To SUT or not to SUT with a Denon DL-103?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Benzion, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. IanL

    IanL Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oneonta, NY USA
    I’m not quite there yet, lol. I DO want to have a SUT, because I may eventually go up the Soundsmith line, and everything above the Zephyr is low output. But I don’t know if it is a good match. Soundsmith recommends SUTs with a 1:10 ratio, but I can’t find the specs for the A23 SUT.

    I may pass along the Denon cartridges though. I’m still considering that. I still have my Dynavector 20xL just sitting around too.
     
  2. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    Yeah, I think A23's outlook is to build specific SUT's for specific cartridges but from there considers the specs proprietary information. But a lot of folks recommend 1:10 with a Denon, so maybe you're in luck?
     
  3. Baaronj

    Baaronj Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    FWIW, I run a Denon 103R in an aluminum body into a Harman Kardon XT2 SUT (approx 1:18) into ProJect TubeBox DS. It kills.
     
    Joe Spivey and IanL like this.
  4. Just Walking

    Just Walking Forum Resident

    Location:
    Abingdon UK
    Like any component in an audio chain, what a cartridge sounds like really depends on the rest of the system. Cartridge X will sound glorious in system A and like a cross between a bag of hammers and a banshee in system B. You've just got to listen, and make your choice.
     
  5. zoomin

    zoomin Forum Resident

    What are we looking at here?
     
  6. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    If you look at his profile page he lists his preamp as a "Convergent Audio Technology Renaissance Black Path".

    So that would be my guess.
     
  7. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
  8. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    This is the Convergent Audio Technology Renaissance BPX. This model is currently not in production. The only way to get a unit with this cap configuration is the $40,000 CAT Legend. Ken Stevens called me and asked if I wanted the BPX version while my unit was in the shop for the BPE upgrade. I guess another customer asked about this and is also getting this upgrade for his Renaissance. There are only a couple of these units out there.



    1) New Black Path Audio wire throughout. Smoother, more transparent and more dynamic with fantastic weight and authority. It's a labor of love to rewire an entire SL1, but the results are worth it!

    2) More Black Path capacitors! Yep, some of you have already asked "why don't you use Black Path caps in the entire audio path" and the answer has been "the lower voltage BP film doesn't exist!" Now it does! We had to order a lot of this new BP film, but now we have enough for several runs of BP capacitors.

    The SL1 Renaissance uses Black Path caps in the entire audio path, thats why we call it the "Black Path Audio" version or BPA Take the same improvement you heard with the BPE version when we only replaced the little inter-stage coupling cap (0.22uf) and TRIPLE it!

    Then the SL1 Legend really gets nuts with it, we call it the Black Path Extreme, BPX!
    You are right, I don't like that either. Sorry. The link you have posted is not the BPX version. I think the BPX would add another $9,ooo,
     
    IanL and Davey like this.
  9. Pomodori

    Pomodori Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    Agreed
     
  10. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    I finally got around to doing this a couple weeks ago. Bob was nice enough to make the mod and turned it around for me in a week including the 2-way shipping between NJ and MT. He pointed out that it's actually 1:9 and 1:16 now based on his measurements. He also pointed out that the turns ratio is 1:10 and 1:20, so the actual step-up ratio measures a bit lower. Maybe these cheaper trannies are more lossy? I'm assuming the step-up (and not turns) numbers are what should be used for calculations. Or I'm just confused.

    I didn't wind up going with a DL-103 but, rather, a DL-3o1 MkII. Based on the calcs earlier in this thread, when set to 1:9 and connected to the 45k (Stereophile measurement) input impedance of my Outlaw RR2160 MM stage, it sees 45k/81 = 555 Ohm. This should be right in the wheelhouse for the 33 Ohm DL-301 MkII. Sounds great so far (1 week) but still breaking in.

    Thanks again, Warren!
     
    33na3rd likes this.
  11. ranch 22b

    ranch 22b Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Texas
    I bet that sounds nice, JackG. I went with a Denon AU-300LC SUT for my 301 MkII. That's into a Budgie phono amp. I believe that the 300LC is a 1:10 ratio. I've been very pleased with the sound, especially with the cartridge breaking in and showing a fuller mid range. To my ears, anyway.

    Currently enjoying the excellent sounding Side 2 of Steely Dan's greatest hits (the double album on ABC records).
     
    JackG likes this.
  12. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    I considered a new SUT but they'd all far more expensive than getting mine modded so I went that route. It's a really nice cart once those mids start filling in, quite different from the 103r.
     
  13. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    Did you wind up with a SUT, Benz?
     
  14. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Nope. I got a head amp by Hagerman Labs.
     
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  15. Funky54

    Funky54 Coat Hangers do not sound good

    FWIW, With my rig I tried a number of mm tube preamps and SUT combo’s. I ended up at that time with one of the cheapest SUT’s I tried. AT-630. Out of all the others,some at 5 times the cost the AT unit was the mot dynamic and quite.

    Later I invested into a tube preamp that cared for MC and it works well. My previous tube phonostage and AT-630 SUT are now in my second system.
     
  16. gorangers

    gorangers Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Haven area
    I use a Beyerdynamics sut between the Denon 103 cart and phono stage of my Fisher 500b.

    For the price, it sounds quite nice with very low floor noise. Just be sure to ground the sut.
     
    Trabik likes this.
  17. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    From a German eBay builder/seller?
     
  18. gorangers

    gorangers Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Haven area
    Ebay seller ...I think it was nclayton.
     
  19. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    The ebay SUTs from h-devices look pretty interesting, lots of different values available.
     
  20. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Yeah, that's the one I meant: h-devices. I heard his 1:15 SUT once, and it hummed like a worker bee in the owner's system. That's what put me off and made me go with a head amp instead. The Hagerman Labs Piccolo2 is dead quiet and very versatile/adjustable. Very happy still.
     
    Just Walking and JackG like this.
  21. JackG

    JackG Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    I've only owned one SUT, the Bob's Devices I've had for about 10 years now. It has a ground/lift switch, one position of which hums loudly and one of which is silent in my setup. Bob says to choose whichever is quiet in your system and I'd agree. :)
     
  22. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Alas, Bob's SUT's today start at about $1,200.00
     
  23. Drew769

    Drew769 Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    + 1!

    I’ve heard the D103 with this Auditorium A23 as well as the much more expensive Auditorium Homage, and both really transform this cartridge to a whole other level of performance. Reference grade front end grade...
     
    Pomodori likes this.
  24. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    I use the K&K adjustable L1931 Lundahl transformer box which has selectable taps at 1:8 and 1:16 which is 18dB and 24dB plus with a handful of resistors you can "tune" it to any Ohms match you may desire as it has slots for installing resistors.
    This is a wonderful sounding transformer setup as Lundahls are used in many top phono pres.
    And it is so switchable you can use it with all different sensitivity MM phono inputs you might own.
    Plus I can use both the 103 AND the higher Ohms 103r because the impedance match is infinitely adjustable.
    Cost of the K&K L1931 "box" is $600 from K&K.
    For example my tricky Jolida JD9 phono preamp is notorious for only liking low voltage MC input levels at levels of 55dB gain and UP.
    Regular lower MM gain of 40 dB with the Jolida requires you to use some choked down outputs that sound bad.
    So set to run "weak" at 1:8 the K&K provides 2MV to the Jolida's input allowing me to use the 55 dB moving coil gain setting on the unit. This is high output moving coil territory where the Jolida really shines.
    Because the match is so good I now have zero interest in "upgrading" the Jolida at this point as it sounds incredible and is dead quiet at full blast from my chair.
    I run the same phono setup into a Rogue Cronus Magnum II integrated tube amp in another room and this amp has fixed MM inputs running 45dB of gain.
    For this application I set the K&K to 1:16 (24dB gain) which gives me 4MV from the cartridge and drives the second phono section perfectly at lowest noise clearest tone.
    I bought lots of different value Vishay 1/4 watt metal film resistors on line so I can tune the Ohms any way I like for best bass and sweetest treble. K&K goes into great detail on resistor values and setup on their web site.
    My two phono sections respond slightly differently to Ohms match as one set likes 130 Ohms match and the other set likes 170 Ohms match.
    I can also use the K&K setup with either DL-103 OR DL-103r due to its having plug in resistors to put any Ohms you want into the circuit.
    I have a collection of both conical and fine line 103 and 103r cartridges at this point.
    I wanted to run the entire 103 "family" as it works with different width vinyl grooves from different eras including 45s, old mono AND the tighter spaced new vinyl produced after 1965.
    So.
    Extremely versatile and flexible.
    Extremely quiet.
    Extremely well matching for purposes of gain/voltage/tone/overload margins.
    If there's a better way to use the 103 family I would be surprised.
    It's nice to feel I can run ANY phono pre ever made and make it match perfectly.
    Used this way the 103 family is a wonderfully affordable "end-game" cartridge IMO.
    What MORE could you want?

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Yea, that is a nice setup, I have a couple of the LL1933 laminated core model and they do sound good. Just mentioned in another thread about using some of the cheaper LL9226 transformers along with the circuit board from K&K to put together a SUT package for under $200 for those with a little DIY aptitude ... Thorens TD-147 / TP-16 II tone arm cart reccomendations
     

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