Denon Dl-103r is it for real?

I removed my Dynavector XV-1s (long story about the outcome of the sale) to sell to make $$$ for an amp upgrade and bought a new Denon 103r. I'm very surprised at the level of quality sound this low cost cart. lays out in my system. I almost forget how good the Dynavector was!
Anyone else experiance this in their system. Maybe it's my equipment and room but it is just damm good for the money!
The Denon 103r is an excellent cartridge for the money, but with my table/arm combo and to my ears, the Denon 103r does not even come close to the performance of the Dynavector DV XV-1. In fact, the Dynavector 20x2 out performs the 103r in my system. Cartridges are so arm dependent, that someone with a different arm may experience the opposite results.
It is a very good cartridge for the money. I had a very good experience with a denon 103r until I snapped of the cantilever.
I replaced the denon with a benz wood sl and it too is a much better cartridge. Quieter in the groove and much better balanced and natural sounding.

I agree, the 103R CAN be a step in audiophile reality. I heard it in some very few top Systems and I have to say, there were moments where i thought --- "must be heard to believe..." when we realize what we get for the price.
Most go the other way, they start with 103 and then they save money for the audiophile ladder...the usual game.
But when you are able to hear differences and you go back from a multi $$$
(and maybe a grossly overrated) cartridge... well, better to deny the own impressions :-)
The 103R is a very good cartridge, I've listened to it after some highly praised cartridges and it always surprises. However, if you do the back and forth comparisons it sounds somewhat colored and has limitations in focus, fine detail, resolution of space etc which can lead to dissatisfaction.
Things get interesting though if you exchange the plastic body for wood or aluminium and have the stock Al/conical tip replaced with the Soundsmith ruby/line contact. Suddenly the 103R becomes very competitive in the above areas and retains its rightness of tone, solidity and musical engagement/expression.
It still won't have the ultimate finesse but it sure brings the music into the room.
There's no question the 103R is a very good cartridge provided it is partnered with a sympathetic arm. And it is certainly very good value for the money. However, it's limitations are apparent when it goes head-to-head against a more resolving cartridge. In my case, a Benz L2 and later a Benz LP both put revealed the Denon's colorations and lack of finesse. Both also cost considerably more.

In the budget MC world, I would recommend the Audio Technica AT 33-EV over the Denon. The AT is available for $400 in the US so it's a direct competitor price-wise. The AT is, in my opinion, less colored and has more fine detail than the 103R. (The Benz LP is still better though.)
I searched for the Audio technica AT 33-EV and it is priced $200 more than the Denon 103R. how does that make it a direct competitor to the Denon?
04-21-12: Gandme
I searched for the Audio technica AT 33-EV and it is priced $200 more than the Denon 103R. how does that make it a direct competitor to the Denon?

Yes, and further to this, I listened to up-market line contact version of the AT33 - the PTG/II - and compared it to the SoundSmith retipped 103R (mounted on seperate wands with my Phantom tonearm). I much prefered the modded Denon. Of course the Denon in a modded body and with the Soundsmith retip is more costly that the AT33 PTG/II, so I guess this doesn't prove much.....except that at this level there is a scaling of performance for $ spent.
I bought my AT 33-EV for $400 new including shipping from an authorized US dealer. That's close enough to the Denon to be a direct competitor. Email me for the dealer name if you're interested.
Salectric- I can not find a way of emailing you from our current Audiogon web site. Please email me with the US dealers name
Thanks, Greg
thanks for the link...they are out of stock. I would like to give that cart. a try in the future.