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Dynavector DV20X-H
3 Reviews
rating  5 of 5
Description: High output moving coil phono cartridge


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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dodgealum a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 14, 2004

Bottom Line:   
The Dynavector 20XH is my first experience with a moving coil cartridge. Previously I had used several moving magnets from the likes of Garrott, Linn, Grado, and Audiotechnica. In discussing my upcoming purchase with numerous people familiar with much of the rest of my gear the Dynavector rose to the top of the list and, like many of us who are unable to listen to a cartridge before buying, I bought it sight unheard.
This is an extraordinary cartridge. While initial impressions were not favorable, after about 10 hours the cartridge really began to come into its own. Incredibly detailed and yet somehow laid back. The depth of image and tonal balance are decidedly midhall (which I like). Highs are absolutely lifelike with just the right amount of shimmer and decay. This is a musical cartridge that delineates musical lines in a way that creates a seemless whole that will have you tapping your feet. Bass is full, tuneful and deep. Imaging is first rate and there is a completely grain free presentation. I have never heard vinyl sound so good. This is a cartridge that you could spend a lifetime with. It is easy on the ears, engaging and musically involving. I'm thrilled with the build quality and appearance. If you are considering a moving magnet in the $500 range I would strongly suggest you give the Dynavector a try. I have been up until 3am the last few nights reacquainting myself with my record collection. This cartridge really makes MUSIC!
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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $525.00

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John Coulson a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: November 18, 1999

Bottom Line:   
Review of Dynavector Te Kaitora and Plinius M14 Phono:

I am reviewing the Dynavector together with the Plinius M14 as I do not have any other top cartridges available to be able to separate their individual component contribution to the music. The Dynavector purchase was inspired by the horrendous cost of Japanese refurbishment of my Koestu Oynx although I might dig in the pocket to have Van den Hul wave his magic wand over it. If this happens it might be possible to differentiate signatures of cartridges and phono amp and the results will be posted.
I do not know the details but I understand that Dynavector NZ & Australia approached the head office to come up with a special version of their top moving coil cartridge, thus the NZ "Te Kaitora" tag. The resultant combination of the M14 phono amp and Te Kaitora is reviewed here.
The Dynavector is of open construction with the coils visible for all to see. It is supplied with a couple of bolts threaded for the top plate. My problem was that the bolts were too short and, despite a search through generations of acquired mounting nuts, I could not match the thread. Black mark. I finally had to drill out those holes. It does not require much imagination to visualize how tricky that operation was with an open cartridge construction and no guard - another black mark. However all was completed with no drama and setting up the correct geometry was relatively easy with the Dennensen protractor. One plus of the open construction is that the needle is easy to see and cue into the groove. The Plinius M14 was set at 47K.
So what is that resultant sound like? In a word superb. It further distances the quality of the digital product from the analog and justifies retention of our 3000+ LP collection and the purchase of very few CD's.
The down side, as with any revealing combination, is that quite a few LP's are now intolerable because of bad pressing or poor engineering of the recording,. The up side is that the good pressings approach Nirvana. One of these is a late 1970's pressing by Unicorn (RHS 361/2) of the complete music for Ibsen's Dramatic Poem Peer Gynt. This contains lots of fascinating material, rarely heard, and covers the range of music from quiet solo to chamber to full orchestral as well as solo and choral vocals. The sound staging is precise, the hall acoustics beautiful, the dynamic response immediate, the "air" and harmonics around the instruments is goose bump material. A 1965 LP (Decca SXLA6182) of the Weller Quartet playing Haydn is similarly excellent. The string tone is sweet with a resin edge to it, the placement of players precise and the hall acoustics all rendered so faithfully there is the illusion of the players in the room.
I recently purchase a DVD of the Beethoven "Missa Solemnis" (IMAGE ID5579FODVD) with the Metropolitan Orchestra of Montreal. Not only is the visual impact gimmicky with green and then blue spotlights giving weird color affects on the players, but the sound has the usual uncomfortable digital edge to the singers (unknown) and players. My wife and I persevered for 15 minutes but gave up and put on the 1975 LP of the Bohm/Vienna Philharmonic (DGG 2530 538). The difference in sound was chalk & cheese. The singing from the choir and soloists floated over the glorious orchestral sound and Beethoven was appeased. My ever critical wife spontaneously applauded the improvement in sound. The contrast between digital and analog sound described here carries over to just about all we hear in our collection. Digital sound can be most impressive in movies, opera and ballet where the concentration is divided between sight and sound. But on sound alone it cannot compete in quality on our system with the Dynavector/Plinius combo. No doubt there is better digital equipment around than what we have (Toshiba SD-K310 DVD, Theta Data III for CD & LD all into Theta DSP IIIa) but I'm not prepared to spend more dollars on what is inherently a flawed PCM system of recording.
The Plinius M14 and Dynavector articulate popular vocals just as effectively. My wife is a fan of Neil Diamond and so I often use a couple of his LP's as a test for her judgement of any sound improvements in our system. Thumbs up for the present sound. It is as articulate and resolved as the classical orchestral reproduction, top to bottom. The bass line is a firm unwavering foundation for the accompanying voice and instrument. The Sheffield direct pressing recordings are similarly clean but lack the ambience, evident in other recordings, which is so brilliantly portrayed by the Plinius/Dynavector combination.
The harpsichord is an instrument that can reproduce with some equipment in an unpleasant jarring manner but comes through realistically with P/D. Similarly organ recordings, which can be a jumble of incoherent resonances, are resolved by P/D with the church acoustics clearly audible. In other pressings the percussion of the felt on the piano string, the resin of the violin bow all comes through with beautiful clarity and air.
I have dwelt on comparison with digital sound because that is the presently accepted recorded medium. I have quoted my partner several times because her female ear can be even more critical than mine so to please it is an achievement. The total sound outcome is a tribute to all links in the chain with the Plinius amplifier link (M14 -> M16 -> biamplified SA 250 IV & SA 100 III) the backbone. However it is irrelevant how good the amplifier chain is if the first link is not first class. In my humble opinion the Dynavector Te Kaitora sets new standards. The following Plinius amplification, particularly in Class A mode, continues to carry the signal faithfully through so that the final transducers can articulate the best reproduced sound that we have ever heard.


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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1999

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Andy Oltman a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 28, 1999

Bottom Line:   
This is a new (5/99) model from Dynavector and is also available as a low output (0.25mV) version, the DV20X-L. It has a nude, "perfect" elliptical stylus, rated output of 2.5mV, and recommended loading of 47K ohms.This cartridge is both attractive to look at and engaging to listen to. It has a warm and subtle yet detailed sound with a good sense of soundstage. Voices and acoustic instruments are particularly realistic. Be warned, when new it sounded stiff and did not come up to the standard of my Shure V15. However after 10 hours of break in I clearly prefer it to the V15 and it is still getting better. Patience is in order here. It is quite enjoyable to listen to, and I feel I am hearing many of my LPs for the first time. It is also very quiet in terms of groove noise and imperfections. Note that you may be able to obtain a discounted price if you ask.
I am running it on a Rega RB300 arm with no compatability problems. I'll give it five stars because I like it so much, although I obviously haven't heard all choices in this price category.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast

Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

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