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Dynavector 10x5 MC Cartridge

Great Step Up...

Bought this to replace a Denon DL-110, on my Pro Ject RPM 5.2, with Slee M Phono & Roksan Caspian M2. The DL-110 was no slouch, but the 10x5 is in a whole new league. Digs really deep to extract lots more detail, separation and bass. Presentation is properly holographic. Best of all, a rare, treasured but worn record I own, which was barely listenable with the Denon sounds fantastic with the 10x5, it's that good! As a point of note: I was all set up to make the usual adjustments for alignment and azimuth etc, using a mirrored protractor and meter. Set up the effective length and overhang, and the cartridge passed all the subsequent checks without further adjustment, implying pretty damn good quality control at DV HQ!

Denon DL-110 High Output MC Cartridge

Best Bet Under £200.

I've recently come back to vinyl after over 12 years, and after acquiring a Revolver/Linn Basik Plus/Linn K9 set up I was eager to push the performance envelope just that little bit more by changing the aging (but capable) Linn K9 cartridge. In the past I've owned both moving magnet and high output and low output moving coils and for me no moving magnet comes close to a decent moving coil. In the 1980s I had an Ultimo 10X high output moving coil which 'blew me away' compared to the many mm designs I'd previously used then I went onto a low output Audio Technica OC5 mc. This Denon DL110 moving coil seemed to be just the job. A natural successor to the Ultimo 10X (Ultimo are now Dynavector btw) I fixed this into my Linn Basik plus (my old eyes need strong glasses these days) and was happy when by good fortune I'd managed to align perfectly the cart. First off it sounded a bit 'lean' and 'dry' and I wasn't really that impressed but I remember reading that VTA is very important with this cart and so I dropped the VTA down a bit (it might have been a little too high) and lo and behold the sound suddenly became richer and fuller. The piano on Joni Mitchell's Blue lp was sounding like I remember for the first time. A couple of hours later and playing my copy of Fleetwood Mac's 'Tango in the Night' and I was just 'floored' (like when I heard the Ultimo 10x some 30 years ago). It had everything detail, rich tonality, depth and space, punchy bass and dynamics which most moving magnets can't get anywhere near. At 1.8 grams it tracked everything even tough tracks near the label. If you've never heard a decent moving coil and have always stuck with moving magnets you MUST audition this. OK, so you don't get an easy replacement stylus but moving coils tend to last longer before they need replacement anyway. And with sound like this you'll not care about that slight 'inconvenience'. Just remember though to get the VTA right - this cart is very sensitive to it!

Unison Research Unico Primo Phono Integrated Amplifier

Great Italian Design And Sound

At £1249 this amplifier is a bargain, superb sound and build with Italian style.