The Zu/DL-103R Mk.II is a high performance 2-channel stereo moving coil phonograph pickup. The R version has revised coil winding and wire, resulting in lower internal impedance and slightly less output. Generally the 103R has a bit more treble presence than the regular 103. Though the 103R is more money and hyped as a superior version by Denon, it is really more like a variation, for those that have a phono stage that matches better with the lower impedance or a system, or listener that needs a bit more treble push. If your system needs a bit more treble energy consider the “R” version. If you are not looking to change the tonality of your system stick with the regular non-R version.
Each pickup is comprehensively tested and graded, the better the grade the better the stereophony, but even the standard is pretty damn fine.
Standard ≤ 3% | Grade 1 ≤ 1.0% | Grade 2 ≤ 0.5% | Grade 2 PRIME ≤ 0.1%
The Mk.II update is significant, both in performance and handling usage. The body is machined from 6061-T6 and hard anodized to aid in the matching of tonearm-mount properties and further reduce pickup stored energy. The shape of the housing has also been refined to reduce resonance and stress risers resulting in a much stronger design that better supports the motor assembly. We have also changed the epoxy matrix formulation that binds the assembly further reducing mechanical noise and positions increased stability to the stylus. In short we have been able to keep the great tone of the original Zu/DL-103R but give significantly improved transparency. Handling usage has also been considered and improved, with design elements to help safeguard the stylus from accidental damage, stylus guard being the most obvious feature.
Grade indicates stereophony performance much more so than tone. Zu performs extensive final testing and then grades them. Tolerance is measured between left and right internal impedance, full bandwidth phase, time-domain, and full bandwidth output curves. Tolerance spec’ is not an average of measures but accounts for the lowest of any measurement, thus giving a true tolerance perspective. Final grade is referenced to serial number, marked on the tests and measures sheet, and box label.
Premium Wera 5/64" [2mm] x .0157" [.40mm] thick, straight blade screwdriver with 1-9/16" [40mm] shaft length. Blade is slightly beveled and fits the fillister heads we use on our phono pickups like a glove—this is the right screwdriver for mounting our phono pickup cartridge.
Chrome-plated with hardened black oxide blade.
Handle is Kraftform Micro with non-roll feature and rotating cap.