1962. nineteen sixty freakin’ two. That’s when the world was introduced to the mighty & magical Denon 103 Moving Coil Cartridge.
I’ve been using a bog standard stock Denon 103 for more than a decade because it can sound vibrant, luscious, and rich. I pair mine with the Auditorium 23 MC Step-Up Transformer ($999) because it makes the already wonderful-sounding Denon sound even better.
Stylus: 16.5 µm diamond spherical tip
Frequency Response: 20 ~ 45 kHz
Output: 0.3 mV at 50 mm/s
Output Impedance: 40 Ω
Load Impedance: 100 Ω
Channel Separation: Over 25 dB at 1 kHz
Compliance: 5 x 10–6 cm/dyne (100 Hz)
Tracking Force: 2.3 ~ 2.7g (± 0.3g)
Weight: 8.5 grams
Now for the best part—the Denon 103 costs $299.00. Adjusted for inflation, that means it’s essentially free (and a real HiFi Bargain). Available directly from Denon USA.