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Denon 103r - experience with wood bodies


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Hi all - I'm seeking a bit of collective wisdom.

 

I picked up a new Denon 103r a couple of months ago with the intent of setting it up as 2nd cartridge.  It's about time I did something with it as it keeps staring at me from inside the box sitting beside the turntable. My intent was always to fit it in a wood body as a lot has been written on the improvements that can provided.  There seem to be quite a few options: different makers, wood types. Most seem OS but some threads here on SNA suggest there are local versions. 

 

I'm interested to hear views on:     1) What have others on this forum have tried and enjoyed.      2) Which have been the easiest to fit - Some of them look a bit tricky for those stubby fingers & increasingly poor eyesight,  and   3) Was it worth it, or should I just go au naturale ?

 

 

 

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Can’t speak for timber bodies, but the Aluminium/lead bodied 103r that I got from Paradox Pulse is a ripper.

Mine was fitted by them, bypassing the fiddly fingers issues.

Previous carts have been a shure VST, a Shure M97xe, Ortofon MC 20 Supreme and an Ortofon Rondo Blue.

Very happy with the 103r which, with metal body gives both the Ortofon MC's a run for their money.  Certainly doesn't sound like an archaic design by any measure.

Edited by FR DRew
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I found the wood bodies improved on the naturalness of the cartridge significantly while also giving it more body. The metal bodies give the carts more of a solid, modern sound in comparison. I prefer the wood myself and have had excellent results with both mahogany and cocobolo though the best sounding one I've had was mahogany.

 

Then again, my sonic preferences may not match others. Where many prefer the DL103R, I find the standard DL103 to be better..... Especially after replacing the cantilever with something a bit thiner and lighter with a line contact for a lower tip mass and greater detail retrieval.

 

Take a look at the Stanley Engineering wood bodies out of Germany. If looking for metal, well, there's many options.

Edited by MattyW
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Hi ya Graeme - I've got an alum Midas body 103R with Paratrace Expert Stylus mods fitted, but the cart itself is still in a baggie waiting for fitment ('cause Lockdown 2.0)

 

Will keep in touch on how it sounds once on the spinner.

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I have a Panzerholz and a gymnasium wood bodied 103R, and a Zu 103 (metal body). And a Soundsmith Denon 103R Gold.

 

I have an alu body but not the cart or the cahoonas to mount it!

 

I really like a gutsy sound of the Denon's and the low cost factor to sound quality ratio.

 

1765592837_Soundsmith103rgold.jpg.576a4b079d311310e109bca4f4abe7a3.jpg

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Many thanks all.  This is what I was hoping for. 

 

I must admit I'd really been thinking about the wood bodies such as cocobolo, mahogany as @MattyW has mentioned, or even ebony.  I hadn't really thought of an aluminium body, but it sounds like there maybe a few fans ... Interesting ! :)  Sure @candyflip , fill us all in when it all comes together.

 

btw @Citroen a very nice pic ?

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29 minutes ago, Citroen said:

I have a Panzerholz and a gymnasium wood bodied 103R

I had to look up panerholz as I'd not heard of it before ..  interesting material  !  https://www.lessloss.com/page.html?id=80

 

With the various setups Clive, which is your favourite ?  Yeah, I know that's a silly question / hard question.  Maybe it might be easier to say which works best for what type of music ... I'd be interested to hear your views

 

 

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