Dynavector XV-1s vs. Soundsmith The Voice?

I've been looking for a high end cartridge for my Well Tempered Reference turntable and these are the two carts which have been repeatedly recommended based on my sonic priorities and desire for a more exciting, clean, engaging listen (previously used a Koetsu Rosewood Signature).

I already purchased The Voice and expect to have one in my possession shortly. I heard an ultra high compliance one very briefly and it was an interesting and very 'different' sound than I was used to.

Can any offer any sort of comparison between these two cartridges? I mostly buy used, so the large MSRP discrepancy is mitigated.
Any news on the Voice? I'm waiting for one. 22cu model.
It went back to the seller for a couple of reasons. Acrylic body was cracked and my tone arm didn't handle the ultra high compliance special order.

The seller listed it as ultra high compliance. But listed regular high compliance specs.
I see. So you thought you were getting the 22cu model but got the 28. I have a wood body version on the way.
Honestly, the specs meant little to me as I suck at the tech part of the hobby. I wanted a Voice based on my reading of it, linked the audiogon ad to a buddy who told me it would be fine for my arm (based on the specs in ad).

Shame for the crack/compliance as the seller was a nice guy and the price was very right.

BTW--the seller did tell me after the fact that if I remain interested in the voice in the future and ever change tone arms to consider the ultra high compliance and that it was significantly better.
I've heard the XV-1t, XV-1s, TKR, and 17D3 several times on the new Well Tempered table and the match is great. Not sure how that works out with your table, but if I had the newer table i would use it with the Dynavector.

Thanks, but this thread actually came back from the dead. I've got a Zu 103 I'm using on the WTR these days and a Denon 103D sitting as a standby. Aside from liking the sound of both of them, I just don't feel that comfortable with multi-kilobuck carts.

I AM however still at a toss up as to checking out the newer WT offerings (Amadeus or Simplex) or perhaps something vintage. I had a really hard time reaching a synergy with my WTR and started fantasizing about other decks as I struggled to get things sounding nice. Now as they finally do, my mind still wanders on occasion...
09-27-10: Gopher
I've got a Zu 103 I'm using on the WTR these days and a Denon 103D sitting as a standby.
What's your take on the sonic differences between the two. I have a 103D and have always wondered how the others sound.
If you don't mind me asking...is the 103D stock or has it been retipped?

[url=]09-29-10: Edainwestoc
If you don't mind me asking...is the 103D stock or has it been retipped?[/url] If you were asking this question of me, and not Gopher, my 103D is new old stock with very, very, low hours on it - maybe 120 hrs.

In my system the Zu 103 just works a little better synergy wise. It's got a meatier, bolder sound that gives music a little more boogie factor--I'm using a table that is very laid back so its a welcome presentation.

With the 103D on my tonearm, there was a touch more detail and refinement but presentation was a little more relaxed. I think the 103D was probably a little better tonally too, though I haven't compared the two in so long. The 103D tracked just a touch better and quieter, but I ultimately felt the Zu was a better match to my system although the 103D is probably the better cartridge.


I think I exchanged some messages with you previously on the 103D. I don't know the history of my cart I rolled the dice and bought it when it came up on audiogon with unknown hour but guaranteed to have some life.

The stylus looks great with minimal wear under magnification, but I don't know if it is the original or if its been re-tipped.
IMHO you really should consider retipping that 103D. If you want to, go all the way and retip it and place it in a nice wooden body. That cartridge is significantly better with the TOTL SoundSmith retip and the wooden body should be a nice plus.

I have had a 103D in my system since 1979. I have had a retipped 103D for about 6-7 years now and wish I took the dive many years earlier. I didn't because I loved the stock 103D and reasoned that I didn't want to chance upsetting it's sound.

I couldn't have been more wrong. The retipped 103D is significantly better than its stock counterpart.

For whatever reason Denon only made one 103 model with a nice cantilever (boron cantilever and elliptical stylus on the 103M). The Denon 103 is a generator assembly that needs some love in order to set it sonically free.

A lot of aftermarket hotrodding has existed for the Denon 103 models for a lot of years. Some people dismiss the 103 since its so inexpensive and others have shelved very expensive cartridges in favor of a hotrodded 103.

It may not be the best cartridge in the world but you may find it is good enough to make you stop that crazy equipment merry-go-round. At least as far as cartridges go.

I have some 320kb MP3 of some examples of the retipped 103D on my website. If you go to http://www.edsstuff.org and look about halfway down the page you'll find some links to various cuts made with the 103D retipped by VDH (boron cantilever and VDH type 1 stylus) and some with the 103D retipped by SoundSmith (ruby cantilever and optimized line contact stylus). The equipment used is also listed.