Hi tls, and thanks for your reply, I appreciate it a lot. I've never had time to do this, so I'd like to do it... well. I don't have unlimited resources, so it's a low budget project (I hope).
The 2M Red seems a little off balance, heavy bottom and lacking in the top half. I've had a 103 for many years, and it fits my music - makes it feel real. The tonearm, as you say - it's fairly heavy, so a 103 should be a good match in theory as well.
I'm with you on the headshell, I'm already waiting for an Ortofon LH-2000 weighing 15,5g. Looks nice too :).
https://www.ortofon.com/media/148334/lh ... quality=80
I think the Denon is about 8,5g, which makes a total of 24g, 5g under the recommended max of 29g for this arm. It's backordered, so I'm a little impatient - the 103 will be here tomorrow.
I'm trying to do the woodcraft myself, so I have some 2x4" pine I'll practice with. I have a new saw, but i'm not sure about the precision. Or my skills ;). But I think a solid wood plinth improves the sonic properties of the tt.
For the bottom plate, I have a piece of butcher's block bamboo coming as a first attempt :lol: . It's 3,5 kg, so it should help inertia. I'm experimenting, and my idea is that this bamboo is fairly low in resonance, very stiff and stable.
https://www.ikea.com/PIAimages/0711717_ ... S5.JPG?f=l
And feet, yes, very unsure about that. Spikes or rubber?
About mounting plate: metal looks nice, but is hard to work with. I don't have the right tools. Also, I'm not sure about sonic properties. The original is pressed cardboard like - don't know the name, but I believe it is fairly dead and with very different properties than metal. As it is, the mounting is not perfect due to surface bulging in the soft material, and not quite flat, so I think replacing it is just as well. I guess I'll do as you say, experiment with different materials and see what sounds best. So actually, looks is secondary to audio quality.
Thanks again for your thoughts, it's nice to see that I'm on the right track with my early plans :).