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Struggling with my Dual DN165E

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Struggling with my Dual DN165E

Postby fr0do » 12 Feb 2010 21:22

Hi!

I have got my Dual for less then two weeks, but I am still trying to get the best from it ;-) Just after I got it the tracking force and anti-skate were precisely set according to the manual. Then (after 3 days of just enjoying of looking at!) my Monacor SPR-6 preamp arrived and I was able to start listening. It was great to look, sort and finally listen to my vinyls, but after a couple of days I felt that it is not perfect (or maybe just not good enough). The sound a little bit too harsh and the lack of bass generally. On the records with solid bass fundament (The Cure - Faith) it was present, but still it was not what I expected. Today I have decided to check as much as possible. Printed the template for setting tangency, checked and it seems ok. Checked the VTA - it also seemes to be ok (though I do not have any precise instrument to be sure). Next step - azimuth. It was not perfect so I have corrected it a bit. At last set the tracking force once again - this time a bit more - 17,5 Nm.

I have been listening for an hour now and it seems to be a little bit better than before, but it is not enough to be sure about it... The sound is maybe not so harsh, but still there is not enough bass though there might be a little more of the lows... There is a long night coming... I will tell you more details tomorrow. I wonder where is the problem. There might be many of them...
- cartridge? Do not think so...
- stylus? Might be. It is not new, but looks ok. It is the original Dual/Ortofon DN165E
- Preamp? It is a real budget, but it was said to have quite a good bass response.
- cables? Rather not... Original cables from the TT and Helion Ezotech from the phono preamp to my amp. Ezotech is a kind of cable that does not make the input more attractive - it just transfers the sound as it is - with all the goods and bads. Generally worth more than a turntable. Maybe I should try something cheaper like Monster Cable 300? It definitely tends to emphasize low frequencies.
- TT placement? It is not perfect at the moment, but i really do not think it may be the issue. I have same problems while listening gently and loud.
- the vinyls, that spent more than 10 years in the basement with winter temperatures far below 0?

Additionally I would like to ensure myslf as for cartridge/stylus replacement for my Dual 505-3. The original cartridge is Dual ULM 65E and the stylus Dual DN 165 E. Are these exact equivalents (rebranded) to Ortofon OMP 10 and Ortofon 10 stylus? If so, what can I expect from stylus 20? Any chance for a better bass foundation?

Regards,
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Postby Dadimo » 12 Feb 2010 23:51

Is that the orignal stylus Frodo? Judging by the rest of your system, you could put an OM 20 stylus on your cartridge and hear a difference easily.
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Postby cairns4me » 13 Feb 2010 00:00

Hey Frodo. I have same turntable and cartridge & stylus (DN165e).
I have felt similar as you do about the sound and after asking fellow VE members for suggestions I decided to replace the stylus with a Digitrac 200ne costing me US$20.00 for the stylus and US$20.00 for posting for Australia.
BTW I also have ordered a new belt from USA which also should arrive in next few days.The existing belt does drive the unit but it's very stretched and has "old age cracks" in the rubber.
Look for the thread "Breaking in Digitrac 200ne" and read many positive comments about fitting this 200ne stylus to the Ortofon cartridge.
My Digitrac was posted in USA on the 5th of Feb so I am hoping it arrives sometime this coming week.
I will immediately try it and post my comments on that thread.
I chose this path to improve the performance while keeping the ultra low mass cartridge and Dual ULM tonearm combination happening.
Regards.
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Postby cairns4me » 13 Feb 2010 00:06

Frodo..Here is link for thread about the Digitrac improved stylus for our Ortofon cartridge.
cartridge break in-digitrac 200[url][/url]
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Postby fr0do » 13 Feb 2010 01:01

Dadimo! Yes, it is the original Dual DN 165 E!

While listening to The Handel's Royal Fireworks with Trevor Pinnock I have carefully read the thread about the Digitrack. Well I do not know what to say. If the half of what you say is true it is the real value for money. If so many people here have such a good opinion I am going to give it a try ;-) Anybody knows if I can get it in Europe?

What about the straight comparison to the Ortofon 20 and 30? I mean sound, not the price of course ;-)
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Postby Dadimo » 13 Feb 2010 02:03

I had said on another post it easily sounds as good as the 20 ( to me ) The OM 20 stylus and the Digitrac 200ne are both elliptical diamond type. For the money I would have to say give it a try if they will ship it over there.
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Postby fr0do » 15 Feb 2010 23:14

I've just asked the guy on ebay and waiting for a reply if Digitrac shipping to Poland is possible. I hope so. If not I'm gonna ask my friend, who has settled in US for some time, for help ;-)

BTW, I've found out that russian (Melodia) pressings overcome Decca, RCA, EMI, Deutche Gramophon and so... Never thought I got these preacious and never thought that "comunism years made" pressing may be so good ;-)

Regards,

Tommy
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Postby cairns4me » 16 Feb 2010 00:49

Frodo...The Ebay seller (johnnygqgotsdeals) will probably charge US$25.00 for shipping. The website jettsales.com will probably charge you US$20.00 for shipping. They both charge US$20.00 for the Digitrac carts.
I ordered from Jettsales and hoping my Digitrac may even arrive today..hoping..hoping..:)
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Postby fr0do » 16 Feb 2010 01:30

Hi!

cairns4me: I wish you gonna be happy with your new stylus ASAP!

The ebay johnnygqgotsdeals has just confirmed shipping to Poland for 25$. Gonna take 2 or 3. If you say it is worth trying or even more I gonna take a couple to test ;-) Why not to spent a couple of free hours to play with what is strongly suggested ;-) 5 dollars more for shipping seems not be an issue. If it is really so good, the 5$ bargain price seems not to be a problem ;-) Waiting to come ;-) Just wonna get it fast ;-)
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Postby v1nn1e » 16 Feb 2010 10:53

FWIW, I had a dual 505-3 back in the 90's and my eventual cartridge upgrade path was to an AT95E, probably influenced by loads of reviews - it was (still is) a very popular budget cart. Even so, I only ever felt it was an incremental upgrade over the OE cart and stylus and I suspect your stylus upgrade will be similar.

IMHO, try and enjoy what you've got and save your pennies and wait until you can afford a real jump in performance - OM40, Goldring 10nn... etc
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Postby fr0do » 17 Feb 2010 23:21

Hi

v1nn1e: Maybe it is a stupid question, but do you mean putting Ortofon 40 stylus into my cartridge or OM40 is something totally different?

Sorry... I am just trying to recall all that vinyl/cartridge things, but it is not so simple ;-) There has been more than a couple of years that have been passed...

Regards,

Tomek
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Postby cairns4me » 18 Feb 2010 12:42

Hey Frodo..The Digitrac arrived. Comments are in the "breaking in the digitrac" thread. Regards.
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Postby fr0do » 20 Feb 2010 02:42

cairns4me!

Enjoy your new toy! I've purchased 2 digitracs on ebay, but got problems to get any info from johnnygqgotsdeals, don't know if it's been shipped already... Hope so. If they come and I find them really enjoyable I'll think to purchase maybe more. I am not too enthusiastic at the moment as I've not heard this stylus, but I've found out I listen to vinyls much more then 15 years ago. After 2 weeks there were more than 70 LP sides put and played on my platter. It is a whole lotta more than when I was "a bit" younger. Any record in those days was so precious to me and costed money so most of them were immediately copied to a cassette. There are still plenty of Basf Chrome Maxima II, Maxell XL II(-S), TDK SA(-X), Sony UX-S(Pro) and others like JVC, Denon, PDM on my shelves that hold precious things ;-)

BTW, what is the estimate lifetime of the Ortofon 10/20/30 and Digitrac 200 NE stylus?

BTW2, I've made a small upgrade to my system today - an acrylic mat ;-) I do not believe it can do anything with my low freqs, but I hope it is gonna have an influence on details and overall system performance ;-) More on this in another thread coming on ;-)
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