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Denon DL110 in Technics SL1210Mk2: setting-up (weight plate)

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Denon DL110 in Technics SL1210Mk2: setting-up (weight plate)

Postby Egters » 12 Dec 2012 10:16

Dear all,

Have been lurking for quite some time here on this great site, and now I’d like to ask a couple of questions.

Hope you can help me with the following: I’ve just received a brand new Denon DL-110 cartridge for my Technics SL-1210 Mk2, and I’m really looking forward to installing it in the (standard) headshell of the Technics. I’ve understood that the SL-1210/DL-110 will make a fine combination.

With the cartridge comes a small weight plate of (I believe) 1 gram. Would you recommend using this or not? The cartridge weight without the plate is 4.8g, effective tone arm mass is 12g. Of course I checked the calculator on this site, but since the compliance that is specified by Denon (8 x 10-6) is measured relative to 100Hz rather than 10Hz, I can’t really find out if I need the weight plate.

Another question: Denon and Technics both recommend to mount the cart dead straight in the headshell, and Technics specifies a mounting distance of 52mm (base of headshell <> stylus tip). If I use the Technics-Baerwald arc protractor from the tools section here (as I did when setting up my current AT95e), the cart ends ups sitting slightly offset (inwards) in the headshell. What would you recommend? Should I use the arc protractor again (worked fine with the AT95e, but a bit more complicated) or should I take the easy way and follow the Denon and Technics instructions, setting the cart straight at 52mm?

Many thanks for your kind advice!
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Re: Denon DL110 in Technics SL1210Mk2: setting-up (weight pl

Postby nmbaumgarten » 12 Dec 2012 12:12

I would use the recommended alignment from Technics, but try the other one and see which one you like :)

The effective mass of tonearm AND headshell is 12 gram in total and not just the tonearm, as far as i remember..

Also, the weight-plate is 2 grams ;)
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Re: Denon DL110 in Technics SL1210Mk2: setting-up (weight pl

Postby johnnywalker » 12 Dec 2012 13:04

I do not use the weight plate with my DL-110 in my SL-1200, and it does fine. I have tried both alignment methods, and in my experience, both work but the Technics Baerwald Arc Protractor works a little better. Of course, I found that the standard Technics headshell lacks sufficient slot length to properly accommodate the arc protractor alignment, so I use a Sumiko headshell with the DL-110.

I believe the DL-110 to have an approximate 14-15cu compliance when using the typical American/European method of calculation (using a conversion factor of one point eight; thanks to Manfred and Alec for helping me figure that out). If you use the standard Technics headshell, the effective mass of the tonearm is 12, and the total weight of the cartridge plus mounting screws is about 5.3-5.8, resulting in an about perfect 10Hz resonance. Using a Sumiko headshell (about 14 grams, increasing the effective mass to about 19) still results in a low but usable resonance of 8-9Hz.

The combination of the DL-110 and the SL-1200 is a match made in heaven. The AT-95e in the SL-1200 is very good, but the DL-110 is better.
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Re: Denon DL110 in Technics SL1210Mk2: setting-up (weight pl

Postby OneyedK » 12 Dec 2012 14:12

johnnywalker wrote:I use a Sumiko headshell with the DL-110.

Good choice, to get the max out of the DL-110/SL-1200 you need a bit extra weight.
The included headshell weight doesn't cut it.
I use a 14g Nagaoka headshell.
Technics SL-1200 Mk2 recapped / MN bearing / Funk Firm Platter / Denon 103R / Lundahl LL1933
Thorens TD 126 MkIII / SME Series III / Ortofon SME 30H // AT-OC9ML/II / Lundahl LL1681
Graham Slee Reflex M - McIntosh MC225 - Focal Chorus 836V
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Re: Denon DL110 in Technics SL1210Mk2: setting-up (weight pl

Postby Egters » 12 Dec 2012 15:55

Many thanks for your replies so far, very helpful!

Looks like I will fit the cart without the weight plate and use the Baerwald protractor. If that results in a 10Hz resonance, that would be great! The AT95e mounting bolts are currently almost at the front end of the headshell slots, so indeed the slots might be too short to align the Denon properly using the arc protractor. In that case I could always try to mount the cart straight at 52mm (the setup as recommended by Technics) as a Plan B. I saw that the Sumiko headshell (looks a lot like Nagaoka's headshell, by the way!) trades for $90 and I don't have the budget for that at the moment (now that I've bought the Denon :wink: ). I'll have to stick with the standard headshell for a while.

I'll let you know what it sounds like once everything is properly set up!
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Re: Denon DL110 in Technics SL1210Mk2: setting-up (weight pl

Postby OneyedK » 12 Dec 2012 16:16

Egters wrote:I'll let you know what it sounds like once everything is properly set up!

We know what it sounds like :wink:
Technics SL-1200 Mk2 recapped / MN bearing / Funk Firm Platter / Denon 103R / Lundahl LL1933
Thorens TD 126 MkIII / SME Series III / Ortofon SME 30H // AT-OC9ML/II / Lundahl LL1681
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Re: Denon DL110 in Technics SL1210Mk2: setting-up (weight pl

Postby johnnywalker » 12 Dec 2012 17:10

Yes, we know what it sounds like, and we love it. I'm betting that you will, too.

If the Technics headshell slots are too short to get proper alignment with the arc protractor, an alternative to using the standard Technics "52mm overhang + straight-on cartridge" might be to run the mounting screws to the end of the slots, then use a regular protractor (Beaerwald, Stevenson, etc. - your choice) to align the cartridge/stylus. In my experience, alignment concepts seem to be a continuum, with the angle of "twist" varying according to the distance of the overhang - the longer the overhang, the greater the angle of "twist". Just make sure that, in the end, the cantilever lines up with the protractor's graph.
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Re: Denon DL110 in Technics SL1210Mk2: setting-up (weight pl

Postby Sandbah 92 » 12 Dec 2012 18:11

I asked this same question a couple of years ago and the answer was no > btw it's on a 1200 mk2.
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Re: Denon DL110 in Technics SL1210Mk2: setting-up (weight pl

Postby Egters » 21 Dec 2012 12:47

In the meantime, I've installed the DL-110 under the Technics headshell. In the end I followed the Technics advice and mounted the cart straight at a mounting distance of 52mm. Indeed, the current headshell is just too short to allow the stylus to follow the arc on the protractor. It comes very close, but in order to reach the arc, the entire cartridge must protrude far from under the headshell, and the slot is just too short to off-set the cartidge inwards. With the AT95e that wasn't a problem, since the stylus tip is placed a lot further from the mounting holes.

And? Well, the DL-110 already sounds great, but I think it has only started to "burn in", it is getting smoother over the last few days. The sound is controlled, the bass is tight and the strings and brass are silky. Stereo imaging is amazing at times, rock-solid and wide. Im am very happy with it.

There is certainly a difference with the AT95e, it is better in all respects, no doubt, but I must say the differences are not as dramatic as I expected. But that says more about the AT95e (amazing little cart at the price, € 21!) than about the DL-110.

http://i1343.photobucket.com/albums/o799/Niels_Kok/IMG_20121215_093543.jpg
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Re: Denon DL110 in Technics SL1210Mk2: setting-up (weight pl

Postby johnnywalker » 21 Dec 2012 19:22

Looks great, and I'm sure it sounds just as great.

I notice you used the phrase, "the sound is controlled." That is very true; no matter what the dynamics of the music, the sound is always well-controlled and clear. On this issue, the AT-95e is not as controlled; it reminds me of my puppy - very lovable, but a bit overly enthusiastic.

Enjoy!

(BTW, the comment by OneyedK is probably correct; the sound from the DL-110 seems to benefit from a heavier headshell.)
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Re: Denon DL110 in Technics SL1210Mk2: setting-up (weight pl

Postby Egters » 27 Dec 2012 12:24

Thanks all.

The DL-110 has now had some time to warm up and I'm very happy with the sound. It has become even more controlled, I feel. It sounds very smooth, transparent and silky with all kinds of music. It has also taken a big leap up from the AT95e I had before. Earlier I wrote that the difference is not that big, but now it is.
I feel that the DL110 goes very well with the rock steady pace and timing of the SL1200. Stereo imaging is extremely good too: some instruments are rock steady between the speakers, and sometimes, for example, percussion seems to come from far right of the right speaker.

The DL-110 does an amusing and unexpected trick: when I play older LPs that I know very well, it (kind of) 'transports' me to the time that heard the music for the first time, even when I first heard that music from CD! I'm now talking about music that I first heard during the 80s: Dire Straits, Robert Cray, Donald Fagen, Sade, Jimmy Smith, Miles Davis etc etc. Some music that I've heard a bit too often now have something fresh and interesting again. Funny!

I've been cleaning many of my records over the last days and will do many more over the coming days. I also feel very much like looking for second-hand vinyl and listening to it. (Last week I thought I bought Sting's 'Dream of the Blue Turtles' second-hand, but when I came back home it turned out that Dire Straits''Love over Gold' was in the Sting sleeve... Not bad either... :)

As I wrote, I'm using the standard SL1210 headshell and followed the Technics mounting instruction (set the cart straight at 52mm). Perhaps I will invest in another headshell (Sumiko, Nagaoka?) in the future and then I'll be able to experiment with Baerwald alignment, as these headshells are a bit longer. In the meantime I'm very happy with the current set-up.

The rest of my set-up: Cambridge Audio 640P phono-pre, NAD C350 integrated amp, Dali Ikon 6 Mk2 speakers. Plus a Squeezebox Touch, Onkyo Integra CD, Sony ES tuner, Denon DA500 DAC and a Nakamichi CR-5E cassette deck.
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Re: Denon DL110 in Technics SL1210Mk2: setting-up (weight pl

Postby OneyedK » 27 Dec 2012 13:36

Egters wrote:Cambridge Audio 640P phono-pre

When budget allows, invest in a better phono-pré...
Technics SL-1200 Mk2 recapped / MN bearing / Funk Firm Platter / Denon 103R / Lundahl LL1933
Thorens TD 126 MkIII / SME Series III / Ortofon SME 30H // AT-OC9ML/II / Lundahl LL1681
Graham Slee Reflex M - McIntosh MC225 - Focal Chorus 836V
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Re: Denon DL110 in Technics SL1210Mk2: setting-up (weight pl

Postby Alec124c41 » 27 Dec 2012 16:00

Sumiko, Nagaoka, and Jelco headshells are all the same. And they are very good.

Cheers,
Alec
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Re: Denon DL110 in Technics SL1210Mk2: setting-up (weight pl

Postby zulimo » 27 Dec 2012 17:22

Very useful this thread ;)

I mounted my DL110 today, about anti-skating do you use the same than the stylus force or between 1/3 & 2/3 as I read on the web ?
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Re: Denon DL110 in Technics SL1210Mk2: setting-up (weight pl

Postby Alec124c41 » 27 Dec 2012 18:57

If you get more distortion on the right, use more antiskate.
If you get more distortion on the left, use less antiskate.
I usually use a bit less than the VTF.

Cheers,
Alec
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