The world’s first and only “Tunable” and "Customizable" phono cartridge
We are proud to introduce to the audiophile market our first product, the Audio MusiKraft shell system based on the legendary Denon DL103 and 103R phono cartridges. A modification to the original cartridge is required as our shell system replaces the standard plastic casing. Our shell was designed by Stefan Figiel and Richard Quirion, longtime vinyl aficionados. Years of research and development were invested, during that period many prototypes were auditioned and voiced. The present shell is the culmination of all this work and offers many advantages in ways of bringing the Denon 103 to a higher level of performance, along with personalizing the sound and looks to one's tastes. When liberated from its plastic casing and merged to our shell, you will be able to hear the full potential of the classic Denon cartridge.
Features and Innovations
- Material combinations on the same housing (metal and wood)
- Precise machining (strict ± 0.001" tolerance)
- Straightforward and quick phono cartridge installation
- Unique lightweight magnesium shell model
- Four (4) metal materials offered
- Interchangeable wood inserts to combine tonality and/or aesthetics (24 available species in the web shop, but 70 more exotics available upon request)
- Three (3) fine tuning micro-screws for voicing
- Five (5) different geometric positions for overhang adjustment
- Simplified front and lateral reference alignment
- Quick interchangeability and assembly
- Reusable shell
Audio MusiKraft shells are presently offered in four materials:
- Aluminum (clear and champagne anodized)
- Aluminum-Lithium (hand polished)
- Magnesium (chemical conversion coated)
- Bronze (patinated)
Here is a simple selection guide to help you understand the sonic differences between the aforementioned alloys:
- We recommend the Aluminum (Al) cartridge shell as a versatile highly competitive candidate, and one that provides excellent performance in a wide variety of contexts. It is lively, dynamic and provides fine focus and attack; you can literally map the soundstage. It is easily tunable across a wide musical & sonic spectrum through the use of different sets of tone wood inserts and by adjustments of the tuning screws.
- The Aluminum-lithium (Al-Li) cartridge shell has a slightly damped and relaxed sound compared to the aluminum shell, providing a more intimate presentation of the musicians while the instruments core and timbres are better perceived. Aluminum-lithium cartridge shells sound warmer and pleasing. The slightly emphasized DL-103 mid band is more laid back. The high-frequencies are silkier, and are not unlike going from a metallic dome tweeter to a silk one in a loudspeaker. The bass is rounder. The copper content in this alloy provides a well-balanced damping effect that gives this warmer and silkier result.
- The Magnesium (Mg) cartridge shell is for those wanting maximum transparency with the least coloration of the sound. It is the most analytical of the three, but does not overdo it. The magnesium tends towards an immersive headphone-like 3D effect, delivering a lot of the micro-information that is contained in the vinyl grooves, with excellent left to right soundstage nuance. Given its mechanical properties, it delivers a shorter decay time. It restores the textures and provides a more neutral tonal balance with a less weighty presentation than the other alloys.
- As for the Bronze (Br), it distinguishes itself by the lower octaves extended bandwidth as well for its more significant footprint than other metals in upper-bass and lower-midrange tonal level. One can feel the veracity, the syncopated rhythm and the presence of the midrange's fundamental notes. Given its more laid back effect on the high-medium and treble, listening with this alloy steers the listener in a more passive, less cerebral direction, yet maintaining the right mix of details. The soundstage foundation is more entrenched. The background is noiseless and dark which permits to restore every subtlety. This alloy makes the cartridge sing effortlessly. The mass of bronze, which is double that of the other shells, largely contributes to exploiting the DL-103's low compliance. It should be noted that this model will most probably require an additional counterweight to compensate for this twenty-one grams (21g) cartridge.
All our models are fully customizable; refer to the respective product descriptions for the available options.
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