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Thread: Dynavector XV-1s

  1. #1
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    Dynavector XV-1s

    I recently acquired a low-mileage Dynavector XV-1s cartridge to replace my Benz Glider SL that I bought brand new. The XV-1s is a wide body cartridge and it is heavy. If the Glider SL is a tiny AAA shoe, the XV-1s is a EEE.

    The XV-1s is without a doubt the most expensive cartridge I have ever had. More importantly, it is the best sounding cartridge I have ever had. The XV-1s is a very quiet cartridge in that it does not raise the noise floor of your vinyl. I find it to be very well balanced from top to bottom, a very good tracker, and just a joy to listen to. It has definitely raised the quality level of my LP playback.

    As good as I thought the Benz Glider SL was (and it is good), the XV-1s is in another league. When I returned home last year from the RMAF with a copy of Lightin’ Hopkins “Goin’ Away” that I heard on the same Clearaudio table that Christian owns with a $15K Goldfinger cartridge, I was hoping to duplicate what I heard playing the cut “Don’t Embarrass Me, Baby” on my rig. No such luck. What drove me to run downstairs to where they were selling LPs to try and find this LP was how great it sounded on that system. That cut just ‘popped’ and sounded very realistic like a guy was picking a guitar right in front of you. The notes just leapt out like you would hear from a guitar playing live. Through the Glider SL, that affect was missing and the music didn’t “pop.” I felt like I had been put in my place in the audio pecking order. With the XV-1s, I’m just about there which I find remarkable.

    I will have more to say later as I gain a deeper appreciation for this cartridge. In the meantime, I’m all smiles.

  2. #2
    Addicted to Best! jazdoc's Avatar
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    Congratulations Mark! I own and really enjoy the XV-1s and concur with your initial observations. One bit of unsolicited advice...more than any cartridge I've used, the XV1-s benefits from spot on set up. Thankfully, it is quite forgiving with less than optimal set up, but that can fool you because you think "this can't get any better" and you stop working. There is some talk on the internet about using a VTF much higher than Dynavector recommends...don't do it. Mine sounded best with VTF 1.82-3 gm on the Durand Talea and 1.87-8 gm on a Triplanar. And yes, .01 gm will make a HUGE difference.

    Again, congratulations and enjoy in good health!

  3. #3
    WBF Founding Member and Super Moderator JackD201's Avatar
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    I agree Mark, don't track it heavy as is recommended by many on the net. I had mine at 1.8. The XV-1s is one of those great all-a-rounders and it's no wonder that for a very long time it was the cart most others were compared with in reviews from both print and online mags. Mine gave me many years of happiness. I'm really glad you are getting your share of that too.

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    Addicted to Best! rockitman's Avatar
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    Congrats Mark and happy spinning with your new cart ! The XV-1s is definately on my list of carts to try down the road.
    Christian
    Source: TechDAS AF1, CA Master Innovation, UHA Phase 11S RTR ordered, PS Audio PW Mk 2 Dac & Trans Carts: Koetsu Coralstone (2) & Tiger Eye, Dynavector XV-1t, Ortofon A-90, Shelter Harmony, Benz SLR, Ikeda 9TT Mono Amps: Allnic H5000 DHT phono, HA-3000 Head Amp, Pass XP-25 phono, King/Cello Tape pre, Pass XP-30 main pre, Pass XS-150 dual chassis mono's Speakers: Wilson Alexandria X-2.2 Cables: Nordost Odin (tonearm->speakers) Isolation: Stillpoints, Table Stable TS-140, HRS (TechDAS)

  5. #5
    enjoy~ i have never used the cartridge, but from what i've read it is a best of both worlds, it has the articulation without the leading edge analytical quality of some and the warmth and musical 'body' of others without sounding too dark.
    best,

  6. #6
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    Guys-Thanks for the great tips. Doc-what are you loading yours at? And Doc, if you ever find yourself in Southern Indiana, please know you are welcome to stay at my house and help me further tweak my setup!

  7. #7
    Addicted to Best! jazdoc's Avatar
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    mep --

    Thanks for the kind invite...I"ll take you up on it if I'm ever in Southern Indiana.

    With my current phono stage I run wide open. Honestly, I don't remember what loading I used with the K&K

  8. #8
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    Doc-I'm also taking your other advice to heart about not lulling yourself to think you have the setup nailed because it sounds so damn good. That is how it sounds to me right now, but maybe there is more 'there' there.

  9. #9
    WBF Founding Member MylesBAstor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    Doc-I'm also taking your other advice to heart about not lulling yourself to think you have the setup nailed because it sounds so damn good. That is how it sounds to me right now, but maybe there is more 'there' there.
    The Dynavector is a great cartridge provided you have enough gain for it's rather piddling output And the Krell fits the bill nicely! And a huge step up over the Glider to say the least! You'll be spending many hours rediscovering what's on your records--esp. I'd guess in terms of low level and spatial information.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD
    Senior Assistant Editor, Positive-Feedback Online
    www.positive-feedback.com; Executive Editor, www.AVShowrooms.com

    Skepticism is the sadism of embittered souls.

    There is something to be said in doing things wrong the exact same way every time. It’s not a good thing, but still.

  10. #10
    Addicted to Best! jazdoc's Avatar
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    A couple of more bits of unsolicited advice:

    1. Use only 3-4 pieces of music do set up. Listen for specific parameters in each piece.
    2. Keep a detailed log of your set up experience. That way when you go too far in one direction, you know how far to go back.
    3. The MintLP protractor is a wonderful thing.
    4. Vary only one parameter at a time.
    5. Nailing set up is an iterative process, usually done over several sessions. I once read an article that advised to the effect that "the first f-bomb" muttered under your breath means it's time to stop and take a break" . An honest audiophile friend with good ears is a great resource.

    IME, as the XV1-s set up improves, you'll hear a gradual improvement in sound but when you nail it, you get an exponential reward.

    Enjoy, it's a great cartridge!

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