Denon DL103 Version Opinions

the thin end of the wedge
Delta667
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Re: Denon DL103 Version Opinions

Post by Delta667 » 20 Dec 2018 04:23

Denon has confused us all with names and numbers in names.
I am sure that this is part of their trade policy. You buy a box with a familiar name, and there is a surprise in it)).
For example, I heard about 103M only 2 opinions:
1. Delighted with the honesty of the presentation of musical material,
2. Very boring cartridge say those who are accustomed and waiting for the classic "103" feed.

Talking about the existence of the series "300" is also not true. Cartridges from Denon can be divided into 3 main groups:
1. A long magnetic system, with all its sweet after-sound flaws. All "103" except "M"
2. Short magnetic system, concise and accurate. 302, 303, 304, 305, 1000, S1
3. The open magnetic system is "clean". 110, 160, 207, 300, 301, 311

The last two groups are divided into 2 subgroups according to the type of cores for the coils: air and metal.

More Denon cartridges can be divided according to the type of magnets: Alnico and Samarium-cobalt.

All this diversity creates a wide range of sound for every taste and almost any consumer.

I can go wrong, but 311 is the first and only Denon with an open magnetic system that is wound with copper "LC" (long crystal)
For me, they took a wire of larger diameter and all :lol:

nezbleu
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Re: Denon DL103 Version Opinions

Post by nezbleu » 20 Dec 2018 14:58

Delta667 wrote:
20 Dec 2018 04:23
Denon has confused us all with names and numbers in names.
I am sure that this is part of their trade policy. You buy a box with a familiar name, and there is a surprise in it)).
For example, I heard about 103M only 2 opinions:
1. Delighted with the honesty of the presentation of musical material,
2. Very boring cartridge say those who are accustomed and waiting for the classic "103" feed.

Talking about the existence of the series "300" is also not true. Cartridges from Denon can be divided into 3 main groups:
1. A long magnetic system, with all its sweet after-sound flaws. All "103" except "M"
2. Short magnetic system, concise and accurate. 302, 303, 304, 305, 1000, S1
3. The open magnetic system is "clean". 110, 160, 207, 300, 301, 311

The last two groups are divided into 2 subgroups according to the type of cores for the coils: air and metal.

More Denon cartridges can be divided according to the type of magnets: Alnico and Samarium-cobalt.

All this diversity creates a wide range of sound for every taste and almost any consumer.

I can go wrong, but 311 is the first and only Denon with an open magnetic system that is wound with copper "LC" (long crystal)
For me, they took a wire of larger diameter and all :lol:
Thanks, that is very informative. It's great to have access to someone who has seen these carts from the "inside". I agree with your assessment of the DL-311LC. It has lower output impedance than the DL-311 but same output voltage, so I think the "LC" refers to Linear Crystal wire, not Line Contact stylus, sort of like the 103R vs the 103.

What do you mean by "open" magnetic system? I saw you used that term for the DL-160 (and 110) as well, but I don't know what it means.

Edit: I just looked at your photo of the 103M internals, and I see no front pole piece. Is it just missing in that photo, or is that what you mean by "open"?

Delta667
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Re: Denon DL103 Version Opinions

Post by Delta667 » 20 Dec 2018 15:59

nezbleu wrote:
20 Dec 2018 14:58

What do you mean by "open" magnetic system? I saw you used that term for the DL-160 (and 110) as well, but I don't know what it means.

Edit: I just looked at your photo of the 103M internals, and I see no front pole piece. Is it just missing in that photo, or is that what you mean by "open"?
What you see in the photo I call the "open magnetic system" is such a visual association.
This is a magnet drilled through the center for directly attaching the coils to it.
It is possible that the manufacturer calls such a system differently, but it does not change the essence ))

On the grounds of the inscription "LC" you are absolutely right about the copper wire and its structure.

SteveBd
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Re: Denon DL103 Version Opinions

Post by SteveBd » 20 Dec 2018 21:06

Hello,

I am the developer of the Aluminum Body Cap mentioned above. Please see recent review by JE Labs:

http://jelabs.blogspot.com/2018/12/deno ... ew=classic

Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

ChrisfromRI
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Re: Denon DL103 Version Opinions

Post by ChrisfromRI » 21 Dec 2018 05:07

The 103 has a rather high internal impedance making it not so easy to match correctly, while the 103R has a much lower easier internal impedance to match with my step-up/phono stage. Mine is rebodied in Rosewood, and currently riding on an Alphason arm on a Townshend Elite Rock turntable.

43387

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Re: Denon DL103 Version Opinions

Post by EdAInWestOC » 27 Dec 2018 09:52

http://www.edsstuff.org/LC-OFC vs OFC.gif

The photo above comes from Denon and I believe it is an electron microscope photo of the difference between linear crystal oxygen free copper wire and regular oxygen free copper wire.

Obviously the copper's crystalline structure is less haphazard and more aligned, hence its name. This may not be a huge concern when you are conducting higher level voltages but when you are down in the microvolt levels, as you are in the lowest level signals from a LOMC cartridge, the copper alignment assists in transferring the lowest level content.

Using LC-OFC copper is preferable to non linear crystal wire. It is all about transfer of very very low level signals so almost everything effects the transfer. The smallest connection problem will effect the content. I find that using things like Mapleshade Silclear on the cartridge pins can make a difference.

All connections should be optimal and the difference of the LC-OFC wire can be heard. The moral of the story is to keep your connections clean and secure. Use of contact cleaning products is also a good idea as long as it does not leave any residue on the surface of the metal. Mapleshade Silclear uses a conductive paste with microscopic silver particles to coat metal surfaces.

Silclear, or similar silver coating products, can make a difference. Metal surfaces may appear smooth but under extreme magnification the surface looks much less smooth. The Silclear coats that surface and leaves silver particles that end up in the surface imperfections. This ensures optimum contact and transfer of the extreme low level signals.

As I stated above, almost everything can make a difference. When using a LOMC cartridge leave nothing to chance and ensure all connections are optimal.

Ed

HotHondr98
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Re: Denon DL103 Version Opinions

Post by HotHondr98 » 27 Dec 2018 20:29

EdAInWestOC wrote:
27 Dec 2018 09:52
http://www.edsstuff.org/LC-OFC vs OFC.gif

The photo above comes from Denon and I believe it is an electron microscope photo of the difference between linear crystal oxygen free copper wire and regular oxygen free copper wire.
Actually, I believe the photo originally came from Hitachi, the manufacturer of the LCOFC wire. Denon borrowed it off them to include in information about their various products, including some cartridges and SUT's, which used that wire. :)

-Don

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Re: Denon DL103 Version Opinions

Post by paradoxtar » 24 Jun 2019 00:04

I like the 103R version best and I modify it both with a new body, cantilever and diamond.
For anyone who would like to read the latest review from positive-feedback of the paradoxpulse Guard R SMR (Sapphire cantilever and Micro Ridge diamond) here it is;
https://positive-feedback.com/reviews/h ... cartridge/

Agrippa
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Re: Denon DL103 Version Opinions

Post by Agrippa » 26 Jun 2019 05:32

I'm sure it sounds good, but without the original cantilever and stylus it's obviously no longer a 103R. May as well find a completely different name for it.

golgi
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Re: Denon DL103 Version Opinions

Post by golgi » 06 Jul 2019 00:41

Over the years I have moved up the Denon chain starting with the DL110, DL160, DL310 MK2, DL103R, DL103R (aluminum body), and then finally DL103R (aluminum body, sapphire cantilever, and line contact stylus). The full tilt DL103R is by far the best by a large margin. To my ears it still retains the DL103R magic but with more refinement and detail.

Agrippa
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Re: Denon DL103 Version Opinions

Post by Agrippa » 07 Jul 2019 12:37

golgi wrote:
06 Jul 2019 00:41
To my ears it still retains the DL103R magic but with more refinement and detail.
More detail and refinement, sure, but I'm not sure how it can possibly retain the same character when both cantilever and stylus shape are both utterly different, with very different characteristics.

I've had a good number of cartridges retipped or rebuilt through the years. When I've chosen the same specs for the retip/rebuild they've returned sounding much the same, but when cantilever material and/or stylus shape has been changed they've come back sounding different. As indeed is the only logical result.

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Re: Denon DL103 Version Opinions

Post by balky » 08 Jul 2019 09:25

Agrippa wrote:
07 Jul 2019 12:37
golgi wrote:
06 Jul 2019 00:41
To my ears it still retains the DL103R magic but with more refinement and detail.
More detail and refinement, sure, but I'm not sure how it can possibly retain the same character when both cantilever and stylus shape are both utterly different, with very different characteristics.

I've had a good number of cartridges retipped or rebuilt through the years. When I've chosen the same specs for the retip/rebuild they've returned sounding much the same, but when cantilever material and/or stylus shape has been changed they've come back sounding different. As indeed is the only logical result.
IME, I think it depends on the kind of re-tip... as long as the cantilever / tip replacement is just that, and does not include works on the suspension, or a coil rewind or any other major upgrade, the original sound character of the cart will remain, but of course with a bit more detail or less depending on the type of material used for re-tip.

I think it's just a purist mindset thing to want to have a cantilever / tip replaced and not hear any change.
Even if you re-tip with the same material as the original, there will still be a difference in character.

For me, all is good as long as the house sonic signature is there.

I've had the opportunity to play and compare three Ortofon Rondo Red carts.

They was one with the original Alu / elliptical, two re-tipped Sapphire / LC and Alu / Paratrace.

After a few hours of listening, I gladly sent back the original to the friend who loaned to me for comparison.
All three of them had the usual Ortofon sonic signature, but damn... the Paratrace diamond was just too good.

Still waiting on another friend to loan me a Rondo Bronze with a Beryllium cantilever re-tip for comparison...

Agrippa
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Re: Denon DL103 Version Opinions

Post by Agrippa » 08 Jul 2019 10:32

balky wrote:
08 Jul 2019 09:25
I think it's just a purist mindset thing to want to have a cantilever / tip replaced and not hear any change.
Certainly not on my part. I have never expected a modified cartridge to sound like it did before it left my hands; my expectation has only ever been to receive back a cartridge which sounds good. Or better, if Mistress Fortuna is in a particularly good mood.

The exception is, of course, when I've sent a cartridge back to the manufacturer, but that's something I've only done twice (I think). Nor would I do it again, due to what are generally excessive turn-around times and the fact that making use of trade-in options usually end up in the same ballpark price-wise. However, if I was at all concerned with preserving the original sound this is the only option I would use for anything more than a simple stylus swap.

balky wrote:
08 Jul 2019 09:25
as long as the cantilever / tip replacement is just that, and does not include works on the suspension, or a coil rewind or any other major upgrade, the original sound character of the cart will remain, but of course with a bit more detail or less depending on the type of material used for re-tip.
Well, I can only state that this has consistently not been my experience over the last 30+ years of dabbling in vinyl. Rather, my experience has basically been that:

- A simple like-for-like stylus replacement will produce the same sound. Pretty much anyway.

- Replacing the stylus with a different geometry will always change the sound of the cartridge, to varying degrees depending on what one is changing to and from.

- Replacing both cantilever and stylus will for all intents and purposes result in a different cartridge altogether.

- For a rebuild see above, only more so. Unless done by the original manufacturer.