Weak point in this analog system ?

Hi everybody ! I run my analog show with the following system:
Scheu premier MK II
Sme 309
Denon dl 103
Linn Linto phono stage.

Would you pls advise me where to start to improve it ?
Many thanks
What are you hoping to improve as far as the sound of your playback? How much do you want to spend? What components are you happy with? What is the rest of your system?
and your room?
You may get different responses from other members, but if you want to upgrade your analog front end, I'd start by replacing your turntable. There are some excellent tables these days in the $1500-2500 range.
I don't know Sdcampbell, have you ever heard a Scheu and compared it to other TT's? There's a definite performance reason why the founders of Teres, Redpoint, Gablier, and a few other cutting edge turntable companies originally set out together to copy and improve on the Scheu Premier instead of the myriad of other tables and design philosphies available at the time.

The Premier mkII is absolutley fantastic(I've got two - 50mm & 80mm platters) and can hold it's own against many more expensive and popular tables. Partnered with the right arm and cart, it is capable of superb music.

Obviously, the Denon DL-103, SME , and Linto have all earned "classic" status for their performance.

Before assuming the table's the weak link, it would be nice to know what Ad feels is missing or wrong with the sound of his vinyl setup. Next, how much experimentation has he done with cart/arm setup?

If it is simply a matter of wanting to try something new, I would suggest demo'ing a new phono preamp. It is the easiest(and quickest) of all the components to swap in and out for comparison without excessive fine tuning.

If his system sound is not rich or textured enough, demo a tubed phono. Comparably priced and first on my list would be the new Eastern Minimax. Great reviews and it definetly will sound different than the Linto. There are also some used Art Audio Vinyl One's available here whose reputation speak for themselves.

For less money start with the EAR 834P(especially the mod'd version), wasn't my cup o' tea, but there are lots of diehard owners and great reviews.

On the solid state side, the Tom Evans gear jumps to the front of the line. I think Ad was considering one a while years back.

But, first let's find out what he feels is missing or lacking.
My system is composed by a DIY tube preamp named Euridice based on 417a tubes+Mc 402 power amp and soundlab A-3 speakers.

My feeling about the possible improved is based on my memory. I heard the same set up with a Audio research ph1 phono stage and to my memory the sound was thicker and more real.
Base on this I believe that the Linto shall probably be upgraded but being a well repute phono stage I am guessing when this is a good move.

Overall the analog rig sounds all right but I still believe there is margin to improve.
The room is 7x10mters .
Hope I gave some info that originally forgot to mention.
Many thanks
Sorry about the late response, I posted it before Ad0 described the rest of his system.

Anyway, it sounds like he's loooking for "a little more flesh on the bones" kind of presentation. Something richer with greater tonal density.

On the tube side, I think the before mentioned Art Audio might do the trick. I have their PX-25 SET amp and it is superb. Their whole line of components shares a common sonic approach. Herron and Aesthetix phono's might also be worth looking into.

On the solid state side, Tom Evans, Whest, and even the Graham Slee Era mkV. I've got the GS in my setup right now with Scheu's Tacco tonearm and the Denon DL-103D and the combination is fantastic - rich, smooth, authorative with great detail and speed...

I also love Cartridge Man's Music Maker III cart, a real performer for the money. Actually, it holds it's own with my much more expensive carts.
Sorry about the seemingly redundant post above, but I submitted it late last night and it didn't get posted until today after Ad0 described his system.

I'm new to vinyl this year, so please take all my opinions with a HUGE grain of salt, I simply do not have the years of experience that others around here have. But, I have spent a good amount of time over the last few years listening to the better VPI, Nottingham, Linn, Kuzma, Origin Live, JA Michell, SOTA, etc. in systems I consider equal to, or better than, mine. So, I have been able to get a decent sense of how the Scheu stacks up against others..

And I've found that the Scheu is capable of performance equal to, or better than, most those others.

Lately, I've been looking at tubed phono preamps, myself. I love the GS Era Gold I've got, it's just that I'm partial to tubes and want to see how that works in my system. I tried the EAR 834P, while it did some things extremely well, I found it a little slow, bloated, and diffuse in comparison to the GS Era. Still, what it did well was enough to sell me on tubed pre's.

My current wish list is the Art Audio Vinyl One(I've got their PX-25 SET amp), Eastern Electric Minimax, Wright WPP200-C, and Herron Audio VTPH-1.

my vinyl system is:
1) a pair of Scheu Premier mkII's
2) Scheu's top of the line unipivot "Tacco" tonearm.
3) Graham Slee Era Gold mkV + GS Elevator "transformerless" stepup.
4) Grado "The Statement",
5) ZYX Fuji FS 100 Silver,
6) Cartridge Man Music Maker III,
7) Denon DL-103D. (Check the rest of my system via my moniker link)

Many thanks for your intense help (2 responses in short notice)
I think you caught my feeling with your second response. (a little more flesh on the bones)
In fact you are absolutely right, I evaluated Whest, Evans and Graham before getting the linto.
I go the linto because got a good price offer from a friend. At that time I skipped the Evans because they were not responding to my mail+the web site was down for too much time (does not give a good feeling usually)
The Whest was nice but still too short on the market for my judgement.
The Graham, yes I was next to buy it by they advised me to do change the denon for another cart to get the best out of their stage. They were great people, but at that time I was still too in love with the denon, stupid me maybe. They also advised me the same cart MMM you advised me. The great thing about them was that the final package (I was saving on the step up)was cheaper than the otiginal combi denon+step up+phono stage.
I will remind them this time to my mind.

To complete, honestly I believe the linto cab ne improved because when i inserted it in the system, I was expecting too great things but it only marginally bettered my treshold phono stage, a nice desing but too old.
I am not too god in describing the sound i hear and the one I like, maybe th linnto is simply not my cup of tea?
Thank to all of you, as usual patience enough to invite people to post.
Cheers from Italy
Dear Ad010685: Weak link in your system: DL 103. This is a trash of cartridge, of course for 200.00 you can't wait for more.

If you are experienced and care about music you have to agree with that statement.

Second, your phonopreamp and the tube/equalizers that you use in your audio system.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Guess it's hard to be either regarded or to enjoy music when your system has a trash cartridge and equalizer components. Plus, since you probably don't agree (and shouldn't), I guess we can assume that your inexperienced, don't care about music, and disagreeable in this regard. Oy....why am I not surprised? Further evidence for the advisability of checking in here even less often.

Sorry ad010685, welcome to the inane.
Ad010685 -- phono first.
You mention (Marzio's?) Euridice and a Linto... If it's the Euridice I think it is, it's in a different leadue than the Linto -- excellent though the Linto may be.
Since you're diy-ing I would suggest that the Euridice, with a little tinkering to add a phono stage, {perhaps going overboard using a LR circuit with suitable gain stages} would easily better the Linto and most other phonos by far. There's a chap in Italy who offers matched LR de-emphasis circuits called Stefano Perugini (PAEng design). Can't find his url.
Also check out T Loesch's toccata.

That will give you body, texture and detail, etc.

TT: the Scheu TT is very good IMO. Keep it. OTOH I don't know about the mechanical compatibility of yr arm (BTW, I like that SME) I have always listened to Scheu + unipivot (Tacco, Morch, Clearaudio).

I would agree that the Denon, outstanding for the price, can be bettered (for a higher price).
So, keep it and work on a good phono stage.
Gregm, can I get your opinion of how the Tacco stacks up against other arms like the Morch & Clearaudio? Also, what were your overall impressions of

I'm very happy with the Premier/Tacco combination, I just have never tried anything else on the table.
The Tacco was slightly better (slightly more neutral & slightly more extended -- probably better mechanical compatibility) than both the cheap Morch and the Clearaudio. OTOH, the beginner's Schroder was better. Please note that in these cases the cartridge used was one of the new line Clearaudio MC that costs $~500. Sorry, don't remember the model. The Scheu had the big platter.
There's s/thing missing in yr post?
Well, considering the Denon is part of this discussion, I think I'll jump in! You wrote "I heard the same set up with a Audio research ph1 phono stage and to my memory the sound was thicker and more real." Sounds to me like you like the tube sound, and so this is the thing lacking that you seek. I don't agree that the Denon can be bettered for greater $$$, there are things it does - drive, mid-bass, tonal balance, musicality/gestalt/PRaT - which it does better than any other MC, regardless of price, which is why it has Classic status, it's not just a matter of value for money but of unbeatable strengths (sorry Raul ;-)). Yes it can be bettered in terms of frequency extension and detail (where it is still surprisingly good, however), but these are more in the way of unnecessary extras rather than substance, musically-speaking. I don't think you are stupid at all to be in love with the Denon, this is how if affects many: it appeals to the heart first, like a transducer of music should (not that it is a slouch at the usual audiophile characteristics). Start listening to various tubed phono preamps, and don't listen to those who advise you to abandon the Denon.
Bravo Johnnantais!!

My Denon DL-103D gives up almost nothing to more expensive a famous cartridges when it comes to terms of sheer musical enjoyment over a wide range of material. It surely gets far more playing time than any of my others (also for financial reasons).

Sure, some have greater detail, focus, air, space between performers, timbral accuracy, etc. All these fine points are better recreated, but when I take my critical listening hat off it really doesn't matter that much. Perhaps it's because I still listen to a good amount of rock and hard rock. I need an all around performer. The Denon can easily go from Black Sabbath to Branford Marsalis and then on to Joni Mitchell. All sound great and the Denon gets right to the heart of the music, as you said.

Is it the best? Definetly not. But, other carts will be sold off long before it will.


Thanks for your insights on the Scheu Tacco. The arm seems to perform extremely well with my cartridges. I've been considering trying out that low-priced Airtech linear air bearing tonearm.
Yours are just opinions. I haven't picked-up your thoughts for the same reason.
Over all the posts yours has no contribution to the discussion.
as above
My last two posts are addressed to 4yanx only.
Sorry for thinking your system was unfairly and harshly criticized. Bye to you, too.

I think you misunderstood 4yanx. He was being sarcastic in regards to some of Raul's comments. I guess you have to be familiar with Raul's position on certain audio topics to appreciate where 4yanx was coming from.

I must say that it is somewhat hard to give recommendations on what to change in your system since most of us probably are not familiar with your pre-amp. I do agree with the others who have suggested not changing your table and the Denon.
4yank, I accept your point. I also apologize for not being capable of appreciate English nuances. In fact I am Italian and not a fine English speaker !
No problem. Most often, I don't even understand myself! :-)
Dear Johnnantais: No problem about the 103.. Your music/sound reproduction priorities are diferent for mines.

Btw, I own the 103 and 103D

Regards and enjoy the music.