The Well Tempered Record Player and Denon DL103


Does anyone use this combination?
I'm thinking to pair them with my Supratek Cortese.
Any opinions?
Thanks
adry
I owned both and could never get the combination to sound right. I tried many different levels of damping fluid, alternate cartridge mountings, even an arm wrap. IMHO, the WTRP arm has too low effective mass to deal with a low compliance cartridge like the DL103, regardless of any other factors. Medium and high compliance cartridges are a much better match.

That said, some have used the same combo and liked it. Maybe they'll post here too.

David
Hi David,and thanks for youe opinion,which is in fact what i was thinking.
The think is that im trying to save some money to buy the Lyra Delos,and i need a cartridge not too expensive to use until i buy the Lyra.
Do you have any suggestion?
Regards
If you're going to pair a low compliance cart like the DL-103 with a low-to-mid effective mass tonearm like what's on the Amadeus, you need to get the tonearm's total effective mass up to around 30g. The easiest way to do this is to get the Zu-103 version, whose solid aluminum body bumps its weight up to 15g, and thus brings the effective mass up into the range you need.

The Zu-103 is available at $439 for the base model and only $499 for the 1% tolerance version, still a low cart investment relative to the cost of an Amadeus. Not only do you get the extra weight, you get a nuded stylus and a resonance-busting aluminum body.

The heavy effective mass requirement of the DL-103 is probably the primary reason some people can never get this cartridge to sing for them.
Johnnyb53 brings up a viable alternative, but I'll say that I tried adding mass at the headshell via Blu-tak and that still, IMO, didn't make the DL103 work on the WTRP arm. It's possible the aluminum body does things other than add mass; I haven't tried one.

I had great success with Shure V15, ZYX Bloom, and Empire EDR.9. Check out Raul's MM thread for lots of suggestions for medium to high compliance carts at all price levels. They should all work well with the WTRP arm.

My experience with high compliance carts like the Shure was that very little damping fluid was needed, just enough to cover about half the paddle.

David
I had great success with Shure V15, ZYX Bloom, and Empire EDR.9. Check out Raul's MM thread for lots of suggestions for medium to high compliance carts at all price levels. They should all work well with the WTRP arm.
The DL-103 is a very LOW COMPLIANCE cartridge. It needs a tonearm effective mass of at least 30g, and a blob of Blu-tack isn't going to cut it.
Johnnyb53,

I used a pretty big blob! :-)

Seriously, I added up to 10 grams in 1 gram increments before I gave up; this was in the days before the aluminum and wood bodies that add so much mass, so it was mostly uncharted waters. I'm not sure that adding so much weight right at the headshell is a very good substitute for a true high mass tonearm.

Seems like the Zu/Uwe bodies are aimed at the Rega, which is medium mass and maybe closer to the goal to start with. Have you tried the Zu 103 with any low mass tonearms and gotten good results? If so, which ones? Maybe I just didn't go far enough.

David
So,no DL103,and i'd like to leave the arm as it is.
Any suggestions.
I'm listening to my Well Tempered Reference right now with a Zu 103 cartridge and it sounds great. I agree with the others regarding the need for more mass or more compliance.

That said, if you re-body your 103 (I remember seeing some aluminum Zu-like bodies selling here for about a hundred bucks) the results aree quite pleasing.
Clearaudio MM cartridges are fairly complinat and highly rated. If you want to go even cheaper, urban legend has it that Clearaudio cartridges are really Audio Tecnicas, so maybe you could look into those, too.
Thanks Honest1,but i'm really looking for an MC.

10-02-10: Armstrod
Johnnyb53,

Seriously, I added up to 10 grams in 1 gram increments before I gave up; this was in the days before the aluminum and wood bodies that add so much mass, so it was mostly uncharted waters. I'm not sure that adding so much weight right at the headshell is a very good substitute for a true high mass tonearm.
That's still about 6-10g short of what a DL-103 needs.

Seems like the Zu/Uwe bodies are aimed at the Rega, which is medium mass and maybe closer to the goal to start with. Have you tried the Zu 103 with any low mass tonearms and gotten good results? If so, which ones? Maybe I just didn't go far enough.
Actually, I'm just arm-chairing this based on the compliance/mass formula, my personal experience with high and medium compliance cartridges with different weight headshells (Technics DD), and the reports, testimonies, and reviews of others.

Tone Publications, an online audio mag, was trying out a Technics SL1200 as a project spanning several months. The reviewers had several cartridges ranging from $200-4,000 on hand to check out, and they came away feeling that the best performance came with a Zu-103. The Technics arm has an effective mass of about 12g with the stock headshell. Zu's website mentions that the extra weight of the aluminum housing helps match the cartridge compliance to more tonearms.

Art Dudley gave it the Zu-103 a rave review in Stereophile, and he used it on Rega RB300 and Naim Arro tonearms, which are around 10-12g effective mass on their own.
Any other suggestions?
Lyra?
Benz?
Sumiko?
....???
The Well Tempered tables can sound a little laid back and that Zu 103 I'd mentioned above wakes it up and gets the toe tapping. I tried a number of other carts with my WTR including a Koetsu Rosewood Sig., Nagoaka MP-500, Shelter 501mk2, Dynavector 20xH, and Soundsmith Voice (that probably would have gotten me there too).

FWIW I hear Grados are nice on the WTs also, though I never got around to trying one.
Adry, FWIW -- two years later and with a different WT turntable! -- I used your cartridge upgrade strategy to great effect with my WT Amadeus GTA. The arm coped very well with both a DL-103R and the Lyra Delos which has replaced it.