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  1. #1
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    Dynavector 10x5 - underwhelmed

    I still consider myself an audio newbie, but trying to experiment a bit with SQ upgrades. Some time ago, I found a nearly new Dynavector 10x5 for sale and decided to swap out my Grado Gold. I have no experience installing cartridges, but met someone in my area who does ( he enjoys restoring vintage turntables). He graciously offered to do the install at my home.

    Afterward we both agreed that two things occurred: The rich warmth of the Grado was lacking, and my speakers now sounded desperately in need of a subwoofer. We switched to an SACD and the depth of the soundstage immediately improved as did the dynamic range of the speakers.

    I have decided to live with the 10x5 for a couple of months to see if anything changes, but I am holding on to the Grado and it may return to my system in the near future.

    Each step until this one in my audio adventure resulted in meaningful SQ improvement, and a feeling that the cost was well justified. This makes me think I am where I need to be and should just stop and enjoy the music.
    Marantz PM 11S3 Integrated Amp
    Marantz SA 8004 SACD Player
    Music Hall MMF 9.1 turntable
    Focal Chorus 836V speakers
    Focal Chorus SW 800v subwoofer
    Acoustic Zen Satori speaker cables
    AZ WOW interconnects
    AZ El Nino power cables
    VPI Turntable interconnect
    Sennheiser HD-700 headphones

  2. #2
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    I wonder how many hours the 10x5 had on it. That cart will be quite a bit more neutral than the Grado but still should be boogieing on your table. Mine sounded closed and cold at first, they take an average of 100 hours or so to break in, it's a moving coil. You could play with impedance adjustments if they exist for you. Also, once you are convinced it's broke in you can play with the counter weight to see if more or less makes a difference for you. Carts have a recommended range and may sound better to the heavier or lighter end of the range depending on table and taste.

    Once broke in you should be getting detailed and ample bass, the sound should be quick, agile.

    With all of that being said I found the 10x5 a good cart but still yet not totally satisfying. The upper mids seemed a bit hard and a lack of certain textures, like sax lacked the burmished character it should have, acoustic guitar strings didn't quite sound like I expect, I like to her the flex or plyobility of the string, not to sound hard and steely. Keeping in mind we all have our own taste and tend to focus on different aspects of what we hear.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjtm View Post
    I still consider myself an audio newbie, but trying to experiment a bit with SQ upgrades. Some time ago, I found a nearly new Dynavector 10x5 for sale and decided to swap out my Grado Gold. I have no experience installing cartridges, but met someone in my area who does ( he enjoys restoring vintage turntables). He graciously offered to do the install at my home.

    Afterward we both agreed that two things occurred: The rich warmth of the Grado was lacking, and my speakers now sounded desperately in need of a subwoofer. We switched to an SACD and the depth of the soundstage immediately improved as did the dynamic range of the speakers.

    I have decided to live with the 10x5 for a couple of months to see if anything changes, but I am holding on to the Grado and it may return to my system in the near future.

    Each step until this one in my audio adventure resulted in meaningful SQ improvement, and a feeling that the cost was well justified. This makes me think I am where I need to be and should just stop and enjoy the music.


    Even though the Dynavector is considered a high output moving coil the output is less than the Grado. If your phono stage is not sensitive enough you man not have enough gain. Also when the Dyna was installed was the vertical tracking angle adjusted? The stylus angle can effect the balance of the sound.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Fanfare 3/PSU 1.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    Even though the Dynavector is considered a high output moving coil the output is less than the Grado. If your phono stage is not sensitive enough you man not have enough gain. Also when the Dyna was installed was the vertical tracking angle adjusted? The stylus angle can effect the balance of the sound.
    The DV is rated at 2.5mv. my IA only has a MM phono stage, but my research indicates this cart should work fine with it. Volume level does not seem to have been noticably affected The real turnoff is a serious loss of both bass range and overall warmth. The seller said this cart was very lightly used, so it may still need to break in, but I do not have enough experience to know whether this can change the SQ in any material way.
    Marantz PM 11S3 Integrated Amp
    Marantz SA 8004 SACD Player
    Music Hall MMF 9.1 turntable
    Focal Chorus 836V speakers
    Focal Chorus SW 800v subwoofer
    Acoustic Zen Satori speaker cables
    AZ WOW interconnects
    AZ El Nino power cables
    VPI Turntable interconnect
    Sennheiser HD-700 headphones

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    The VinylZone: Cartridge Alignment

    You had not mentioned if VTA or stylus rake angle had been adjusted. Some info.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cone, Benz MC Gold, Fanfare 3/PSU 1.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    JBL Studio 530's/Sanus SF22 stands
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    The VinylZone: Cartridge Alignment

    You had not mentioned if VTA or stylus rake angle had been adjusted. Some info.
    No adjustment was made, but both were visually checked and looked in spec. Interestingly, the Project 9CC tonearm and the DV mounting were quite compatible and the initial mounting was almost spot on, needing only minor tweaking.

    I plan to be patient and see if SQ improves with use. I listened to Cassandra Wilson's New Moon Daughter late last night at low volume and it was actually quite nice. Time will tell.

    Side benefit - made a new acquaintance who is a great guy willing to help a complete stranger. Bonus - he is a professional musician and fellow guitarist and has over 4,000 albums. His system is all restored vintage equipment. We plan some listening sessions in the near future.
    Marantz PM 11S3 Integrated Amp
    Marantz SA 8004 SACD Player
    Music Hall MMF 9.1 turntable
    Focal Chorus 836V speakers
    Focal Chorus SW 800v subwoofer
    Acoustic Zen Satori speaker cables
    AZ WOW interconnects
    AZ El Nino power cables
    VPI Turntable interconnect
    Sennheiser HD-700 headphones

  7. #7
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    So what's your "new friend" using in place of the 10x5?
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts, Yamaha DVD-S1800
    Behringer UCA222, Emotiva XDA-2, HiFimeDIY
    Accuphase T101, Teac V-7010, Nak ZX-7. LX-5, Behringer DSP1124P
    Front: Magnepan 1.7, DBX 223SX, 2 modified Dynaco MK3's, 2, 12" DIY TL subs (Pass El-Pipe-O) 2 bridged Crown XLS-402
    Rear/HT: Emotiva UMC200, Acoustat Model 1/SPW-1, Behringer CX2310, 2 Adcom GFA-545

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeE SP9 View Post
    So what's your "new friend" using in place of the 10x5?
    He has a 1961 Thorens TD-124 turntable with a Jelco SA-750D tonearm and a Denon DL-103 cart plus various other Shure and Grado carts. Amp is a 1959 Fisher x-100. Apparently he restored the turntable and a friend restored the amp. No idea what else makes up the system but will be listening to it next week.

    Not sure why new friend needs to be in quotes.
    Marantz PM 11S3 Integrated Amp
    Marantz SA 8004 SACD Player
    Music Hall MMF 9.1 turntable
    Focal Chorus 836V speakers
    Focal Chorus SW 800v subwoofer
    Acoustic Zen Satori speaker cables
    AZ WOW interconnects
    AZ El Nino power cables
    VPI Turntable interconnect
    Sennheiser HD-700 headphones

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