Should I replace Denon DL-103R with Dynavector DRT-XV1 mounted


I have been using Denon DL-103R mounted on SME-IV arm for a quite some time. It is the only cartridge I have ever had. Now I have an opportunity to purchase Dynavector DRT-XV1 for a good price. Since I have never had a chance to listen to another cartridge I am not sure what to expect from another cart in term of sound quality. I wonder if replacing Denon with 10 times more expensive Dynavector would result to a noticeable sound difference assuming the rest of the system is capable to reproduce the sound Dynavector cart delivers? Or does the cartridge upgrade fall under the same category with cables and interconnects upgrades where some listeneres can hear the difference and some not?
esputnix
assuming the rest of the system is capable to reproduce the sound Dynavector cart delivers?

Therein is the key. You cannot put a Catch can on a 100 HP engine and expect an improvement. On a 700-800-900 HP, it will make a difference. A time & place for everything.

There should be a big difference in these cartridges. I've heard neither but I've climbed the cart ladder and each step was an improvement.


A 10x more expensive cartridge won`t give you 10x better sound, but I don`t doubt for a second that you will hear an improvement. Your SME IV arm should easily take the upgrade, it is a very good arm IMO.
I have several DL 103s and they are very good cartridges for their price. Never heard the Dynavector, though.
I went from a 110 and  103r. The 110 was better because I had to use a Denon step up on the 103r (I still have it). The 110 was better. I just got an Ortofon Black MM. It just whips the pants off my 110. 567.00. It was close to the same price as the 103r 90.00 dollars more, not 10 times. BUT quite a sonic improvement.. An MM Cart..

Denon are good carts, a GREAT re tip goes a long ways though..

I'm looking at Soundsmith Carmen MKII 999.00. 2 X not 10 X.

I bet you get the biggest bang from the two I mentioned. From there on up it is a fine line of great EARS, and great acoustics. From that point it is the 50k TT with 10K tonearms and 10K carts. (bragging rights so to speak). 

If the room is right and OK gear.. LOL with my ears. I'll be REAL happy.. I haven't even got my phono stage yet. The C20 Mac with the hot rodded MM , MI and MC phono section is just killer.. Carts and phono stage is real place the union really starts. Just like that Denon SUT, I have. Some swear by them.. Yet a little work on a valve phono stage ran circles around it.. The C20 with Samra's touch..

The MATCH is the key... 

Regards
Someday I will replace a Denon dl103R as well so interested to know some good options.

Linn Axis with Linn Basik tonearm, Electrocompaniet step up transformer (with home grown mu metal shielding for no noise), Audio Research sp16 phono stage.

Dead quiet and sounds great to my ears.
esputnix, Tell us about the rest of your system, and you will get better advice.  The SME IV is a good start. A lot of audiophiles believe that a mediocre cartridge on a good tonearm and with good downstream equipment is a better way to go than a top end cartridge (like the Dynavector you are considering) on a mediocre to poor system. I am in that camp.
I have heard both. The drt xv1 is WAY better. What I am not so sure about is if the excellent SME IV is a particularly good match for either. Hmm...
That Dynavector is a perfect match with that arm. Put the information in and do the math!
http://www.mh-audio.nl/Calculators/RF.html

There is no doubt that the DV is superior to the Denon, in this choice scenario, but if the downstream equipment is lacking, then maybe it would be better to upgrade the system first, and THEN look for the DV or similar high end cartridge, in my opinion.
Yes, try a proper high-end cartridge instead of this oldschool broadcast Denon with Conical tip designed in the 60’s. 

Dynavector cartridges are amazing.
@yogiboy i know how to use a calculator and I do all the time. I said a 'particularly good match'. This can go beyond resonant frequency 'ideals'.

My personal experience with the DRT has been in slightly higher mass steel arms where it has been quite lovely.
"Dynavector cartridges are amazing."
+1
@oldhvymec you know Mike Samra ? he tweaked my MC240

there may be hope for you yet...
All the OP has to do is check it out with a test record an add some mass. The DV is a better match for his arm than the Denon. His bass will certainly improve. 
The Dynavector should be a big upgrade over the Denon and a better match with your tonearm as well. The Dynavector uses a modern stylus profile that will dig up a lot more detail than what you're getting now with the Denon. If everything is setup correctly this should not fall under the same category as interconnect and cable upgrade.
tomic601

I know Mike, to well.. LOL TWO years on a C11, I thought I was going to go NUTS waiting. That was two years ago and I still haven't taken it out of the box. It's a fresh rebuild. He did my C20 at the same time. That took 4 months.. He built it for me, he new I was picky, he also matched the caps not just the resistors..

If someone want's a complete rebuild on a Mac he is the guy.. He is the only guy I know that ask a question and gives and answer all in the same sentence. He was also the only guy I know that could out talk my old boss AND NEVER come up for air..

True red sock green sock guy.. All my complaining he's still a brother..
Knows his Bible pretty well too.
Him and that 69 Cougar.. LOL That was a heavy bucket..

Sure is a good Tech, automotive shop teacher was his actual job. I taught him a thing or two about MY trade.. Hydraulics, DC voltage and CANN buss operation. Computer to computer communication system.. Little techie... He picked it right up...

Saginaw Michigan, yup.. He wanted me to pick up a 22U rackmount valve amplifier from a theater 350-400 pounds.. He was something.. :-)

Regards
You speak of Mike in the past tense. I hope he’s still with us. Yes?
Yesterday I replaced my Denon DL-103R with Dynavector DRT XV1 cartridge I've acquired on a used market. Before my initial impressions are mixed or forgotten or both I would like to go ahead and share them with those who pursue the same direction. 
The biggest difference that striked first for me was the user experience. The DRT XV1 cart is significantly larger, taller and heavier than Denon. Its cantilever is longer and the internals are exposed from its wooden body (this cart could be easily considered "naked"). Its recommended vertical tracking force 1.8 - 2.2 grams (17.5 mN - 21.5 mN) makes the anti-skating unnecessary. I've dialed it to zero and it still tracks beautifully while Denon required the anti-skating to be maxed. Because of its heavy weight it needs to be perfectly placed at the beginning of the record before lowering the tonearm otherwise it will slide across the multiple grooves. Not a big deal. 
For the sound quality there was no night-and-day-difference for me at least.
Just like with any other high-end component the sound needs to be understood first, and then appreciated. The channel separation was first I've noticed. It seemed like the microphones used for the recording were moved away from each other apart making the ordinary recordings sound closer to Blue Note ones. The sound itself is cleaner, sharper. It makes it almost digital to me. Denon was always giving me that impression it was analog. Dynavector cart reads tracks with almost digital precision, making it sound very clean, free of artifacts, perfect. I kind of liked Denon as it was more analog sounding to me, more tube like if you wish.
I will be keeping my Denon DL-103R as a backup cart for sure. Aside from being affordable, it provides an amazing sound quality, reliability, simplicity and it is even comparable to the cartridges that 10x times more expensive. It still makes me wonder if the sound quality is at the same level as it was before I switched to Dynavector  DRT-XV1.

That sounds about right, the Dyna smaller sharper more modern stylus equals cleaner, thinner, and more detailed sound. Many of the top flight cartridges uses similar profile. I still really like the Denon sound and can listen to the Denon for a longer period of time, but on certain pressings, the Denon doesn’t do these recordings justice, there are so much in the grooves that is left behind. How about adding another tonearm so you can play both.
mid to upper dyna’s >> denon 103 any day of the week, even the stripped down denon’s in various bespoke bodies

congrats op... :)
Anti-skate. Why do you say the DVs VTF makes AS unnecessary? Even if it seems to track well without AS, you might consider adding a smidgeon before judging.
There is a reason that the denon 103 and 103r  have a real following.   Your listening impressions  show you can hear music.  People think money  and stylus  profile is the answer.  You nailed it.  I can assure you I do not want my system to sound digital  at all.  When all the marketing  and  peer pressure is over you have to listen to your system.  If you want  a smoother and a little more forward mid range  grab a regular  Denon 103.

Enjoy the ride
Tom
For most people it's the only available cartridge from the past that still in production (just like some SPU) for affordable price and this is the mail reason there are so many followers, but besides Denon and SPU there are so many superior cartridges from the past that have SOUL, but they are all discontinued 30 years ago. 
Chakster  you have made yourself  clear on your thoughts on denon 103's how many times.  Yet  the OP just wrote how he enjoyed I repeat enjoyed the 103r.  He did not mention the price as deciding  factor at all.  I am running  3 tables  with lead loaded  32 -55 lbs platters.  3 phase  35 -50  watt motors and  controllers.  5 arms  12-16  inch  wood.  I  can  run them  as idlers or belt/tape/ string.  The 5 arms have denon 103's on them.  They  include  stock  103 and 103r, 103r wood body.  2  103 ellipitical  retips.  They are voiced a little differently  so depending  on the the recording you can choose which you prefer.  I could go on about the phono stage but seeing it is so over the top and this not  diy forum I will refrain.   If you are looking for a full body, dynamic,  tone and timber correct cart 103's are hard to beat.

Before I started building all my own stuff I had micro acoustic  2002e and grace f9e.  That was on  a micro seiki 505 arm.  Enjoyable  but not as dynamic  as real live music.  So I guess I could go on and on but the point  is  the cult status is far more than it is cheap!!!  Grado wood body carts are also very nice in mid range but a little less dynamic  than the  103's.

Enjoy the ride 
Tom