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  1. #1

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    Default looking for suggestions: inexpensive low output MC cartridge for experiment

    There have been several interesting threads here in the past year or so on the virtues of a variety of reasonably-priced moving coil cartridges, so this seemed like a good place to post this query.

    I have acquired the raw materials (i.e., transformers) for a skunkworks DIY step-up transformer project. Now all I need is a "test mule" low output MC cartridge! Gotta be (relatively) inexpensive; this is an experiment!

    My knee-jerk response was a Denon DL-103. Whaddya think? Would there be a better "budget" choice? Under $200 would be nice, but I am open-minded (up to a point). Certainly less than $500 smackers... what's the best bang for the buck in LOMCs?

    I am also interested in recommended vendors (i.e., sellers that provide excellent overall value from the transaction).

    Thanks (in advance) for your thoughts!
    all the best,
    mrh

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    What is the output voltage of the Denon?

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    0.4 mV I think.
    all the best,
    mrh

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    That ought to work just fine for the experiment. My cartridge output is .24mV but it is very expensive. I used a K & K step-up transformer with good results.

    Be careful. I had some hum problems which were all related to the ICs I was using going from the step-up to the phono pre. I actually had to stop using the step-up because the ICs that I really like the sound of still had the hum. It seems the less expensive ICs induced lest hum than the more expensive ones. Odd huh?

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    Here is one that I've read about that is .2mV.

    http://www.needledoctor.com/Benz-Mic...2&category=364

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    hum is definitely going to be a factor :-)

    Let me ask a slightly different, corollary question: what (if any) inexpensive LOMC cartridges do you like the sound of?
    Last edited by mhardy6647; 07-01-2009 at 11:21 AM.
    all the best,
    mrh

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    I just got a Benz Micro Gold. It is a low out put. I don't have any hum issues with my on board phono preamp.

    Scott
    I like speakers that are bigger than a small refrigerator but smaller than a big refrigerator:D

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    I've got a old Ortofon MC20 mounted on one of my Micro Seiki tables. It was on it when I bought it. Have not played it yet to see if it is any good. The stylus is still there. I may try to fire it up this weekend and see if it is stlll viable after 25 years. .07 volt output per specs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polkersince85 View Post
    .07 volt output per specs.
    WOW that is really low.

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    What is the output voltage of the Denon?
    Each Denon 103 comes with an individual test sheet. Although the published rating is 0.3mv, the two I have are rated at 0.35 mv output. This is one fine cartridge, IMHO.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Polkersince85
    .07 volt output per specs.

    WOW that is really low.

    No, this is actually very HIGH output. Easy to get confused with millivolts, which are thousandths of volts. So, .07 volts is 70 mv, way HIGH!! Did I get the math right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by analog97 View Post
    Each Denon 103 comes with an individual test sheet. Although the published rating is 0.3mv, the two I have are rated at 0.35 mv output. This is one fine cartridge, IMHO.




    No, this is actually very HIGH output. Easy to get confused with millivolts, which are thousandths of volts. So, .07 volts is 70 mv, way HIGH!! Did I get the math right?
    In my mind I saw .07 mV. My mistake.

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    I meant mV.
    Last edited by Polkersince85; 06-11-2010 at 09:21 PM.

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    0.07 mV = 70 uV (microvolts) Yeah, that's pretty low output...
    all the best,
    mrh

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    Wowee.... .07mv? That is scary low! You need to throw at least 70db gain at that, probably 75db would be better. Good luck.

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    I am also interested in recommended vendors (i.e., sellers that provide excellent overall value from the transaction).
    Forgot to mention. I have made many a purchase from Origin Live (UK) with great success. They have the Denon 103, but I noticed recently that they have raised their prices on the Denons substantially. There is a seller on Ebay, something like WilliamThakker (Germany) and I also have experience there as well, all good. This is the best price at $169 shipped. This is an unbelievable bang-for-the-buck MC. There is a reason for the cultish attraction to the Denon 103. I am a believer.

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    The eBay seller mentioned above has been recommended also by folks here in New England... I am not a priori terribly keen on doing transAtlantic business, but the buzz is quite positive and the price is right (price includes shipping, too, I believe).

    I am not sure there is a better option than the DL-103 at a "budget" price... the cheaper Benz cartridges look interesting but are significantly more expensive (except the very entry level model, which is still $250 as I recall).

    Thanks for responses so far; any other thoughts are also appreciated!
    all the best,
    mrh

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