Denon Red Body
Denon Red Body
These were made from Eclectic Audio (Mr. Garth Phillippe) in Germany, it is called Shibui. It is a Denon 103 with a new Metal-Body and a Shibata needle. The rework was made from a professional needle specialist in Germany, maybe something more was made.
I think Eclectic sold them worldwide quite successfully, but I don't know how much of them. Unfortunately there are fakes existing in Germany (DIY guys who bought the red body and made their own "experiments"). The originals have an own manual.
I own a special Shibui based 103R, he made only 4 of them. It has a blue body.
It's difficult to tell from the above photo, if the cartridge has a purpleheart or anodized alloy body.
The Shibui, made by the late, great Garth Phillippe had a milled alloy body which was anodized red.
Here's a photo of one I used to run on an 18 gram, Ebony arm wand Schroeder Reference.
If you scroll down the page, you'll see the original box along with a top view of the cartridge.
Without knowing, you wouldn't be able to tell from my photo either - whether it's purpleheart or anodized alloy, but rest assured that the Shibui was indeed an alloy and not wood-bodied.
For a hot rodded Denon, these days, I'd go to Soundsmith.
Thom @ Galibier
As I recall Garth said that he'd made about 100 Shibui cartridges. Shibui, by the way, is a Japanese word for a complex aesthetic concept. Garth said it doesn't translate into English very well but "understated elegance" is reasonably close.
I suspect that Garth may have packaged his Shibuis in whatever boxes he had on hand. Mine came in the original Denon 103 box, accompanied by a sheet about the cartridge.
Garth was such a fan of the 103 family that when he heard a rumor that Denon was going to discontinue the cartridge, he seriously considered offering to buy the production machinery from them.
Garth was responsible for the Incognito Rega rewiring kits. An Incognito - wired RB300 I reviewed for "Listener" sounded uncomfortably close to the much pricier RB900 I owned at the time.
Garth was very knowledgable and outspoken which made him somewhat controversial, but he was unfailingly generous about sharing what he knew. His untimely death was a great loss for the audio hobby as well as for his family.