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Old 14th March 2014, 01:31 PM   #21
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Correct, the B1 buffer reduces the output impedance of the BHL phono preamp from approx 3Kohm (from memory) to approx 200ohm (if you use 200ohm output resisters in the B1 stage). The buffer sites between the output of the BHL phono circuit and the input to my preamplifier.

If your preamplifier or amplifier downstream of the BHL phone pre has an input impedance of 50K or more, I wouldn't worry about adding the B1 buffer stage. In my case I have a TVC preamp with varying input impedance that likes to be driven from a low output impedance source, so the B1 makes a big difference (better dynamics, more warmth, better defined & deeper bass).
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Old 16th March 2014, 03:11 AM   #22
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingfisher View Post
Thanks for the education on styli's sreten... This brings up a question
that nagged at me since I purchased my 2M red. Is the red and blue
styli interchangeable and is it a significant improvement?
Hi,

Yes they are interchangeable and yes the Blue is significantly better.
The nude elliptical is usually the best sounding model in an Ortofon
range, out of the box. However the nude FL lasts significantly longer
and maintains its performance over its life better, but usually sounds
no better than the nude elliptical out of the box, often a touch bright.

I can't really comment on the top model tips, and the above is
a generalisation of my experience with Ortofons over the years.

I really liked the 510 and 520, the latter has an ease at the treble
end the 510 simply can't do, but the 510 was great budget cartridge.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 23rd March 2014, 07:13 PM   #23
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I made two changes to my Boozehound Labs JFET preamp today. Firstly I moved the Lundahl LL9206 step up transformers into the preamp chassis, rather than in a separate box that required an extra set of interconnects etc. I also replaced the dual MC7818 regs (one for BHL PCB, one for B1 buffer) with a single ultra low noise 20V reg from ebay (ULN-RD78A Ultra Low Noise Regulator 3.3V~30V Output Suitable for Digital Audio | eBay).

I should have made one change at a time and listened to the effect of each, but due to a lack of time (1yo daughter having a snooze) I made both changes at the same time before plugging the preamp back into my system.

The reduction in both mains hum and low level hiss is dramatic. I suspect that moving the transformers into the preamp chassis and shortening the connections from the transformer secondary to BHL gain stage made the big difference to hum levels. I couldn't say whether this also reduced the level of hiss, but I'd hoped the better reg would have this effect. However it's happened, I'm happy.
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Old 23rd March 2014, 07:22 PM   #24
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I love the dl-103. if you adjust in well with your phono stage, its hard to beat at any price, so ive heard. As for the OP seeing a big difference. Of course, the source is almost as important as the speakers and definitely makes a bigger difference then amps.
I think it goes like (in order of importance)
speakers
source
amps

I would not try to get a better cart OP, maybe look at a better phono stage, the dl 103 is good enough!

Thorsten Loesch recommended it to me and ive been happy with it and never bothered upgrading it.

here's a quote of Thorsten:

''The DL-103 is about as much of bargain in Analogue as they come''

Last edited by murphythecat8; 23rd March 2014 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 23rd March 2014, 08:20 PM   #25
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreten View Post
Hi,

The DL103 and matching transformer is an aquired taste, some
love it, some are very underwhelmed, for sure its not neutral.

The HOMC DL110 is a better bet for dipping your toes in the
MC water. 83 e-pray delivered from Hong Kong, great price.

rgds, sreten.
Agree most of the time a DL110 will better a stock box 103...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinkr View Post
I think it depends very heavily on the transformer used as to what sort of performance you will get. I find any one of my SPU and a pair of LL1941 to resolve better and sound more neutral than my Benz Ebony H. (The Benz new costs about as much as my most expensive SPU plus the transformers. And it is not in the same league, not even close.)

I would recommend investigating Lundahl, Sowter or Jensen for good SUTs. I had the Cinemags and thought they were OK, affordable used to keep the budget down.

I'm going to contradict sreten whose advice is generally rock solid here, based on direct experience. A DL-103 with a decent transformer will IMLE outperform a lot of considerably more expensive HOMC - I don't think a cheap HOMC, even a Denon will be close. Invest a little in decent transformers or a good head amp. (Project?)

Cheap Partridge 977 pairs very nicely with the DL-103, just a gain of 15dB however.
For most setups i can say the 103 is bettered by a DL110, unless one is very adept in cartridge /TT setup and has a very good/flexable Phono pre , they are better off with a DL110.

A modded 103 is a different animal ...
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Last edited by a.wayne; 23rd March 2014 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 23rd March 2014, 09:47 PM   #26
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I've not tried the DL110, but know that my DL103R went from nice to great sounding in my system after a bit of tweaking.

I'd read that the DL103R worked best with a high mass arm, but was stuck with my 11.5g Linn Ittock LVII. After doing the sums I ended up with 2x UK 1p coins attached to the top of my headshell with tiny spots of superglue to prevent movement. This added 2x 3.56g raising my effective tonearm mass to 18.62g (plus 8.5g cartridge). With this additional mass I could just dial in the required 2.5g tracking weight with the stock ittock weight at the furthest position from the bearing.

I started off using the MC input on my Clearaudio Smart Phono but quickly added Partridge 977 step up transformers which allowed me to use the MM input. The Partridge SUTs sounded noticeably less grainy than the MC stage of the Clearaudio preamp. After living happily with this setup for a while I upgraded to Lundahl LL9206 SUTs that seemed to resolve an extra octave at both ends. The Partridges are very nice but clearly mid heavy in comparison to the Lundahls. I can imagine the Partridges being preferable in bright systems.

The latest change was to upgrade the preamp to the customised Boozehound JFET phono with B1 buffer output. As described above I made significant improvements today bringing the Lundahl transformers into the chassis and upgrading the preamp voltage reg.

I'm sure all cartridges benefit from tweaking, and couldn't say if a system tuned around a DL110 would perform better than one tuned around the DL103R. I can say that the DL103R, LL9206, BHL JFET phono & B1 are superb to my ears.
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Old 23rd March 2014, 10:16 PM   #27
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

Like I said earlier the DL110 is no DL103.

At 83 for DL110 and no MC step up required your
talking a very different ball game to a DL103.

You fit it, if it works well, end of story, that is it.
If you don't like it move it on, get something else.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 23rd March 2014, 10:45 PM   #28
SY is offline SY  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpi31 View Post
I'd read that the DL103R worked best with a high mass arm, but was stuck with my 11.5g Linn Ittock LVII.
That's what I'm using as well, but I want my mod to be easily reversible and not cause other unintended resonances. My thinking now is use a polymer-tungsten composite sleeve at the joint between headshell and arm wand, and have it tightened with screws for easy removal when I change cartridges.

Have you checked the fundamental resonant frequency?
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Old 23rd March 2014, 10:54 PM   #29
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Hi Sy, I haven't measured the actual resonant frequency but did the calculations a while ago and contented myself that 2x 1p coins above the cartridge (end of the arm) got me safely into the optimal range. I'm often guilty of going for the quick fix to test a principle, then neglecting to revisit if I like the outcome To measure, would I measure the output on a scope with a test tone record? I'm sure I've not fully optimised at this point.
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Old 23rd March 2014, 10:57 PM   #30
SY is offline SY  United States
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There's a how-to discussion on another thread, where it was suggested that the specified compliance of the 103R is not accurate at subsonic frequencies. But a test record is far and away the easiest way.
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