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In Reply to: RE: Owned a 301/II. Really did not care for it. I liked the 103s better. /nt\ posted by flood2 on June 03, 2017 at 15:37:17
"Dark and shut in"? That is EXACTLY the opposite of the way I would describe the 301/II.
What loading were you using? On my Well Tempered Reference arm, Grace 707 and SME M2, I hear open, detailed, fast, dynamic, reasonably well balanced and fairly transparent sound. I packed up my Zu103 (my second one, I DO like this cartridge), it just is not the well rounded performer the the 301/II is. The 103 sounds great but leaves a lot out.
I think the 103 is certainly an easy and reasonable recommendation, but not the one cartridge I can live with anymore.
The Denon cartridges have quite a high output impedance so I load them at > 400R with 800R being my "normal" setting. Any less than 400R and the output level rapidly drops.
I should add that I didn't dislike the DL301/II as such (that was Opus), but that it very definitely sounds "dark" and "shut-in" compared to better LOMCs which have a flat response of which I have several. The tonal balance is very similar to the Shure M97xE. For certain types of music, it sounds good, but can sound a little bloated at the bottom end which is not attractive for vocals. It all depends on what you want out of a cartridge, but "neutral" it isn't!
For example, it does not have the analysis and neutrality of the DL304 which is currently my favourite LOMC and achieves all that I require - flat/neutral response, superb LF tracking ability and low tip mass. If you are used to a cartridge like the DL304 or OC9MLII (which sounds and measures very flat in my system despite complaints to the contrary on this forum) and then immediately put a DL301/II on, it will always sound shut in and dark. It appears to be a specific voicing characteristic and not related to compliance/arm interactions - my DL304 is even lower compliance than my "low compliance" version of the DL301/II that I have. The 2 samples of DL301 I have which have very different compliances. One is much lower than the other and gives a LF resonance just under 9Hz in my 12g arm compared to just over 7Hz for the high compliance version - this sample had an even more obvious suckout in the HF band.
I don't have a DL103, nor would I get one or recommend one - a spherical tip is just not going to meet my technical requirements!
"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty.." Keats
So the DL-301 II is compatible with the Grace 707?
Yup, 301/II works well with the 707. Try higher loading with the 301/II, it certainly should not sound shut down or dark.
Vinyl, beer and Jazz! A great combo!
when you experiment with loading.
Opus 33 1/3
... well then you needed a higher value! LOL
I found that 500 sounds a lot more joyful. I way prefer the 301 II to the 103.
It might also depend on system synergy. I played a DL-301 II for a couple of years on my Thorens TD-126 / SME III . It sounded just fine to me with 100-ohm loading on my Mark Levinson No.28 preamp.
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