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.