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Denon SL103EM MC Phono Cartridge


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Enquiry/price check? Click here SKU: DL103EM
Ex VAT: £249.17

Available - Usually ships within 2-3 days

Condition: Brand new in original retail packaging

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Colour Black
Brand Denon

Tech Specs

- Output - 0.25 mV
- Output Impedance - 40 ohms
- Stylus - 16.5 Micron round tip
- Coil - copper (6N)
- Frequency range - 20 Hz to 45 kHz
- Tracking force - 2.3~2.7g
- Compliance - 5 x 10-6 cm/dyne
- Weight - 8.5g

Product Description

The legendary Denon SL103EM MC Phono Cartridge has been in production for over sixty years. It is well-priced and has a stunning performance. The moving coil design has a low output of around 0.3mV and tracks at 2.5 grams. Notably, the sound is both powerful and insightful. Features include a double-layer cantilever and a one-point suspension. The spherical-tipped stylus tracks accurately.

Birth of a legend

The legend began in 1963 when Denon began work on the SL103EM MC Phono Cartridge. The aim was to make a broadcast standard stereo cartridge in association with the Japanese national FM radio broadcaster (NHK). The Denon SL103EM MC Phono Cartridge was used for many years at radio stations and is still in use today. Moreover, the cartridge was used by EMI and Decca as their reference for testing LP playback quality.

Stylus type

The SL103EM MC Phono Cartridge comes with a 16.5-micron round tip stylus. This conical design is the most common and is used at higher tracking weights. Tracking accuracy is good.

Cartridge types

The original cartridge types were crystal and ceramic. These use the piezo-electric effect to generate an audio signal. The output was quite high at around 1 Volt but they degraded over time and the impedance made them difficult to match. Ceramic cartridges are still used in budget record players.

When stereo record first came out, in the late 1950’s, a better solution was sought. Denon developed a moving coil system. These have the advantage of having a low-mass cantilever and stylus assembly. However, the output is very low needing a well-designed preamp to work correctly.

Preamp requirements

The most common type of cartridge is the moving magnet type these have a relatively high output of around 5mv and a fairly consistent impedance of around 47K. However, moving coil cartridges have a much lower output. The Denon SL103EM MC Phono Cartridge has an output of around 300 microvolts and an impedance of 40 Ohms.

To prevent loading the preamp has to have a high impedance as well as high gain and good shielding. High-end phono preamps are designed to be used with MC cartridges. They have variable gain settings as well as adjustable impedance settings. Moreover, they have balanced inputs that will cancel out any noise coming from the cables.

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