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Author Topic: Hack review Dynavector DV20X  (Read 2205 times)

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Offline raymonda

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Hack review Dynavector DV20X
« on: March 16, 2022, 10:36:48 AM »
I've been giving the SS ruby/LC Dynavector DV20X some playing time and comparing it to my Benz Ruby 3.
This is advertised to output .35mv, which is the same as the Benz. However, it requires much more gain. Recommend load is 30 ohms but I'm throwing 50ohms at it and it seems perfect.

So, can a $600 cartridge with $350 of Soundsmith work compete with a $3,000 cartridge.
..........stay tuned for the answer.

Over the past two weeks I have compared and contrasted the two cartridges. Mostly my listening has been focused on the gestalt rather than micro-differences. Throughout this period of time, I consistently preferred the Ruby3. Well, no surprise there but why?

Today I took out the microscope and dissected the differences to better articulate and frame what the Dynavector could and couldn't do.
First, the good news. The DV20X sounds very nice. However, since it takes so much gain to drive it you better have 65 to 70db's of it. Also, your juice better be clean and your pre quiet. Once you have that nailed you will be good to go and will be rewarded with a well balanced and detailed presentation. It goes relatively deep as well as high. Mids sit well within the pocket and the cartridge will let you know about the engineer's mix.

Channel separation is 25db's, which is somewhat on the lower side, which I believe effects the width of the soundstage. Many cartridges are in this range and you probably wouldn't notice it unless you directly compared it to one that has 35db's, which the Ruby3 has. Therefore the DV20x has more of a mid hall, 17th row, presentation or so than, say, the Benz that puts you upfront in the 10th or better row. In other words, you will not be getting a lap dance from any of the musicians on stage but you will be social distanced enough to be COVID safe while enjoying the music.

Timbres were pretty darn good, comparable to other cartridges in this range, but not in the same air as the Ruby3. Again, no surprise. The DV20x gives you a great recording of the instrument while the Ruby3 gives you the instrument.

To close out the show I repeatedly listened to Jerry Garcia's, Live Album, "Tangled up in Blue" track at near concert volume. The DV20x really did a great job and would grab most people's attention and leave them asking for more. It sounded fantastic and comparable to a great board transfer. However, the Ruby3 was more than a cut above. Instead of a great board transfer it transported you to the venue, where you could feel the impact of every instrument and enjoy the stylus tracking the groove with such precision that every nuance was clear and articulate. Things were "wayback machine" real with the Ruby3, while the Dv20x was more like a great post show listening from a soundboard file. In short, what this says is that the Ruby3 gets you closer to the recording and better interprets what's down in the groove.

In the end I really enjoyed the DV20x but it is not a giant killer and rather sits in the same company as other cartridges in its price range, maybe slightly above. That being said, I recommend it but would caution folks to make sure they can drive its low impedance and high gain needs.

The saying, "There is no free lunch", rings true here. This adventured reinforced that there is a significant difference between cartridges which, unfortunately comes at a cost. My Benz Ruby 3 continues to prove that it is one of the best investments I have made, as it brings me much closer to the music. And, in the end, much like the "Hokey Pokey" ain't that what it is all about!

Here is the analog portion of my system as a reference point. FYI, the subs are M&K 150's, speakers are modified Klipsch Chorus, pre is Audible Illusion M3A, phono pre is a Ray Samuels XR10B, Amps are Rogue M120's, turntable is custom made by me with Audio Mods series IV and Origin Live Encounter.

Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Hack review Dynavector DV20X
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2022, 12:15:02 PM »
Great write-up with the time it took to do all that experimentation.
Thanks for sharing!
That TT is a Beaut!
music IS love

When you get confused, listen to the music play!

Mics:         AKG460|CK61|CK1|CK3|CK8|Beyer M 201E|DPA 4060 SK
Recorders:Marantz PMD661 OADE Concert mod; Tascam DR680 MKI x2; Sony PCM-M10

Offline raymonda

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Re: Hack review Dynavector DV20X
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2022, 08:55:38 PM »
Thanks! Get your arse down here and let’s do some listening!


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