Tried and True or Something New

Discussion in 'All Things Analog' started by MikeT., Nov 12, 2017.

  1. billfort

    billfort Administrator

    Good choice. I used a DL-103 for years and took endless grief over that from most everyone I knew that was into turntables - just not good enough I kept getting told. But funny thing about that (and several other off-beat audio choices I've made for that matter), I just ignored the negatives and enjoyed the hell out of the music that cartridge made. A very sweet combination with a pair of old Altec/Peerless 4722s step-up transformers too.

    Incredible how much enjoyment I got out of that approx. $500 pairing - that just can't be a good choice. :)
    TubeHiFiNut likes this.
  2. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator

    I have played around with more cartridges than I care to remember over the last ~45 years in this hobby.

    Since I got my first DL-103 in 1977, this is the cartridge I keep coming back to.

    The quality of the diamond is second to none, even though it is a conical. ;)

    I'm really comfortable with how it honors the music, how it sounds like music.

    Makes me want to relax and play more records. :)

    All, of course, IMHO. :)
  3. JohnVF

    JohnVF Administrator

    I’m just going to swoop in here and say the DL-103 is the only conical I’ve heard that didn’t sound like a sabre came in and chopped all the good stuff out of the music. Also I like Nagaoka carts, to add something slightly useful to my input.
    fiddlefye likes this.
  4. fiddlefye

    fiddlefye Senior Member

    Good way to put it. The DL-103 may be a conical, but apparently it is a completely different sort of profile than the usual of its ilk. Other than the 103 the only thing I find conicals useful for is playing 78s. I suppose if I ran a stacker on a changer it would be different, but I don't and won't.
    MikeT. likes this.
  5. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator

    The diamond on the 103 is supposed to be polished to a very high degree. From a quality perspective it's supposed to be as good as anything out there.

    I also have good luck with other conical tipped styli in addition to the DL-103: Shure V15 III-G, SC35C (with both original and N35X styli), M3D, Sonus Gold Green, Decca London, Elac STS-240 and others.

    Maybe these old ears are just longing for the sound of my youth? ;)
    opa1 likes this.
  6. MikeT.

    MikeT. Senior Member

    I've looked at the DL-103 stylus under a USB microscope and I'll be damned if it doesn't look like a nude square shank diamond. I'll post a few pictures this weekend.

    Anyway, regardless of the pics, I think you are right. It seems to be very unique in construction and very easy to set up and listen to.

    I've pulled the trigger on one this evening and should be able to mount it up this weekend. Home at last....
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  7. fiddlefye

    fiddlefye Senior Member

    Where I find the DL-103 really shines for me is with early stereo classical LPs. Somehow it just gets them "right" -possibly because it was the cart they had in mind when they were preparing them?
  8. MikeT.

    MikeT. Senior Member

    @fiddlefye , I inherited/was gifted a fair number of early stereo albums of some jazz legends like Al Hirt and Pete Fountain. My aunt's husband was an advertising executive in Baton Rouge, LA and was given a lot of "for radio play only" demo albums used to promote the artist over radio, freebees for the radio stations and DJ's. Once I get the 103 mounted, they will be among the first I'll give a listen.
    TubeHiFiNut and fiddlefye like this.
  9. fiddlefye

    fiddlefye Senior Member

    Nice. I have a few of those as well and they're usually above average pressings. The DL-103 should be right down their alley.
  10. inthewoods

    inthewoods Active Member

    103 is out daily driver. R model though.
    TubeHiFiNut likes this.

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