Denon Dl-110 set-up?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by PBo, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. PBo

    PBo Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NYC
    I just got a new Denon DL-110 cart and had a couple of questions regarding set-up on a Technics 1210. The cart comes with a headshell weight. Should I use that on the Technics tone arm or set it up without it? Is the gauge included in the box any good for this table for setting up over-hang? Also, does anyone have recommended tracking weight and anti-skate settings for this cart and table?
  2. MikeyH

    MikeyH Stamper King

    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Many report that the little plastic Technics gauge works fine. You can change later if you feel the need. New cartridge - the tracking force should be in the instructions or on the box. Anti-skate the same. Again, later you can get a test record to set up but that will get you going.
  3. PBo

    PBo Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NYC
    I've heard about the Technics gauge, but the cart came with it's own. I guess I'll try it out and see how it sounds.
  4. uncleroy

    uncleroy Member

    Location:
    usa
    I had pretty good luck with the Dl 160 supplied gauge on a technics 1200. I bought a geodisk and adjusted it to that and the cart must have moved 1/2 inch! But at the end of the day I couldn't really discern much difference between the two alignments. Go figure
  5. PBo

    PBo Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Did you use the included headshell weight? I was going to try it without it.
  6. uncleroy

    uncleroy Member

    Location:
    usa
    No, but I had a sumiko headshell that I was using. The Denon is a light cartridge. I specifically ordered the sumiko headsheel to mate with the 160. I think audiokarma might have a calculator that figures your effective mass etc. That auxillary weight technics supplies is damn heavy. Hopfully someone else has some better info for you. sorry
  7. leir

    leir New Member

    Location:
    USA
    I run my Dl-160 without the weight (110 & 160 = 4.8g).
  8. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germantown, Md.
    I don't use the weight. I set tracking force at 1.8 grams and anti-skate at 2.0 - Make sure the arm is parallel to the record surface when playing.
  9. OcdMan

    OcdMan Active Member

    Location:
    Maryland
    You don't need the headshell weight with a Technics SL-1210. The Denon DL-110 and DL-160 (I had the 160) have a higher actual compliance than listed in their specifications. Denon and AT measure compliance at 100Hz. However, compliance for the purposes of mating a cartridge with a tonearm and finding an optimum resonance point is measured at 10Hz. Multiply the compliance of Denon and AT cartridges by 1.6 to 1.8 (in my experience) and you'll be in the realm of their actual compliance at 10Hz.
  10. PBo

    PBo Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks for the responses!

    So I set this up last night using the overhang gauge included with the cart. I didn't use the headshel weight included. I set it at .52mm on the gauge. I also used a two point protractor that I believe uses the Baerwald alignment points. I tried out the tracking weight at around 1.8 and also 2.0 using my Shure tracking weight gauge.

    I'm guessing I must have alignment issues, because the DL110 seemed really sibilant in places. I tried it on some of the inner bands of some records that I know from using my AT 440mla and got a lot of groove distortion. The AT440 mla seems to track a lot better in those same areas.

    I assume I just still need to zero in alignment on the DL110 or am I expecting too much for it's tracking ability compared to the AT 440? Is break-in involved with this cart and if so, will that reduce the sibilance?
  11. OcdMan

    OcdMan Active Member

    Location:
    Maryland
    Use the Technics alignment gauge to clear up the inner groove distortion. Precisely line up the stylus with the front edge of the gauge all the while making sure the cartridge remains "square" in the headshell. (Ignore the indented "arrow" on the front of the gauge, do not offset, angle, or twist the cartridge.) Once you do that, overhang and alignment will be correctly set within Technics' specs. The stylus on the DL-110 is very refined just like on the DL-160 and they shouldn't generally have problems with inner grooves.
    BuddhaBob likes this.
  12. PBo

    PBo Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NYC
    I guess I'll have to order the Technics gauge. The Denon came with it's own, which is what I was using, but it doesn't hold the headshell in place like the Technics is supposed to. I guess I'm measuring correctly, but not getting the cart square in the headshell.
  13. OcdMan

    OcdMan Active Member

    Location:
    Maryland
    The gauge can be bought from www.kabusa.com for pretty cheap. $2.75 + shipping. Make sure you have the Technics Supermat too. It's the only way to properly set the tonearm height.
  14. PBo

    PBo Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks for the tip! I just ordered one. KAB has a really good price on that compared to a couple of other websites I visited.
  15. PBo

    PBo Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NYC
    I got the Technics alignment gauge in recently and I've got the Denon set-up. It's sounding pretty good. I still own a AT440mla and I set that up on another headshell using the same alignment.

    While I like the tonal balance of the Denon, I think the AT440mla tracks slightly better. I guess this has to do with the stylus shape compared to the Denon. For instance, I noticed on an older record that seems to have some light groove damage on the opening track, the AT was able to dig a little deeper where the damage wasn't very audible, but it could be heard with the Denon. On clean, undamaged records though, the Denon sounds pretty sweet.
  16. OcdMan

    OcdMan Active Member

    Location:
    Maryland
    That's great. I'm glad the gauge helped. While the AT is probably ultimately the better tracker, what you are hearing with the AT on that lightly damaged record is not actually related to tracking ability (although it can sound like cleaner tracking). It's as you guessed, the AT's stylus rides more on the undamaged part of the groove than the Denon's. Playing through damage is a big plus for the AT440MLa's MicroLine stylus but the Denon sounds a little smoother overall on undamaged records. That's how I felt about the DL-160.
  17. Vocalpoint

    Vocalpoint Well-Known Member


    I have the DL-160 and the AT440MLa on my new 1210M5G and I am noticing the same thing. The 160 tends to have a wider sound stage, fatter tone but doesn't hold back on broadcasting the surface noise.

    While the 440 tends to be a tad narrower but dead quiet in the same grooves of the same album. That Microline is one awesome bit of engineering.

    Cheers,

    VP
  18. PBo

    PBo Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Agreed, regarding the micro line stylus, but I do like the tone of the DL 110. I find I use the tone controls on my receiver more when doing headphone listening with AT 440mla, but the Denon has a pretty even EQ that doesn't need much tweaking for my taste.
  19. HiFi Guy 008

    HiFi Guy 008 Forum Resident

    Location:
    My Subconscious
    Are you referring to "static" vs "dynamic" compliance? I've seen on the cartridge database website that many carts haves specs as one or the other.
  20. Vocalpoint

    Vocalpoint Well-Known Member

    I am running mine thru a PS Audio GCPH into my Pioneer Elite receiver - with the tone controls dead flat. Haven't done a headphone shootout lately - but I suppose I should. They are both wonderful carts...especially on the Techy.

    Cheers,

    VP
  21. OcdMan

    OcdMan Active Member

    Location:
    Maryland
    I'm referring to how Denon and Audio-Technica measure dynamic compliance vs. how Ortofon, Shure, and other manufacturers measure it. Denon and AT measure dynamic compliance at 100Hz but that yields a lower number than the more typical and generally accepted measurement made at 10Hz. Most if not all tonearm/cartridge resonance calculators assume you're using a compliance value relative to 10Hz. Not taking the difference into account will result in a mismatch. Speaking from experience, in the case of a Denon DL-160 or an Audio-Technica AT150MLX, it can be a pretty severe mismatch.

    Here's the footnote on the DL-110 entry from the Cartridge Database:

  22. PBo

    PBo Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Mine are flat too for most of the listening. I'm running it predominately through a NAD 3220 PE. I also have a Bellari VP129, but I haven't had a chance to hear it on that yet.
  23. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germantown, Md.
    I went from a AT440 to a DL110 also. Both great carts, but the DL110 is more "musical". I keep the AT as a backup and to play worn records, if needed. Really enjoying the Denon, as most of my records are of fine condition.
    BuddhaBob likes this.
  24. Antares

    Antares Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Flanders
    Did you try with the weight yet, Chris? Just curious. My Sansui's medium-heavy arm definitely didn't need it for compliance matching, but what I think made me keep it on is the position of the counterweight. Too close to the pivot and the arm gets heavy dynamically, which I feel deadens the sound. I like to keep it around the center of its range now - too far back isn't good either of course.
  25. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germantown, Md.
    I have my DL-110 on a Technics ("S style") arm (Denon DD table). I do not use the weight. I would not worry about "position" of the counter-weight, the actual weight at the stylus/record is the only thing that matters.

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