Dynavector XV-1S impressions?

I have been a long time user of the audio note Io cartridge and recently purchased the Dynavector. I would be interested in others experience as I find this cartridge to be quite forward sounding i.e. the mid and high frequencies tend to be a bit brighter. It is very detailed and musical but the soundstage is not as deep as my Audionote.
Are my experiences similair to other users or is it my setup that is causing this impression.

How many hours on the cartridge? What's the rest of your system?

I've had and XV-1s for quite some time and wouldn't describe it as forward.
My XX2-MK2 was forward and bright till it broke in, which took 30 hours or so.
I find it lovely, and not how you describe it. You don't give any other pertinent info, but it does take a while to break in if yours is still new, and your setup may be affecting the sound. And, each time you play it, there is a small window of warmup time.
I too disagree with your impressions. I assume your cartridge is either not broken in yet, or you have not adjusted the gain and/or loading to get the most out of this cartridge.

Can you tell us what your phono stage is, along with the gain and loading settings that you are using?

The XV-1S is the absolute best cartridge I have ever heard, both in my system, (past cartridges include Koetsu Rosewood Signature, Shelter 90X), and in my friend's system, (his past and present cartridges include Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, ZYX Universe, and an EMT, although admittedly, the last two are probably the XV-1S's equal, just with different strengths).

My two cents worth.
I've found the XV-1s and XV-1t to be frightfully "nervous" out of the box.

After 10 hours they begin to calm down.

Be patient.

Also check your alignment and loading.

Dealer disclaimer
Just for the heck of it, what is your "set up"?
Thank you all for your responses thus far. My set up includes the Basis Debut signature turntable, the Sutherland Phd phonostage. My cartridge would only have about 15 hours of playback time so far so it sounds like I should be patient at this stage. BTW my loading is 47K and gain is 50db .
Any other comments are welcome.


P.S. Does my comment about soundstage depth also relate to inadequate break in?
Soundstage should also greatly improve with break in. I hear a very layered stage with my set up. Cartridge should transform after proper break in (50 hours minimum).
You may also want to try lowering your loading (around 500 ohms) and raising your gain a bit.

Dynavector Dealer
Ecka, I own both the XV1s and the Audio Note IO2v. Yes, your description of the sound is spot on. The Audio Note has a much deeper soundstage but not as wide as the XV1s. Comparing the AN and the XV, the XV is definitely a brighter and more detailed sounding cartridge. Both excel in different ways. The XV1s midrange and bass is no match to what the AN can do. Overall, the XV1s is a killer cartridge and so is the AN. Both sound different that's why I have them both hooked up for different presentation.

The XV1s needs 100 hrs to fully settle down but still, your description of both is still correct.
Dear Zarir: I agree with everyone about give more playing time, at least 50 hours. The XV-1 is more or less a " friendly " cartridge in its matching tonearm but certainly and IMHO is not friendly loaded at 47K, you can try it either at 100 or 200 Ohms that are your phono stage values and decide about. That forward sound that you are listening ( between other things ) comes from that very high load. After those 50 hours you need to check the VTA/VTF again.

You can try too the 60db gain position in your phono stage, unfortunately as you go for more gain your phono stage add several degradations to the cartridge signal, as a fact that phono stage performs way better at 45db.

I assume you are using the Basis Vector tonearm that it seems to me can work fine, maybe not the best match but a decent one.
In the other side and with this top cartridge quality level your phono stage can't accomplish or do real justice to that cartridge.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Hello Raul, Just curious why you would say the Sutherland PhD performs better at 45db, particularly with this Cartridge?

Just asking, but would any Phono Stage if it was set too low on the gain, then make a Cartridge sound lifeless, and dull, and then also, setting the gain too high per given Cartridge, would generally make the saound "hot", and "Raw"?

Since I too own the Sutherland PhD, I can comment, that even with the high gain boards, all the way up to 68db, it is a dead quiet phono stage itself, but of course, one may not need that amount of gain per given Cartridge.

What is the output, and interal impedance of the Dyna DRT XV-1S? I'm running 62db (high gain boards) with the XYX Airy 3X, which is .24mv, but would say the Airy 3 more closely compares with some other brands of Cartridge with an output of .33mv.Mark
IMHO, Raul is right on the money as far as the 47k loading is concerned. In my experience (and those of many other owners of this cartridge I know), the XV-1s needs to be loaded between 100-200 ohms to sound its best.
Any cartridge needs a few hours to perform better, but from my experience the last years none changes from black to white after that. The "character" of it is always the same, the interaction of frequencies will be better but when the soundstage is not deep it won't get deeper after that. It is limited in headroom but nice to look at.
I will certainly try the different loading and gain settings, so thanks for the advice. Maybe I should ask this question as a new thread but what phono stage do XV-1S owners consider to give it the best opportunity to show off it's beauty. Will this recommendation also give it the qualities that I feel it currently lacks?( maybe break in alone will achieve this?)
Thanks again
Hi Ecka
I will get some (a lot?) of flack for suggesting for you to try a step-up transformer of ~ 20 - 22dB.
You then can try the smaller gain phono-pre inputs with ease.

All I hear that you are relating sounds NOT too unfamiliar.
The over-present upper mid / treble MIGHT just get more synergy, plus some other things like more information density in the mid-range, more hall information etc.

I'm one of those folks that have tried it, AND managed to get a good impedance match (takes a bit to figuring...)

Raul, Atmasphere and some others will 'hate' the idea --- yet some will support it.
Before blowing bucks on another phono-stage, I'd seriously would give it a try.

Hi Axelwahl
I do have a Audionote An6c step up transformer but do not really know what settings to dial it up to. How did you go about figuring it out?
Hi Ecka
>>> How did you go about figuring it out?<<<

--- That you have one? Or how to impedance match it?
Dear Axel: I respect your bias to the SUT's but IMHO a SUT ( any. ) can't help for the XV-1s can show its best performance against a well active designed phonolinepreamp.

Even if you have ( hypotetic. ) the perfect SUT those additional cables and " terrible " connectors that needs to connect the SUT to the phono stage makes a big degradation to the cartridge signal and " degrade " any " good point " on the SUT ( that does not have it. ).

Right now Zarir has enough " problems " with what he has and IMHO you want to give him an additional " trouble "!!! and a focus of additional distortions!!!!

It is obvious that Zarir is looking for help due to his un-experience on the analog area and I think that we can help him in a more staright way.

Anyway at the end of the day Zarir is the one that has to pull the triger.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Dear Markd51: No, I'm not refering of that gain for that cartridge but on overall Sutherland performance, you can read about here:


Regards and enjoy the music,
Hello Ecka,

Definitely lower the loading down to 100 Ohms or so.
As far as the gain goes, somewhere in the 60 db range is probably about right, depending of course on what your preamp's gain is set for. Once you get your cartridge broken in, which can take up upwards of 50 hours or so, I think you'll begin to appreciate it more. (And if you don't, well, don't sweat it, and go back to the A.N. Io. Life is too short to worry about splitting hairs as to which cartridge is the best one for you. Go with your gut instinct, and your ears, (not our ears!), of course

As far as your table and arm are concerned, I am probably using the same arm (Vector M3), and it works just fine with the XV-1S. (I wish I had your table though, as I am currently making due with a Basis 2001, although I am looking to upgrade up to the 2500 at some point.)

As far as a phono stage, (I'll just answer that here, rather than your new thread), I would recommend the ASR Basis Exclusive. It is a dual phono stage, that also runs in balanced mode. It is fully adjustable, (via dip switches), as far as loading and gain are concerned. It is dead quiet, as it uses rechargable batteries, (which automaticaly recharges when not in use). If you prefer some tubes in your phono stage, the Aesthetix IO signature, is very good, or the Manley Steelhead is another fine choice, as it is a hybrid phono stage.

In case you're wondering, I use the Ayre K-1xe preamp, with the built-in phono stage. One thing that I like about it, is that I can, and do, use the balanced inputs, which allows me to run XLRs throughout my system, from the cartridge to the amps.

Good Luck with the cartridge, and let us know how it works out for you!
Thank you all once again. I am cuurently out of town but am looking forward to getting back to try out the different loading and output settings.
I will certainly post a follow up once I have had a good listen.
Hello again.
Raul, I now see what you were saying in pertinence to the 45db setting, in that there is a particular performance gain at that particular setting.

But, as I know you'll agree my friend, that such a gain setting would of course not be any good-compatible,for a Cartridge that has an output of let's say .22mv to .34mv.

Since the Sutherland does have quite good adjustability as far as gain, and loading, it would sort of beillogical to then try to "match the cartridge to the stage", rather than make the needed-required adjustments at the gain, and loading boards.

I see lots of suggestions to the original poster to dump the Sutherland PhD, like a bad habit, and before anybody jumps conclusions, I think maybe one should read Mikey F's review of this Unit.

Mine is certainly nom slouch, and of course I am fully aware there are of course better Phono Stages, and as well, more costly, such as a $7500 manley Steelhead.

I'm not of course going to say the Sutherland can go neck, and neck with it, I'm sure it will not measure up, but will probably exhibit a much more dead silent background, versus even more costly Units.

As two fine friends ere have once taught me, generally go by the "25X Rule" (thanks nsgarch) multiplying times the Cartridge's internal impedance, and another good piece of advice from our forumite Doug Deacon, that yes, do set loading for now to manufacturer's suggested range, but as Doug once told me, "likeable" loading might be all over the place, untill the Cartridge fully settles down, and breaks in.

Hope this helps, Mark
I'm running a new production XV-1s with very few hours on it.

Of the seven XV-1s that have passed through my system (the other 6 were produced at least a year ago), this new sample is a bit less nervous than the other 6 - even during break-in.

It may well be that this is an anomaly, but Dyna's quality control and sample to sample consistency is one of their hallmarks, so I doubt this to be the case.

For example, every one of the XV-1s' I've run in my system has had an optimum tracking force within a .03 grams range. I suspect that there's more variance in my cartridge scale than in the cartridges.

Yes, load the XV-1s anywhere from 35 to perhaps 150 ohms. The DCR (coil resistance is 6 ohms (http://www.dynavector.com/products/cart/e_xv1s.html). In my systems, I've been in the 100 range.

Hi Mark - the 25 rule is a reasonable starting point. I tend to find 18-20 works in my system, but the key thing here is to think in terms of doublings and halvings as your dialing this in, so 25 is as good of a starting point as 18 is.

Thom @ Galibier