+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 32

Thread: Denon dl103 or dl103r

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jun 2017

    Location: London UK

    Posts: 148
    I'm Dee.

    Default Denon dl103 or dl103r

    I know the Denon dl103 is a bit of a marmite topic but Iíve decided to opt for one as my first foray into
    LOMC.What Iíd like to know from somebody who has experience of both cartridges is whether I should
    go straight for the dl103r or test the waters with the dl103 first.My current turntable is a Thorens Td160super with Sme 3009 S2 improved.... I know itís not the ideal arm for the Denon but thereís a Kenwood dd on the horizon .
    Thanks dee

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 102,238
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Hi Dee,

    The 103 is something I know a fair bit about, with having been using various iterations of them since 1982, so I think I can help!

    May I first ask a very important question... What phono stage will you be using with the Denon? How the signal is processed/amplified with these cartridges is crucial, in terms of hearing their full potential, as is using them in a high-mass headshell, which you could fit to your SME.

    The stock one (or indeed anything less than 12g) will not be suitable to get the most from it, and in that respect I can link you to suitable alternatives if necessary. Also, 103s (of any description) tend to work best through a MM phono stage, in conjunction with either an SUT or MC head amp, but they can still sound good through a standalone active MC stage.

    As a basic sort of comparison, the 'R' is a little more detailed than the stock 103, but also brighter/has a more forward sonic presentation, so much will depend on the overall tonal balance of your system (what kind of sound you like/are seeking, and what kind of sound you're currently getting).

    The stock 103 has plenty of detail too, but it doesn't tend to be as 'obvious', and it has a richer tone, but isn't in any way warm/dull or syrupy sounding (if used and partnered correctly), and arguably, depending on your viewpoint, sounds more musical, with the 'R' being slightly more 'hi-fi'.

    Anyway, hope that helps, and if you need any more advice, just let me know

    Marco.
    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW18.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jun 2017

    Location: London UK

    Posts: 148
    I'm Dee.

    Default

    Hi Marco, I’ll be using a Jelco Hs-30 headshell .. weight 16gms. ... brass counterweight (courtesy of Magna audio)189gms
    and I’m currently using an Arkless 640P .It does have loading plugs.Im leaning towards the stock dl103 as I would describe
    my current setup as detailed and lean.. any additional accentuation of those properties could lead to brightness.
    I’m looking for added weight especially with the bass ... it’s there with both the R2R and Cd replay.
    If things go according to plan a kenwood kd 990 will be added to the stable shortly and perhaps will lend itself better to the Denons

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 102,238
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Hi Dee,

    Nice one. Headshell sounds good. You may wish to consider adding a little further isolation/damping, by fitting one of these little spacers between the cartridge and headshell:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SME-Cartr...UAAOSwlkFdIYXp

    I've had great success with the Mpingo one, as it improves detail retrieval and adds a lovely lucid and expansive quality to the midrange, which gives vocals in particular a very believable and lifelike sound. Not expensive either!

    Based on what you've described, I'd go for a stock 103, as the 'R' may tip the balance of your system too much towards the type of sound you don't want. The stock 103 will definitely give you added weight in the bass.

    What's your budget for a 103? It's just that there are some interesting NOS vintage ones around you could consider, which IME outperform current samples. This LC-II, for example, if you don't mind importing: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DENON-DL-...53.m1438.l2649

    Marco.
    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW18.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jun 2017

    Location: London UK

    Posts: 148
    I'm Dee.

    Default

    Hi Marco...thanks.Just what I needed with regards the choices between the dl103/103R..sadly the pocket won’t stretch to
    one of the NOS models... what with the new turntable in the pipeline and a new dac as well...although I may live to regret
    it later.I will get the spacer though and by the time it arrives I should have the cartridge bedded in and become familiar with its sound..all the better to identify the enhancement on the spacers insertion.
    Dee

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 44,977
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    I agree with Marco's observations, but the more detailed nature of the D-103R was more to my taste. That doesn't detract from the basic 103 still being a bargain in MC terms. (just to throw a spanner in the works , as an alternative, I would add that I do find the musical nature of the Goldring Eroica LX preferable to either)
    The word is 'valves' in this country, not tubes. Tubes are what Smarties come in!

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 102,238
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Interesting recco, Geoff, with the Goldring. Not heard that specific one, but am familiar with Goldring cartridges in general.

    Musical sounding it may be, but with a fine-line elliptical stylus, it'll have a rather different sound from a 103, and I'd argue not one Dee's necessarily looking for. With that 'posh tip', it'll also be fussier, in terms of optimising VTA, so that could also be a consideration, as conicals are much easier to 'dial in', in that respect.

    Glad you agree about the 103... Remember though that 'more detailed' can translate into something else, in a system with an already forward-sounding balance. In your system, therefore, the results are liable to be different

    Marco.
    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW18.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 102,238
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Dee View Post
    Hi Marco...thanks.Just what I needed with regards the choices between the dl103/103R..sadly the pocket won’t stretch to
    one of the NOS models... what with the new turntable in the pipeline and a new dac as well...although I may live to regret
    it later.I will get the spacer though and by the time it arrives I should have the cartridge bedded in and become familiar with its sound..all the better to identify the enhancement on the spacers insertion.
    No problem. I think you'll like the Mpingo spacer

    Do shop around for your 103, including not only checking out ebay sellers, but others outside of that, in order to get both the best price and also best service. I'd recommend Hi-FIx, as they're always great to deal with:

    https://www.hifix.co.uk/denon-dl103-...coil-cartridge

    Marco.
    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW18.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  9. #9
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: West Yorkshire

    Posts: 1,703
    I'm Stephen.

    Default

    Just to add my two penneth. My DL-103r (albeit in a Paradoxpulse body) never sounded so good until I used it with a Tom Evans microgroove head amp.
    Steve
    Always a little further

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jun 2017

    Location: London UK

    Posts: 148
    I'm Dee.

    Default

    Hi Geoff ...been a long time admirer of the Goldring sound,from the g800 back in the days to the 1042 which I still have as
    an alternative play to the dl110 and Shure v15 111 in current regular use.But nothing from their MC selection.When I first started my search for a MC cartridge ,the Eroica was on my shortlist but more because of the potential setup difficulties than a sound preference I whittled it down to the Denon.Ive
    heard the dl103 in a couple of systems one with a very similar t/t setup and another with an Arkless
    640P but d/d turntable...liked them both.But itís a learning curve and the Dl103 stock will probably be first base.
    Dee

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 4 123 ... 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
  •