Denon DL-110... disappointing and frustrating

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

  1. I have just seen reports of the 110 having issues. in both forums and personal reviews. Now, whether that is due to genuine defects or just improper setup, I am unsure. Again, I have had mine for a few weeks with no issues.
  2. I have been playing either a 160 or 110 for years on a Thorens 160, and they continue to produce stellar sound. They’re a great value at their price points.
    Whoopycat, Uglyversal, JackG and 3 others like this.
  3. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Agreed. Great value is what the Denon cartridges are all about --- I own a Denon DL-103, 103R, 110, 102 --- and in all cases they have been outstanding cartridges at their price point.

    Now, realize price point is relative -- my 110 cost me $180, 103 cost $210, 103R cost $260 and 102 cost $230.... luckily shopping around you can still find good prices.

    For my money, in the mid-fi range, Audio Technica and Denon exist for us that want bang for the buck. The 110 is a great cartridge.
  4. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    TheVinylAddict and Bill Why Man like this.
  5. 5-String

    5-String μηδὲν ἄγαν

    Sunshine State
    I have a Denon 103 and I believe that it is a great cartridge regardless of a price.
    Like many cartridges, in order to really sing, it needs a careful set up, the right loading, which in my case is 660 Ohms, and a tracking force of 2.5 grams, but when set up correctly in my experience there is little or no competition among cartridges that cost less than $1000.
    Bill Why Man likes this.
  6. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    This is very informative, I'm still pretty green in this area and accurate compliance numbers are not always easy to come by. So, if I'm running a DL-301 MkII on an SL-1200, am I better served by my (presumably better) Sumiko headshell @12g or the stock Technics? What results from a mismatch?
  7. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    The Technics has a 12g Effective Mass Tonearm stock -- and that is with the 8g-ish stock Technics headshell figured into that number. Ideally you would want to stick in the 8-10g range for the headshell (including hardware / screws) --- the Sumiko should work fine but its getting on the heavy end, especially if you use a heavier cartridge. For instance, you wouldn't want to use a 8-9g cartridge with that Sumiko, you would have trouble getting enough counterweight, but more importantly your compliance matching (resonance) would be out of the happy zone....

    For example - my GT-2000L TT has a 22g Effective Mass, and it's stock headshell is 13g --- only 1 gram heavier than the SUmiko

    Now, all that being said --- the DL-110 is a VERY light cartridge, so paired with the Sumiko on the Technics shouldn't cause any problems. Same with the DL-301 --- it's the combination of the headshell and cartridge that factors into the compliance rating. I haven't run the numbers on the 301 / Sumiko but bet it would be fine..

    EDIT: After seeing the (and recalling) the 301 has a high-ish dynamic compliance of 13 cu at 100Hz, I decided to plug into my spreadsheet. (note I used 20 cu at 10Hz as the dynamic compliance of the 301).

    With the stock headshell and 12g EM plus 1g of hardware, I get around 8.2Hz for the 301 WITH stock headshell.

    Adding in the Sumiko and the extra 4g -- if I figure in 10g stock headshell I get 7.88 Hz, and if I use 8g as the stock headshell the number is like 7.66Hz. Both close to the green zone still.

    Realize others might get different numbers using different assumptions (like the 10 --> 100hZ multiplier, and the additional Headshell weight multiplier) but it still should be close)

    I currently own the SL-1200 (actually 3 of them :)) but have never run the DL-301 on it --- my take is compliance wise your close and should be fine, but not ideal. I would consider using the 8g stock headshell to make the numbers a little better.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    JackG likes this.
  8. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    Thank you! I didn't realize the 12g weight cited for the Technics arm included the stock headshell. My 1200 has the KAB fluid damper installed, does that make any difference?
  9. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    You're welcome!!! :)

    More the rule than the exception --- the Effective Mass of any TT is usually shown WITH stock headshell included in the calculation --- I have seen exceptions, and have also seen confusion!

    Note small changes in headshell weight usually don't cause too much grief --- but when you start adding a 50% heavier headshell or greater (like in your case), you MAY run into problems. Notice I said MAY.... it depends on a lot of factors.
    JackG likes this.
  10. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    Got it, thanks again. I've been running it in with the Sumiko and can't detect any issues but may give the stock a try when I feel like re-installing it. :)
  11. marcfeld69

    marcfeld69 Forum Resident

    For what do you use the 103, 103R, and 102 for instead of the 110?
  12. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    DL-102 is a mono cartridge, use it for post-1958 mono pressings up through mid-60's. I have a lot of old mono pressings, both Jazz and Classical.

    DL-103 and 103R are primarily used for post-1958 stereo pressings, up through late 60's. As an 0.7 mil conical, they excel at pressings from that time period as that what was available the time and many LP's were tested using a conical. I also use it for early mono's that were 0.7 mil groove and employ mono switch. I also use it for modern pressings too, they are versatile cartridges, but I have more modern cart designs for modern pressings most of the time.

    Note all three above, especially the DL-102, are low compliance cartridges meant for TT's with higher mass tonearms. I use those primarily on my GT-2000 with a 22g EM tonearm. Good match.

    THe DL-110 is a medium compliance cartridge, I use it for modern rock, jazz pressings (post 1970) on TT's like the SL-1200 and Denon DP-59L. The DL-110 compliance-wise is a very good match for the SL-1200 with a 12G EM tonearm.

    The 1o2, 103 series and 110 are very different in build, weight and serve very different purposes in my lineup.
    marcfeld69 likes this.
  13. marcfeld69

    marcfeld69 Forum Resident

    Thanks for such a thorough answer. I mainly have ATs (conical, elliptical At 95e, and the DL-110. I've basically received good advice up to now as it matches with yours about which records tp play (albeit I don't have a mono cart). However, I only have a lowly DP-500, which is great as an entry. Do you happen to know if the DL-110 is a good match for the DP-500 tone arm, from a technical standpoint? I switch it it out for my ATs and hope I'm not doing any damage. Though the DL-110 seems very lauded and sounds fine, I've just bought and have yet to mount my first MicroLine (AT-VM95ML). I wish I knew what compliance meant...
    TheVinylAddict likes this.
  14. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    Although I own all those Denons, I mainly own AT's too! AT & Denon I look at as the best price / value going in cartridges for those who like to own more than one!

    The only thing I have more of than Denon is AT. I own, among others, the AT33PTGii, OC9iii, OC9ml/ii, AT33ev, 150MLX..... and more :) Let's just say I run more than one TT and enjoy trying different cartridges.

    I don't know much about the DP-500 tonearm, never ran one. Do you know the Effective Mass for that tonearm? If so, I can tell you on paper what might be a good match, but of course on paper and real life in your system with the rest of your cables and components can be two different things!
    marcfeld69 likes this.
  15. marcfeld69

    marcfeld69 Forum Resident

    Thanks. I will have to look into my instruction booklet fro the DP-500 but I think it's in Japanese. Would be nice to know, but not essential.
  16. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    If you are talking a recent production DP-500 turntable it should be fine. The tonearm is just an off-the-shelf Hanpin unit used on many OEM turntables. Probably medium mass, around 12-15g maybe.
    marcfeld69 likes this.
  17. marcfeld69

    marcfeld69 Forum Resident

    Thanks. Good to know. I bought it about 5 years ago.
    patient_ot likes this.
  18. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    If it is 12-15g as stated, then the DL-110 on paper (again, on paper) is a near perfect match --- on the 12G side it's a perfect "10Hz" on the resonance scale, and 9Hz if 15G.

    I like the DL-110 on my SL-1200 with a 12g tonearm.... it's a good match.
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  19. marcfeld69

    marcfeld69 Forum Resident

    Thanks. That's a relief. I've never really had a problem, apart from minor sibilance but that could easily have been dewon to the records in question. Very minor, in any case.

    I hope it's just as good for the new AT-VM95ML I'm mounting soon. On another thread, some posters reckoned it would be fine on an ATHS6 headshell (which I had bought) and the guy in shop did a quick calculation, knowing I had that TT and said it was 9g (headshell) plus that AT-VM95ML and that should be O.K., too. Fingers crossed.
    TheVinylAddict likes this.
  20. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    I have to say I am in the group of people that thinks it is an excellent cartridge for the money. There is a reason why most manufacturers make their plates of non magnetic materials. I know it's easy to say but the problem is not the cartridge. Even if using a MM you think it sounds fantastic, the ferrous plate would still be affecting the sound negatively to some degree.
    Bill Why Man and marcfeld69 like this.

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