Denon 300f Stylus Alignment

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by xMidan, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. xMidan

    xMidan New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United States
    Hello All!
    So I just got a new Denon 300f, and am Unhappy with the cartridge, (my old TT had an AT95e on it), so I am looking at upgrading the cartridge on it soon. I looked through the service manual, and it says with the stock stylus to keep it perpendicular to the headshell. Does this apply to aftermarket carts as well? I don't want to hurt my sound with an upgrade by aligning a cart when I shouldn't or leaving it straight when I should align it.
     
  2. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    The choice of cartridge does not change the alignment instructions. Either the stock cartridge or the upgrade cartridge could be set per the turntable manual and either one could be set by another means.
     
    Leonthepro likes this.
  3. The Acid Mouse

    The Acid Mouse Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    The AT120E is a great upgrade for that TT. If memory serves me right the tip of the stylus to the back of the headshell should be 19mm. Take care to get this measurement right and align with a (free) protractor. I had no distortion or sibilance issues on mine and it tracked beautifully.
     
  4. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    The standard Technics gauges that measur from the tip of the stylus to the stopper part of the headshell where the gauge is inserted is the leangth of 52mm. The general overhang leangth from the spindle then is 15mm if memory serves me right.
    This all is meaningless to OP if he doesnt have a common Technics table though.
     
  5. The Acid Mouse

    The Acid Mouse Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    In the OP's case I'd give the Technics gauge a miss. Calipers or just good old fashioned measuring will get him the correct distance he needs re: the info in the Denon manual. That's how I did it and got the cartridge with a little bit of a minor adjustment, dead square in the headshell and free of distortion etc when playing the records.
     
  6. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Technics is not relevant here. The turntable is a Denon DP-300F. The earlier mentioned dimension of 19 mm would be from stylus to center of spindle, not back of headshell.
     
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  7. The Acid Mouse

    The Acid Mouse Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Bob is correct - distance from stylus tip to back of headshell is 45mm and overhang is 19mm. Just looked this up in the 300F manual. If you get that 45mm dead on you'll be pretty much there with your set up
     
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  8. jojo209

    jojo209 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Hi, I also have a DP-300F, using an AT120E/T (older model, great sound by the way), found this post while double-checking my last cart alignment and second-guessing my front-to-back positioning. The manual does have a diagram noting 45mm from back of headshell to stylus tip. It's good they show an actual illustration of the headshell because their measurement is from the thin round ring at the back of the headshell, not the back of the rectangular part of the headshell. The problem I'm having is that, when I position the cart so the stylus is at 45mm (around the midway point of the mounting holes), I cannot seem to get the cart to align at both points on the alignment tool (I'm using a Rek-O-Kut alignment protractor from Garage-A-Records). The best I can do is to get it aligned while closer to the back of the mounting holes, which puts the stylus around 42-43mm from back of headshell. Not sure if I would have different results with a different protractor, but I'm suspect of printing one out because the hole cut would have to be exact.
     
  9. llama

    llama Forum Resident

    I have an AT 95e in mine, I aligned with the Shure Stevenson protractor that came with the m97xe. Mine does not sit straight in the headshell. but the cantilever is aligned to the grids.
    That stock cartridge is an AT3600 variant and its not bad. I mean its what comes on a rega P2 and some other TT's that are supposedly higher caliber than the Denon DP300f
     
  10. Trabik

    Trabik Forum Resident

    Location:
    Carrboro, NC
    I have a different Denon table with different measurements, but would guess there is an issue with your printed protractor. If you measure it to 45mm and everything is square, I’d say you are good. I always measure first and protractor second and have always been dead on.

    Print a new protractor and make sure that the scale is dead on or buy a cheaper preprinted protractor online.
     
    jojo209 likes this.
  11. jojo209

    jojo209 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks... Any recommendations for a good printable protractor for the DP-300F? I've heard the EnjoyTheMusic.com one is good. Would a suitable protractor have to have its arc at the specified 45mm from back of headshell / 19mm spindle overhang?
     
  12. Trabik

    Trabik Forum Resident

    Location:
    Carrboro, NC
    I’m going to let the protractor experts speak on anything technical as I’m no expert there and have only used pre-printed protractors.


    What I will say is that my measurements have been dead on with both a LP Gear protractor and the protractor included with the Hi-Fi News test record, so I’d guess any will do as long as they are printed correctly.
     
  13. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    If you set the overhang based on the DP300F instructions, using a separate protractor is contradictory. The turntable instructions and a protractor will typically be based on different geometry.
     
    Davey likes this.
  14. Trabik

    Trabik Forum Resident

    Location:
    Carrboro, NC
    This is really interesting!

    Can you explain further or point my to where I can read more about these different geometries? I’m really surprised and would be interested in understanding this more.
     
  15. jojo209

    jojo209 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Obviously I understand very little about this. So what you're saying is - either I set my cart position according to overhang distance prescribed by my TT's manufacturer specs... OR, I set it according to a protractor based on geometry of my choosing? I guess what I was thinking was there should be some kind of printed arc protractor or alignment tool with stylus points at exactly the correct overhang, to make it easier to set it accurately. If that doesn't exist, I might choose a Stevenson protractor, since I have always perceived more distortion at the end of a record than the beginning.
     
  16. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    The correct overhang depends on a few measurements - the pivot to spindle distance and the desired null points (the points on the groove at which the tracing angle is exactly tangent). The null points will set the angle of the cartridge. They appear on the protractor. There is only one overhang measurement that can swing through the two points at perfect alignment. Everywhere except at the null points, there is a small amount of error as the tonearm swings the stylus across the record.

    I don’t know what the null points are on the DP300F, but I would guess they are close to the Baerwald (also known as Lofgren A) geometry. Stevenson geometry produces a shorter overhang than Baerwald, because Stevenson attempts to be tangent closer in at the end. Many turntables are set up to have overhang even shorter than Stevenson. Lofgren B is a geometry that sets overhang even longer than Baerwald. Search terms like Baerwald, Lofgren, and Stevenson and you’ll see some good threads on the topic.
     
    jojo209 likes this.
  17. The Acid Mouse

    The Acid Mouse Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I've used a Baerwald on a DP 300f in conjunction with the Denon user guide info and got it bang on. The screws were at one end of the headshell - can't remember if they were toward the front or back though.
     
    jojo209 likes this.
  18. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Location:
    Maryland, U.S.A.
    I use the Guru Protractor. Just go online and print it out (free) easy to use, and very accurate. (Google "Guru Protractor", the printable pdf will come right up) :righton:
     
    jojo209 likes this.
  19. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    The point of my earlier responses is - The instructions for setting up a cartridge on a particular turntable can be considered to be correct. Following those instructions accurately produces a correct and accurate alignment. Accurately aligning the cartridge to a protractor after that makes the alignment different, not more accurate or more correct. If we assume either method is done accurately, following both is not more accurate. It’s changing from one to the other.
     
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  20. The Acid Mouse

    The Acid Mouse Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I used the Denon user guide measurement first and then I used the protractor and it was pretty close - only very minor adjustments needed. I mainly used it to square up the cartridge I think. It was used with the AT120EB and tracked beautifully with no distortion. A good combo.
     
  21. 500Homeruns

    500Homeruns Peaceful Punk

    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Resurrecting an old(er) thread instead of starting a new one:
    I have a friend with a DP-300 on the way. He is not an audiophile, but I do have a nice Grado cartridge that I can install on it for him. Does anybody know if a Grado Sonata 1 would be an OK match for the tonearm? I know it's probably overkill, but it's a good cartridge with plenty of life left and I'm not using it. So......
     
  22. usethefourth

    usethefourth Active Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    Not sure if it's a good fit in terms of if you'll get the top performance out of it but it should work based on the manual (https://content.abt.com/documents/12709/dp300f_own.pdf) since it's 6.5g and they say to use 4.5 to 9.5 gram cartridge. It doesn't look like it's too big given Ortofon's work fine on them. It's also looks (if i'm looking this up right) to have the same compliance as the Ortofon's which work fine enough on the TT.

    Edit: From what I can see, the tonearm mass is = 13.5g
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
    500Homeruns likes this.
  23. 500Homeruns

    500Homeruns Peaceful Punk

    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Looks good. Thanks :righton:
     
  24. 500Homeruns

    500Homeruns Peaceful Punk

    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    I'm going to try two carts on this turntable soon. A Grado Sonata 1 and a Soundsmith Otello. I will try to report back with results afterwards.
     
  25. usethefourth

    usethefourth Active Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    Appreciate that. Would be curious to get some views on other carts that could work well. I have this table and like it at lot of the cost. Been running an Ortofon Blue which was a nice step-up from the red so would like to hear how it fares with some other carts.
     

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