Here we go again: Cartridge loading / input impedance

the thin end of the wedge
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j_nienaber
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Here we go again: Cartridge loading / input impedance

Post by j_nienaber » 22 Feb 2019 01:14

Hi all

Long time no speak!

I'm having my birthday today, and was treated (with some hints from me) to a brand spanking new Denon DL-103R cartridge. I know there are a lot of people out there that hate Denon MC cartridges and in particular the 103 series, but I have been wishing for one since the 1980s. My previous cartridge was a DL-160 high-output MC which impressed me so much that I absolutely wanted/needed/cannot live without a 103R.

So... I installed it, and then once the excitement died down a bit I started worrying about things I never usually think about. I'm NOT using a MC transformer, instead at this point relying on the integrated phono pre-preamp in my Yamaha A-S1000. It works fine and is switchable between MM/MC, and the MM side sounds at least as good as (or no discernable difference) my Hagerman Bugle Pre-amp so I am using the MC mode on the Yamaha for now.

Yamaha's specs for the A-S1000's MC pre-amp indicate an input impedance of 50 ohms (input sensitivity being 100 Micro Volts)
Denon's specs for the 103R gives required impedance as 100 ohms minimum and output of 250 microvolts (.25 millivolts)

I also use a NAD 114 pre-amplifier with my Tube amplifiers - input specs for the built-in NAD MC phono pre-amp differs somewhat, but as I'm giving my tube amps a "rest" for a couple of months I only care about the Yamaha specs.

I don't have the foggiest clue what the RCA cabling from my Frankenstein TT will add or subtract (Thorens TD 160, rebuilt from the baseboard up, using a Rega RB250 arm, RCA phono leads from an SME 3009R arm - simply because the SME cables are so much nicer than the original Rega leads).

The 103R sounds mind-blowingly clear (the bass clarinet on Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde in particular - the DGG recording) and to be honest, as much as I loved the DL-160 I have to admit that IMHO the 103R will take a LOT MORE money to beat - yes, it is a definite step or a jump above the 160... HOWEVER... Now the Psycho Acoustics Devil is playing with my mind telling me that PERHAPS I need to tweak the loading etc. and PERHAPS it would be even better then.

What do you guys think? Any suggestions? Or Just leave it alone, if it sounds good it IS good?

balky
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Re: Here we go again: Cartridge loading / input impedance

Post by balky » 22 Feb 2019 13:21

There you point out the core dilemma in this hobby... a question only you can answer for yourself depending on your situation, pocket and preferences...

Some will say if it sounds good to you, then enjoy, others will suggest a $2k phono stage, room treatment, turntable damping, heavier head shell, better alignment...etc... etc... it goes on endlessly...

I would say if it sounds good to you and you're happy with it, open a bottle and relax...

LD100
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Re: Here we go again: Cartridge loading / input impedance

Post by LD100 » 23 Feb 2019 08:44

balky wrote:
22 Feb 2019 13:21
I would say if it sounds good to you and you're happy with it, open a bottle and relax...
Indeed, just enjoy the music! =D> =D> =D>

raphaelmabo
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Re: Here we go again: Cartridge loading / input impedance

Post by raphaelmabo » 23 Feb 2019 15:51

Using the recommended loading will give you the sound that the manufacturer has intended, where the cartridge sounds as designed. If you use another loading then you will get another sound.

There is never a guarantee that you will like the sound at the makers recommended settings, you may like a different sonical signature better. That’s the beauty with an adjustable MC input, so you can try yourself and what you find is the best.

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