Dynavector 20xH - Boring Presentation?

Hello All,

I recently swapped out a Denon DL160 for Dynavector DV 20xH, I let the cart break in for about 25 hrs so far. The presentation of the Dyna is rather boring when compared to the economical 160. The midrange and the bass are good but the top end is no where close to the 160. It lacks the sparkle at the top. And the dynamics also seem to be more immediate with 160. I'm I missing something here .

I'm using a 4mm spacer under the tonearm, so VTA seems to be close to 98.5 degrees, so no issues there. Used Mint LP Tractor to set-up both the carts.

I'm trying hard to like the dyna, but I keep going back to the 160. Here is the reset of my system ...

Rega P2 (RB 250 with Michell Tecnoweight)
EAR 834P MM/MC Phono Stage (Acoustic Zen Matrix Interconnects)
Audio Analogue Verdi Settanta Int Amp
Sonus Faber Venere 2.5 speakers (Nordost BH cables)
"I'm using a 4mm spacer under the tonearm, so VTA seems to be close to 98.5 degrees, so no issues there.

This seems really high to me? SRA/VTA should be around 91-92 degrees for most cartridges. I would make sure that your measurements are correct.

I've setup a lot of Dynavector carts and find them to work the best with the arm just a smidgen low at the rear.
Its not broken in yet. 25 hours isn't enough time.
I forgot to mention that you will have to set your 834P to MM and not MC. You probably know that already, but just in case.
Thank you all for the suggestions. The SRA was a typo I meant to type 92.5 degrees. With the 4mm spacer I get that VTA.

Yes sir, the 834P is in MM mode. I'll give it some more time, but I have a feeling that Dyna is not to my taste. Probably I like the system to sound a bit brighter as opposed to it having a ruler flat frequency response. Will update the post when
Livin, I've done the DV20X2 H. Pull my threads and you'll catch some of my comments. Between you, me and the wall, I had the same reaction as you.

I recall switching the DV out for the Soundsmith VPI Zephyr, which IMO, sounded better. However, I've currently settled on the Lyra Kleos. In between was the Lyra Delos, which I think knocks the socks off both the Dynavector and the Zephyr.

If you only want to drop $1650 on a cartridge, the Delos is for you. If you want to spring for a little more, the Kleos is the cartridge to have.

Two caveats. The Kleos' output is .5 mVolts. The Delos is a little more. So make sure your rig has enough gain headroom. The other is tonearm compatibility. The Kleos and Delos are low/mid compliance cartridges. I don't know what the effective mass of your tonearm is. Just be sure the match is good if you want to go the Lyra route.
What made you go with the high output version? Your EAR shouldn't have a problem with the low. I ask only because I have one and am pretty happy with it. Either way, put a few more hours on it before you make a decision. You should definitely hear some nice improvements going from 25 to 50 hours. Personally, I go 100 just to be on the safe side.

Another upgrade you may want to consider is a speed control. Believe it or not, they make a very nice difference. Rega TT's are know to run a little fast.
Bifwynne, at this time I'm contemplating between Shelter 501 MKIII and Koetsu Black. I'll be auditioning both and see which ones I like. None of the local dealers carry Lyra so auditioning that will be difficult. Same is the case with Dynavector so had to purchase bases on online reviews. Yes, my phono EAR 834P has sufficient gain for carts as low as .2mv so that's not going to be an issue.

Zd542, the reason I went with high was a concern of impedance mismatch between the cart and the phono pre for the low cart. Will have to wait and see how Shelter and Koetsu perform.

Thank you all for the valuable suggestions
Livin - is it a general practice of dealers to allow in-home auditions of cartridges? What are the terms? If you decide not to purchase the cartridge, does the dealer then sell it "as new" to an unsuspecting buyer? Reason I ask is I plan on replacing my Glider for either a Wood or LyraDelos down the road.

My dealer usually loans me his demo carts. The advantage is the cart is already broken in, so you get to hear the cart's full potential. If I like the cart, he'll order a new one for me. He'll give you an option to buy his demo cart for 30-50% off new retail, so the choice is mine whether to keep the demo or buy a new one. He does keep a deposit for the value of the cart (50% of new retail). Never had problems with the terms.

Hope this helps
Oh, when I meant the dealer will keep the deposit I meant a refundable deposit. I always get my deposit back so no issues :-)
You're very fortunate. I'll check but don't think my one and only local dealer offers this service.
IMHO, this is money poorly spent and you would be better off upgrading the Rega P2 than plowing more money into a Shelter or Koetsu Black.

But to answer your question, a good friend of mine, who runs a Rega P5, upgraded to the 20XH from the 10X5 and had exactly the same reaction that you did. Not that the cartridge was bad, just that he did not think that it was much, if any, of an improvment. Funny enough, I had a 20Xl on loan, and it differs from the 20XH in having a line contact stylus, rather than the elliptical of the 20XH, and I thought it to be an excellent performer that was perhaps just a bit dymamically reigned in. YMMV and good luck with the hunt.
Thanks for the input Viridian. I thought about that too, but was unable to make up my mind, the DL160 is getting old and the Dyna is not to my taste. So wasn't sure which way to go.

I did audition Nottingham Interspace Jr, it was good but doesn't have the pace of the Rega a little too warm for my taste. Any TT recommendations?
04-14-14: Livin_262002
Any TT recommendations?

What is your price range? Try a Basis 1400 if you can swing it. Much more revealing than Rega, VPI, Nottingham, etc.
The P2 is a great table, but there are any number of better choices. If you enjoy the pacey sound of the Regas then a P6 or P8 if it's in the budget, is a very large step up from the P2. The little Avid table is very nice as are the Michell turntables.

If you want to take a leap of faith then idler drive turntables are very pacey, but you would be getting into vintage with a Thorens TD124 or Garrard 301 which both demand a bit of maintenance.
Livin 262002-I also agree the Rega P2 is the weak link in your system. IMO a used P7 would be a better way to spend $1500+ then on a cartridge.
Thank you all for the suggestions. I did go ahead and buy Rega RP6 with a Shelter 501, an amazing combination. The PSU great on the RP6. Still breaking in the cart and the table.
"Thank you all for the suggestions. I did go ahead and buy Rega RP6 with a Shelter 501, an amazing combination. The PSU great on the RP6. Still breaking in the cart and the table."

Interesting as the Shelter 501II is boring to me. I have a 20XH in my second table which is a Scoutmaster/TNTJr feet/JMW9Sig/Screw Clamp and it sounds pretty lively into either my GCPH or modded JD9a.

The Kleos on my main rig (SME309/SOTA Star/Vacuum/iClamp) into the GCPH is of course in a whole 'nuther league. And I have not heard a Delos in my system but from reading the reviews it sounds much like a Kleos, only lacking some detail and refinement. As you folks may know the Delos uses a cheaper stylus and cantilever. I would not surprised if the Delos generator is the same as the Kleos.

Y'all be cool,
Robert A. ober