Replace a 0.5 mV Grado Reference Sonata 1 for a Dynavector-DV20X2-H 2.8 mV ???

I'm using an Oracle Delphi mkII, with a Rega RB-300 arm (modified), wired with Discovery's lockable interconnects, into a 2 box Audion pre-amp (built in phono stage) using 4 Siemens E88CC 6922 tubes.

Lets start with the Grado hum (which I may add IMHO the support at Grado was virtually "Zero").                          

The hum is faint, but still audible, especially considering that with tax & installation the better part of a grand Canadian went out the window; so lets just say the hum is totally unacceptable. Which is too bad, because outside of the faint hum & gutless gain (more on that to come), it's a flippin nice sounding cartridge.

The other beef is that my set-up guy selected the wrong Grado to pair with my Audion pre-amp. Apparently the Reference Sonata 1 came with either a 4.8 mV gain, or a 0.5 mV gain. His reasoning was that the 0.5 would be quieter, and it is, but the problem is I have to turn up the volume to 3 o'clock to get the gain I want.

Qu #1: Does anyone out there know the specific gain difference in % between a 0.5 moving iron Grado & a 2.8 MC.

Qu #2: Anyone ever experience "HUM" with a Dynavector-DV20X2-H 2.8 mV on a Rega Tonearm?

Qu #3: Does anyone out there have experience using Dynavector-DV20X2-H 2.8 mV with a tube pre-amp? What are your thoughts?





Its night and day difference, I own both these cartridges (my 20x2 is a Low) and going from the low output (.5) to a HOMC will be like your system woke up! You will have plenty of gain. I agree you were steered wrong using a low output grado with a MM phono stage.The Dynavector will give you everything you want. Awesome sounding Quiet as a mouse, using a  Manley Chinook tubed phono stage. Take my word for it .5 is nothing and 2.8 is plenty for your phono stage. it will be significantly better in terms of gain. Love the Dynavectors....10X5 (high), 20x2 (low) are my go to cartridges. Both these sound incredible with the REGA arms.

Matt M
Give Grado a call and see if they will take an exchange for the correct cartridge! .5 mv is way too low for that preamp! That preamp has an input sensitivity of 2 mv. Any cartridge with more than 2 mv output will work fine.
What yogiboy said. Looks like you are using a low output moving coil in an amp designed for high output moving magnet/iron. The idea of LOMC is that the few turns of wire that generates the signal are lighter and more sensitive.

Sonata 1 Matt M,
great input, some real relevance to your reply, but I'm a bit uncertain with your reponse - " I own both these cartridges ".
Buy that do you mean a Sonata 1 & a  20x2 (low) or, did you mean Dynavectors....10X5 (high) & a 20x2 (low)?

Thx for adding that you're using a Manley Chinook. I've heard people's issues with tubes, so that's covered.
Are you using a Rega arm?

What yogiboy and noromance said.  You have a low-output cartridge with a preamp designed for high-output devices. Maybe Grado will agree to exchange. Or you could look at getting a step-up transformer to enable your exiting cartridge and preamp to work together. This is an expensive option.

I used the Dynavectot 10X5 myself and love it. Haven't used the 20X2H but it should work fine. I don't see any problems with a tube preamp.

Good luck!


Where did you find the preamp has an input sensitivity of 2 mv? I’ve been looking.

As far as Grado is concerned, let me reiterate what I wrote in my post.
"(which I may add IMHO the support at Grado was virtually ZERO)".

I called Grado, gave them the skinny on my situation, & they said that the new Sonata was coming out & an exchange is out of the question. Also, the new Grado will likely hum with the Rega arm as well, so why don’t you go buy the Dynavector.

In reply I do own a Grado Reference Sonata wood body (high output MI) I use mainly on a Thornes TD160. I recently sold the 10X5 to my brother along with my Pro-Ject Xtension 10. Now I run a J.A. Michell Gyro SE with the 20X2L mounted on the latest generation Techno Arm ll (Rega based RB202).

"You need a mm cartridge "
Yogi, A hi output MC will work just as well as a MM and any high output moving Iron also. So the OP has lots of choices.

I stand corrected. I should have stated any cartridge with more than 2 mv output will work just fine!