Distorsion on 7 months old Denon DL-110 cartridge.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Kiko1974, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Active Member Thread Starter

    I bought a Denon DL-110 cartridge around 7 months ago, I set it up on my Goldring GR-1 turntable (a rebranded Rega Planar 1) and after 100 hours or so of break in it sounded excellent. The turntable is connected to an EAR 834 tube Phono preamp "clone". The amp is a Pioneer SC LX-76 A/V receiver from 2012 also sold in the US with the Elite badge.
    I haven't changed anything or moved anything since I got and set the Denon cartridge but around 10 days ago I started hearing distorsion on the left channel.
    At first I thought it could be the Phono preamp so I changed its tubes but nothing, distorsion was still there. Next move was to remove the tube Phono preamp and connect the turntable directly to the Receiver's built in Phono in and distorsion was still there but fainter as the EAR 834 "clone" has more gain than the Pioneer receiver Phono in. I have a solid state Goldring Phono preamp around and I checked with it also and distorsion was there too.
    Distorsion is not constant as it comes and goes and everytime there's a peak of signal distorsions increases.
    What can be wrong with the Denon cartridge? 'Cause it can't be any other component on my system, can it?
    I already contacted the on line shop I bought if from, it's a UK shop called Analog Seduction. They've asked me to ship them the cart and they will send it to Denon and get it checked. What can I expect? Does anybody have any reference of this on line shop? What about Denon UK?
    I have the feeling I'll spend a long time without playing my records...
    Thanks in advance for your input.
     
  2. Fedot L

    Fedot L Active Member

    The wear of cartridges is not in months, but in hours of real effective use.
    Normally life of diamond styli is about 500…1000 hours, depending on the tracking force and other factors.

    A very good article on this aspect:
    Your Phono Stylus
     
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  3. Catcher10

    Catcher10 Forum Resident

    1) I assume you clean your records and especially stylus with the supplied stylus brush?
    2) If cartridge is under warranty they should fix it at no charge.

    And yes, stylus wear is measured in play time not time of ownership. 7 months could easily be 1000 hours of play assuming you spin records every day for like 4-5 hours a day. I suspect that DL110 should be replaced after 1200 hours. If you are a vinyl clean freak you might get more....
     
  4. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    Possibly some gunge on one side of stylus. Really embedded . Can be hard to remove.
    One other possibility is insufficient bias
    To pull stylus out into outer( left) groove
     
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  5. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Active Member Thread Starter

    Thank you both for your replies. I use to play 2, 3 hours tops a day with 2 or 3 days a week not using the turntable at all, so I don't think the distorsion is because of stylus wear but anything can be possible.
    Yes, I've only used the supplied brush to clean the stylus and my records are inmaculate clean. It may be something wrong inside the cart.
     
  6. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Active Member Thread Starter

    You mean a piece of dirt on one side of the stylus?
     
  7. Fedot L

    Fedot L Active Member

    The wear of styli can be even more aggravated by diamond particles accumulated in the grooves of worn records for years.
     
    Kiko1974 likes this.
  8. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Active Member Thread Starter

    I'm relatively new in the vinyl records world, I don't have any second hand or very old records. 99% of the records I own are new releases or old records bought new and factory sealed and well cleaned before playing. I had a Denon DL-160 before the 110 and never had a problem with the 160.
     
  9. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    Y
    yes, dirt. Not the usual fluff. When It occurs very quickly the sound suffers.
    In reality the stylus does not sit properly in the groove with this dirt and therefore causes mistracking.
    It happened to a. Two week old Dynavector 17D2 i was running at the time.
    Linn used to supply green paper slightly abrasive. I used that slightly whetted in isopropyl alcohol.
    Cured it instantly.
    Obviously you draw the paper away from stylus.
    If the headshell is detachable it makes it easier to actually see, but my sight is not good enough these days.
    A good brushing may do the job
    You have nothing to lose. It requires care obviously.
    Good luck.
     
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  10. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Active Member Thread Starter

    I'll try to brush the stylus with the supplied brush dampened on a bit of alcohol, I don't think if done with care it may harm and who knows, the attached dirt or debris may come out.
     
  11. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germantown, Md.
    Get s small magnifying glass so you can have a good look at the diamond, could be some dirt or gunk. Is your VTF set correctly? Are all your wires well connected?
     
    Kiko1974 likes this.
  12. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    Yes that will do it, spec savers glasses
    Cleaner is alcohol free. So it will be gentle on your stylus. And bonded cantilever.
     
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  13. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Active Member Thread Starter

    I gently cleaned it with the supplied brush and a bit of alcohol and 'though some of the distorsion seems to be gone (more on that later) sound is off, it sounds dull, lacking highs and with a sibilance I noticed before but that didn't have before all that "distorsion affaire". I think it's now safe to say there's something wrong with the stylus.
    I'm not doing more tests, I'm sending back to the UK and see what the seller and Denon have to say.
    I really thank you all for your help.
     
  14. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    FWIW, I burned through two pretty rapidly. If you clean it well and the problem persists, it is probably wear. Unfortunately, I start to hear the signs around 700-800 hours. I buy used vinyl, but it takes a couple of goes on the RCM to get them to their best. I wish a stylus would last longer, but it does not.
     
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  15. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Active Member Thread Starter

    Wear? With an average use of 2/3 hours a day 4 or 5 days a week in only 7 months? My previous Denon DL-160 lasted almost 10 years! A friend of mine checked the stylus on the Denon DL-160 and he said it was still in good use but I thought it was the time for a change and changed it for the Denon DL-160.
    Something tells me the Denon DL-160 I bought almost 10 years ago was made to better standards, it sounded better than the new DL-110 and it cost less than the new Denon DL-110, but that was before the "vinyl revival".
     
  16. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Well, everyone makes business decisions. I've come to realize that there are grades of diamonds. DL-110 seem to be middle of the pack in terms of durability, IMO. I change stylus three times in a busy year, or twice this last year as I was trying to make it stretch. In the end, the records are the thing. No sense roughing them up over a wear and tear item.
     
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  17. MikeJedi

    MikeJedi Forum Resident

    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Dl 110 probably good for 700 hours maybe little more if u take care of it ! But I had my old one for a little over two years and played it a lot ..took care of it tho. But just recently got a brand new one !! I suppose if I played it maybe a few days a week it would have lasted a 2 or more years afterwards. But I love to play records 5 days a week 5 hours a day ... ;)
     
    Kiko1974 likes this.
  18. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Active Member Thread Starter

    My DL-110 must have 350/400 hours tops, if my previous DL-160 ended up lasting around 1500 hours and cost me 220 $ back in 2009 and the DL-110 is worn after 400 hours of use and cost me 250 € then the DL-110 is not a big deal. I wasn't fully pleased with the DL-110 when I first received it build quality wise. The DL-160 looked and felt great while the DL-110 felt cheap in comparison. I'll try to get mine retipped by Denon or a Denon, I guess guarranty covers that, or even better, a refund and get a similarly priced MM cart so I can change the stylus once a year or more if necessary.
     
  19. MikeJedi

    MikeJedi Forum Resident

    Location:
    Las Vegas
    I know right Don't we all wish these things would go 2000 hours ?! Probably will never happen lol!! But I figure 225.00 (Amazon.com for my DL110) is a small price to pay for great music every 2.5 years or so .... ;) maybe longer if i could get myself to only play 3 days a week lol
     
  20. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    No doubt you will know the fault when it is investigated . The stylus as someone else remarked is chipped or somehow faulty. It may still be dirt on it, as sometimes its impossible to remove it.
    In pure physics terms the stylus applies
    Almost a ton on its point of contact or something approaching it so i was reliably informed.
    Good luck
     
  21. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Active Member Thread Starter

    Thank you for your whishes.
    In case it's dirt or any kind of damage even if I haven't done a bad use of the cart, willit be covered by the guarranty? Iknow nothing about UK consumer's rights.
     
  22. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    I have the same problem with my Denon DL-S1. Sad.
     
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  23. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Active Member Thread Starter

    I'm sorry to read that. How old is your cart and how many hours of use do you think it has?
    This is not the first time I've read people having issues with new Denon carts, quality control must have gone downhill. Sad, they've lost a customer.
     
  24. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Location:
    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Less than 20 albums played.
     
  25. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Active Member Thread Starter

    That's around 20 to 30 hours of use, your cart is not even broken in. Are taking it to be chacked by the seller or Denon? I'm shipping mine tomorrow and I expect to get a new cart or a money refund. In the case I get my money back I'm not buying another Denon cart or retipping my old Denon DL-160.
     

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