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Dynavector Power Amps

Discussion in 'audio' started by johnacurtis, Oct 3, 2020.

  1. johnacurtis

    johnacurtis pfm Member

    Can anyone tell me anything about these amps? I have been looking on line for information, but it seems to be scare to non-existent!
    It seems to be the HX75 in 75w form, then the HX75 in 100w. But is it then HX100 or HX1. 2?
    Any spec's available for these?
    I have a Townshend Allegri + pre into a naim nap 250 dr power and into shahinian compass speakers.
    I have heard lots of people like the Dynavector amps into Shahinian's and wondered if they would be an even better match than my Naim? Which Dynavector amp should I be looking at to give me a proper comparison.
    Can anyone tell me about the sound character of Dynavector amps?
    What sort of price would I expect to pay for these amps, if there are any for sale?
  2. cliddell

    cliddell Demented Member

    You are right about limited information "out there".

    Sequence is:
    HX75(75w) -> HX75(100w) -> HX1.2 -> HX100.

    I occasionally hear rumours about monoblocks and HX50 versions dotted in there, but I suspect they are all bogus. Possibly confusion caused because the HX100 can do bridged mono.

    I switched from chrome bumper Naim to DV amps, with Shahinian Arcs, for two main reasons: the quality of the mains here is very variable, and I found 32.5/HiCAP/250 was quite sensitive to the quality of the mains, where it seems to have little or no effect on the DV amps. Secondly, I live a semi-detached, so have neighbours to avoid annoying and, to my ears, the DV amps "scale down" better than my Naim ones did - i.e they stay fun and enjoyable even at quite low volumes.

    Sounds-wise, I feel like the DV amps keep the infamous "PRAT" that (at least old skool!) Naim amps provide, but smooth out the occasional "breaking glass" harshness that sometimes creeps into the Naim sound. As always with these things, your best bet would be to try to blag a listen for yourself.

    As for price... they are sufficiently rare, it's hard to even guess. I bought my HX100 (used) in 2018 for about £3.5k, and sold my 100w HX75 for £750 a few months later.

    If you have specific questions, I've always found Pear Audio ( ) very willing to provide info.
    Snufkin and johnacurtis like this.
  3. Snufkin

    Snufkin pfm Member

    Cliddell summarised it well.

    I had a 32.5/SNAPS/250 Naim combo and replaced the NAP250 with a Dynavector HX75 (100 watt version) and it was so much better that I promptly sold the 250. Eventually I worked my way through various Dynavector preamps and power amps and ended up with a P300/HX100 combo which has stayed.

    Trying to understand their power amps is a bit confusing. The HX75 is about the same size as a Naim 250 and doesn’t look that different although it has some cooling slots in the top of the case. The HX1.2 is a much larger and heavier beast which has the look of a Bedini amplifier about it with its heat sinks on the side. The HX100 is like a scaled down but slightly more refined version of the HX1.2 both in its performance and its aesthetics. Despite being smaller than the HX1.2, the HX100 is more powerful and seems heavier. The HX100 has the advantage of balanced inputs which really did seem to offer an improvement over using its phono connections.
    johnacurtis likes this.
  4. johnacurtis

    johnacurtis pfm Member

    Thank you both for your comments.
    It seems like it would be worth me trying a dynavector amp at least!
    And Snufkin, the Compasses are your old ones, that I have "up-graded" with mk2 standard main drivers and treble units.
    Do you think an "old" HX75 75w amp would be enough to better the 250 dr, or to me, sounds like a HX75 100w might be the minimum!? HX100, don't think I have ever seen any for sale!
  5. Knipester

    Knipester pfm Member

    Other brands offer similar matching if you struggle to find a DV amp. Vitus ri100 is a superb used bargain and drives shahinians brilliantly.
  6. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

  7. johnacurtis

    johnacurtis pfm Member

    Knipster, thank you too! Just a quick search seems to confirm that they (Vitus) seem to be a little bit out of my price range unfortunately!
  8. Snufkin

    Snufkin pfm Member

    Hello John, I have followed your upgrade story so imagine those Compasses sound even better than they did before.

    I have never heard a 75 watt HX75 or a dr'd 250 so can't comment but for what they cost, I would try either an early or late HX75 and see how it goes. It’s pretty easy to move Dynavector stuff on if it doesn't work out. Another direction to consider is trying a class D amplifier. I used a Bel Canto amp with the Compasses for about a year and it sounded really good.
  9. kevinrt

    kevinrt pfm Member

  10. johnacurtis

    johnacurtis pfm Member

    Hi Kevin
    He has, it is a private sale, it's an early HX75 75w version and just been serviced. At £700.
  11. Stuart Frazer

    Stuart Frazer pfm Member

    I've never heard Dynavector amplifiers, but would like to try them some day. Shahinian used to recommend Dynavector amplifiers for their speakers along with Plinus and Bedini I think.
  12. jimbot2.0

    jimbot2.0 pfm Member

    I moved from a NAP250 to HX75 to HX1.2. I agree re: mains - Dynavector amps seem much less susceptible to mains quality (although Naim may have addressed this with their DR amps?).

    I think the positive effects of moving to Dynavector will be more pronounced if you decide to the bigger speakers in the Shahinian range- whilst the 250 made a very decent amp for Arcs it ran out of puff when I moved to Obelisks and began distorting when the wick was turned up. The HX75 had no such problems and the HX1.2 added more power, finesse and a lower noise floor - very happy with it
    madscientist and johnacurtis like this.
  13. johnacurtis

    johnacurtis pfm Member

    Hi jimbot2. 0! Was that a 100w HX75 or the 75w version that you moved to first?
    I think my Compasses are far easier to drive than Obelisks. My experience with Obs was when I had a Roksan Caspian M2 integrated driving them and it just didn't work out for me!
    From what I can tell, it seems that I should try and get a HX75 100w or a HX100.
  14. jimbot2.0

    jimbot2.0 pfm Member

    It was the 100w one. Yes, various opinions on driving obelisks but my experience is that they need lots of unregulated power. They do have multiple tweeters and can drop to 1ohm i believe.
    johnacurtis likes this.
  15. pocketkitchen

    pocketkitchen Registered User

    My two pennorth would be that an HX 75 will improve upon a NAP 250 but an HX1.2 or 100 will be even better. They don't come up often though. Easy to sell on again if you buy blind as there's so few about.
  16. johnacurtis

    johnacurtis pfm Member

    Thank you all for the comments and suggestions.
    It seems to me that there could be a wanted ad coming soon - HX75 100w version or HX100 or HX1. 2.
    No idea what money these go for, even if I can actually find one.
    The HX75 in 75w, seems to be £600 to £700 depending on service or not.
  17. peterm

    peterm pfm Member

    I'm still tempted to try a DV amp with the Obs I bought from you!

    I don't listen to the hi fi as much as I'd like and I don't think I could justify more spending - but all the same! I think you know the feeling!

    I remember Paul ("deserter") telling me the 75W HX75 was "a fun amp" so I wouldn't discount it.

    If I ever do succumb to temptation I'll be happy to bring it round to you to try, but I suspect you might beat me to it!
  18. johnacurtis

    johnacurtis pfm Member

    Hi Peter
    Good to hear from you!
    You may well be right about me getting a DV amp! It's another "itch" to scratch!
    I have to say that the 250 dr amp with the Townshend Allegri pre is a really, really good combination and a million miles away from the Roksan Caspian amp I had when you listened to the Obelisks!
    I think it's just that most people seem to think the DV amps can bring Shahinian's to life more than the naim amps!
    If I get one first, then you would be most welcome to borrow it to try in your system!
  19. deserter

    deserter pfm Member

    Hi John, I went from a pair of 135s to an early HX75 many years ago and never looked back. The improvement (into Arcs) was huge. Quite valve like and very sweet and transparent.

    I’ve since had a later 75, an HX1.2 and now an HX 100 but if would still be very happy with my original HX75. I don’t know about the DR thing with Naim but being Naim I wouldn’t expect too much personally .

    Phil might lend you the HX75 to try, and it might be worth just checking previous owner hasn’t tried to “improve “ it
    Snufkin likes this.
  20. Rushboy

    Rushboy pfm Member

    do Dynavector amplifiers sound softer and more tube-like than Naim?

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