Help Which re-tip best for denon 103R? Shibata?

or Soundsmith diamond etc? read lots of conflicting stuff on shibata.... out of this world but takes eternity to get it done in germany and maybe not as good as sound

Anyone had theirs done by soundsmith at the 3rd level? results? heard the Shibata? thanks for whatever info can gv.
Heard the Denon 103 with a Shibata Needle, the System was totally rebuilt + a new, heavy Body. It is amazing, IMHO shows what lots of other cartridges are: over priced Average.

Based on that, I ordered a 103R, the needle Man told me, it is even more impressive ....
how much would rebuild with shibata cost?
Dear M189009: I think that for the re-tip price you can buy a new and original one.

Regards and enjoy the music.
You might want to check over on the Vinyl Asylum. There has been some talk about the $250 retip by soundsmith and those who have had it done are very pleased. I think it includes a ruby cantaliver, but not sure.
Thomas, I agree that the price/performance ratio of the Denon is out of this world, but surely if you replace the stylus and the body, you've taken a huge chunk out of what makes the 103 the 103.

I realize the coils, suspension and cantilever are important too, but really, I wonder if this upsets the synergy of the "system"...?

Dear Patrick, yes, I agree. I was very impressed from what you can get out of it. The cartridge I have is based on it - it is not a real, true 103 - but I read so much about, I just wanted to know.
Well, the original 103 is suitable only for a few arms, no matter that it is used nearly everywhere where money counts, but to get the best out of it, you need the right arm. Then it is possible - in my opinion - to follow the Hype about this cartridge. With a more "modern" version it is possible to mount it in every arm today available and with a good Phonostage the Result is very impressive.
Let's say, it is a tuned version.
Hi all,

this is interesting to me. I have a 103R that developed an intermittent popping from the left channel. I can't bring myself to just toss it out so maybe this offers a way to get it working again.

Based on Thomasheisig's comments about working with more arms that the original 103r I have to wonder if the weight and/or compliance is different than the original. Or perhaps the suspension material is different.

Anyone have a link to more information?

Thanks and Happy New Year!

Hi Thomas,

Interesting, I can see your point. This may explain the current popularity for retipping and rehousing the 103. Thanks for the comments.

I had a 103r replaced by VandenHul with his 'Type 1' boron cant and vdh stylus. Total cost-right at 325.00 including shipping both ways.

Initial impression-much more detail in the higher frequencies, but with an accompanying steeliness that was almost grating. Seemed to have lost much of the mid-range warmth that the 103 series is so well known for.

After (now) 131 sides, or about 43 hours, it's become much more musically enjoyable. What before was amost etched has now become detail w/some air around the notes. Bass is definitely improved from the stock 103r, in that it's tighter and more defined.. Midrange?. Still not as musically satisfying as the standard model, but not unpleasant-just different.

BTW, this isn't just sonic adaptation (at least totally). I've kept a stock 103r on my second arm (JMW 12.5) during this process to occasionally compare.

Hope this helps.