Denon DL-103 Cartridges

4.5/5 (4 Reviews) MSRP : $199.00


Product Description

Denon's classic low output moving coil cartridge, in production virtually unchanged for 40 years.


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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Steve a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 26, 2007

Bottom Line:   
After listening to this cartridge for about a month on my Linn LP-12, I don't even want to listen to my turntable anymore. This cartridge sounds like it was created in the 60's because it was. It lacks three dimensionality, and the bass is undefined. The mids are good, yet the highs are plain Jane. This cartridge doesn't seem to do anything terribly wrong, but it does not make me want to listen to music on my turntable, and that is not good. I do not think this is a good match for my Linn equipment, maybe it will match yours better. I will take an Audioquest AT95e on my LP-12 any day over this Denon DL-103. In fact I would prefer many, many Audio-Technica or Ortofon cartridges over this one in the same price range. To be fair I have only listened to this cartridge on my LP-12 and the bass will probably sound less tubby on a solid plinth.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $158.00

Purchased At:   ebay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by squeegy200 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 14, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Based on reviews I had read over the years, I decided to purchase the Denon DL103 as my first foray into low output moving coil.Based on its price point, I did not expect much from it and my primary intention was to evaluate a new phono stage. In comparison, I had several Moving Magnet cartridges in my inventory that were 2-3X more expensive than the DL103.

Once I had it mounted and calibrated to my low mass tonearm, I was immediately smitten with how well it sounded. It became obviously apparent why this cartridge has remained in production and virtually unchanged for over 40 years.

Performancewise--It recreates a very delicate high end and accurately portrays delicate instruments. Small bells, tambourines, percussive triangles which were indistinguishable with my more expensive cartridges suddenly were clearly evident. At the other end of the spectrum, the lows were tights and pronounced. The bass was not muddy or boomy.

To verify my experience , I reinstalled my more exepensive MM cartridge using the same phono stage and auditioned the same materials again. This time, I confirmed that the Denon clearly outperformed my more expensive MM cartridges in almost every aspect.

Its quiet, articulate, and smooth. This humble cartridge has a well deserved reputation as an audiophile grade bargain. It is well deserved.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $148.00

Purchased At:   William Thacker - Ge



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by squeegy200 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 14, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Based on reviews I had read over the years, I decided to purchase the Denon DL103 as my first foray into low output moving coil.Based on its price point, I did not expect much from it and my primary intention was to evaluate a new phono stage. In comparison, I had several Moving Magnet cartridges in my inventory that were 2-3X more expensive than the DL103.

Once I had it mounted and calibrated to my low mass tonearm, I was immediately smitten with how well it sounded. It became obviously apparent why this cartridge has remained in production and virtually unchanged for over 40 years.

Performancewise--It recreates a very delicate high end and accurately portrays delicate instruments. Small bells, tambourines, percussive triangles which were indistinguishable with my more expensive cartridges suddenly were clearly evident. At the other end of the spectrum, the lows were tights and pronounced. The bass was not muddy or boomy.

To verify my experience , I reinstalled my more exepensive MM cartridge using the same phono stage and auditioned the same materials again. This time, I confirmed that the Denon clearly outperformed my more expensive MM cartridges in almost every aspect.

Its quiet, articulate, and smooth. This humble cartridge has a well deserved reputation as an audiophile grade bargain. It is well deserved.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $148.00

Purchased At:   William Thacker - Ge



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by chris burgess a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 18, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Best cart for the money for my system. I was using a Grado Sonata, tried a Denon 103, and never looked back, I prefer it. My system consists of;
Well-Tempered Record Player, late 90's vintage, completely stock.
Musical Fidelity XLP2 3-can setup w/XPSU power supply, hardwired.
Jolida JD 202a w/Underwood mods.
PSB Stratus Bronze speakers.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   Ebay




Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

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