Back-Up Low Output MC For My Arkiv B?

Any suggestions on a back-up, low output MC cartridge to replace my Arkiv B when it goes in for a rebuild? It would go on an LP12/Ekos. Phono pre is a Pass XONO, so looking for an output of no more than the Arkiv's (0.4), since this is almost too much for the Xono in MC configuration with all the attenuation jumpers installed....Budget would be $ 500 or less (ideally less). For that price point, I guess a Denon 103/104, several Ortofons, and several Dynavectors might fit the bill, but I have no experience with anythin other than Linn carts (Klyde, Arkiv)
Denon 103D or 103R is an incredible choice, .25mv and only half the budget. You can e-mail me and send me the other half as thanks.
Agree with Viridian.
Txs guys. I´ve read thru prior posts on the Forum, and it seems like there are different versions of the 103 (D, R, Q, etc). I have done some searches on the web, but the places I´ve found that sell Denon cartridges seem to have only one available, with no letter following the number. Any suggestions on where I might find the full line up and, if so, which version might be the best match wth the Ekos?
All the models of DL103 are available direct from Denon USA, except for the DL103R model, which is not imported. It is my favorite one of this series. It can be ordered from Singapore via Audiogon member "Martin" through the Audiogon member lookup system. He runs an audio store there called Triode Zen, and he is a reliable source for these cartridges, and that is where I got mine. About $250. Any other model can be gotten from Denon. The plain DL103 is about $149. The other models are somewhat higher, and probably worth it. The 103R is simply stunningly good for the money.
I like the Denons too but love the Ortofons. The MC15 Super is a wonderful cart and just great for an Ekos. Output of .25mv is great for your setup too.

Find a vintage Ortofon SL15E MkII or for a real treat a Madrigal Carnegie One. Both Giant Killers.
If you have not yet sent the Arkiv for retip, this may now be the time to have a listen to a Shelter 901, then decide whether to go for the retip.
I've done some more diggin thru the Forum posts, and had a question for you guys on compliance. The Arkiv's compliance is 12 cu, whihch is moe than twice that of the basic Denon 103, and higher than the Shelter's. Now, if the Arkiv is designed to be a perfect match for the Ekos arm, woouldn't these lower compliance cartridges be problematic in my rig?
The lower the compliance, the higher the resonant frequency of the arm/cartridge resonance (this is modeled just like a spring). Fortunately, there is a broad range of acceptable arm/cartridge resonant frequencies. The medium mass Ekos is well within the operating range of the Denon, Shelter and Ortofons mentioned above and, from a resonance standpoint will provide a good match. This spec is certainly not as great a concern as bearing integrity when dealing with relatively low compliance cartridges. You are good to go.
Thank, Viriridan. The questionnow is..which one? There are several for sale on Audiogon ranging from the 103R to the 103S to the of ocurse the ones available direclty from Denon USA....Any specific recommendation outof all of these? Thanks!
Tom, user name TWL, is the expert. He posted earlier in this thread, e-mail him directly.
I spoke with Denon USA a few days ago and found that the DL103 and the DL103D are available and that is it for the 103 line; ie, no "R" or limited editions through Denon USA. That's the bad news; the good news is the DL103 is $ 150.00 plus 5 bux shipping...such a deal! The DL103D is 348.00 so quite a bit pricier. I ordered a DL103 as I could not pass it up at that price; that is what people are trying to sell them for used.

Carl, is that the one with the conical stylus, or the elliptical stylus? Thanks for the info.
Marty, the regular 103 for $150 is the conical, although I have heard some refer to it as spherical. Either way, it is a very small contact section. This stylus shape is much more forgiving regarding alignments, than elliptical or especially line contact types. I tend to prefer the simple stylus shapes. My current Shelter 501 is elliptical. That is about as long as I would like to go.

The 103D and the 103S have the elliptical styli, and are more expensive. They are also the medium compliance family, compared to the 103 and 103R, which are very low compliance.
Tom, I should've just contacted you directly. As usual, you are a font of knowledge and I really appreciate your input. I think I will be looking to replace my 103D soon. It is actually a line contact stylus, I believe. I don't share your appreciation of the conical stylii, but I have had really good luck with my Koetsu Black, which is a simple elliptical, I think. Other ellipticals have worked well in my system also. Do you know if that 103S is still available? Thanks again.
Yes, the 103S is available from Denon USA for about $250, I think. David99 got one recently, and put it on his Oracle/Alphason rig, and he loves it.
I was in the market for a 103 awhile back. I found this thread somehere regarding the differetn 103 versions. I can't remember now where I found it, and I apologize to the author for not mentioning their name. Anyway, with all of this talk again of 103's, this info might be of use to someone. The original author refers to the cartridges as "he's" not "she" or "he/she". So, blame he/she if you are offended! :-)

Looks as though this list could use some updating in light of Tom's mention that the 103S is still available.

"103”C”…He’s got a black body that’s got square edges (not “rounded off” like one of his siblings), a white center line, and no “letter” designation. He’s the original 103 cartridge…the first stereo MC ever, if my history lessons have been correct. Given the “C” nickname because of his conical stylus. A rather [very] low compliance cartridge…he needs a lot of tracking force, 2.5-3g. 0.3mv output. Started life in 1963, and still in production!

103D…This guy’s the “classic” in the eyes of most 103 users. He’s got a olive\tan colored body with a red center line. An elliptical stylus replaces the conical found on the C…much more compliant suspension too. 0.3mv output, 1.5g track. This little guy is the magic maker…mid-range to die for! IMO, the finest sounding pickup ever made! Sadly, I’m fairly sure he’s out of production. [not true, these are still available from Denon USA].

103S…He’s pretty close to the D, but does away with the elliptical stylus, in favor of a Shibata. He’s always dressed in a white body with a red center line. 0.4mv output 1.5g track. He’s long out of production.

103M…He gots a black plastic body with metal [aluminum?] inlayed around the perimeter of the body. He’s physically shorter than his brothers are, if I remember correctly. Donno what stylus he’s got? 0.15mv output, 1.4g track. Again, out of production.

103C1S…A modernized version of the “C”…pretty much the same low compliance, super stiff suspension as the C. He comes dressed in a black body like the C, but this time with rounded corners and edges, a metallic fleck paint job, a silver centerline, and the text DL-103C1 silk-screened on the side. 0.3mv output, 2.5g track. Also out of production, if I’m not mistaken.

103R…Don’t know a ton ‘bout this guy, ‘cept that he’s got a black body, like the “C” but with a gold center line, and the text DL-103R on the side. He’s got coils wound from 6 nine’s copper wire. Not sure on the output or track. I do believe he’s still in production!

My info gets even more fuzzy from here…I’m also assuming everything from here on in is out of print.

103Special…white body

103G…Black body, made of some sort of carbon/composite, if memory serves. Coils wound from gold wire.

103FL…Fine line stylus…white body

103C2…Black body, black center line

Another correspondent who lives in Japan added:

There were many other cartridges in the DL-103 series over the years, such as DL-103 PRO (lower compliance), DL-103 gold (gold wire) DL-103FL, etc etc."