Has anyone had the chance to compare these two MC carts? Based on specs, the AT appears to be slightly more compliant and have slightly more output. I'm also wondering if the AT's stylus shape would make it a bit quieter in the groove?
I've had both. You'll want a heavier tonearm for the 103R. I had the 103R and did not get good results, I'm afraid my arm was not a great match. The OC9 is a different sound altogether, more detail and not as fleshed out as the 103 making for a leaner sound. Really depends on your arm and musical tastes.
I use the 103 and the OC9 , take a look at the Denon 160, higher compliance than the 103 and high output. Years ago this cartridge use to cost about the same as the Dynavector 10x mk4. Now the mk5 is $400 and the Denon is available for about $100. This makes it a big bargain to me.
I'm using a DL103R on a Linn Basik arm on a Linn Axis table.
On paper, the Basik appears to be a tad light for the DL103R, but in practice, the fact is the sound is quite excellent and the best I have ever managed out of the Linn Axis table, smooth and detailed top to bottom with very good weight and impact in the low end.
To me, it sounds competitive with most any phono setup I've heard in recent years, so it is a combo that I can recommend based on experience.
I'm currently running the Dynavector 10x5 on the Linn, so I'm thinking that going to one of the less expensive AT carts might be a bit of a sideways move? I've never tried either of them so I wouldn't be able to say for sure.
I bought the Dynavector when I was still using an X-LPS phonostage, but now that I am using a MiniMax I'd like to take advantage of its MC capability. The loading is not adjustable so I'm forced to run the Dynavector through the MM input.
I have been running a Virtuoso Wood cart on the Satisfy arm. This arm actually has a lower effective mass than the Basik.
I have two turntables: one is a suspended design, the other non-suspended. I'm trying to create two different sounding setups, thus the desire to run a low/medium output MC on one of the tables.
Yes, I took a small chance with the DL103R based on what I read about it and the price, but it paid off in spades. I will probably never leave this cartridge. Just goes to show that you never know for sure until you listen.
There are also simple DIY tweaks to tonearm mass I have read about here and considered trying, but frankly, I have not been motivated to experiment because things sound really good the way they are. Maybe someday....
Thanks for the input regarding my phono stage and for confirming some of the cart recommendations that Viridian and others have made.
I remember reading a synopsis by Michael Fremer on the MiniMax where he felt the top end could be bit soft on the MM side, so I assumed that perhaps the MC side of the phonostage was a bit better in that aspect.
There's obviously more choices for MM than MC carts with the arms than I'm presently using. I am considering replacing the Basik arm with one of the Rega variants, but once again there seem to be less MC choices for a medium-mass tonearm.
I'd like to choose a cart that will work best with my phonostage, work well with the Basik, but will still be a good choice when I go to upgrade the arm.
Dear Rob: That kind of remarks ( the one from M. Fremer ) about the MM " soft " top end is ( I never hear your unit ) IMHO a load impedance subject ( like MC ones that needs the right load impedance to show its best performance. IMHO any pro-reviewer like MF it suppose that know about and must advise about. ) because if you load almost any MM cartridge type at 100K instead the " wrong " 47K setting things improve a lot on quality performance.
All those MM cartridges are " tonearm/phono stage friendly " and its quality performance can/could even the quality performance ( everything the same. I can't be totaly sure, because the MC are more demanding, but in your phono stage ( like I told you ) the MM surpass/beat a MC one. ) level against several MC cartridges on the 2K-3K price range.
Anyway, this is only an additional opinion that along the other people ones can give you the " input " to make a choice.