your cart is capable of amazing things, that is not the source of your problem. I would look into getting a better table as a starting point.
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I have heard good things about the 103R and the mods performed by Zu Audio. If you like the general sound of it but want more, perhaps you should consider the 103R Zu? I think the P5 is a good table and can support the 103R or 103R Zu.
I have the JD9 too. Have you upgraded the tubes? This will make a very big difference in sound and might be all you need.
Also, make sure your P5 is well isolated, balanced and set up correctly with the correct settings on the JD9. Cheers.
Plenty of folks use the 103 with Rega arms, but IMHO it's not a good match. The cartridge likes to see a much higher effective mass than the Rega provides. That's why Zu, who use the Rega as their design center add mass to the cartridge.
I prefer the Denon's but it's horses for courses, a Dynavector DV20XL2 will get you all of what you want, and more. There's even one for sale here on Audiogon. It matches the arm very well.
I tried a 103R in my Linn LP12 with a Rega RB300 arm and in my Denon DP 61F and while it was very good I much prefer the Audio Techinca 33 PTG to the 103R in either setup. Not a put down of the 103R but if you search the archives you will find a number of folks who feel the AT is a substantial step up from the Denon.
Vortrex - We get it, you don't like Rega turntables. Your posts on any Rega turntable question are non-productive and self serving.
To the OP - Dynavectors are great choices or the Rega Exact 2 if you want to go MM. Also make sure your P5 is on a light but rigid stand, not solid or dense as it will rob the table of it's intended lively sound.
TS0711 I will respectfully demur. I have owned 8 or 9 Rega arms over the years, have added mass and the TWL counterweight as well as the Expressimo and various other geegaws and your idea of adding mass at the headshell and the counterweight will absolutely increase the effective mass of the arm.
It will also change the bending modes within the arm and hence the resonant structure of the arm as well as the load on the bearings. YMMV and appartently does.
No doubt, some will find this a solution, but I did not find it a substitute for a true high mass arm.
Hey like the comments maybe I should have given more info to you guys.
I have modded the J9 (6moons) except for the oamps which are on the way. I'm using NOS RCA tubes. My table is also modded counterweight, subplattter and dual white belts and a herbies mat. Thanks again for the info I appreciate your knowledge and learnings.
Vince, take the plunge on the Zu 103, it beats the stock 103, and is well worth the money ($800+). I've gone on to get the Expert Stylus And Cartridge Company here in the UK to mod it with Paratrace stylus and White Sapphire cantilever for £280 ($450+). It comfortably outpaces my 4x pricier Transfiguration Orpheus. An unbelievable giant killer that I would not swap out.
I have a thread devoted to the Zu 103 ESCCo mods.