You speak of Mike in the past tense. I hope he’s still with us. Yes?
- 23 posts total
- 23 posts total
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.