Denon DL-110... disappointing and frustrating

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by violarules, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Scott Davies

    Scott Davies Forum Resident

    I've got the new AT VM740ML and I found that I can actually play styrene singles without issue at 1 gram weight. Anything higher starts gouging. I've also found in the past that it doesn't matter what the weight is set at, if the cartridge is not perfectly aligned it will rip into at least one side of the grooves.
     
  2. needlestein

    needlestein Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    Darn. If two cartridges are behaving the same way in the same place and the record isn't the issue, and alignment isn't the issue, could it be an arm issue? Bad or loose bearings? Headshell connection? Damping?

    Other brainstorming thoughts: The worn 440-MLa damaged your records at those spots and now the DL-110 is playing the damaged areas. I'm assuming that these problem areas only presented themselves recently, of course.
     
  3. richbdd01

    richbdd01 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I put this on my Michell Orbe SE as a cheaper alternative to tide me over for a bit. It certainly didn't shame itself and sounded pretty great for the money.

    Its weird cos your experience is completely different to mine. For example, it had quite a lot of bass, I would say it had more than my current cart which is a Goldring Eroica. The Eroica is more refined though, particularly on the top end.

    You shouldn't be experiencing the sound you are though and it makes me feel there is something wrong with setup or the cart itself.
     
  4. violarules

    violarules Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    It could be that the records are already worn from the AT cart. I only use the TT about 2-3 hours a week on average (and that's on the high side), so I don't know if it could have worn that badly in 6-7 years. I believe the headshell leads are all in good shape.
     
    The FRiNgE likes this.
  5. violarules

    violarules Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    I just solved the original "popping" on peaks problem. The popping was most noticeable only on tracks with strong kick drum that also had high frequency content. Two tracks that displayed most noticeably were Madonna's "Material Girl", and Steve Winwood "Don't You Know What the Night Can Do".

    I decided to try to track down the problem, one element at a time. The first component I decided to eliminate as a problem was the speakers. When I listened through headphones, the popping was definitely less evident, but what was more evident through the phones was distortion in general, especially on hot tracks.

    The Jolida phono preamp has two outputs: high level and low level. I had always used the high level output. I knew it seemed hotter than my CD input, but it wasn't dramatically so. I decided, since I was hearing distortion through the headphones, to try the low level output and see what happened. Using the low level output, the distortion was gone, along with the popping on peaks. So, I suppose the original culprit was not the AT440mla after all. I might just re-install the AT...
     
    33na3rd and needlestein like this.
  6. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    The best input for the DL-110 is most likely the MM, but a clarification on the JD9 - The MC Low input provides more gain than MC High. Out of the JD9's options, MC High is for MC cartridges that are a little on the high side, but perhaps not as high as a true high-output MC like the DL-110. The MC Low would be for the true low-output MC cartridges, such as 0.5 mV and under.
     
  7. violarules

    violarules Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Wait, no. The "Low" and "High" are separate RCA outputs for going to an amp or receiver.

    The Jolida has dip swtiches to choose MM or MC gain level, loading, and such. The gain setting best for the DL110 was the MM.
     
  8. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    I misspoke on the word input. What I mean is, the manual indicates MC Low is more gain than MC High. You said you tried MC Low, but it sounds like MC High is the only possibility other than MM.

    That said - The Denon specs imply MM phono preamps in that they call for 47k Ohm resistance.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  9. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Location:
    Maryland, U.S.A.
    Yes, the DL-110 is supposed to be connected to the MM input of a pre-amp or phono input on an receiver (or amp). It's output is nearly that of a MM cart.
     
    Daniel Thomas likes this.
  10. violarules

    violarules Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    OP here. I just wanted to give a quick update. I bought the acrylic platter for my Music Hall TT (thanks for the tip... there was one for sale on the classifieds here). It basically solved all of the problems. After getting the new platter, I did a comparison with my previous cart, the AT440mla. The AT was definitely more etched in the high frequencies, but not in a good way. The Denon now tracks just as well as the AT. As I had said before, the Denon has a bigger, wider soundstage. Bass response is about the same between the two. Also, with the new platter, the shredding of styrene is not a problem anymore. So, I am quite happy with the Denon now.

    Also, as previously posted, I found that the popping on peaks (and infrequent problem), which I thought was a cartridge problem, was due to the high level output of my Jolida Phono preamp being a little too "hot to handle". I changed the output to the lower level, and has been well since, but, of course, I have to turn the integrated up higher to get similar volume levels.
     
  11. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Location:
    Maryland, U.S.A.
    Glad you got it figured out. :righton:
     
  12. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    I own both the AT440mlb and the DL-110, and I too find the DL-110 edging out the AT-440Mlb.... both are outstanding cartridges in their price point, but the Denon is just better all around, more defined and I like the soundstage it projects more too...

    Also glad you got it settled and updated us, your post caught my attention, because literally everyone who has tried the DL-110 views it a great cartridge for its price point --- I have tried it in my Lounge MKiii in MM mode, the Lounge / Copla combo in MC mode, with the Schiit Mani at both 42 /48 Db, the Vincent Pho 8.... and more and it is definitely a versatile cartridge.
     
    Daniel Thomas likes this.
  13. Gretsch6136

    Gretsch6136 Forum Resident

    Maybe the OP should update the thread title so that people don't get the wrong impression of the wonderful DL-110!
     
    searing75, Old Rusty and Bill Why Man like this.
  14. slovell

    slovell Retired Mudshark

    Location:
    Chesnee, SC, USA
    I used to own one and liked it OK. It was a decent cart for the price back then but now, with the current high prices, not so much. IMOH the Denon 301- MKII is a much better deal.
     
    Daniel Thomas likes this.
  15. LitHum05

    LitHum05 American Expat Audiophile

    Location:
    Taipei, Taiwan
    I’m giving the Denon DL-110 another chance. I’m hoping that the new Pioneer 85 watt receiver (previously 35) will make a difference on the output.
     
    Daniel Thomas likes this.
  16. Arliss Renwick

    Arliss Renwick Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    I bought a DL-110 last week, and am pretty sure it’s past the break-in stage, as I can’t stop playing records! Sounds incredible on my system (technics sl 1100 ac, Rega Brio amp, straight into the preamp, no step-up transformer.) Your mileage may vary, but I’m in sonic heaven
     
  17. searing75

    searing75 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Western NY
    I, too, am loving this cart!
     
    Bill Why Man likes this.
  18. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    I'm interested in your experiences with the 301. I've been considering one as I have yet to come across any poor opinions of them.
     
    Daniel Thomas likes this.
  19. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    You can find poor opinions of anything if you look hard enough! :) Plus, if you found one, would you believe it with all the good press out there on the 301?

    301 Mkii - one thing to note is the more "medium-ish to high" dynamic compliance of 13 cu @100 Hz - which equates to around 20 - 23 cu @ 10Hz... depending which multiplier you use (1.5 or 1.75) This is OK for tonearms in the light to medium mass range, but would not be a good match for something like my 22g Eff Mass GT-2000, even a 16g Eff Mass tonearm is not a great match.

    For the 301, a 12g EM tonearm (like one found on the Technics SL-1200) and using, for example, a 9g stock headshell --- your resonance is on the fringe at about 8.2Hz, but still in the 8-11hz "green zone". This means if you have a heavier EM tonearm, as you go up, it will be out of the "green zone" of 8-11Hz ideal resonance. For example, a 16g EM tonearm with a 10g stock headshell and you are now getting closer to 7Hz, and not the ideal match.

    Compare that to the DL-110 @ 8 cu @ 100Hz, which is pushing 40% lower compliance. (let's use an approx 14 cu @ 10Hz for calcs) On a 16g EM tonearm, with maybe a 9g stock headshell, you get a 9.0Hz resonance - which is ideal, and well in the green zone. Even a 22g EM tonearm like my GT-2000 still yields 8Hz resonance, at the bottom end of the green zone.

    So in summary, on a particular tonearm, if the 110 was ideal, chances are the 301 might not be, or on the fringe... and vice versa. Very different compliance numbers... the 301 is better for lighter EM tonearms, whereas the 110 is better for medium - high mass tonearms.
     
    JackG, ranch 22b and Helom like this.
  20. JustGotPaid

    JustGotPaid Forum Resident

    The DL-110 output is only 1.6mV compared to a M97xe at 4.0mV. The dl110 should benefit from more gain on the phono stage.
     
  21. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    Thanks. I understand how the compliance works. I have a low mass arm at 10.2g
     
  22. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    No worries, sorry for the overkill of info then --- maybe someone else will benefit from the info... btw, compliance knowledge kind of puts you in the minority... :cool: it's voodoo to many, and that is unfortunate as it would save many headaches.

    It's gotten to the point that many manufacturers / retailers aren't even publishing the Dyn Compliance on their websites, it is disappointing when I go to Needle Doctor and see the info omitted...
     
    Helom likes this.
  23. slovell

    slovell Retired Mudshark

    Location:
    Chesnee, SC, USA
    The 301 vs the 110 is just that the 301 produces more of everything. Better bass, mids, and highs. IMHO if you are set up for a LOMC the 301 is way ahead of the 110 with a more refined, defined sound. Personally I think the 110 has become way overpriced but what cartridge hasn't?
     
    Helom and Daniel Thomas like this.
  24. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Location:
    Maryland, U.S.A.
    What phono pre-amp is adequate for the 301? By adequate, I mean it will be a good match, and not too expensive.
     
  25. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    I know you did not address me, but....

    Those are very subjective and relative statements - to one person that means $100 and to another that means $1000. Also depends on other factors other than your budget - like your current TT, what amp you will be feeding, etc. A "good match" many factors!

    It's also easy to overshoot, undershoot without looking at the system as a whole. For instance, it would be foolish to recommend a $500 phono pre if you have a $69 TT. You say "Denon Direct Drive" in your profile.... do you mean a newer DP-300? Or maybe is a DP-59L or DP-72L - big difference.

    I also see you have a 540 cambridge and a Bugle... so assuming you want to step to the next level? Or is your goal similar budget, but want LOMC for the 301? I know the Bugle is MM only, and I used to own a Cambridge 651 and think it had a switch for MC, but can't recall, moreover just because it had a switch doesn't mean I'd use it.

    Realize if you want to step in the LOMC pile, it can be a spiral of cost if you want to do it right and prep for the future ---- IMHO.
     

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