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Shure M97xE MM vs Denon DL304 MC

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Shure M97xE MM vs Denon DL304 MC

Postby BruceEmbry » 22 Jan 2018 03:45

Shure M97xE MM VS Denon DL-304
Hi All,
So I have a very important question, can a $99 MM cart hold its own against one of Denon‘s high-end DL-304 Moving Coil cartridges. Now with the revival of vinyl use, you might think that Shure would bring the V15 series of phono cartridges back. The prices of good quality phono cartridges are increasing, for example, look at the price of the Denon DL-110.

The Shure M97xE is not very friendly when it comes to compatibility with phono preamps. So before ordering the Shure, I did some checks on my audio system. Shure’s recommended phono preamp load for the M97 is 47K ohm and the total capacitance of 200 to 300 pico farad. Some testers on the internet stated that the total capacitance should be in the range of 250pF to 300pF. So I measure the capacitance of my turntable wiring and phono preamp. For the Dual 1245, the capacitance including interconnects is 174pF for the left channel and 178pF for the right channel. The Denon DRA-755’s phono preamp has 120pF input caps for both the left and right channels. Thus the total phone input capacitance for the system is 294pF left and 296pF for the right channel. For alignment, I am using the original overhang gage that came with my Dual 1245.

I plan on capturing some needle drops and post them to this forum. I will not ID the phono cartridge for each of the needle drops. So we will have blind needle drop. I will first break in the M97xE for about 30 hours before I start capturing the needle drops. I will create a poll for voting on the best sounding needle drops.

Here is some history of my audio system. The Dual 1245 was purchased in 1977 and came with a Shure V15-III. There have been three other cartridges besides the V15 that’s been used on the Daul. Those cartridges are 1) Micro Acoustics’ 2002e, 2) Denon DL-300 and the Denon DL-304. In the past, I have temporary tried Audio Technical and Ortofon cartridges and did not like them. The 2002e is my favorite, it tracks at 3/4 of a gram and never miss a beat. The Denon DRA-755 Tuner/Amp was purchased in 1986. For these needle drops, I will only be using the Denon, Dual and one of my Analog to Digital converters. I have to determine which ADC will be best for the needle drops.

So today I have played one song with the M97xEand all I can say is WOW! I also played the same song with Denon, I can say WOW for that one too.

Hi Forum Moderators can you please make this a sticky?

So please join me in a Vinyl Quest!
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Re: Shure M97xE MM vs Denon DL304 MC

Postby billshurv » 22 Jan 2018 11:07

BruceEmbry wrote: The Denon DRA-755’s phono preamp has 120pF input caps for both the left and right channels. Thus the total phone input capacitance for the system is 294pF left and 296pF for the right channel.


And here is the problem. You don't know what the input capacitance of the amplifier is, just the added capacitance. You could have anything from 40pF to 500pF additional that you have not taken account of. You should be ok , as Denon generally don't have high C input stages.

You Dual has a low mass arm so might favour the shure.
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Re: Shure M97xE MM vs Denon DL304 MC

Postby BruceEmbry » 22 Jan 2018 15:05

billshurv wrote:
BruceEmbry wrote: The Denon DRA-755’s phono preamp has 120pF input caps for both the left and right channels. Thus the total phone input capacitance for the system is 294pF left and 296pF for the right channel.


And here is the problem. You don't know what the input capacitance of the amplifier is, just the added capacitance. You could have anything from 40pF to 500pF additional that you have not taken account of. You should be ok , as Denon generally don't have high C input stages.

You Dual has a low mass arm so might favour the shure.


Hi,
Either I didn't say it correctly or you don't understand. It is the input capacitance into the phono pre-amp section of the Denon that is the concern. And the input capacitance of the Denon phono preamp is 120pF.

The Dual tonearm also has another advantage, the counterweight of the tonearm also functions as an anti-resonance filter (was not advertised). Both cartilages are considered high compliance and tracks @ 1.2 grams. May end up being a real horse-race :D
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Re: Shure M97xE MM vs Denon DL304 MC

Postby KentT » 22 Jan 2018 15:24

Dual is not an ideal MC platform either. Stick to lower mass, higher compliance MM and MI cartridges, that is what Dual arms excel at. Ortofon OM 10-40 is the ideal partner for a Dual. The Shure M97xE is great on a Dual.
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Re: Shure M97xE MM vs Denon DL304 MC

Postby BruceEmbry » 22 Jan 2018 16:33

That is a personal opinion.."Dual is not an ideal MC platform". The Denon DL-304 is a high compliance cartridge that tracks at 1.2 grams and requires low mass tonearm.
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Re: Shure M97xE MM vs Denon DL304 MC

Postby billshurv » 22 Jan 2018 17:42

BruceEmbry wrote:
Hi,
Either I didn't say it correctly or you don't understand. It is the input capacitance into the phono pre-amp section of the Denon that is the concern. And the input capacitance of the Denon phono preamp is 120pF.

The Dual tonearm also has another advantage, the counterweight of the tonearm also functions as an anti-resonance filter (was not advertised). Both cartilages are considered high compliance and tracks @ 1.2 grams. May end up being a real horse-race :D


You said
The Denon DRA-755’s phono preamp has 120pF input caps for both the left and right channels
. Does that not mean that there are physical 120pF capacitors in place? You still need to account for the capacitance of the active circuitry behind it.
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Re: Shure M97xE MM vs Denon DL304 MC

Postby BruceEmbry » 22 Jan 2018 18:32

Hi Bill
Just for you I'm posting the schematic for the Denon DRA-755 Receiver phono preamp. The Phono pre-amp is switchable for MC and MM cartridges. For MC the 100ohm load resistor is switched in.
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Re: Shure M97xE MM vs Denon DL304 MC

Postby lynnot » 22 Jan 2018 20:03

Sorry, the Shure M97xE is in entirely different league and even the old and respected V15-VxMR can't compete with a Denon DL-304 MC cartridge.
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Re: Shure M97xE MM vs Denon DL304 MC

Postby BruceEmbry » 22 Jan 2018 21:17

lynnot wrote:Sorry, the Shure M97xE is in entirely different league and even the old and respected V15-VxMR can't compete with a Denon DL-304 MC cartridge.


Hi Lynnot,
We will not know until the needle drops are captured and posted to this site. But after listening to a few songs, I can say that I was impressed.
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Re: Shure M97xE MM vs Denon DL304 MC

Postby KentT » 22 Jan 2018 22:14

I am not dissing the cartridge, or the Dual. The Dual arm is just not the ideal arm for the DL 304. The arm is a bit short, and the cartridge mount not the best. It will make nice music, but not as great as it could be in a better low mass arm on say, a Thorens with something like a good Mayware or Infinity Black Widow or similar type arm with really optimized setup. Just something to consider down the road. I still see the Denon MC better on the Dual than the Shure.
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Re: Shure M97xE MM vs Denon DL304 MC

Postby BruceEmbry » 22 Jan 2018 23:51

KentT wrote:I am not dissing the cartridge, or the Dual. The Dual arm is just not the ideal arm for the DL 304. The arm is a bit short, and the cartridge mount not the best. It will make nice music, but not as great as it could be in a better low mass arm on say, a Thorens with something like a good Mayware or Infinity Black Widow or similar type arm with really optimized setup. Just something to consider down the road. I still see the Denon MC better on the Dual than the Shure.


Hi Kent,
Again your personal opinion. But you may be correct about the Denon being better than the Shure. I do hope that the $600+ Denon puts the Shure to shame, but I am withholding my judgment. I would like the members of this forum to take a listen and volt with there ears.

Over my 40+ years in evaluating various speakers and other hi-fi components for purchase, I have found a lot of BS and snake oil talk. As for the Dual, to me there is nothing better. There is some great technology in that 40-year-old turntable, Technology, that many manufacturers have forgotten.

Personally I think we may all learn something from this quest. And this is a quest, its about the music and nothing but the music.
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Re: Shure M97xE MM vs Denon DL304 MC

Postby billshurv » 23 Jan 2018 01:15

FET input so you have about 6pF times the gain of the first stage extra to take into account.
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Re: Shure M97xE MM vs Denon DL304 MC

Postby BruceEmbry » 23 Jan 2018 02:42

I'm glad that you think you're so smart. The FET is an input buffer voltage transfer with no gain. The gain is null by the adjustment between the two drains. The effect of FET junction would feed up the transfer of high frequencies thus negating the effect of the input capacitance. But anyway it a lot more complex then that.
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Re: Shure M97xE MM vs Denon DL304 MC

Postby snfrosten » 23 Jan 2018 03:20

"As for the Dual, to me there is nothing better." I think this statement says all about this comparison between these two carts, null and void.
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Re: Shure M97xE MM vs Denon DL304 MC

Postby Alec124c41 » 23 Jan 2018 03:43

[\quote]
"Over my 40+ years in evaluating various speakers and other hi-fi components for purchase, I have found a lot of BS and snake oil talk. As for the Dual, to me there is nothing better. There is some great technology in that 40-year-old turntable, Technology, that many manufacturers have forgotten.

Personally I think we may all learn something from this quest. And this is a quest, its about the music and nothing but the music.[/quote]


What we might learn is only what you like, with your turntable.
A Denon DL-304 properly set up, on an arm that suits it, will walk all over any Shure, again properly set up.
If your arm is a better match with the M-97, enjoy it. But don't make the mistake of generalizing to the point of saying that it is as good, or better than the Denon in all cases.

Cheers,
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