I went through the spec numbers for your components, and I think that you will need a SUT. Without it, the numbers are marginal at best with respect to both having enough gain to drive your amp to full power, and having adequately low hiss levels.
Another way to look at it is that the 20XH listed in your system description is spec'd as having a 2.8 mv nominal output, which is 20 db higher than the 0.28 mv figure you cited. If with the 20XH you ever use your volume control above say the lower third of its range, I suspect that you will not be able to turn it up by 20 db (which is subjectively about 4 times as loud, for a given input level) without either running out of range or having excessive hiss levels.
I have no specific SUT recommendations to offer.
Bruce--this cartridge needs a lot of gain to sound it's best and most dynamic. It has a low output impedance of around 6 ohms I believe. I run a total of 80 db gain between my pre and phono pre and load at 100 ohms. It's a great cartridge. I don't have experience with SUTs, like Al above. Let us know what you end up doing. Swanny
My cartridge has .3mV and I have a total of 75db of gain and I have more than enough gain to drive my amps.
I have the same cart and I use a pre with 70db gain and it works just fine. I would think you probably can get away with 60 but you'll just be running your volume knob a little higher. I would at least try it and see how it sounds before jumping on a step up. 60db is still pretty high and would be considered the MC input on many a phono pre.
Look up Bob's devices for a currently popular SUT that uses Cinemage transformers. I don't know enough to guide you beyond that, but there are several other "Analog" forums to post your questions to and get advice about which Bob's device you want.
I have the same cartridge running it with a Zesto Andros phono stage.Gain is 65.I can increase the volume 10 db in any input in my preamp which I did.
On a side note.I had read 1 review where the reviewer preferred this cartridge at the 1000 ohm setting.Incidently, George , the owner of Zesto runs his XX2mk11 at 1000 ohms also.I tried it and won't be going back to the 100 ohm setting.
Your gain at 58 may be a little too low.
I use a SUT with this cartridge. My phono stage had 58 db of gain and the dynavector lacked dynamics. K & K has a SUT that can be set at 14 db and would put your total at 72. After inserting the step up I had all the dynamics and gain with a much blacker background.
I also use the XX2 Mk2 , with the EAR 88PB phono preamp, whose gain is at least 72db. Hard for me to enjoy it at a load of about 100 ohms. MUCH better, I find, at around 1000 ohms.
Moonguy and Opus88, what differences do you notice in the XX mk II's performance between the 100 ohm loading and the 1000 ohm loading?
Currently I am loaded at 100 ohms, switching to 1000 ohms is no small task, as the resistors are well hidden and hard wired into my Cary SLP-98P F1 w/ MC phono stage. I just mounted my new XX mk II last night, and though it sounds very good in the bass and midrange, I feel like there is something missing in the high frequencies.
Jmcgrogam2, don't even think about playing around with loading untill the cart has between 50-100 hours of break-in. The recessed highs will open up once the cart breaks in.
John...Agreed with Brf, some break-in is needed. The highs will come in. In my system, at 100 ohms things were somewhat uninvolving. By contrast, between 500 and 1000 ohms, I experienced greater presence and a more natural, satisfying overall sound. Of course, I'm not sure what will work best for you in your system.
Thanks Jeff and Brf, I suppose I'll just have to be patient. I thought that break-in may be an issue, but I didn't know just how much of a difference it would make. I've had sound change over time with some components, but very rarely does it change drastically. I can remember one experience with an interconnect when the sound changed drastically over time though, so it is a possiblility.
I really like the bass and midrange performance of the XX mk II, but the high's are definitely too rolled off for me. I know that it is a new cartridge, and a new preamp too, so I will be patient. That is not easy for me. ;-)
John...Take a look at this review of the XX2 Mk2 by Paul Eros. It should be reassuring:
Actually, I just noticed it is a review of the XX2 Mk1, but if interested, you can type in a search for Dynavector XX2 Mk2 reviews and find several that also provide positively solid commentary.
Jeff, you were corrct the first time, that review is for the XX mk II, I know, I read it. It also further concerned me about the loading issue because I read this in that review:
Interestingly, whilst the technical sheet that comes with the cartridge recommends a 30 ohm loading, the Dynavector web site recommends load impedance of >30 ohms. The Delphini offers load impedance settings of 33, 100, 1k or 47k ohms. I found that I could detect differences with all load settings used with the XX-2, suggesting that the cartridge is sensitive to this aspect of set up. This is an important point and anyone investing in this cartridge should pair it with a phono stage that provides this option. Personally I preferred the 1k ohm setting.
I'm going to wait and give this cartridge a month or so to open up. Hopefully it does. If it doesn't, then I have some decisions to make, whether to look for another cartridge to match with my gear, or look for more gear to match with this cartridge. Sheesh........ :-)
You're right John, Mk2 review it is. I don't know what I was looking at when I glimpsed back at the article. Old age is starting to play games with me. In any event, keep me posted on how things unfold with it---compatibly, I hope, so you don't have to go back on that audio merry-go-'round. Sheesh!
SUTs are designed to go into the MM input of your Phono (47Kohm) so if the 58db gain spec relates to your MC input then I dont think you will get good results.
Sorry for the confusion Vusi, the SUT was never meant to be used with the Cary's MC phono input. I realize this would not work. The SUT is just in case I cannot make the Dyna work with the Cary, I also have a VAC preamp with MM phono stage, that is where the SUT would be used.
However, in other good news, after several more attempts of playing with the VTA, I seem to be in a much better listening shape now. I also lowered the VTF from 2.0 to 1.9. I know I still need more hours on the XX mk II, but at least we are in the ballpark now, sonically.
The high frequencies have now appeared, but there is still that nice, tight bass. Midrange is very good, but not stunning. Fortunately, midrange bloom is one area where the Cary SLP-98P excels, so I think this will make for a great combo.
Where did you get the additional 10db of gain from. I also have the Zestos and I was looking at this cartridge. I'm currently running a cartridge that is .8 and I don't have to turn the volume very high. How high do you have to turn the volume with the Dynavector?