Denon DL-103

bretty

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Jul 20, 2007
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Ok, so I've put the Denon on the Gyro, this morning and set it up correctly, this time
No Inner Groove Distortion this time.

Here's the thing, though: I don't know if I like it.

It's definitely got some positive points:

1: cymbals sparkle and sound nice and light, as they should.

2: It's pretty detailed

But, that's about it really, for the positives. Here's what i'm not liking:

1: It's got a bit hard edge to vocals, occasionally slipping into sibilance territory.

2: it's lightweight. Compared to the Shure, it's bass is small, but a bit boomy at the same time, if that makes sense. It isn't tight and lacks the texture that the Shure has.

2a: I think this links in with the above, but rock and metal doesn't sound great. It has no punch or drive. With the Shure, rock and metal sounded better than i've ever heard it, but with the DENON it's uninvolving.

3: Although I've sorted the alignment out, the cartridge still hardens up during the last minute or so of a side. I've been told that this is down to the conical design having trouble tracking the inner grooves. Annoying.

It's an ok cartridge, but i'm sitting here listening and picking faults in the sound, whereas when I listened to the Shure on Saturday, I couldn't get enough of it and couldn't find any faults. I was putting on record after record, excited to hear how it sounded.

So, here's my question for you all: now I know what I want (and don't want) from a cartridge I'd like some suggestions. I don't mind if the suggestion is for MM or MC. Please only suggest carts that you've heard, though, not ones that the reviews say are right for me
Budget: £200 - £350.

This is what i'm after: super realistic vocals, detailed and a deep strong bass.

FD, I know we've spoken in the past about this, and the Micro ACE is still on my wish-list, but I don't reckon i'll be able to swing a £600 cart this year. I'm taking on a canvasser for work, next month, so funds are gonna be a bit stretched for a while. Defo one for the future, though.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Try a 'dog'. Extremely good cartridge
!

Seriously, that sounds like a config problem with the DL103. I used one for several years and its not as you describe, given the different deck - mine was on an SL1210.

If you're finding sibilance then check anti-skate. Also, make sure tracking is set to the max. Bass should be fine; the Denon is in many ways the classic rock cartridge.

One final thing. It could be the arm and cartridge don't match in terms of compliance - you'll find the info on the internet.

If you trust your 3 dealers too much regarding the 'dog', then look at the Dynavectors or the Benz you mention. You won't go wrong with either.
 

bretty

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Jul 20, 2007
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Grottyash said:
Try a 'dog'. Extremely good cartridge
!

Seriously, that sounds like a config problem with the DL103. I used one for several years and its not as you describe, given the different deck - mine was on an SL1210.

If you're finding sibilance then check anti-skate. Also, make sure tracking is set to the max. Bass should be fine; the Denon is in many ways the classic rock cartridge.

One final thing. It could be the arm and cartridge don't match in terms of compliance - you'll find the info on the internet.

If you trust your 3 dealers too much regarding the 'dog', then look at the Dynavectors or the Benz you mention. You won't go wrong with either.
Sorry, Grot, No offence to you matey. I was trying to stop Jase buying a cart that I don't think would suit his musical tastes, but calling your cart a 'dog' was harsh. Forgiven?


Thanks for being generous enough to make some rec's through the red mist. Top man
 
Bretty,

Until quite recently I was using a D103R cartridge, suggest you look for one of these.
It has all the good points you mentioned with your 103 plus overall improvement and a tad more in the bass department. Get them for around £250.
Having said that I have just noticed your kit and you may like to ignore the above as the 103R is a low output MC and you would need a phono preamp.

A well, I'll put my thinking cap on again!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Alears said:
Bretty, Until quite recently I was using a D103R cartridge, suggest you look for one of these. It has all the good points you mentioned with your 103 plus overall improvement and a tad more in the bass department. Get them for around £250. Having said that I have just noticed your kit and you may like to ignore the above as the 103R is a low output MC and you would need a phono preamp. A well, I'll put my thinking cap on again!
-Sigh- The standard DL103 is also a low output MC.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
bretty said:
Grottyash said:
Try a 'dog'. Extremely good cartridge
!

Seriously, that sounds like a config problem with the DL103. I used one for several years and its not as you describe, given the different deck - mine was on an SL1210.

If you're finding sibilance then check anti-skate. Also, make sure tracking is set to the max. Bass should be fine; the Denon is in many ways the classic rock cartridge.

One final thing. It could be the arm and cartridge don't match in terms of compliance - you'll find the info on the internet.

If you trust your 3 dealers too much regarding the 'dog', then look at the Dynavectors or the Benz you mention. You won't go wrong with either.
Sorry, Grot, No offence to you matey. I was trying to stop Jase buying a cart that I don't think would suit his musical tastes, but calling your cart a 'dog' was harsh. Forgiven?


Thanks for being generous enough to make some rec's through the red mist. Top man
Yes, no worries. I rate the 2500 obviously, but everyone's entitled to their own opinion.
 

gpi

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Mar 29, 2008
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I'm pretty sure you need a heavier arm for the Denon 103. It likes mass, more mass and a bit more for luck. Try putting a 2p coin on the headshell and try again, but you'd still need better compliance with the arm.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
gpi said:
I'm pretty sure you need a heavier arm for the Denon 103. It likes mass, more mass and a bit more for luck. Try putting a 2p coin on the headshell and try again, but you'd still need better compliance with the arm.
If you put said coin on headshell, re-do the tracking force. Personally I wouldn't recommend it, but I think as gpi says there may be a compliance problem.
 

bretty

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Jul 20, 2007
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thanks for your comments, guys. I've given up with the Denon. The shure's back on and the music's back to sounding fantastic
 

mitch65

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Dec 16, 2003
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bretty said:
thanks for your comments, guys. I've given up with the Denon. The shure's back on and the music's back to sounding fantastic
I think we've had this conversation before, cartridges are so hit and miss and you are reliant so much on peoples opinions. you know that the guys down at Steves hifi love the Denon but deride dynavectors while others think totally the opposite. Either way it always ends up costing more money, if I had more I would get a Music Maker III but I haven't :0(
 

floyd droid

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Sep 5, 2008
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gpi said:
I'm pretty sure you need a heavier arm for the Denon 103. It likes mass, more mass and a bit more for luck. Try putting a 2p coin on the headshell and try again, but you'd still need better compliance with the arm.
Kerching !!. Cheers for that gpi. I kinda touched on this in another of Bretts's threads but didnt want to swamp him with buckets full o brain strain in regs to the Denon. Nowt wrong with using a coin and a blob of blue tack as a tryout. As stated by Grotts Bretts, it needs the tracking force cranking up to full monty for starters.
 

bretty

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Jul 20, 2007
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mitch65 said:
bretty said:
thanks for your comments, guys. I've given up with the Denon. The shure's back on and the music's back to sounding fantastic
I think we've had this conversation before, cartridges are so hit and miss and you are reliant so much on peoples opinions. you know that the guys down at Steves hifi love the Denon but deride dynavectors while others think totally the opposite. Either way it always ends up costing more money, if I had more I would get a Music Maker III but I haven't :0(
Absolutely right, it's so subjective. Dave down at Steve's mainly listens to classical and opera, from what I gather, which might explain why he likes it so much. The Denon does do strings very well.

I might even just keep the Shure. I've had a couple of people say that it's doing the Gyro a disservice, but i'm not so sure. I think the Gyro has complemented and amplified the cart's strengths. To my ears, it really sounds tops. When you have a listen, Mitch, you can tell me if you agree or if spending more money will reap benefits. You've experienced more carts than me, after all


You may have noticed that i'm all over the place. I can't seem to make a decision and stick to it
 

bretty

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Jul 20, 2007
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floyd droid said:
gpi said:
I'm pretty sure you need a heavier arm for the Denon 103. It likes mass, more mass and a bit more for luck. Try putting a 2p coin on the headshell and try again, but you'd still need better compliance with the arm.
Kerching !!. Cheers for that gpi. I kinda touched on this in another of Bretts's threads but didnt want to swamp him with buckets full o brain strain in regs to the Denon. Nowt wrong with using a coin and a blob of blue tack as a tryout. As stated by Grotts Bretts, it needs the tracking force cranking up to full monty for starters.
Thanks GPI, Grot and Me ol' mate FD for the tip, but the Denon is dead to me now
I'm sure the blu tac and 2p would have worked, but it'd sort of ruin the lovely lines of the Gyro


Honestly, compliance is something I hadn't considered or completely understand. I'll have to have a read up.
 
A

Anonymous

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floyd droid said:
gpi said:
I'm pretty sure you need a heavier arm for the Denon 103. It likes mass, more mass and a bit more for luck. Try putting a 2p coin on the headshell and try again, but you'd still need better compliance with the arm.
Kerching !!. Cheers for that gpi. I kinda touched on this in another of Bretts's threads but didnt want to swamp him with buckets full o brain strain in regs to the Denon. Nowt wrong with using a coin and a blob of blue tack as a tryout. As stated by Grotts Bretts, it needs the tracking force cranking up to full monty for starters.
'Grotts' also mentioned compliance as an issue; so kerchong
.

I'd also think the long term effect of extra weight on the tonearm is hardly desirable - it's a short term fix, but isn't going to do wonders for the tonearm bearing. Better off looking at another cartridge.
 

mitch65

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Dec 16, 2003
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Reap benefits from spending more money? Absolutely, as has been touched on before, the Denon comes from the bygone times of higher mass Arms Like SME which worked so well together. As far as the Shure being outclassed well, if it sounds great then that's all that really matters in my book
 

floyd droid

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Ok Bretts. You have nailed the Shure back on. Good start. Now here we go....

Its pointless asking folks for reccys to be honest. For instance what to me sounds great IN MY SET UP aint neccesarily ( if spelt wrong i dont give a flying ) going to work in yours mate. Carts are a sum of all parts coupled with how the listener likes to ,erm, hear his music, if you get my drift.

My recco on the ACE still stands, as its a safe bet in any system. A heck of a lot of carts have treble peak bretts,even some mega bucks jobs, bare this in mind.

So my advice is this. Leave the Shure on and spin some records until funds permit. Think about it. You lash out 200-250 quid on something you know in yer heart is second fiddle cos you want to get yer mits on the Benz, well you will have spent getting on for half the cost straight away,wouldnt you.

Dont boil yer brain mate. You have a cracking deck , a good arm etc. Just sit back and enjoy it for a while.

I mean this with the best intentions Bretts ,so if some of it comes across wrong, twernt meant to read that way.
 
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Anonymous

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floyd droid said:
Ok Bretts. You have nailed the Shure back on. Good start. Now here we go....

Its pointless asking folks for reccys to be honest. For instance what to me sounds great IN MY SET UP aint neccesarily ( if spelt wrong i dont give a flying ) going to work in yours mate. Carts are a sum of all parts coupled with how the listener likes to ,erm, hear his music, if you get my drift.

My recco on the ACE still stands, as its a safe bet in any system. A heck of a lot of carts have treble peak bretts,even some mega bucks jobs, bare this in mind.
So, if I understand correctly, while it's pointless asking people for recommendations, yours are the exception? Good thing to know.
 

mitch65

Well-known member
Dec 16, 2003
52
0
18,540
floyd droid said:
Ok Bretts. You have nailed the Shure back on. Good start. Now here we go....

Its pointless asking folks for reccys to be honest. For instance what to me sounds great IN MY SET UP aint neccesarily ( if spelt wrong i dont give a flying ) going to work in yours mate. Carts are a sum of all parts coupled with how the listener likes to ,erm, hear his music, if you get my drift.

My recco on the ACE still stands, as its a safe bet in any system. A heck of a lot of carts have treble peak bretts,even some mega bucks jobs, bare this in mind.

So my advice is this. Leave the Shure on and spin some records until funds permit. Think about it. You lash out 200-250 quid on something you know in yer heart is second fiddle cos you want to get yer mits on the Benz, well you will have spent getting on for half the cost straight away,wouldnt you.

Dont boil yer brain mate. You have a cracking deck , a good arm etc. Just sit back and enjoy it for a while.

I mean this with the best intentions Bretts ,so if some of it comes across wrong, twernt meant to read that way.
:bigsmile: you know it makes sense Bretty
 

floyd droid

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Grottyash said:
'Grotts' also mentioned compliance as an issue; so kerchong
. .
Golly gosh how unforgiveable of me in neglecting to mention that bit. Best i go and stand in the corner on one leg for an hr dont you think
 

floyd droid

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Sep 5, 2008
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Grottyash said:
So, if I understand correctly, while it's pointless asking people for recommendations, yours are the exception? Good thing to know.
Taken out of context as ever. Although i get your point in how it reads. Never mind im out of here. Good luck for the time being Bretts.
 
A

Anonymous

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floyd droid said:
Grottyash said:
So, if I understand correctly, while it's pointless asking people for recommendations, yours are the exception? Good thing to know.
Taken out of context as ever. Although i get your point in how it reads. Never mind im out of here. Good luck for the time being Bretts.
No, taken in context, as ever. I'm out of here too.
 
A

Anonymous

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floyd droid said:
Grottyash said:
'Grotts' also mentioned compliance as an issue; so kerchong
. .
Golly gosh how unforgiveable of me in neglecting to mention that bit. Best i go and stand in the corner on one leg for an hr dont you think
Better than agreeing with questionable advice
. Now I'm out of here...
 

bretty

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Jul 20, 2007
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floyd droid said:
Ok Bretts. You have nailed the Shure back on. Good start. Now here we go....

Its pointless asking folks for reccys to be honest. For instance what to me sounds great IN MY SET UP aint neccesarily ( if spelt wrong i dont give a flying ) going to work in yours mate. Carts are a sum of all parts coupled with how the listener likes to ,erm, hear his music, if you get my drift.

My recco on the ACE still stands, as its a safe bet in any system. A heck of a lot of carts have treble peak bretts,even some mega bucks jobs, bare this in mind.

So my advice is this. Leave the Shure on and spin some records until funds permit. Think about it. You lash out 200-250 quid on something you know in yer heart is second fiddle cos you want to get yer mits on the Benz, well you will have spent getting on for half the cost straight away,wouldnt you.

Dont boil yer brain mate. You have a cracking deck , a good arm etc. Just sit back and enjoy it for a while.

I mean this with the best intentions Bretts ,so if some of it comes across wrong, twernt meant to read that way.
You came across just fine, matey. You're the vinyl oracle, you know that don't you?


You're right, too: I'm happy with the Shure, so i'll stick with it for a while til the funds are there for an upgrade.

Cheers, Mitch also, for echoing FD's sentiments and to GPI and Grot for helping out.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
bretty said:
floyd droid said:
Ok Bretts. You have nailed the Shure back on. Good start. Now here we go....

Its pointless asking folks for reccys to be honest. For instance what to me sounds great IN MY SET UP aint neccesarily ( if spelt wrong i dont give a flying ) going to work in yours mate. Carts are a sum of all parts coupled with how the listener likes to ,erm, hear his music, if you get my drift.

My recco on the ACE still stands, as its a safe bet in any system. A heck of a lot of carts have treble peak bretts,even some mega bucks jobs, bare this in mind.

So my advice is this. Leave the Shure on and spin some records until funds permit. Think about it. You lash out 200-250 quid on something you know in yer heart is second fiddle cos you want to get yer mits on the Benz, well you will have spent getting on for half the cost straight away,wouldnt you.

Dont boil yer brain mate. You have a cracking deck , a good arm etc. Just sit back and enjoy it for a while.

I mean this with the best intentions Bretts ,so if some of it comes across wrong, twernt meant to read that way.
You came across just fine, matey. You're the vinyl oracle, you know that don't you?


You're right, too: I'm happy with the Shure, so i'll stick with it for a while til the funds are there for an upgrade.

Cheers, Mitch also, for echoing FD's sentiments and to GPI and Grot for helping out.
Please remove any reference to me from your post.
 

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