Recommend pre-amp for Denon DL-301II

the thin end of the wedge
couldbfishin
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Recommend pre-amp for Denon DL-301II

Post by couldbfishin » 02 May 2019 21:55

I just purchased a new Denon DL-301 MKII cartridge. It is a MC with output voltage of 0.4 mV. It is my first low output MC cartridge, and I know nothing about pre-amps or how to use them.

The cartridge will be mounted on a Denon DP-45F direct drive turntable with a low mass arm. I will be using a Marantz 2285B receiver initially, but I have three Marantz receivers that I could use it with (2275, 2285B and 2325). I am told these Marantz receivers require 1.4 mV minimum phono input. And, that I need a pre-amp or step-up transformer.

In the past I have used MM cartridges and high-output MC cartridges only. I am not sure what I need or how much I need to spend for something comparable with the quality of this cartridge. I hear about 10x increase in phono output, but again, I am not sure what that means or if it is necessary. So, please keep the answers simple enough for me.

Now that I have purchased a low output MC cartridge, I am wondering what if any advantage there is to a low output MC cartridge over the high output MC or a MM cartridge. Can you enlighten me?

Also, if you can suggest a source for the pre-amps you recommend, I would appreciate it.

Thanks

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Re: Recommend pre-amp for Denon DL-301II

Post by johnnywalker » 02 May 2019 22:51

I run my DL-301II through an Emotiva XPS-1, quite successfully. I use the 470 ohm load setting. These units can be bought from Emotiva direct, but they are also available from Amazon. The theoretical advantage of a LOMC over a HOMC is the lower number of windings, thus providing a more agile stylus assembly with lower moving mass.

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Re: Recommend pre-amp for Denon DL-301II

Post by kid vic » 03 May 2019 06:36

I use a Lounge Audio Copla with my 301mk1, sounds great and should work well for you.

couldbfishin
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Re: Recommend pre-amp for Denon DL-301II

Post by couldbfishin » 04 May 2019 04:03

I like the adjustments I see on the Lounge Audio Copla SUT and their MKIII phono pre-amp. Doing more research on both. Interesting learning about LOMC cartridges and the voltage requirements on preamps, amps and receivers. Never too old to learn new things.

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Re: Recommend pre-amp for Denon DL-301II

Post by Alec124c41 » 04 May 2019 21:04

DBSystemsAudio.com Budget Electronics, DB-8HG MC Phono Preamp, $200 and damn good.

Cheers,
Alec

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Re: Recommend pre-amp for Denon DL-301II

Post by audiopile » 06 May 2019 06:39

With the exception of the 15 ohm DL-103r - 40 ohm Denons have really sung with a Denon SUT feeding a good MM input and frankly the Lounge Auydio LCR III/Copla combo is really very good to. I keep going back and forth between the Denon SUT's and the Copla . Couple of things to remember : a.) low capacitance interconnects between SUT and phono input. 2.) the most sensitive highest gain MM input might be overdriven by a SUT -keep this in mind. Unfortunately max input for MM phono inputs is honored most by being ignored or described in some essentially meaningless fashion.

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Re: Recommend pre-amp for Denon DL-301II

Post by audiopile » 07 May 2019 04:28

In reply to a PM: If you make what I think is a very good decision and buy a Lounge Audio Copla and their LCR-III phono preamp -you will not use a MM phono input built into a your preamp/integrated amp/receiver (if you try this it will be VERY (possibly damagingly) loud and just plain awfully distorted. You can plug the LCR III into the Aux or tape in (NOT tape out or to tape)- the Copla will then plug into the input on the LCR III (low capacitance cables matter here - the short cables that Lounge sends out if you buy the Copla/LCR III at the same time are perfect if you want to stack the two vertically.If you want side to side placement-order some slightly longer cables from Lounge for this use -remember that low capacitance is more important than high price. The cables from your turntable/arm will plug into the Copla - rotate the control on the copla until you are pleased with several records in a row (not the toughest job in Hi-Fi -listen to records :-) .

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Re: Recommend pre-amp for Denon DL-301II

Post by couldbfishin » 07 May 2019 17:05

Thanks Audiophile. These items are on order and are being built this week by Lounge Audio.

I had not considered the MM phono input having a maximum. I sure didn't realize what the result would be if the LCR was connected to the phono socket. However, I did notice on the instruction sheets that the system should be wired as you describe and the LCR III connected to the AUX port. I was curious about this and intended to ask LA why it was necessary. You answered the question for me.

Stayed up late last night rearranging audio gear into systems based on intended use. The Lounge Audio Copla and LCR III will be used with a beautifully restored Marantz 2275 (sweet sounding), also fully restored Denon DP-45F TT with the new Denon DK301 Mk II cartridge, and a pair of KLH model 6 speakers I restored. I plan to use this system to record from very clean, well recorded vinyl, to my restored Technics RT-1200 RTR. Then sit back and enjoy the mix of music on these tapes.

My thanks to everyone who responded to this thread.

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Re: Recommend pre-amp for Denon DL-301II

Post by audiopile » 07 May 2019 17:59

Forgot to mention one further hook up tip- grounding. I know it seems like there should be a "right" way to do this and in studio settings this is something that is taken very seriously and done systematically. In a home stereo setting -what counts is what leads to the lowest amount of hum. I switch thru a wacky variety of cartridges - I will first hook the ground wire (if the TT/arm has one -Rega's for instance don't) up to the ground on the phono preamps case. If AT COMFORTABLE LISTENING LEVELS you get hum -turn down the volume and disconnect the ground wire and try it again. Whatever gets you the least amount of hum AT LISTENING LEVELS is right. Cranking your system wide open -full crank-absolute max volume- is a completely meaningless test. I f you tried to play a record at that volume your woofers would behave like a slightly less dangerous Takata airbag.

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Re: Recommend pre-amp for Denon DL-301II

Post by couldbfishin » 16 May 2019 01:41

Ok, I did the ultimate frustrating thing and I need help. I got my new Denon DL-301II LOMC cartridge in and was mounting it to the shell. It comes with a nice shield over it, and that kept my fingers from doing any harm. But when I took the shield off and was using the Denon hangover gauge, the stylus evidently touched the plastic gauge and bent.
My brand new cartridge, never been played. Just bought the Lounge Audio Copla and LCR for use with the cartridge. It plays, but I hear a scratching noise between songs so I know it is not tracking correctly. I don't want to ruin any records.
Is there ANYTHING I can do to straighten the stylus and cantilever? I hate to trash a brand new $300 cartridge and buy another one.
Desperate.

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Re: Recommend pre-amp for Denon DL-301II

Post by Bob Dillon » 16 May 2019 01:51

If you really crimped / bent the cantilever, then you're not going to restore it to like new. You could send the cart in to get a replacement cantilever, at a cost less than total cart replacement.

couldbfishin
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Re: Recommend pre-amp for Denon DL-301II

Post by couldbfishin » 16 May 2019 02:05

Bob Dillon wrote:
16 May 2019 01:51
If you really crimped / bent the cantilever, then you're not going to restore it to like new. You could send the cart in to get a replacement cantilever, at a cost less than total cart replacement.
Bob, thanks for the response. It is not so much crimped as turned sideways. It is junk as is, and I am open to suggestions as to how to try to straighten it.
But, when I tried to play it on a record, I could hear a 'scratching' sound. So I am guessing it is riding one side of the groove or the other. I stopped playing it quickly because it was a new MoFi record and I didn't want to damage the LP.
Who rebuilds these cartridges? Any recommendations?
Thanks

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Re: Recommend pre-amp for Denon DL-301II

Post by Bob Dillon » 16 May 2019 02:21

If the cantilever is still unbent but turned a little sideways so the stylus is tip is riding toward the groove wall, then you could try taking a pair of tweezers to grip the cantilever (with the cart unmounted) and gently trying to turn it back. Otherwise you can get a place like Soundsmith to repair it.

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Re: Recommend pre-amp for Denon DL-301II

Post by couldbfishin » 16 May 2019 03:30

Thanks Bob..

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Re: Recommend pre-amp for Denon DL-301II

Post by audiopile » 16 May 2019 03:56

If you care about your records ? why would you try to bend a precision device into perfect alignment ? Your records played with a properly set up new 50 buck cartridge will not be damaged -played with anything other than a perfectly aligned elliptical tip-you will permanently damage irreplaceable vinyl. I know I have replaced carts/styli probably before they were actually worn out to the point of damaging a LP-but I've got a couple of hundred still playable /enjoyable LP's that are 50-55 years old -purchased new by me at the dawn of time ( or whatever -sorta feels like it most mornings :-) . We are the caretakers of the vinyl we now enjoy. I have successfully installed thousands of cartridges - I have no idea why the only three styli I've bent are all very expensive (FR MC-201 , Monster Alpha Genesis , Grado TLZ)- but bite the bullet and move on to either a quality rebuilder or go for something cheaper for now.

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