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Denon DL160 Reviews

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Denon DL160

Denon DL160

8/10 by DrMike

Not the ultimate and may require shim to preserve VTA on some deck/arm combinations. If you can manage this and have access to a 1:2 transformer and a really good phono stage this cartridge shines with pure musicality and hides record noise really well. The transformer gives greater dynamic range and punch without additional hiss or noise you need to hear this cartridge with the 6dB transformer boost to really appreciate it. Highly recommended!

10/10 by Trikken

10/10 without hesitation. Initially I'd explored some options and decided to buy a DL-110 when I came across a slightly used DL-160 which I aquired for the equivalent of some £60/€70/$75. After listening practically every woken minute between sleep and work for a couple of days I am utterly amazed - this is one of my top three hifi-bargains ever! I agree with the positive reviews, the threedimensional presentation of the soundstage is of a scale seldom experienced regardless of pricerange. Everything sounds natural and very much alive, I almost believed I had an orchestra in the room listening to some very familiar recordings of Mozarts chamber music for strings. I was astouned. The DL-160 does sound terrific for all kinds of music, I listen to a wide variety of classical music aswell as pop, electronica and rock from the 80s up til today , it's just that it absolutely shines with acoustic instruments. Pure joy!
I run it on a rather basic system with amazing results: upgraded Rega RP1 with glassplatter, wool mat, Isokinetik belt and Audio Technica AT-605 feet through a Pro-Ject Phono Box S at MM-settings of 47kΩ, 43 dB gain and 200pF loading capacitance coupled to a Yamaha R-S500 with a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 225s.
If you ever get an opportunity to buy one I recommend you do so, very pleasing experience.

9/10 by viejo1953

Fabulous tracker this Denon DL 160 with great 3d soundstage and great detail. At this pricepoint I give it 9 points. I use an old JVC pre-amp P3030 at 30 ohms (MC imput) that improves soundstage.

8/10 by Algral

I use with tonarmy MA-505, the head is selective to quality of record, total absence of sibilyant, on some records the sound is similar to cd, very brightly, but detail very high.

7/10 by Dr Pan K

Nice if not excellent cart for the money. Slightly congested in the upper mids and not so airy as others, but still very musical, involving. Preferably loaded at approx 1 KOhm

9/10 by anmpr1

Denon stopped production of this fine cartridge. Not sure why, since I owned two, and was always happy. But Denon has a history of this sort of thing, for instance deleting the ever popular 103D from their catalog. The 160 was a very satisfying MC for very little money. I guess the 110 is now the ticket, but I haven't heard it, so can't say anything from personal experience.

8/10 by Audible15

Nice cartridge, afforable - cheap even. Good toe tapping rhythm and detail retrieval, as good as CD for detail.

10/10 by rockedove

Gem of cartridge.
Very transparent, great separation. Gets a surprising amount of detail from the groove.

9/10 by hifi-bruce

I have the Denon DL 160 in my Thorens TD125 Mk II with the TP 16 arm.
Downloaded the Baerwald arc protractor from vinylengine. I took the arm apart and cleaned/relubed the pivot bearings. Re-assembled the arm with just the right amount of tension on the bearings to stop their chatter. Much much better, but still some distortion at high level of modulation of tracks. Went from 1.5 to 1.8 grams tracking force and all is just wonderful now. Even makes my worn out, well kept albums sound new and quieter. Looking forward to trying this Denon DL 160 in my VPI Traveler when it arrives. (soon I hope).
The Denon DL 160 eats the lunch of my Shure V15 Type III and Acutex M315 III STR in tracking and clearness of sound. Very open sounding cartridge. I feel it was money well spent!
I use the Marantz 7c/8b with a pair of 1980 Klipsch LaScala's. Vinyl is now toe tapping good with lots of goose bumps!!!

9/10 by bauzace50

Very high (not super) tracking ability, free from sibilance, and virtually silent operation. Tone is true-to-life, all there, not bright, nor rolling off. Ample staging. Minutely detailed. Very good piano reproduction free of mistracking hash. Esentially neutral and eminently believable. Highly satisfying regardless of price but not for lovers of bright / forward signature.

8/10 by catama

Love it on my Empire 598 III TT. Very detailed, clear and airy sound. Performs much better than its price point would indicate. Too bad it has been discontinued.

9/10 by iramack

It just sounds great on my HK T-60c even with the low mass tonearm. Tracks beautifully @ 1.6g and really gets into the quiet areas of the groove. All types of music and old/new pressings sound really fantastic. VERY disappointed that it has been D/C'd! Have to make this one last!!

9/10 by mes356

Using on a LAB 400, musical, detailed, tight punchy bass, quiet on less than perfect material, enormus improvment over the original shure R1000E

9/10 by DutchLogic

I used it with a Logic DM 101 - Datum arm: Great!
Logic DM 101 - Hadcock GH228 export: Even better!
Open, lucid and natural sound, good soundstage. Maybe a bit bass shy...
Now it's (a new one...) performing with an Origin Live Aurora Mk2 - OL Silver Mk3c: Super! It even has tight, punchy bass now!

For the € this is a stunner!

9/10 by chase

I love it. Sounds great straight out the box. Using it on a Systemdek IIx with an modified RB250.

5/10 by Lasminit2

I'd like to echo Jan above: Airy, open sound, precise 3D placement of instruments (Quotation marks don't seem to work here). I'll add that I am giving this cartridge a 5 out of 10 simply because it is so good for the $ spent. It works well on a wide variety of tables, and is a real winner on the Technics SL-1200.

8/10 by jenkovix

Unbeatable at the price. Dynamic, punchy, excellent detail. Found harsh in the highs.

9/10 by davetruestory

This is what grado 60 is to headphone.

9/10 by yeoldestereo

In my opinion the best of budget high performance high output MC. No brainer to choose this one.

8/10 by GuidoK

Excellent and popular cartridge. Very good tracking capabilities resulting in good and natural reproduction of high frequencies.
Compliance at 10 Hz measures at 14 or 15 x10-6cm/Dyne, which seems to be consistent with other users.
Sound characteristics can be described as 'laidback'. Low frequencies not too pronounced, natural reproduction. Probably more suited for classical music, jazz, easy listening etc. and maybe less suited for rock / house etc.
High output makes it easy to connect to most equipment, but the output signal is a bit lower than most MM's.

An excellent price-performer.

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