Part 2 in the ongoing cartridge shootouts -this time Denon MCs are put through their paces More »
Probably best to start the review with where the signal goes from the cart. It was installed on a magnesium armed SME309, fitted to a Gyro SE feeding an EAR 834P Signature Phonostage. This in turn fed my Lumley ST40 Reference power amp, a 40 w/ch push-pull design using Tung-Sol 803s and Brimar valves in the phase inversion and gain stages and Harma STR 6L6′s in the output stage. The amp was driving my Horning Agathon Ultimates positioned near to the corners of my 20ft by 15ft listening room.
Unpackaging the Shelter, I was struck by just how weighty and solid it felt (it tips the scales at 11g) and the counterweight on the SME had to go half-way back to get it tracking at 1.6g. Its a bit fiddly to fit, but non magnetic fixing bolts are provided, along with a stylus brush and instructions.
I started with Shure’s Obstacle Course MK2 test LP. My DV20 tracked 4 of the 5 levels in each test plus all five of the drum test pretty well, with the only noticeable breakup being on the violin section, where the DV20 only managed 3 of the 5 levels before the sound got a bit edgy. The LP states that top flight cartridges should track level 3 or higher and anything making a clean job of the first 3 levels is rated as a good tracker. More »