Dynavector DV-10X5 review

Precise sound for a bargain price

TechRadar Verdict

An MC with a high output, great dynamics and fine timing. The mounting challenges will be forgotten after a single track


  • +

    Solid and precise sounds

  • +

    Great timing


  • -

    Tough setup

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The 10X5 is the least expensive cartridge in Japanese brand Dynavector's extensive range and its origins can be traced back to a time when vinyl ruled supreme (1978, to be specific).

It has gone through five revisions since then, so is a more up-to-date design with an elliptical stylus and a more conventional downforce requirement for an MC of two grammes.

A wallet-friendly option

It has a strong 2.5mV output meaning you don't need a hyper-sensitive MC phono stage, making it more economical for those starting out on the vinyl path to sonic enlightenment.

A forthcoming revision is said to include threaded inserts, which would greatly aid mounting, but as it stands it's difficult to set up. You have to use the supplied aluminium slot-head bolts and round nuts and there's no stylus guard for assurance.

Vibrant sounds

Fortunately, it's worth the trouble (it wouldn't still be around if not) and is capable of producing a solid and precise soundstage with real weight and power.

Tonally, it's very convincing too, managing to combine good detail resolution with a relaxed balance that's sensitive to timing without leaning on the leading edges.

The lazy groove of Tom Waits' Swordfishtrombone sounds so right that it's hard to find the limitations unless you have something better on hand (the Ortofon Rondo Red reveals greater subtlety in the bass and a little more refinement).

But the Dynavector makes up for this with vibrant dynamics and a great sense of timing that hooks you into the music.

The TechRadar hive mind. The Megazord. The Voltron. When our powers combine, we become 'TECHRADAR TEAM'. You'll usually see this author name when the entire team has collaborated on a project or an article, whether that's a run-down ranking of our favorite Marvel films, or a round-up of all the coolest things we've collectively seen at annual tech shows like CES and MWC. We are one.