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There is some interesting info on 103/103R cartridges (and other Denons) in this Vinyl Asylum post/thread from a long time user:
Don't know about stone, weight might be an issue. The 103 in an aluminium body will weigh around 14g already, wood around 11-12g (the stock cartridge is 8.5g).
FWIW, I found the aluminium Midas body to sound 'faster', cleaner and more neutral than either ebony or Panzerholtz wood bodies. But some will/do prefer the wood.
I feel obliged to add that, while I'm a big fan of the Soundsmith retipped 103R in the Al body, it falls short of more expensive MC carts in several areas.
For example, in comparison to my Ortofon Jubilee - It doesn't have the finesse and delicacy nor will it reproduce soundspace and ambiance with the same resolve. The Jubilee has more punch and weight at the low end. The Jubilee has more ease in climaxes (a real strength of the Ortofon) and a greater dynamic range overall. I should also note that when I had the Ortofon A90 in my system it handily outclassed the Jubilee - especially in clarity and transparency.
That said, the SS 103R does enough to be mostly satisfying in the objective sense and has a knack of letting me concentrate on the music and and how its played - a great attribute - it gets something very right in this respect. I also think the SS 103R's highs are a bit more truthful than the Jubilee - not perhaps as refined, but without the 'silky' coloration of the Jubilee (the A90 didn't have this).
TOBES - many thanks for further info! Yes, weight may be an issue, as you mentioned...also, understood that it's a good cart for the price but won't reach the performance of the much more expensive ones. I am planning for the re-build of my Shelter 7000 (as it's getting there), and want to have a great cart lined up when that happens...of the carts I've used and heard (which aren't THAT many) the Denons have always struck me as the best value for money...I've used DL-304 (and 110 and 140) which was absolutely awesome. Therefore I do have high expectations on the 103r (also, after reading all the praise it keeps getting), with the added 'attraction of the body mod'.
I still have fond memories of my Denon 103 which the original Garrot Bros worked over for me with a Boron/Aluminium hybrid cantilever and weinz parabolic diamond. Incredibly musical, very good timing, down in focus/resolution slightly but a cartridge for forgetting about hifi and listening to music.
If you were going to spend money on it my recommendation would be to look at a boron cantilever and better profile diamond, maybe line contact, rather than changing the body.
I would have to agree with Dover that a retip with a more exotic stylus will have a bigger effect than the body mod. However, together with the aluminium body it makes the 103R a formidable option. And for little cost, especially for those who already own a 103R.
There are big gains in focus - especially on-centre where the stock cartridge isn't great. Transparency of the soundstage and clarity of instruments in depth (also mediocre in the stock cartridge) are massively improved along with resolution of space and ambiance. Height (especially at the sides) and the 'unhinging' of instruments from the speakers is far more convincing. Everything sounds more realistic (to me) and difficult instruments like piano and trumpet surprisingly so. Cymbals, bells, vibes, distinctions between similar voices...tracking performance....the list goes on.
Plus the 103R magic that provides the tone, texture and feel to make the music convincing.
Top feeders won't be satisfied, but its a good deal IMO.
Of course setup is more critical, but that is true of any cartridge with a line contact stylus profile.
Bpoletti, I haven't tried the OC9 ML II or III but I have compared the AT33 PTG-II to my retipped 103R. The comparison was done with two separate wands on my Phantom arm and current setup.
While the AT33 sounded competent enough, it didn't present music with the dimension and involvement of the Denon. I also thought it was less transparent - certainly less realism to the reproduction (for me).
Mechanically the cartridges are quite different, the AT cartridges are lighter and have higher compliance. It's possible they may suit a lighter arm or different setup better.