So...i got tired of the sound of my Denon 103R. And i decided to 'upgrade' to the audio technica AT95E.
15 mins later, VTF, tone arm height blah blah blah set...and it was in the headshell and connected to the tonearm of my Technics 1210MK5G (The Denon 103R in its BIB headshell looked abit forlorn in the corner of my turntable rack i must admit).
Removed the Denon AU300 stepup transformer and connected it straight into my tubed Jolida JD-9 phono pre amp (2 x NOS westinghouse 5751s!)
Lit up the Almarro 318B and dropped the needle on Nick Drake's 'A Treasury'. I was rather pleased with what i heard. It was almost the antithesis of the Denon 103R. Whilst the Denon had a lit-up, revealing quality about it, it lent a tremendous sense of propulsive-ness towards the music that demanded your attention while one listened, the AT95E was relaxed, coherent, warm and musical (General, over-used terminology, i must admit, but that's the exact way it sounds to me!)
The Denon 103R is great value for money, don't get me wrong, but it's no where as fun as the AT95. Vocals are lovely on the little Audio-technia ( I don't get that the upper range sibiliance/distortion i get on the 103R, and trust me, i did everything i could to remove it.)
And i haven't even went about adjusting the AT95 to it's optimal settings!
Oh boy. what fun.