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Thread: Denon DL-103 re-tipped sounding disappointing

  1. #11
    Join Date: Apr 2009

    Location: Near Saffron Walden, Essex

    Posts: 6,472
    I'm Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shovel_Knight View Post
    A phono cartridge is such a delicate thing that any alteration can change its sound drastically, and not always for the better.

    For example, stock Denon DL-103 has a nude diamond, if it was replaced with a bonded elliptical, I personally would consider it a downgrade rather than an upgrade because bonded styli wear down faster and are heavier thus increasing tip mass.

    The cantilever looks kinda thick in the photos — significantly thicker than the original Denon cantilever, how was it installed? Was it slid over the stub of the original cantilever? Was the original cantilever removed from the holder assembly and the new one installed instead? Was the suspension messed with? The listing doesn't provide any answers to these questions

    In my opinion, buying a retipped/recantilevered MC cartridge is somewhat of a Russian roulette. It might sound fine, or it might be completely ruined compared to the stock configuration. Very often owners send their cartridges for retipping, and when the cartridge comes back, they don't like the sound and advertise the retipped cartridge on eBay claiming that it sounds perfectly fine -- hoping, of course, that the buyer wouldn't know the difference...

    Obviously, there are retippers who enjoy excellent reputation, such as Expert Stylus in the UK or Soundsmith in the US. I wouldn't hesitate to buy an ES-retipped cartridge if that the seller can provide the receipt, but I'd be wary of any homemade job.
    I agree with all the above and would never consider buying any s/hand cartridge, as you have no idea how it has been treated, wear and tear and how well the re-tip has been done.

    Just fitting an elliptical tip is no guarantee of better sound as there are so many variables such as the quality of the tip, if bonded or naked, is it perfectly aligned etc.

  2. #12
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: brighton uk.

    Posts: 4,169
    I'm jamie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    If the cantilever is parallel to sides of the cartridge body, then it is much easier to look down on the cartridge to align it with the protractor lines.
    yes to a point,i like to go more accurately and line the cantilever up with the 2 lines either side of it on the grid.
    My System
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  3. #13
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

    Posts: 2,161
    I'm Alex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    I agree with all the above and would never consider buying any s/hand cartridge, as you have no idea how it has been treated, wear and tear and how well the re-tip has been done.

    Just fitting an elliptical tip is no guarantee of better sound as there are so many variables such as the quality of the tip, if bonded or naked, is it perfectly aligned etc.
    I went by the reviews. Verified purchasers gave it almost unanimous thumbs up, raving about the sound quality. I guess I may have gotten a lemon -- it happens. Or indeed it needs its requisite 30 hours break-in. Time will tell...
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

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