+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: 2 x DL-103's - why do they sound so different?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Apr 2019

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 18
    I'm David.

    Default 2 x DL-103's - why do they sound so different?

    So, I recently got myself a Technics SL1200 MK5 and decided to fit one of my DL-103 carts. I set it up as follows:

    Jelco HS25 headshell
    3.5mm wooden shim
    Technics Baerwald alignment (using Vinyl Engine arc protractor)
    Auxiliary counterweight
    Herbie's 4mm mat

    Sounds pretty good, but not as full-bodied and warm as I remembered and also brighter, too. As I happen to have 2 x DL-103's (one serial number apart) I thought I'd try the other one and set this up as follows (both with VTF at 2.5g and arm level)

    Technics stock headshell
    6mm rubber shim (made from a new exhaust strap - quite hard rubber)
    Technics overhang gauge alignment
    Auxiliary counterweight
    Herbie's 4mm mat

    Really surprised, as sounds much nicer....well to my preference anyway. A richer, more full-bodied sound with weightier bass and the high end a little smoother, though nicely detailed at the same time.

    I'm really not sure why the distinct difference in sound here and, if anything, I would have expected the results to be the reverse of what they are. I did try and calculate what 'effective' tonearm mass I ended up with but can't recall the figures I came too, though I know the Jelco setup was only about 1g heavier. I chose to leave the additional 4g headshell weight off the Technics headshell, as that would have left it exceeding the Jelco setup weight by 2 to 3g's.

    So, I'm wondering why I'm getting these results...any thoughts? Thanks, David.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 86,265
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yabadaba View Post
    So, I recently got myself a Technics SL1200 MK5 and decided to fit one of my DL-103 carts. I set it up as follows:

    Jelco HS25 headshell
    3.5mm wooden shim
    Technics Baerwald alignment (using Vinyl Engine arc protractor)
    Auxiliary counterweight
    Herbie's 4mm mat

    Sounds pretty good, but not as full-bodied and warm as I remembered and also brighter, too. As I happen to have 2 x DL-103's (one serial number apart) I thought I'd try the other one and set this up as follows (both with VTF at 2.5g and arm level)

    Technics stock headshell
    6mm rubber shim (made from a new exhaust strap - quite hard rubber)
    Technics overhang gauge alignment
    Auxiliary counterweight
    Herbie's 4mm mat

    Really surprised, as sounds much nicer....well to my preference anyway. A richer, more full-bodied sound with weightier bass and the high end a little smoother, though nicely detailed at the same time.

    I'm really not sure why the distinct difference in sound here and, if anything, I would have expected the results to be the reverse of what they are. I did try and calculate what 'effective' tonearm mass I ended up with but can't recall the figures I came too, though I know the Jelco setup was only about 1g heavier. I chose to leave the additional 4g headshell weight off the Technics headshell, as that would have left it exceeding the Jelco setup weight by 2 to 3g's.

    So, I'm wondering why I'm getting these results...any thoughts? Thanks, David.
    Hi David,

    As highlighted, the difference in sound you've experienced is likely to be alignment related. In my experience, Stevenson geometry (which the Technics overhang gauge conforms to) suits the Technics arm better, and hence optimises the sound of the partnering cartridge.

    Now try one of your DL103s, mounted in the Jelco headshell (which should be better than the Technics one), aligned using your Technics overhang gauge. Theoretically, as the Jelco is heavier and less resonant, that should produce the best sound, then start adding some more mass to the headshell (using shims, heavier bolts, even some Blu-Tac), until you reach a figure of around 16g, which is where the 103 starts to 'sing'.

    Hope that helps

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  3. #3
    Join Date: Apr 2019

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 18
    I'm David.

    Default

    Hi Marco, thanks for your reply. Iím going to try as you suggest....I take it you are referring to the combined headshell/cartridge weight when you talk about it getting better when you reach 16g and beyond.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 86,265
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    No, just the headshell. The 103 *needs* (and indeed loves) plenty of mass, in order to perform optimally.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  5. #5
    Join Date: Apr 2019

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 18
    I'm David.

    Default

    Okay, I will experiment, though I only just managed to get the arm to its balance point with the auxiliary counterweight on the Technics arm, so not sure how far I will be able to go in adding weight to the headshell. The fact that the cartridge mounting point will move back a few mm's as I switch from Baerwald to Stevenson will help though.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 20,122
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

    Default

    The difference, as Marco has pointed out, is due to the two arm/cartridge alignments you have used. The alignment prescription is determined by the arm geometry chosen by the manufacturer.

    As with many Japanese arms the geometry chosen and hence the alignment prescription usually follows Stevenson's method, or similar. In the case of the Technics 1200 arm, the two null-radii are at 58.8 and 113.5mm, which will be correctly achieved using the Technics alignment protractor.
    Barry

  7. #7
    Join Date: Apr 2019

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 18
    I'm David.

    Default

    I've now aligned both DL103's using the Technics overhang gauge and they appear very very close to the Stevenson alignment when I check with a Stevenson protractor. Also, both are now fitted with the (c.3g) rubber shims and I have measured weights as follow.....

    Jelco h/s (12.1g) + shim/fastenings (4.855g) + DL103 (8.5g) = 25.455g (so 16.955g without the cartridge)
    Technics h/s (7.5g) + shim/fastenings (4.742g) +DL103 (8.5g) = 20.742g (so 12.242g without the cartridge)

    If it makes a difference, I've also had a go at calculating the resonant frequencies, using a dynamic compliance figure (at 10hz) of 11cu for the DL103. Entering a tonearm effective mass figure of 12g for the Technics headshell setup this calculates to c.10hz and then with a tonearm effective mass of 16.6g for the Jelco setup (adding the difference in headshell weight), I get c.9hz.

    As regards what I'm hearing, the cartridge in the Jelco headshell now sounds much better than it did before when I was using the lighter wooden shim and Baerwald alignment. But. it's too late here now for me to compare between the two at any decent volume, so I don't know if this is now the best sounding of the two implementations....I guess it should be....and I will resume and find out tomorrow! By the way, I wonder whether the shim material (all other things being equal) has much influence on the sound?

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 20,122
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

    Default

    Rubber would seem to be a strange material to use as a shim. Is it a 'hard' rubber - how much does the shim compress when the fastenings are tightened? I would use lead as a shim material.
    Barry

  9. #9
    Join Date: Apr 2019

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 18
    I'm David.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Rubber would seem to be a strange material to use as a shim. Is it a 'hard' rubber - how much does the shim compress when the fastenings are tightened? I would use lead as a shim material.
    Hi, yes it is a hard rubber and compresses only a very little. I was looking for something to use that was around 5-6mm thickness and this was to hand, plus it was very easy to cut to shape.

    I wonder if this is this one of those 'audiophile' scenarios where the obvious isolation that rubber offers is a positive (as it might be for turntable feet or mats), or is this a case where the tonearm and cartridge should be rigidly attached and 'acting as one'? I'm really not sure, but I'm quite a critical listener and I don't detect any obvious negative effects.

    I do have a 5mm 'real racing carbon' shim on the way so will see if I can compare....though the time it will take to switch between shims will make a confident A:B comparison difficult.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: North Down /Northern Ireland/ UK

    Posts: 18,287
    I'm Neil.

    Default

    The ultimate alignment would be to get a Mint Tractor from Yip specifically for the arms and turntables in question. But its a pain in the ass to do, requires powerful magnifiers and takes ages to complete. Once done it sounds amazing. First I set it up with a VDH cart, second time with a Denon 103, which is still fitted to it today.

    My experiences here - http://www.adventuresinhifiaudio.com...ment-accurate/

    I have a Smart Tractor as well, but as of yet I haven't used it to set up anything on a Technics.

    My experiences here - http://www.adventuresinhifiaudio.com...iro-revisited/
    Regards Neil

    System 1 (Living Room) : Vinyl: AMG Giro Turntable, AMG Giro Reference PSU, AMG 9W2 Tonearm, AMG Reference Armcable, Air Tight PC3 MC Cartridge PhonoStage: Passlabs Xono Digital: Esoteric P5 SACD Transport and Esoteric P 5 DAC, Sony HAP Z1es Digital File Player + Audioquest Jitter Bug, Computer Audio: Veracity Audio Mystra DAC + HP laptop + iFi Audio i Power, Wireworld Starlight USB + Audioquest Jitter Bug Tuner:Kenwood KT 7020 Cassette Tape: Nakamichi CR5e Amplification: Pre-Amplifier Meridian G02 Power-Amplifier Meridian G56 Speakers: Anthony Gallo Reference 3.1 Audio Cabling: Signal - Atlas Mavros, Audience AU24 Speaker - Atlas Mavros. Mains Cabling: Audience AU24, Analysis Plus, TCI. Mains Distribution: Mark Grant Distribution Blocks, Mark Grant DC Blocker Equipment Tables: Target Audio B series + Track Audio Isolation Spikes Isolation/ Platforms: Bright Star Audio Isonodes, BASE 01, SSC Platforms.

    System 2 (Music Room) : Vinyl: Turntable 1 Loricraft Garrard 401 Turntable + SME 5 Tonearm, Graham IC70 Tonearm Cable + VDH MC10 cartridge Turntable 2 Modified Technics 1200 turntable + Triplannar 7 Tonearm + VDH Frog Gold Cartridge + Paul Hynes SR7 PSU Turntable 3 SME Model 20 Turntable + Graham Phantom Tonearm + Graham IC70 Tonearm Cable, Ortofon MC5200 Cartridge PhonoStage: Balanced Audio Technology VK10se Digital: Moon Andromeda CD Player, Toshiba 9500 DVD Audio Player Computer Audio: AMR DP777 DAC + Dell Laptop + iFi Audio i Power + JKenny JKSPIDIF + Wireworld Starlight USB Tuners: Kenwood 8300 Tuner, Revox B760 Tuner, Leak Troughline Tuner + EAR Stereo Decoder, Magnum Dynalab Signal Sleuth FM Amplifier ReelToReel Tape: Revox B77 mk 2, Revox A77 mk3, Sony TC-377 Cassette Tape: Nakamichi DR10 Pre-Amplifier: Balanced Audio Technology VK52se Power-Amplifier: Music Reference RM200 mk1 Speakers: Anthony Gallo Reference 3.5 Audio Cabling: Signal - Audience AU24, Kimber KCAG, Audio Note ANVs, Barry Hunt Cables Speaker - XLO Type 6. Mains Cabling: Audience AU24, TCI. Mains Distribution: Mark Grant and Russ Andrews Equipment Tables: Clear Light Audio Aspekt Tacks Isolation/Platform: SSC, Bright Star Audio Isonodes, Naim Frame Record Cleaner: Hanns Audio


    System 3 (Bed Room) - CD Player Marantz CD7, Headphone Amplifier: Audio Valve RKV2 OTL Valve Headphones: Grado GS 1000, Sennheiser 560 Ovation2, Sennheiser 410SL

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast



 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •