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Thread: 2m Black vs Denon DL-103

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 5,070
    I'm James.

    Default 2m Black vs Denon DL-103

    Has anyone compared these two cartridges?

    Can you give me an opinion of which one you think sounds best and why?

    I am just trying to decide if it is worth going down the Denon DL103 MC route or wether I should stick with the 2M Black?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jul 2011

    Location: Northampton

    Posts: 1,736
    I'm Peter.

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    Chalk and cheese.
    I've had both and would say that, by the prevailing 'hifi' standards of things like detail retrieval, the 2M is better.
    But, I much preferred listening to music with the 103.
    If you like the 2m Black, then stick with it. It's a better match for your arm than the 103.
    I can also see that having a detail-retrieving source would give the Crofts something to get their teeth into.
    Nice system btw ... I wouldn't mess with it unless you are not happy.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 5,070
    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by petrat View Post
    Chalk and cheese.
    I've had both and would say that, by the prevailing 'hifi' standards of things like detail retrieval, the 2M is better.
    But, I much preferred listening to music with the 103.
    If you like the 2m Black, then stick with it. It's a better match for your arm than the 103.
    I can also see that having a detail-retrieving source would give the Crofts something to get their teeth into.
    Nice system btw ... I wouldn't mess with it unless you are not happy.
    Thanks for that advice Peter. I have enjoyed the 2M Black very much in my system for the last 2 years and in order to use the Denon 103 I would have to make a reasonable investment in a new cartridge, SUT and as you suggested my tonearm may not be as compatible.

    I am however interested in going down this route as I have an itch to scratch and would like to try a MC cartridge without a massive outlay and the Denon was on my list as a cheap option. However if the Denon 103 is not a suitable match to my arm maybe I should save some cash and think of a more suitable MC cartridge?

    I may well just replace my stylus on the 2M and continue with it although I would always be curious as to what I could be missing with a MC!
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  4. #4
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: NE England

    Posts: 4,174
    I'm Jez.

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    The 103 in standard form has a spherical stylus so a bit iffy as regards top end detail and tracking ability.

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2012

    Location: Toulouse, France

    Posts: 4,851
    I'm Kevin.

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    How about a HOMC such as the SAE1000LT?
    Kevin

    Too busy enjoying the music....

    European loan coordinator for Graham Slee HiFi system components..

  6. #6
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: NE England

    Posts: 4,174
    I'm Jez.

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    I heard a Sumiko blackbird HOMC and thought it very nice. Generally though L.O types are better.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Mar 2008

    Location: Galashiels

    Posts: 12,984
    I'm inthescottishmafia.

    Default

    Denon DL S1.
    “Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of fuel. Sentimental people call it inspiration, but what they really mean is fuel. I have always needed fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio”

    Hunter S Thompson

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 5,070
    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ali Tait View Post
    Denon DL S1.
    Agree with you on this Ali - truly superb cartridge and relatively cheap, however is it a bit light in the bass or is this rectified with suitably matched SUT?
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  9. #9
    Join Date: Mar 2008

    Location: Galashiels

    Posts: 12,984
    I'm inthescottishmafia.

    Default

    I thought the same, but that was using it on my Tecnoarm - I could never get it to sound right.

    Using it on the Mission arm is a completely different story though, it sounds superb and there is no lack of bass at all. I think the many bass light reports on the net are people using the cart on arms that don't suit it. It's the most finicky cart I've used, it needs anal attention to detail when setting it up, but get it right and it is a great cart.

    I'd suggest a head amp would be better than a SUT for this cart though, that or a valve MC stage with enough gain.
    “Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of fuel. Sentimental people call it inspiration, but what they really mean is fuel. I have always needed fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio”

    Hunter S Thompson

  10. #10
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: London

    Posts: 3,883
    I'm Robert.

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    Hi James, Just my tuppence worth but personally I’d look elsewhere in terms of an ‘improvement’. The Black in my experience is a stonking cart. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had the itch too, that’s the nature of the beast that is. However, unless you are gonna spend a good amount more then I believe you’ll get different and not necessarily better. As you know the Black isn’t flavoured it just gets about playing what is on the record retrieving oodles of the info on there. When my system has been at it’s best in terms of set up I have been astonished at the ‘honesty’ in which the Black presents the music. What I mean is no two recordings sounded the same – exactly !! each recording had its 'actual' sound not a flavour / obvious characteristic / signature sound. This was a revelation for me and addictive! Good recordings were just that, bad ones were revealed but the ‘music’ was always there. My system is currently going through a few big changes and I’ve been ampless for ages but the Black will most definitely remain. The one cart I hanker for is its bigger brother the Cadenza Black as I believe it does the same but with even better / more of the same but at a price. Obviously if you want something different then that’s fine. As I say, just my tuppence worth.

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