How do you tame a Denon DL-S1?

I recently got a Denon DL-S1. It has a very low output. I have a Minimax phono preamp and a Dodd. I have been rolling tubes and trying various things to see what works best with the Denon. When I use the stock JJ 6922 tubes in my Dodd and run the Denon directly into the 47k input, the detail and texture of the voice is unbelievable. I didn’t know there was that much information in the grooves. The problem is that I have to run the gain of my preamp up so high and the overall tone is not quite as good as with 60’s Amperexs or the Sovtek 6922s. With the other two I lose a lot of the detail and texture. My question is; would a SUT give me more gain and still keep the detail and texture? Would the SUT improve the overall tone? Would a blue Cinemag be a good choice?

I suspect that it might be a similar problem to other high information mc cartridges

I don't know diddly about analog but... The output of this cartridge is .015mV which is about as low as they get isn't it. I have seen other systems which use a SUT with such low output. I guess you will get some more difinitive answers shortly.
The Denon specs that I have seen show 0.15mv. This is very low but not that far out. The Denon 103r has .25 and my old AT OC9II was .4mv. It actually works in my Dodd phono preamp which only as 50db of gain. I do have to krank up my Calyspo preamp higher than I would like.

Dear Rsimms: The DLS1 is very good performer but to shows at its best it needs and active high gain phonolinepreamp. Tube electronics usually has not enough gain with low noise and SUT's ( including the Denon one. ) along additional ICs only degrade the cartridge signal, it can't improve it.

IMHO with your electronics you choosed the wrong cartridge. Every electronics technology has its own limits and the DLS1 is out of the tube technology limits to achieve the best that cartridge can shows you.

Regards and enjoy the music,
I use the Denon DLS-1 with a Ypsilon MC25 going to a Audio Exklusive P2 phono (solid state) and ground the motor controller, tonearm, phono to the Troy. All natural detail with no compromises.

What about using a head amp? I have a Solo head am that works good but it is a bit to romantic and veiled. Would the MF RM4 or the Picolo be better? What phonostage would you suggest?

I agree with Raul. You may get by with a step-up, but this is unlikely to reveal the cartridge's potential. IME the DL-S1 sounds best loaded under 100R. This reduces gain further, compounding problems for all but a high-gain phono stage. I load it at 80R. A few owners have reported optimal loading at 30-40R.

It's an interesting cartridge-- one of the few MCs with non-permeable coil formers. This design choice may account for its high performance at the cost of reduced output.
You need additional gain, so you have three options: 1/ add a step-up transformer, 2/ add an active pre-preamplifier, 3/ get a preamp with a MC input with the two gain stages you need internally cascaded.

Loading requirements are different for SUT and for active amplification, since the cartridge doesn't see a simple resistor the same electrically, across the audio bandwidth, as a transformer. I generally agree that loading the DL-S1 somewhat higher than Denon recommends will be your preference but there's a lot of latitude for experimentation between 40-1000 ohms.

I have both active and Xformer step-ups in my various phono systems. I don't even slightly agree that the cartridge's full potential can't be extracted via SUT, but it is a matter of getting the right one. Denon's own transformers aren't best for this. The Cinemag (blue) SUT that Bob's Devices sells, and the EAR MC3 or MC4 do the job well, at disparate price points. As for a quiet, stable, revelatory companion active phono stage that has the gain you need, I can recommend the Jasmine LP2.0 (70db total gain), and the Bel Canto Phono3 or the older Phono1. All three are solid state and I know personally they mate well with the DL-S1 and sound good.

The Jasmine looks interesting. I see the MC gain section is in two copper boxes. I wonder what is in those boxes? Transformers?

>>I see the MC gain section is in two copper boxes.<<

That's shielding. Gain is active, and it sounds astonishingly good, regardless of its affordability.

Based on positive listening experiences at shows, I suggest Pass Labs XP-15 or XP-25 phono stages. These do 76db gain with granular loading options all the way down to 10R.
Dear Rsimms: IMHO Dgarretson advise on Threshold is a good one and has not SUTs but pure active high gain low noise stages.

Regards and enjoy the music,
I am using a Musical Fidelity kW Phono with a DL-S1 with great success. I currently have mine loaded at 100R. I have tried 10R, 50R, 200R and 1000R but keep coming back to 100R. This is a very fine cartridge and needs a quiet and neutral phono stage to get the best results.
Do you think that changing out the tonearm cable or silver plating the connections could result in giving you enough latitude in order to get things where you want them? I guess then a different or additional approach could be to test out a variety of tubes. I'm no guru but my understanding in general is that if your phono stage is set close to the cartridge specs, you should be about right on. Sort of like setting the film camera to the exact exposure meter rating. I don't mean to oversimplify the topic however, as this is truly an art and not just a science.
Raul, are you suggesting that I should get a used Threshold FET 10/e or 10/pc?

I love the comments. Thanks for the suggestions. To keep you up-to-date I have been tube rolling with my Dodd phono preamp. I put Amperex Oranges in the first stage and JJ’s for the output drivers. The sound is incredible. It reminds me (in a VERY small way ) of the wonderful ARC Reference 2 phonostage with the Lyra Olympos cartridge that I heard in the Vandersteen room at the RMAF. The ARC Ref 2 is out of my price range, but would the previously mentioned phonostages sound in the ballpark like the Dodd does?

This discovery thrills me as it tells me that I am on the right track. I can live happily with the Dodd for a while but I am still looking for a more permanent solution. The Dodd is not really a LOMC preamp.

I tried a Bob's SUT with mine and did not like the strident high-end that resulted. I ended up biting the bullet and going with a Pass Labs Xono. I run it at 100 ohms and it sounds wonderful if perhaps just a tad on the bright side. As others have said this cart extracts micro- details with ease and just sounds effortless.
I have used a modified Jasmine LP 2.0 SE with the Denon DL-S1 and achieved very satisfying results.
I have a fosgate phono preamp. Would that have enough gain (60 db) to use this cartridge?
The DL-S1 is an unusual cart with an extremely low output and a relatively high impedance. J Carr posted previously (on another thread) that this is because it has a
non-permeable core. The stridency or exaggerated overtones can be due to capacitance reacting in the phono stage causing ultra high frequency overload or oscillation. This happened to me and I had to use another phono stage. Your best solution is to select a phono stage based on anothers positive experience. If you have to load it down to or below the value of it's output impedance, you'll (in theory) cut the eff output in half. Whether or not 60dB is enough gain depends on your system. That's impossible to give a simple answer. Some line stages have 20dB gain, a passive has 0 and your phono stage has to drive the amp. Some spks are 83dB, others are 100dB. I think that 60dB would be a minimum, depending.

If you have to load it below 100 ohms you're probably experiencing this high freq overload, at least to some extent. Optimal loads for some users is 400/500 ohms. This doesn't really have anything to do with with the type of device providing the amplification, although some devices might lend themselves more to direct coupling. Phono stages with response in the ultrasonic region should be more susceptible.
My 2 cents...I have been using a Dl-S1 for a couple of weeks. I started out with it wide open at 47k..after it settled down, I've increased the loading gradually and now use 250 ohms. I have a Aesthetix Rhea Signature phono with the gain set at 68db (75 db sounds punishing). With a recomended tracking at 1.3 g(+ or -.02g) this cart is very sensitive to vibration!
In the right conditions it rivals my Dynavector XV-1s at 1/5th the price! I'm going to track it at 1.5g and see how that effects the performance. Great cart for the money!!!!
Could any of the folks who are pairing the DL-S1 with a Jasmine preamp comment on whether they're doing so with no additional mods or SUTs in the system? I have heard that the Jasmine doesn't sound ideal when the gain is cranked up all the way to 70db, which I'm guessing would be near necessary if fed by the DL-S1
Apologies for bumping an old thread but what do people think of a DL-S1 with ASR Mini Basis on an RP6? It seems to fall in the optimal resonance frequency range (although Rega doesn't list effective mass for the RB303 arm i'm guessing around 11 or 12g). The DL-S1 seems to need a lot of gain and the ASR Mini Basis has adjustable gain up to 70dB as well as lots of loading options. I'm guessing I would need to use a spacer to achieve correct VTA but that's no big deal.

Denon DL-S1 Phono Cartridge Specifications

- Type: Moving coil
- Output voltage: 0.15mV
- Frequency response: 20Hz-70kHz
- Recommended load impedance: Over 100 ohms
- Channel balance @ 1kHz: < 1db
- Channel separation @ 1kHz: > 28dB
- Stylus tip: 0.07 x 0.07 mm square solid diamond
- Compliance: 14 x 10-6 cm/dyne
- Recommended tracking force: (1.3g +/- 0.2g)
- Weight: 7g

Mini Basis Mk III:

Two channel phono pre-amplifier with smoke acrylic casing.
Highly efficient, shielded 72 VA PM (Philbert Mantelschnitt) transformer.
High quality magnetic sheet metal with low magnetic field for excellent dynamics.
Ultra fast Schottky rectifier, buffer 200,000uF with Philips switchmode Elkos.
Very fast and extremely low noise IC's made by Analog Devices.
Input impedance switchable 22, 47, 100, 221, 475 Ohms, 1, 2.2, 9, 15, 47 k Ohms.
Gain adjustable with 6 step dip switches between +30dB and +70dB.

Any help would be appreciated.
What is your question? Are you hoping to find someone else who uses the exact same three components? If not, that combination should "work". Obviously you need to set your phono stage for 70 db gain. Then try different load impedances until you get a tonal balance that pleases you. Since the internal resistance of the DL-S1 (which you did not post above, but which I think is around 30-40 ohms) is relatively high for a low output MC, you may find that you lose some apparent gain with load impedances below ~100 ohms. (This is probably why they recommend using ">100 ohms".) It's up to you to decide what you like, after that. Despite the Denon recommendation, one guy on VA uses a load resistance below 100 ohms and is happy with the sound. He acknowledges that some gain is lost.
CFLUX, I only tried 2 of the settings on my Jasmine with the DL-S1 (50 ohms and 100 ohms). I prefer the setting of 100 ohms. It is very clean and open sounding. There is no gain setting on my Jasmine 2.0.
Likewise, my Jasmine 2.0LP MKII sounds best at 100 ohms and its 70dB gain is perfectly adequate. I prefer this setup over Blue Cinemag 1131 + MM setting. Then again, my Jasmine has some significant mods.
Old thread but I felt I had to jump in when I read some crazy comments. Raul and I seem to have drastically different perspectives! The best way to handle the fragile signal of a LOMC is always a SUT. It may be a journey to find the right one but it will sound the most dynamic and the closest to the music. Parks audio sells excellent ones with cinemag trannies for excellent value.
I'm running a DL-S1 through a Jolida JD-9, loaded at 100 ohms, with Telefunkens. With VTL gear driving 92db Dunlavy IV, my linestage gain is set at about 10 o'clock, with gobs of gain to burn. Better match than any of the half dozen transformers/head amps I've tried...
Since my old thread was brought back from the dead I thought I would give a update. I still am using the Dodd with Amperex Orange Globe small halo tubes. A couple of years ago, I got a Piccolo head amp and it is a perfect match with the Dodd. I couldn't be happier with the combination. Bob