cartridge compliance and tonearm mass

Feb 18, 2015
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10,545
hi guys.how important is mating the compliance of a mc cart to the tonearm mass.I was thinking about my next cart upgrade and having a look around the net and was pretty much decided on the denon dl 103r,but after a bit more digging found it is a cartridge with a low compliance and the 9cc tonearm on my deck is a low mass unit.It seems this match doesn't gel well and I should be looking at a higher compliance rated cart.erm....how important is this factor and do I really need to look at another cart now?cheers for any help.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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Mmmm. The Pro-ject 9cc has 8.5g effective mass, so I plug in that value to Vinyl Engine's resonance evaluator thus ...

http://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge_resonance_evaluator.php?eff_mass=8.5&submit=Submit

The DL-103 also has a mass of 8.5g (plus mounting hardware probably makes it about 9g) and a compliance of 5x10-6cm/dyne, so read that off on the table above (under 9g column) and you can see that you'd get resonance at 17Hz.

The resonances in the 'safe' zone are (ideally) between 8Hz - 11Hz so it's not going to be an optimum match. (Assuming the Vinyl Engine calculator is correct.)

The DL-103 was first made back in the early 1960s for the broadcast environment where tonearms were pretty chunky and probably not very rigid by today's standards.

However it will play (a friend of mine uses one on a Rega P3-24 for instance).
 
chebby said:
Mmmm. The Pro-ject 9cc is 8.5g effective mass so I plug in that value to Vinyl Engine's resonance evaluator thus ...

http://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge_resonance_evaluator.php?eff_mass=8.5&submit=Submit

The DL-103 also has a mass of 8.5g (plus mounting hardware probably makes it about 9g) and a compliance of 5x10-6cm/dyne, so read that off on the table above (under 9g column) and you can see that you'd get resonance at 17Hz.

The resonances in the 'safe' zone are (ideally) between 8Hz - 11Hz so it's not going to be an optimum match. (Assuming the Vinyl Engine calculator is correct.)

The DL-103 was first made back in the early 1960s for the broadcast environment where tonearms were pretty chunky and probably not very rigid by today's standards.

However it will play (my friend uses one on a Rega P3-24 for instance).
Agree completely. It will work and is a brilliant cartridge, but is not a good match. The Project tonearm is better suited to modern Moving Magnet cartridges in general as they commonly have a higher compliance.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,245
11
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Your current cartridge (2M Blue) has a compliance of 20 µm/mN and has a mass of 7.2g (say 7.7g ish with bolts) so it's resonance comes out at 9Hz and slap-bang in the middle of the safe zone on that table. Made for each other (not suprising really).
 
Feb 18, 2015
59
1
10,545
Cheers guy's,pity I wasn't aware of this a couple of months ago.I splashed out on the trichord dino especially for using mc carts and that denon was top of my list.damn.back to the drawing board then.thanks for the link to the chart Chebby it's very helpful.
 
Mark Rose-Smith said:
Cheers guy's,pity I wasn't aware of this a couple of months ago.I splashed out on the trichord dino especially for using mc carts and that denon was top of my list.damn.back to the drawing board then.thanks for the link to the chart Chebby it's very helpful.
You can still use the Demon. Simply buy a stabilizer designed for this cartridge from here:-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ISOkinetik-CARTRIDGE-STABILISER-FOR-DENON-103-DL-103R-/181341655530

This will add 3.3g to the weight and thus improve its compatibility a bit.
 
Feb 18, 2015
59
1
10,545
You've had one then Al.?better than my current 2m blue?I was about to start looking at the quintet series.but the bronze and black are just a tad out the budget at the moment.but I could save a bit more,no rush,plenty of life left in the 2m blue.
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,245
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Having heard the DL-103 many times on a friend's Rega P3-24, lived with Ortofon 2M Red and Blue on a Rega P2 (RB250 version) and lived with a Goldring 1042 on a Rega Planar 3 for 11 years (with two replacement stylii during that period), I would confidently recommend the Goldring 1042.
 
Mark Rose-Smith said:
You've had one then Al.?better than my current 2m blue?I was about to start looking at the quintet series.but the bronze and black are just a tad out the budget at the moment.but I could save a bit more,no rush,plenty of life left in the 2m blue.
I'd have to say yes, that's why they have been making them for so long. Not much to better them for the money. You may have guessed from my previous posts I am not a great lover of the cheaper Ortofons and the only Quintet that I have heard was the Bronze, which was really quite good.
 
K

keeper of the quays

Guest
My friend has one of these, it replaced a dl160 and it sounds very good..he uses a step up transformer with this cart..his phono stage is lehmann black cube..
 
Mark Rose-Smith said:
with so much different cartridges available and not being able to hear them first hand, it is very difficult to make an informed choice these days.And they ain't cheap if it doesn't gel well with the system.
Which is why it is always a good idea to ask questions on this forum and read-up as much as you can, especially if you are new to vinyl and may be have no reference points.
 
Feb 18, 2015
59
1
10,545
Not so new to vinyl Al as opposed to being new to listening to it on a decent deck lol.been listening to it since I was 12,I'm now 44.but think I'll maybe save the extra cash for a quintet bronze or something in that kind of ballpark.
 
Mark Rose-Smith said:
Not so new to vinyl Al as opposed to being new to listening to it on a decent deck lol.been listening to it since I was 12,I'm now 44.but think I'll maybe save the extra cash for a quintet bronze or something in that kind of ballpark.
Good plan. I wasn't speaking of you directly but more for the point of the multitude of newbies that might be reading this thread. You are correct though, vinyl deserves to be heard on a decent system and I sometimes worry that these 'vinyl on a budget' types may end up sorely disappointed.
 
K

keeper of the quays

Guest
Al ears said:
Mark Rose-Smith said:
Not so new to vinyl Al as opposed to being new to listening to it on a decent deck lol.been listening to it since I was 12,I'm now 44.but think I'll maybe save the extra cash for a quintet bronze or something in that kind of ballpark.
Good plan. I wasn't speaking of you directly but more for the point of the multitude of newbies that might be reading this thread. You are correct though, vinyl deserves to be heard on a decent system and I sometimes worry that these 'vinyl on a budget' types may end up sorely disappointed.
vinyl on a budget is fine..we have to start somewhere? And as you have said vinyl deserves good kit.but it doesnt require it? Part of the joy of vinyl is a tactile one.holding a record looking at the cover...on a lot of classical albums its a painting or a photo one can walk around in..then you put the record on turntable and music appears! From a revolving platter and a arm with a weight at one end and a precious stone at the other end! How cool is that..budget or flash kit is the same feeling..ps i bought my mum years ago a sony turntable with built in phono stage, cost £70 they were designed to fit in with a midi system..at the time cds were the main source..anyway i thought i would chuck it through my kit..using 540p phonostage (its built in one wasnt very good) it sounded quite good for what it was! Esp good for old records with surface damage.
 
keeper of the quays said:
Al ears said:
Mark Rose-Smith said:
Not so new to vinyl Al as opposed to being new to listening to it on a decent deck lol.been listening to it since I was 12,I'm now 44.but think I'll maybe save the extra cash for a quintet bronze or something in that kind of ballpark.
Good plan. I wasn't speaking of you directly but more for the point of the multitude of newbies that might be reading this thread. You are correct though, vinyl deserves to be heard on a decent system and I sometimes worry that these 'vinyl on a budget' types may end up sorely disappointed.
vinyl on a budget is fine..we have to start somewhere? And as you have said vinyl deserves good kit.but it doesnt require it? Part of the joy of vinyl is a tactile one.holding a record looking at the cover...on a lot of classical albums its a painting or a photo one can walk around in..then you put the record on turntable and music appears! From a revolving platter and a arm with a weight at one end and a precious stone at the other end! How cool is that..budget or flash kit is the same feeling..ps i bought my mum years ago a sony turntable with built in phono stage, cost £70 they were designed to fit in with a midi system..at the time cds were the main source..anyway i thought i would chuck it through my kit..using 540p phonostage (its built in one wasnt very good) it sounded quite good for what it was! Esp good for old records with surface damage.
I admire your thinking but most want the ritual and the sound quality..........
 
keeper of the quays said:
Al ears said:
Mark Rose-Smith said:
Not so new to vinyl Al as opposed to being new to listening to it on a decent deck lol.been listening to it since I was 12,I'm now 44.but think I'll maybe save the extra cash for a quintet bronze or something in that kind of ballpark.
Good plan. I wasn't speaking of you directly but more for the point of the multitude of newbies that might be reading this thread. You are correct though, vinyl deserves to be heard on a decent system and I sometimes worry that these 'vinyl on a budget' types may end up sorely disappointed.
vinyl on a budget is fine..we have to start somewhere? And as you have said vinyl deserves good kit.but it doesnt require it? Part of the joy of vinyl is a tactile one.holding a record looking at the cover...on a lot of classical albums its a painting or a photo one can walk around in..then you put the record on turntable and music appears! From a revolving platter and a arm with a weight at one end and a precious stone at the other end! How cool is that..budget or flash kit is the same feeling..ps i bought my mum years ago a sony turntable with built in phono stage, cost £70 they were designed to fit in with a midi system..at the time cds were the main source..anyway i thought i would chuck it through my kit..using 540p phonostage (its built in one wasnt very good) it sounded quite good for what it was! Esp good for old records with surface damage.
I admire your thinking but most want the ritual and the sound quality..........
 
Feb 18, 2015
59
1
10,545
Hay Al.do you have any experience of the at-oc9 mk3,it seems to have a high compliance that would match the 9cc . I've been searching and most are medium to low compliance,even a nag mp500 is slightly out of the zone,or would slightly out the zone by 1-2hz not be so much of an issue.cheers.
 
Mark Rose-Smith said:
Hay Al.do you have any experience of the at-oc9 mk3,it seems to have a high compliance that would match the 9cc . I've been searching and most are medium to low compliance,even a nag mp500 is slightly out of the zone,or would slightly out the zone by 1-2hz not be so much of an issue.cheers.
I do funnily enough but not the Mk3. I had the original version.

I would concur with the majority of reviews that this is a class cartridge. It can still, however, appear a bit 'forward' in some systems. Looking at your front-end I would hazard a guess and say it will be a good choice if you can find one for around £420, otherwise the AT33EV might be a better all-rounder. It's what I am currently using until I can get funds for the Benz Micro Glider SL.

Regards the 1-2Hz out I wouldn't worry that much. It is only a guide.
 

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