1. Managing Director
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Why should I spend more for the Guard?

Leaving air space, as many cartridges do, allows energy (bad energy like resonations) to be introduced into the coils affecting their performance. Even empty areas that get filled with resins like epoxy would be better served just not having that empty space. Enter the Guard with it's minimal space/area around the motor section thus preventing issues before they arise.
Wood bodies even when encapsulated have vast areas for the promotion of resonations. Some of the resonations can be somewhat pleasant but compared to no or minimal resonations
they are ill defined and highly colored, much better than the resonating plastic shell but not even close to what the Denon motor can actually do.
I also make a Universal body that can be used with any number of cartridges both MM or MC and the DIY body has been used for other cartridges also.

I will be adding more pages talking about various products that I build and why they are built the way they are.
​My MC phono is the next product to be launched with the full Paradox treatment. If you want the finest MC phono available at any price inquire.
There is no simple answer to this question and there is a second part. How good is your system? In my opinion it is all up to you.
The DIY (DIY no longer available) is very much like other aluminum bodies, assuming they are using aircraft grade T6 aluminum and lead damping, the big difference is the execution.  I have posted pictures of how much plastic I cut away from the Denon motor along with the removal of the plastic shell. 
I do the same operation for either the DIY or Guard yet I always say the Guard is better sounding.
If you are most interested in budget concerns and your audio system is not very special in performance you should NOT spend the extra money. The DIY done the Paradox Pulse way will outperform any other 103 modification that exists today, except one.
Introducing the Paradox Pulse Guard.
The Guard has the ability to drop the noise floor for the coils, even further, to unbelievable levels. This lead damping removes unwanted energy through a heat process (nothing you can feel as we are dealing with micro vibrations) as lead changes energy to heat. The perimeter holes are damped and filled with potting material to limit any noise from being generated or introduced into the motor assembly, this also helps to damp resonations in the arm itself. There is a second level of damping within the enclosed area of the motor to eliminate vibration (noise) of any kind from affecting the pole pieces of the magnet and allowing the coils to work as designed. It is my belief that if other companies would rigidly encapsulate their motors and damp them properly, their performance would be elevated. Many other companies use different materials like Titanium, brass, rock and wood (just to name a few) to help change or color the sound to get desired results. This is all good except that if they had damped and rigidly coupled the mechanics (magnet and pole pieces) there would have been no need for all the fussy parts to tune the sound, they could have put their investment into a great motor like Denon! 
Both the Guard and the DIY (when I do the mod) are internally modified the same way but the housings are very different. There is more mass and less wasted space (areas for noise to be introduced) for the Guard keeping the motor assembly focused. The DIY was made for the user that has budget concerns and only improving on the original factory shell or a wood body is enough. I had to have much much more and the Paradox Pulse Guard with Sapphire cantilever and Micro Ridge diamond (favorite load 600 ohms) is the where I have landed. It will compare with anything out there (at any price) maybe that's why none of the magazines (pay to play) will review it.
When the Guard body and Denon 103 series motor are married there are 40-42 pieces of lead damping included within the cartridge structure.​