Denon DL-301 MKII Phono Cartridge
Ratings & Reviews
Got about 5 hours on her, Bargain at this price for the performance. While not as dynamic as my 2M Black, this cart tracks better and is a warmer presentation. This cart is very music. Highs are delicate but still very enjoyable. Dont know what the above reviewer was talking about mid-range suck out. The mids are very present. This cart has a very pretty presentation. Its a bargain at this price.
by Andre Fredette
Just arrived from Needledoctor. Sounds great out of the box. I am using a Bob's Devices transformer 20X and that really fleshes out the sound. great bass and smooth treble. the only unusual thing I noticed are that the channels are reversed. I checked and it was wired up properly. no big deal, I just switched the cable at my preamp. This cartridge is smooth but has lots of detail and great tone. A great bargin and my favorite cartridge.
by Martin Reck
This is a difficult one to write a definitive review on. Tracking is exceptional - I have two recordings that severely mistrack on every other cartridge I've had over the years (I started in the 60s with a Shure M7D) , but not with the 301II. Sibilants are also handled extremely well. Additionally, surface noise is extremely low, dimensionality is fine, and low end response is strong. However, tonally the cartridge shows a midrange suckout, which I believe is responsible for the low noise, good depth and perceived bass response. Voice and piano sound fine, but orchestral music has a slight 'glassiness." This is the exact opposite of the 103, which does not have the refinement, but has a strong midrange, and on classical music, in particular, sounds more like live music. If only we could have the best of both in one cartridge at a reasonable price. As the saying goes "you pays your money and you takes your choice."
I'm using this cart with a standard Technics 1210 mk2 through an Avid Pellar set to 60db with 500k loading plugs. It sounds absolutely amazing! It took some playing hours to really open up but still sounded good out of the box. Highly recommended.
This is a very good cartridge
I recently installed and set up a Denon dl-301 mk2. Previously I had been using MM cartridges and have used the ortofon 2M Red, Bronze, and Black. I must say I much prefer the Denon MC (moving coil). It's more refined sound in my set up and the cartridge tracks FAR better than the 2M Black - so left channel/right channel separation is noticeably better. The Denon was also a breeze to align and set up. I have read a lot of positive reviews for the Denon. Here's another one.
An excellent cartridge for the price
by David F.
No doubt, the DL-301 MK II is a high quality entry level MC cartridge. The cartridge mounted on a Thorens TD 145 Mk II turntable. The compliance slightly out of the ideal boundary limits but the cartridge still tracks well without any degradation to the resonance. Expect the cartridge to take about 30 to 40 hours to break in. My evaluation, the cartridge has a tight bass, clear mid-range and a solid treble with distinct channel separation. The cartridge brings out the best in music especially with Steely Dan Aja, Rickie Lee Jones debut album and Sonny Clark Cool Struttin’. Those looking to pair a step-up transformer consider the Rothwell MCL. Ken Bowers gets special mention as he was extremely helpful with his input as I emailed him different cartridges until he blessed Denon and Rothwell combination.