Any Denon DL-103 cartridge experiences here? Or any of the many variants?

Or any of the many variants as in 103R, 103D, etc? Or modded by 3rd party? Or close copies manufactured by other companies? Maybe give us some insight on what you used in the equipment chain. I like what I’ve heard kinda…really for the price.


I have a ZU Audio modified DL-103 that sounds surprisingly good.
One thing to take note of is it’s weight, somewhere around 14 or 15 grams, so check your tonearm/counterweight specs.

Yeah that Zu is a sturdy portly cadet. The Denon weigh in at 8.5g. My arm can handle a pretty wide range. I had one on about the weight of the Zu.

I put about 30 and a few hours on it and as was saying in an earlier unrelated post…I really like a cheap product that sounds good to be more exciting in a lot of ways compared to the high priced stuff that’s good. On my system this cartridge is shocking how well it works and sounds. I agree with some who say it needs some time, it’s gotten quite bit better in just the few days I’ve been running it. I think I’ll keep this one bolted to my stick for a while!

I have a 103R Expert Stylus version, They replace with a sapphire cantilever and Paratrace stylus. It’s a bargain for the price.

I noticed that the Denon DL 103 starts to show its best after about 30 hours of running in from new. Does it appear to you too? Probably the cantilever and the suspension reach the right elasticity… Before thinking about modifying it, let it play

I’ve got both a Zu variant of the DL-103 and a standard one with “The Cap”. Got the latter one secondhand. Both are great. I just had the Zu/Denon DL-103 retipped after much record playing. I was concerned that the retip might ruin the DL-103’s “sound”, but it I’m digging it so far with about 10 hours of use.

I have a 103R in one of those aftermarket aluminum bodies. Sounds nice.