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New to me Denon 1200

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New to me Denon 1200

Postby Captain Ron » 17 Dec 2017 19:03

Hi Guys:

I just picked up a Denon 1200 (circa 1980's) in excellent condition and everything mechanical seems to be working well.

It maintains a steady speed. One issue I have is that I need to turn my amp volume up to 3/4 to get any decent sound from it. The issue does not present on my cd player, radio, etc. so it seems to be isolated to the turn table. I DO have really long cables (10 feet) connecting it to the amp, but they are gold plated and good quality.

So two questions:

1. Could the length of the cables be causing the volume drop, or could I need a new cart?

2. Should I repack the bearing on the motor, (it's really easy to do) or not try to "fix it until it's broke" ? :-)

Thanks in advance for your input - I'm pretty much a newb when it comes to turntables.

Best,

Captain Ron
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Re: New to me Denon 1200

Postby musicmn » 17 Dec 2017 20:06

Hi, you don't mention what type of cartridge you are using or what type of stereo equipment the turntable is hooked up to. If you are using a moving magnet type cartridge then you will need a phono pre amp or sometimes called a phono stage to boost the signal from the cartridge through the stereo equipment you are using. Now some receivers and intergrated amps have built in phono pre amps. Especially equipment made in the 1970's, 80's and early 90's. In newer stereo equipment phono pre amps were removed because the manufacturers thought nobody would ever need them. If your stereo equipment does not have a built in phono pre amp then you will need and external phono pre amp to boost and equillize the sound from the cartridge. There are a bunch of of different brands of external phono pre amps and the prices can be from a few bucks to holly cow my first car didn't cost that much :lol: . Ten foot long cables can cause low volume from turntables because of the small amount of output the cartridges have. Maximum length of rca cables for a turntable are 1 meter or a little over 3'. If you must use that long of a rca cable then you would definitely need an external phono pre amp somewhere between the turntable and the stereo equipment you are using. I hope this helps.
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Re: New to me Denon 1200

Postby Captain Ron » 18 Dec 2017 01:43

Thanks for the info!

I've got a Denon DL 103 cartridge that apparently has an output of .3mv. My Onkyo M501 Amp and P301 pre-amp were both purchased in 1996. I couldn't dig deep enough into the literature (or know exactly what I was looking for) to find out if there as a built in phono pre amp in either.

Seems like I'm going to need a phono pre amp AND shorten the RCA cables - I can make do with 5ft and that seems like the first go to before I buy a new phono pre amp?

As I only listen to vinyl once in a while can you recommend a reasonably priced phono pre amp?

Thanks again for your Help and if you ever need advice on old BMW motorcycles - that's MY baliwick.
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Re: New to me Denon 1200

Postby musicmn » 18 Dec 2017 02:09

Hi capt ron, from the images I've seen online that onkyo p301 pre amp does have a built in phono pre amp. But it's most likely designed for MM cartridges or HI output moving coil carts. Your Denon DL 103 is a LOMC cart (low output moving coil)cartridge. This type of cartridge does require a pre amp to boost that cartridges signal. These type of pre amps have what is called a gain control to get the best sound from that cartridge. Now in all my yrs of listening to records I have never owned a LOMC cartridge. So I can't give you any advice on a pre amp for it. But I do know that a lot of members on this site do run LOMC carts and hopefully they can Help out. You can also use the custom google search engine on this site. Just google best pre amp for denon Dl 103 cartridge and see what pops up.
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Re: New to me Denon 1200

Postby Captain Ron » 18 Dec 2017 03:03

Excellento pimento - now I know what I have - and what to look for. Have a great holiday season and thanks again for your Help.
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Re: New to me Denon 1200

Postby Legrace » 18 Dec 2017 13:46

This was my very first "good" table. Long gone now but I do recall the excellent sound it was capable of. One I had was also fitted with a LOMC. But unlike your Onkyo my preamp had selectable MM or MC inputs. As per other reply since yours doesn't you will need to pickup an external phono preamp offering MC capability. Can pay a lot for a TOTL model but fortunately there are a lot of more affordable options as well. (focus on ones that offer loading and gain adjustments) Enjoy the Denon.

...swabbie Legrace
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Re: New to me Denon 1200

Postby Captain Ron » 18 Dec 2017 15:04

Thanks for your advice!

Based on a couple of quick reviews it seems like this Mani might work well at $129.00 since it is switchable for a LOMC: (Wow, look at me throwing around acronyms like I REALLY know what I'm talkin' bout.) :-)

http://www.schiit.com/products/mani
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Re: New to me Denon 1200

Postby Legrace » 18 Dec 2017 17:31

Another one to consider:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007I961IQ/ref=dp_cerb_3

Dual mono design, 3 load settings (10, 100, 1000 ohms) plus 4 gains settings (40,43,60,63 db). With LOMC's its preferable to be able to adjust loading, as well as gain. Also comes with a subsonic filter. (to cut rumble)

The Mani has a fixed load setting of 47 ohms. Based on specs of DL-103 this is on the low side for this cartridge. 100 is closer, or even try 1000.
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Re: New to me Denon 1200

Postby Captain Ron » 18 Dec 2017 18:02

I'm going to give the Amazon unit a try - sounds like it may be ideal. I like the idea of the subsonic filter as well. I do have a bit of rumble - not enough to be annoying - but still there. It should be on my doorstep in just a couple of days. Looking forward to getting out my album collection (about 1K!) and reliving the 60's, 70's 80's and 90's the way they should be heard. Your expertise is greatly appreciated.
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Re: New to me Denon 1200

Postby Legrace » 18 Dec 2017 18:49

Tip: when you go to hook up your phono preamp you will need to use a separate input other then phono (as it is already internally wired for MM and cannot bypass). OK to use any other free line level input; Aux, CD, Tuner, etc. All will work fine.

For settings 100 ohm and 60 db good place to start.

You are are well on you way to a nice setup, enjoy. =D>
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Re: New to me Denon 1200

Postby Captain Ron » 21 Dec 2017 05:43

Thanks for the tips - it's working well. The pre-amp is solid little unit, made in Austria with two rows of 8 dip switches on the bottom to allow all kinds of configurations. Thanks to both of you guys for your Help. I've gone from lost to listening in 3 days. Cheers!
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