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Old 1st October 2012, 09:14 AM   #31
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Hi, I agree with Batty, Had mine done with the standard tip a S/Smith, amazing value and much better dynamics. Bottom end is also firmer, however not quite as forgiving on older records that have had many plays.
My next upgrade for my rig is going to be a Step Up transformer using Cinimags, read a couple of reviews and apparently the match up propels the combined performance of the both into the $2000+ league cartridge. From what i can ascertain the are two options for the Cinemags, ones Bob's Devices at around US$600 and the other is TemaadAudio at US$450, emailed both yesterday and am awaiting further info from both
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Old 20th January 2014, 12:40 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by blakkshepeaudio View Post
Yeah, the 103 is tricky to upgrade. Few cartridges do what it does, so, no matter how good they are, you sometimes feel like there is something missing.
Completely wrong. One example (of hundreds):

SPU Cartridges and Transformers Thread

The DL103 is the most overrated piece of Hifi ever sold besides Bose Wave.
Any EMT or SPU will blow it away, and THEY DO better by a huge margin
what the Denon is claimed to do well.
Blaue Leuchtdioden machen blöd. (hb)
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Old 20th January 2014, 01:19 AM   #33
Zen Mod is offline Zen Mod  Serbia
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logically , considering difference in price
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Old 20th January 2014, 02:11 AM   #34
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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My first LOMC was a ZU Denon DL-103, and I thought it was great, my first SPU a GM E II was so much better I was flabbergasted. Today I own three different SPUs and couldn't be happier with my choice, but the DL-103 in a proper body (wood or metal) is a good starting place on the road to great sound. You could do a lot worse for the money..
"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." - Thomas Paine
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Old 20th January 2014, 12:41 PM   #35
Tea-Bag is offline Tea-Bag  United States
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HMM. I think about this stuff occasionally.
The SPU's present a problem for someone such as hisself who has a VPI tonearm. SPU's just don't do that. Afiak, there is no exact match without the shell head, and it's optimized for it's shell head as well.

Kevinkr, Sometime I should loan you my SoundSmith modded 103 with ruby tip and wood body. I like it. At the time it's all I could afford. Well right now, keeping it around is all I can afford .

I have a Dynavector 20x and a Grado Sonata Mono cart. The Denon I like the best. The dynavector is probably more resolving, but also sounds more 'high fi' to me than musical.

I have to be honest too, I don't think I could trust myself with a 2k cart if I could afford one. I've ripped off two needles of the carts in the last couple of years. Darn turntables are made for right handed people.
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Old 22nd January 2014, 02:17 AM   #36
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I once heard a DL-103 at the height of the "better than the Koetsu Black" craze and wondered what all the fuss was about?

Tried a DV 10x5, then Benz Ace, then 47 Labs McBee, Denon DL-103R, Clearaudio Aurum Beta "S" and now ZYX R50 Bloom. All were good sounding in arms from SME 3009s, RB-250, SME III, 9" Cherry, AT-1005 and now VPI JMW9T.

The DL-103R, BTW, is everything the plain 103 isn't, strikingly better from top to bottom. The Aurum has been Soundsmith re-tipped and, until the ZYX came along, my favorite.

The R50 Bloom is from another planet. Incredible stereo image and tonality of instruments and voices. MY friend Steve, a die-hard Grado Sonata user for over 10 years, tried one and switched.

I note the OP acquired a Benz Wood L; that was on my short list a few years ago and would love to know how it worked out.
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Old 22nd January 2014, 02:25 AM   #37
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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I am extraordinarily careful, and because I am a klutz I take nothing for granted. I can imagine being a lefty with righty turntables could be a recipe for disaster. I learned long ago that loose fitting shirts or sweaters, not to mention dusters of any sort are bad news..

There are three SPU cartridges that are available sans the shell, the N, NE, and Royal N.. These can be installed on a good headshell like the AT Technihard or in an SPU head shell. I suspect the technihard might be the better choice as it is extremely rigid. I have a GM E II, Meister Silver (both standard SPUs) and a Royal N which is mounted on an 18gm AT Technihard shell. These cartridges are best with high mass arms with tight bearings like the Schick due to their low compliance, and high mass. (SME 3012, and at least 4 Ortofon arms)
"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." - Thomas Paine
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