Dynavector P75 MKIV Opens a Window Allowing Music to Breathe Freely

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Dynavector P75 MKIV

Dynavector of Australia, the acclaimed maker of many things phono from the land down-under (differing from Dynavector of Japan, who only make phono cartridges; Dynavector of Australia only makes electronics) and imported into the states by Dynavector USA, has just released its newest version of the wonderful P75 phono stage, of which I own the MKII version.

Now, to my knowledge, they are not ones to release new or updated things all that often, so when I was told about this new updated version, and urged by that proprietor of all things wonderfully stereo, Charlie Schnyder of Stereo Haven, I just had to audition it.

While my MKII, and all the the versions before the MKIV, were highly musical and engaging phono stages, not only for the money but regardless of cost, the new version here I am pleased to say takes music to the next level. But I will get that in a minute...

Beginning on the outside, the look and feel of the new version--and even the box it comes in--exudes a classier, more refined elegant package. With it’s gold embossed emblem on top of its well-made box, it foretells that what is inside is special indeed,

 

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Taking it out of the package, it is slightly larger than it’s predecessors, and the front of the unit has this nice dark glass panel with rounded metal sides with two protrusions on both ends that look like buttons but are not. The back has quality RCA connectors with a neat cap covering the ground that is embossed with the “DV” logo on it--the Dynavector emblem (I’m not quite sure what it is supposed to resemble), the port for the power adapter and the on/off switch.

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Connecting it was straightforward enough. Since I was using the WTL DPS, I did not need the standard wall-wart adapter. A note to MKII users (and maybe other version owners too): the power adapter input has a reversed polarity on the Mark IV version. Fortunately for me, the well thought out WTL DPS has ports for both, so it was an easy remedy once I did some sleuthing.

Turning the unit on revealed a nice red glowing DV in the middle of the glass panel, which, too, was a little classier than on my MKII.

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Dynavector USA states that the unit benefits from an extended break-in period, which I am used to; it takes time for parts to settle in and do what they are supposed to do, be it phono stage, speakers, amplifiers or cables. Rare is any high-quality piece of stereo equipment that sounds the best it ever will right out of the box.

The MKIV here is no exception, but I will say that right out of the box, while it was a little “untamed,” it was apparent that this was not a small step forward, but a stride.

Perhaps the biggest praise I can say about the MKIV before I get into details, is it has made me love my DeVore 3XLs more than ever!

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You can’t do Buddha than the new Dynavector P75 MKIV

Here's why: As I mentioned above, right out of the box, it was a bit untamed. But still, at that same time, it was clearly more "naturally tactile" sounding. As I let it break in over the next several days, playing everything from Rock (hard and soft), Blues, and Jazz, to Classical, Easy listening, and Show tunes, it started to settle down nicely.

As it has, what has become apparent to me is that what this "next step up" in natural-ness for me was, is this greater feeling of space between all the instruments and singers, allowing them to breathe in a more natural way. It gave a sense of life to studio recordings and allowed more of the "event" in a live recording to come through, giving music a greater sense of realism; like when you open the windows on that first spring day after winter that causes your lungs to draw more air in than they would with a normal breath of room air. It allows you to take more in.

Let me explain. In listening to music with my older version compared to the new version, it was like first watching five talented dancers in a 10x10 room asked to dance their routines. While I could easily see and enjoy all the performers in the room, it was like they were each holding back a little bit from fully expressing their routines, because they didn't want to hit the other dancer. With the new unit, it was like the same 5 dancers were now placed in a 20x20 room--with more space between them, it was easier to not only see them perform, but the extra room allowed them to now fully let it all go and strut their stuff, carefree, without fear of interfering with the other performers.

The instruments seem to have more leading edge transients and natural decay now, and the vocals sound even more alive. I definitely hear more too--things I never heard before in songs I know like the back of my hand, singers that hinted at other singers singing alongside of them before are now clearly defined in the soundstage.

In live recordings, large venues sound to scale, and small venues are more intimate, revealing even more the character of each. The soundstage itself has taken on a wider and deeper feel; some things my DeVores portrayed exceptionally well before with vinyl, but are now off the charts!

I am not sure that even with several days worth of dedicated listening I’ve heard all the best this new version of the P75 can give, but I do know this: I am buying the review sample. I just can’t go back having tasted not only what this unit can dish out, but how with vinyl it has allowed me to enjoy my speakers and the rest of my system more than ever.

And are you ready for this clutch-the-pearls moment? It is still just $895.00. GASP! WAIT…WHAT DID HE SAY! How can this be!!?? A new model…and one that is an improvement over the old model, and the price stayed the same!? Surely this will shake the very foundation of all things high end for manufacturers that make modest improvements and add hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to their price based on their claim that their parts for these improvements cost so much more, and of course for R&D (which they get paid to do every day anyway and that’s their job). Indeed, there are many high end manufacturers that make phono stages that do not make music the way the P75 does, who churn out new and only slightly improved versions of their older models with an increase of more than the P75 costs!

Well, all I can say is this. You can spend more--way, way more, and get less--much, much less music for your money than you can with this new MKIV version of the P75. It certainly has no equal for the money, and it may just be one of the top five best bargains you can find for high end audio. For me, it is like opening a window and letting fresh air in on a stuffy day.

Is it for everybody?, the only way to tell is to audition it in your system, or at the very least hear it in a system compared to other units. But you can’t do that on Amazon or over the internet. You need to go to your local stereo shop, and if you don’t have one then make a road trip. I’ve said it many times before, if listening to music is as important to you as it is to me, then make the time to go and listen. For me and my DV 20XL, it is a match made in Heaven. I have the phono stage set to PE mode (“Phono Enhanced”) and it keeps revealing a little more of itself during each listening session. For owners of DV cartridges, I think this to be the apex setting. I’m sure you may have a different set up than mine, and the P75 can be user- or dealer-configured to fit any cartridge, MM and MC (hi or lo output), but it still may not be your cup of tea or perform its best with your equipment. But if your fortunate enough, it will will work it’s magic for you the same way it has for me. It's absolutely subline; nay, larapin!

I’ve listed the equipment I auditioned the P75 with below mearly for your reference purposes.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0