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Old 1st January 2003, 03:22 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Madison, WI
Default Nude Denon 103?

Have any of the members had any experience with denuding a Denon 103? I thought that I'd seen a reference to doing so in a past post, but I've had no luck with a search. I recall that some European music lovers had fooled around with casting a new body out of potmetal, but perhaps there is an easier way to improve upon the stock 103C? Thanks in advance - Pat
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Old 1st January 2003, 04:59 PM   #2
tvi is offline tvi  Australia
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I think I posted a link to this on the Vinyl Asylum awhile ago?
The page is in French. <font size="-2"> Pics a link</font>
<a href=""><img src="" ></a>

Hope this helps

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Old 1st January 2003, 07:28 PM   #3
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Default NUDE 103


Yes,the French journalist who wrote for "L'Audiophile" described the proceding for removing the protection of a 103.

I must have done that myself a couple of times but that is years ago.
From memory the tricky part on the 103 is not to damage the cantilever.
Another problem was that of fixing it on the headshell again after removal due to the 103's particular mounting system.

Most MCs sound much better this way.

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Old 1st January 2003, 07:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: NUDE 103

Originally posted by fdegrove
Most MCs sound much better this way.
I bet mine sound better than the one in the pic posted. At least they have cantilevers and stylii.
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Old 1st January 2003, 07:41 PM   #5
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I bet mine sound better than the one in the pic posted.
The pic clearly shows where things can go wrong!

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Old 2nd January 2003, 04:12 PM   #6
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Thanks guys -

It looks, um, exciting. Maybe I should just spend some money and buy one of Jonathan Carr's Lyras. - Pat
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Old 2nd January 2003, 05:58 PM   #7
jcarr is offline jcarr  United States
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Running cartridges nude solves different problems depending on what the original design was like. With a metal-bodied cartridge, you get rid of induced eddy currents that would otherwise interfere with the signal generation process.

If you have a plastic body cartridge or a woody , the problem solved has more to do with mechanical resonances caused by a lack of rigidity (a problem which the stock 103 has in spades).

If you manage to remove the plastic body of the 103 and still have a functional cartridge , the next step would be to bond a mechanical brace between the magnet and the end of the center yoke (right behind where the cantilever exits). Non-conductive materials here, please (ceramic or Macor if possible).

As an aside, I believe that I can rightfully claim to be the first person who designed a cartridge from the ground up for nude operation, and the Denon 103 was certainly one of my guinea pigs in working out the do's and don'ts for nude cartridges.

regards, jonathan carr
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Old 5th January 2003, 04:53 PM   #8
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Thanks Jonathan -

My search for something better than the Denon, stock, may have to lead to something purchased, since my technical and manual skills barely allow me to attach a cartridge to a headshell without incident.

I just got, however, one of John's Vendetta phono systems, and I've got the itch. ;-) - Pat
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Old 23rd January 2003, 11:05 AM   #9
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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Default Nude Ortofon

Most of the Ortofon moving coils are made in the same way. A top plate has a sproggit onto which the magnet assembly is bolted. They differ in the way that the body covers the internals. The Quattro and its predecessor had a metal body that slid over and was attached to the magnet with two screws. It was a bit unnerving removing the body (nasting cracking sound as glue bonds broke).

However, because the magnet assembly is only fixed at one point, it tends to resonate, accentuating high frequencies, but this can be effectively damped by a wedge of balsa wood squeezed into the gap between the magnet and top plate. (This can just be seen on the right.)

Once done, the difference in sound was like the difference between a closed box loudspeaker and a baffle - much more open, and (dare I say it?) less boxy. This modification is well worth doing if you have the nerve.

This cartridge died of old age.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg nude.jpg (21.4 KB, 1224 views)
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Old 27th January 2006, 02:12 PM   #10
etsang3 is offline etsang3  Hong Kong
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1st I need to say it is very risky (at yr own risk always) to open a good cartridge. It may be killed during such Surgery. Most of the time, I open the cartridge because I need to fix the stylus (bended or replacement). I have "killed" and also "killed & rescued" cartridge in the pass. Also, different cartridge body material required different care. The most difficult is marble body (e.g. ruby, ceramic), Resin & compressed plastic and then Metal will be the easily one to receive force. A cartridge is combined with the top and bottom parts to be glued together or sometimes by screws or combined of both method.
Study the body of the cartridge with a watch smith glass carefully again and again until you understand the separation of the top and the bottom before you really hands on the job. The tools are basically a watch smith glass, a set of watch smith screwdrivers, a paper cutter and gasoline (白電油). The 白電油 is used to dissolve the glue. Test with a little of 白電油 at the end plate (where the 4 gold legs come out) to confirm there is no chemical reaction.
1. Protect the stylus the best way first. (even the whole cartridge is dropped to the floor, it should not be damaged)
2. Wear the watch-smith glass and study the cartridge. This is better to be done under the sun light.
3. After you understand which part is top and the bottom, draw the explode diagram on the paper then go ahead the job.
4. Use a ohm meter to measure the L & R side resistance (i.e. 10-20 ohm) before you start.
5. Use the paper cutter to cut the gap at body of the cartridge where the gap is between the Top and the Bottom parts. !!! Use very light force!!!. You need to cut all the gaps many many times.
6. Apply a little bit of 白電油 at the gap at every round you cut.
7. Repeat the above until you feel you have cut 1mm deepness. Then you can attempt the 1st time to open the cartridge. You don't actually need force to open it. Just use the small screw driver to till at one of the gap (usually the top) of the end plate. If you cannot open yet, repeat more step #6 until you can open a line of 1mm. Use the glass to check if you can see any wire and if it is attached to the shell. If yes, don't open it anymore. If you open the cartridge, the wires will be broken and the it will die immediately. You can have 0.00001 chance to resolder the wire and rescue it.
8.Open another 1mm more and see if you can see the wires or anything dangerous. If yes, STOP go ahead.
9. Finally, the cartridge will be opened 1mm by 1mm . Most of the cartridge should be swing-opened like a door (with like one end fixed by a hinge) but not 100%. Be careful!
10. When you swing up the shell to open, be careful not to damage the stylus (you may have removed the protection already). Some cartridge need to be swing-opened as well as slide-opened at the same time.
11. After you have opened the case (removed the shell), measured the resistance again to make sure it is still alive.
12. WORKING WITH A NO-SHELL CARTRIDGE IS VERY VERY DANGER, its thin wire may be broken even by a light touching so stay away from the wire.
The above are just my experience and practices which may not be the best attempts.
Remember, it is always OK and logical to stop at any step before you damage your own cartridge. I am not responsible for all your damaged and loss. (ref to following picture)
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