 20:06
Number 10 scalpel, nurse.... and a shot of valium for the surgeon. :eek:

Having psyched myself up through reading this thread, today I successfully denuded my DL-103. The Thomas Schick video was a great help, so thank you Thomas if you happen to be looking.

The body came away reasonably easily - I think mine had less glue in it than the one in the video.

I glued a piece of ebony just over 3mm thick to the top of the cart and bolted it to the LH-18 headshell.

Initial listening impressions are very favourable - more clarity and 'atmosphere', a sense of the presentation having been cleaned up.

break-3
18-04-2009, 20:09
Jonners, you're a far braver man than I. I don't mind ripping stuff apart and fiddling, but not when it's that delicate. :youtheman:

Marco
18-04-2009, 20:19
Nice work, John! :clap:

I'm sure that the results will be positive, as the standard 103 shell is quite resonant. It's one of the reasons why the 'SA' with its glass fibre composite epoxy shell is so much better.

Could you do me a favour? Once you've got used to the presentation of your 103 in its 'nude' state, could you try adding some damping (Blu-tak or whatever) to the inside of the body shell and then attaching it back to the generator assembly?

I'd just like to know what happens, and if you end up with the same result as removing the shell :)

Marco.

jonners
18-04-2009, 20:40
Could you do me a favour? Once you've got used to the presentation of your 103 in its 'nude' state, could you try adding some damping (Blu-tak or whatever) to the inside of the body shell and then attaching it back to the generator assembly?


Thanks for your comments, guys.

Marco - I don't think I fancy risking the above. The damping stuff could easily foul some delicate part of the assembly. It would be a lot easier and safer to investigate this by adding damping to the outside of a body shell.

Marco
18-04-2009, 20:46
Sure, ok, could you try that then? :)

Marco.

jonners
18-04-2009, 21:06
Marco -

I appreciate it's all in the interests of Science, Audio and the Greater Good, etc. but I'm not going there. To put it back in its original state I'd have to put the glue back! :scratch:

Barry
18-04-2009, 21:28
Hi Barry,

Sorry I missed this! No, I haven't taken the plunge yet with an EMT. Basically, I've still to decide which 'hi-end' classic MC to invest in - either an XSD-15 or some type of Ortofon SPU.

Given my current experiences with the Shure M3D, I suspect that I may have sated (slightly, perhaps) the lust for an SPU, as the M3D sounds remarkably similar, and at a mere fraction of the price, so this may give me the green light to invest in an EMT. Incidentally, do you know of any good suppliers, perhaps ones you've used? The ones I've seen are mostly in Germany.

...............

Marco.


No problem Marco,

Having read your ecstatic findings on the M3D, you probably just want to 'tread water', sit back and enjoy your new acquisition. Can it really be that good?

I too fancy having a listen to an SPU, based on my appreciation of the SL15E s, both Mark I and II versions. Ortofon did, after all, patent the moving coil cartridge, and it was only when the patent ran out that there was the explosion of Japanese designs. Now that Ortofon are remaking them in larger quantities, the urge has lessened; however according to the cognoscenti, the Japanese sourced SPUs are not as good as the Danish originals. Think I've heard this sort of thing before.

Regarding sourcing EMTs, well I'm sorry but I can't be of much help. The two conical tipped versions I have (one integrated in its own headshell, the second a 'nude' version) were bought used from private sellers in this country. The other sample with a fine line stylus came with the EMT deck and arm, that again was bought used, coming this time from a seller in Hungary. Apart from keeping an eye on eBay (and again, of those that I have seen, the sellers are based in Europe), and also reading the classified ads in the various magazines, I can only direct your attention to either:

'Studiotechnik Dutsch' at www.emt-profi.de, or to

Hans Fabritus at www.fabtech.de.

Both of these occasionally have used items for sale, and I believe Studiotechnik Dutsch may have started manufacture. Apologies if I'm giving you information that you already know. I think the latest incarnation, the JSD6, sell for about 2,500 (!) (it might be Euro, but with the present exchange rate it makes little difference).

Also look out for the 'Tubaphon' TU-2, TU-2S and TU-3. These are 'nude' EMTs fitted with capacitors across the output (presumably to tame a rising treble) and were marketed by Tubaphon. Michael Fremer gave them all a very good review in Stereophile, Feb 2000. I'll quote the opening paragraph to whet your appetite: 'Perhaps after hearing a few of these exotic bodiless designs from Germany, you'll reconsider the desirability of "neutrality". While these EMT cartridges are not dead neutral, their subtle deviations yield some of the most pleasurable, intoxicating listening I've experienced in quite some time'.

The TU-2 has a Super Fineline stylus on an aluminium cantilever, with an output of 1.5mV, and the TU-2S is a low output device (110uV), fitted with a Van den Hul stylus, also on an aluminium catilever. Finally the TU-3 uses a boron cantilever, is low output (210uV) and can be fitted with either a Super Fineline stylus or a sapphire Gyger S stylus. Quoted prices (in the US in 2000) were: TU-2, $1795; TU-2S, $2195: TU-3, $2750 if with a fineline stylus and $2995 if fitted with the Gyger stylus. Fremer was not overly taken with the TU-2, but did like the TU-2S and both TU-3 versions. Not surprisingly he liked the TU-3 with the Gyger stylus the best.

I've probably subjected you to 'information overload', but I try to give as full an answer as I can when asked.

Regards

Barry

Marco
18-04-2009, 23:04
Marco -

I appreciate it's all in the interests of Science, Audio and the Greater Good, etc. but I'm not going there. To put it back in its original state I'd have to put the glue back! :scratch:

Hi John,

No, I meant this:


It would be a lot easier and safer to investigate this by adding damping to the outside of a body shell.


:)

Barry, I'll come back to you later - just listening to some tunes at the moment on the M3D!

Marco.