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In Reply to: RE: What does it mean when the vinyl pressing is labeled 'audiophile'? posted by magiccarpetride on April 18, 2017 at 09:40:16
Consequently we might wonder how you manage to get these 'audiophile' records played.
When it comes to turntables, tonearms , cartridges and phono stages, the equipment in use does in fact have a large say as to the quality of the playback.
So, what are you using?
Hmm, I thought I've updated my system description...
Anyway, I have modded Systemdek IIX (replaced the original platter with acrylic plater). Rega RB300 tonearm (rewired) with Denon DL-103 cartridge into hand-made SUT into Emotiva XSP-1 MM phono.
and this could be significant. That DL-103 does require a good 40 to 50 hours of break-in time before it loosens up and delivers the way it should. I recall my first DL-103R, out of the box, unmodified in any way, sounded constrained and lifeless for the first 20 hours. Then it gradually began to open up. At 40 hours it was mostly ready for serious listening. At around 100 hours it had its true character.
The RB300 should be ok for that cartridge, if a little bit light on effective mass. The RB300 is rated at 11 grams effective mass. And the DL-103 would be happier with a heavier arm. But that should not be a bottle neck that prevents you from hearing the essential character of that cartridge.
I agree, Denon DL-103 is a much better cartridge after the initial 40 - 50 hours playtime. I think I'm now around its hundredth hour, so the cart should be fully broken in.
When I play my old scratchy copy of Abbey Road, it sounds simply fantastic. It totally destroys the 2012 180 g remaster!
The only thing I can think of is VTA. 180 gram LP is thicker, and maybe my DL-103 is not calibrated for that thickness? Rega RB300 unfortunately doesn't have VTA adjustment.
What do you think? Could VTA be the culprit?
The DL-103 comes with a conical diamond stylus. And those aren't all that sensitive to VTA/SRA compared to other stylus configuration.
But it doesn't hurt to get a good ball-park adjustment that is aimed at the average lp thickness in your collection. The adjustment can be carried out using headshell shims.
Btw, you can also adjust effective mass of that arm using headweights (which also function as a vta/sra adjuster.
I have an RB250 which has modifications from Expressimo Audio. It has, among its mods, a vta adjuster in the form of a threaded sleeve collar that screws on over the threaded base of that arm. It is not convenient to adjust but it is possible to work. And...there are other vta adjusters that can be bought for that tonearm. That said, the conical tip on that DL-103 isn't too sensitive to these adjustments.
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