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Thread: SUT/Headamp for Denon DL-301 mkII?

  1. #11
    Join Date: Jan 2019

    Location: Leeds

    Posts: 9
    I'm Brett.

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    Thanks Jimbo! I think I might go for the Hagerman linked to above just to test things out a bit with the various values then go from there. Seems like the best plan to me since the Denon SUTs on eBay will likely all have a nice customs sting as the 301 II did!

    I did actually debate saving myself the hassle and going for the Ortofon 2m Black straight into the Croft based on reading some of your other posts but given the apparent difficulty of setting the thing up thought that it might well end up being a net hassle gain in the end . Sort of felt like I needed to at least try a LOMC at some point as well.

  2. #12
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 4,429
    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brettski View Post
    Thanks Jimbo! I think I might go for the Hagerman linked to above just to test things out a bit with the various values then go from there. Seems like the best plan to me since the Denon SUTs on eBay will likely all have a nice customs sting as the 301 II did!

    I did actually debate saving myself the hassle and going for the Ortofon 2m Black straight into the Croft based on reading some of your other posts but given the apparent difficulty of setting the thing up thought that it might well end up being a net hassle gain in the end . Sort of felt like I needed to at least try a LOMC at some point as well.
    Well the 2M Black is something else Brett. Lets just say it has seen off every cartridge I have had in the last 4 years and sounds stunning with the Croft. If you want excitement, detail, transparency and a live sound the 2M is a must. The 301 is a bit pipe and slippers by comparison but easy to set up, no surface noise and very easy to listen too. It is certainly not a bad cartridge but almost at the other end of the spectrum to the 2M Black!
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  3. #13
    Join Date: Jan 2019

    Location: Leeds

    Posts: 9
    I'm Brett.

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    Ha, that's the impression I got! I know he makes his stages with Deccas in mind but they're a bit rich for my blood and the 2M Black sounded like it might do a vaguely similar sort of job at a much lower price.

    As much as I do love detail I think I might prefer veering a little bit towards 'pipe and slippers' where vinyl is concerned. Differentiate it from the digital a bit. Just hoping the 301 II doesn't end up going too far that way.

  4. #14
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 4,429
    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brettski View Post
    Ha, that's the impression I got! I know he makes his stages with Deccas in mind but they're a bit rich for my blood and the 2M Black sounded like it might do a vaguely similar sort of job at a much lower price.

    As much as I do love detail I think I might prefer veering a little bit towards 'pipe and slippers' where vinyl is concerned. Differentiate it from the digital a bit. Just hoping the 301 II doesn't end up going too far that way.
    The 301 does have a sweet top end with detail but it is a little restrained. It is a very good cartridge and a superb midrange. For the money it is very good value for money.

    Yes the 2M is a bit Decca like in its attack and detail but more refined in nearly every way. It is a bit like a modern Decca as it were. I have a Decca Blue so i have compared them. The Blue sounds great with the Croft but tracking is crap and it can go a bit over the top, The 2M Black is perfectly behaved at all times once you have set it up and got the right amount of capacitance.
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  5. #15
    Join Date: Jan 2019

    Location: Leeds

    Posts: 9
    I'm Brett.

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    Might well bear the black in mind but I reckon it would be a risk on my table anyway with a fairly limited amount of scope for adjustment.

    Anyway, that Piccolo2 is en route so I'm glad I asked on here - I probably wouldn't have spotted it otherwise! Cheers for the heads-up mikeyb.

  6. #16
    Join Date: Mar 2014

    Location: KY - Scotland

    Posts: 3,969
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brettski View Post
    Might well bear the black in mind but I reckon it would be a risk on my table anyway with a fairly limited amount of scope for adjustment.

    Anyway, that Piccolo2 is en route so I'm glad I asked on here - I probably wouldn't have spotted it otherwise! Cheers for the heads-up mikeyb.
    Fingers crossed for you, I hope it's what you want.

  7. #17
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 4,429
    I'm James.

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    Good luck with the Piccolo 2 and let us know how you get on.
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  8. #18
    Join Date: Jan 2019

    Location: Leeds

    Posts: 9
    I'm Brett.

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    Thanks guys, reporting in!

    Really pleased with the Piccolo2, I've got it on the 20db gain setting and it's very quiet. Turning the Croft right up I hear the tubes way before any sort of hum. The easily accessible settings are great too. Feel like I lucked out grabbing it for 165 delivered.

    However, with the DL-301 II set up and going through the headamp the issue unfortunately remains. 'Pretty bassy' keeps tipping into 'boomy, verging on distorted' regardless of how I load it. My local hi-fi place set the cartridge up for me while I was waiting for the headamp and right now it's bang in the middle of the VTA range (1.4g). My scale's gone AWOL but when the new one arrives I'll try knocking it down to say 1.3g and see if that helps.

    Beyond that I think I'll start to feel like I'm clutching at straws a bit.. Maybe isolation/vibration issues? Hopefully the VTA can tame it before I start driving myself mad with all that!
    Last edited by Brettski; 15-01-2019 at 14:03.

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