Dynavector P75 Phono Preamp

the thin end of the wedge
Legrace
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Dynavector P75 Phono Preamp

Post by Legrace » 13 Jun 2017 18:08

As a result of another thread this phono preamp has caught me eye. Right now am just using the phono input of my integrated amp so looking at this as a potential upgrade. Not to mention setting the stage for an eventual cartridge upgrade. Its phono enhancer circuit seems a really interesting feature. Those of you who have one, what say you?

Sub
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Re: Dynavector P75 Phono Preamp

Post by Sub » 14 Jun 2017 11:53

I recently bought a 2nd hand - less than a year old - P75/3. The original owner had owned versions 1 & 2, which he used with Dynavector cartridges. He wasn't happy with the Mk 3, feeling it lacked mid range magic. He replaced it with a Project - forget the model, it cost $400 (I am talking NZ dollars here) or so more than the P75/3.
Others I know raved about the P75/3, so I bought it. The instruction folder (not a booklet) is not very clear to a non techie like me, and for a while had a lot of difficulty getting the settings right for my low output MC cart (Denon DL103R).
There are two sets of "jumper" banks, and I initially made the mistake in believing that jumper bank one was for setting basic parameters such as loading, and jumper bank two was for setting phono enhancer mode, or Dr T mode as afficionados like to call it. And of course was disappointed with the sound! Mid range was flat and boring.
I later found that each jumper bank controlled one of the two stereo channels - it makes no reference to that in the instructions. Therefore each jumper bank has to be set identically, either setting load and level, or in phono enhancer mode! Also, and the instructions don't tell you that, when you select phono enhancer mode, it bypasses the settings for load etc.
When I finally got the settings right - using phono enhancer mode - the magic I was expecting appeared. Smooth, quiet, extended highs & lows and a very very engaging mid range. Phew.
My present set up is - Yamaha YP-D9 TT with arm designed for them by Micro Seiki, Denon DL103R, the Dyn, Plinius 2100i integrated amp, Mission 753 spkrs. However, my aural memory tells me (or maybe rose tinted memories) that a set up I had six years ago was better - Linn LP12 with Ittok LV11 arm, ATOC9 cart, Plinius Jarrah phono stage, Perreaux R200iP integrated amp, with the Mission 753 Spkrs. The star of that set up was the Jarrah, which made music exciting, rhythmic and just right.
The P75/3 is almost as good as the Jarrah, and in the right set up could even be better. However, a Mk4 is about to be released, so maybe you could wait for that.

Legrace
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Re: Dynavector P75 Phono Preamp

Post by Legrace » 14 Jun 2017 13:58

Thank you for the comprehensive answer! Regarding the Mk4, do you have any information on what's changing in this version?

Sub
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Re: Dynavector P75 Phono Preamp

Post by Sub » 14 Jun 2017 22:56

Sorry, I can't give further information. I read about the Mk4 when I was searching on line when I first bought the Mk3, but now cannot find it. From memory it was on one of the many discussion forums out there, but can't remember which one.

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Re: Dynavector P75 Phono Preamp

Post by hoolio » 20 Jun 2017 08:25

Hi Legrace

I too have this pre amp, I bought it a few months after acquiring a Dynavector DV 20x2L because the phono enhancer mode piqued my interest. With this mode you don't have to add any loading for the cartridge and you can set the pre for coil resistance. As Sub says this pre works very well with the 103r and if anyone has this combination then I say look no further. But (there is always one of those, lol) it is edged out by my trusty Icon Audio 1:10 SUT and Graham Slee Reflex M moving magnet pre. I prefer the SUT and MM pre with the 20x2L. There is no information yet on the mk4.
Experimenting with cartridges and phono pre amps, I find, is a pleasant journey limited only by personal preference and of course money.

Good luck. :D

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Re: Dynavector P75 Phono Preamp

Post by AudioSoul » 21 Jun 2017 02:31

I would stay away from any type of enhancer. These circuits usually muck up the music in some way. Kind of like adding an equalizer to a system, they add phase shift to the music. I try to stick with simple circuits....musical purity

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Re: Dynavector P75 Phono Preamp

Post by hoolio » 21 Jun 2017 09:53

The Dynavector works on the current produced by a moving coil and is not an equaliser. This has the benefit of not needing to resistavely load the cartridge. It doesn't muck up the music.:D

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Re: Dynavector P75 Phono Preamp

Post by jdjohn » 25 Sep 2017 00:38

I was going to start a new thread about this phono-pre, but found this existing thread. I bought a used MkII version of the P75 a few weeks ago off eBay for a little over $400, and it's the best phonostage I have owned thus far. I actually might just stop with this one since I think a step up would certainly cost more than my conscious allows me to spend.

Here'a slightly dark pic of it, but as you can see, it's rather diminutive and un-assuming.
DV P75MkII.jpg
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My initial interest in it was the adjustable MC load settings (more about that below), but I have to say the MM side is outstanding as well, even without any adjustable MM settings. The MM stage provides 40dB of gain and 47kOhms output load. I can't find any references of what the capacitance load is, but my guess is it's pretty low.

As already mentioned in earlier posts, the P75 has two LOMC modes - standard and phono enhancer. Standard mode allows for loading at 25, 30, 100, or 470ohms, with two gain choices of 60 or 63dB. Phono enhancer mode has three settings based on the DC resistance of the coils (it's best to measure your own), with settings of 4-10, 10-20, or 20-50ohms available. I tried both standard and PE modes, and like others in this thread, I prefer the PE mode. I admit that I was a bit hesitant when I first read about the PE mode, thinking it involved some type of signal processing, but like hoolio mentioned, it is not any type of EQ. Some dude named Dr. Tominari developed a special circuit design for PE mode, and my sense is that it actually simplifies the circuit since it takes gain out of the settings parameters. Gain is fixed...at what level, I don't know, but apparently it's enough.

I compared this DV P75MkII to my Project Phonobox DS+, and I prefer the DV. The Phonobox has MC impedance loading options of 10, 100, or 1000ohms, so misses the 500ohm range. Depending on what LOMC cartridge you are using, that range difference can be a problem, or prevent you from hitting a sweet spot. Anyway, even with comparable loadings, I still like the P75 better. Understand, I love my Phonobox DS+...it is no slouch...but the DV P75 edged-out as the winner for me in my setup. This was true for both MM & MC stages. The Phonobox has several capacitance load settings, which I like, but still even with fixed MM settings, I like the DV just a little better.

For me, the P75 was a bit quieter with lower noise floor, and had more clarity and separation. It was more revealing in general. Bass is a little lighter, yet more refined, so depending on your taste and system, this may be a benefit.

Okay, there is one negative for me with DV P75. With MC carts, I had a slight grounding issue, but it was easily rectified. Direct connection of turntable ground to the P75 gave me a hum at higher volumes, but moving tt ground to my power conditioner chassis fixed that.
Again, this was only with MC carts. I'm sure grounding to an integrated or separate pre/power amp would work as well, but for me those were too far away. Here was my solution:
IMAG0910.jpg
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Brand-new MkIII versions sell for just under $900, but you can get used Mk1 & MkII models for $300-400 if you're patient. IMO these used ones are worth it...better than brand-new alternatives for the same price.

EDIT: @Legrace, did you ever pop on one?

Legrace
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Re: Dynavector P75 Phono Preamp

Post by Legrace » 25 Sep 2017 12:06

EDIT: @Legrace, did you ever pop on one?
No, although not for a lack of trying. I simply couldn't find one! Unavailable or no stock virtually everywhere I looked. I finally located a single unit listed on a site in the US, but they informed me they couldn't sell it to me. Instead they shared contact information for the official Canadian Dynavector distributor. So I rang them up and you can guess the answer, yup sorry we're all out of stock. #-o Plus they had no idea on timing to get more in. At that point my patience was at an end and I moved on. Too bad availability isn't better, good unit as per your review.

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Re: Dynavector P75 Phono Preamp

Post by jdjohn » 25 Sep 2017 14:55

That is frustrating. Well, I did notice an original MkI on US eBay for about $350, but you may understandably want to buy brand-new.

Legrace
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Re: Dynavector P75 Phono Preamp

Post by Legrace » 26 Sep 2017 00:01

jdjohn wrote:That is frustrating. Well, I did notice an original MkI on US eBay for about $350, but you may understandably want to buy brand-new.
Thanks for the lead, however, in the mean time came across a nice used Sutherland. Nice to finally have adjustable loading options!

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Re: Dynavector P75 Phono Preamp

Post by jdjohn » 26 Sep 2017 03:27

Glad you got to scratch that itch :) Not to de-rail this thread, but have you tried a SUT for LOMC yet??? :-k

Legrace
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Re: Dynavector P75 Phono Preamp

Post by Legrace » 26 Sep 2017 12:26

jdjohn wrote:Glad you got to scratch that itch :) Not to de-rail this thread, but have you tried a SUT for LOMC yet??? :-k
No, actually went down another avenue. More investigation led me to start researching battery power designs. When it comes to processing such low level signal of LOMC the idea of being completely isolated from all external power noise appeals to me. Also the benefits of dual mono circuitry. Besides I already have more then enough power cords to deal with. :lol:

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Re: Dynavector P75 Phono Preamp

Post by jdjohn » 26 Sep 2017 13:47

SUTs don't have power cords 8)

Legrace
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Re: Dynavector P75 Phono Preamp

Post by Legrace » 26 Sep 2017 14:11

jdjohn wrote:SUTs don't have power cords 8)
Are you considering getting one to use along with your P75?

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