Adventures with cartridges

Well I do have an Exact on my Rega 3, but on balance the OC9/LP12 is quite a bit better.


Try AT 540/740.

I was on the point of buying an Audio Technica 540 or 740 cartridge for the ARO in my ‘second system’, but I chanced upon a knackered Linn Troika, which Goldring have rebuilt to an as-new standard.

If you’re keen on the Audio Technica, I suggest that you speak to Peter Swain of Cymbiosis, as he rates them very highly.

Fwiw, for the moment I have 2 LP12s, one with a newish Krystal (following previous Krystal and Arkiv before that) and the other with a Lyra Kleos.

To me, the Kleos is clearly better than the Krystal - more boogie, pace and excitement, and at least as much treble detail, stereo separation and realistic air and control of sibilance. If I understood what others have said, the Kleos is a good deal better than the Delos, so this seems consistent with your view.

The Lyra trade-in terms are also much better iirc, which matters when these things wear out so fast.

I have also heard DV XX2 and a Benz Micro (wood?). Both impressed but were not competitors for the Kleos imho. Of course, a TKR might be a different story.

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I’ve ordered the Lyra . Should arrive at some time in the new year.

For slam and punch I thought the Ausionote IQ£ was really good . The Lyra is not exactly a wham , slam and punch system but the other components in my system have plenty of wham slam and punch


Just a quick one, did KJ West One set up the Lyra vs DV demo for you? Been following along as I’m vaguely tempted to consider an upgrade when the time comes to replace my DV 10x5.

I recapped the thread quickly, and sounds like they certainly did :slight_smile: Nice to hear your listening impressions of the candidates, it’s a fun budget point with quite a few very tempting options

I demoed both the Lyra and the DV at KJ West. They have both on demo.

There are lots of options which I was not able to demo: I would have been interested to hear a Cadenza Red.

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Was there any particular reason you moved away from Ortofon? Was that down to not being able to hear an example?

I started with a 2M Red, then a Rondo red then a quintet bronze. The Bronze is a rolled off at the upper end so things like guitars sound smoother than I think they should. I kind of got bored with the sound. I did think about the Quintet Black, which would have been a lot cheaper than the Delos.
But never had a chance to hear it
It could also be that I can’t hear high frequencies as well I used to so need them boosted.


Thank you for tolerating my questions!

Hope the Lyra turns up promptly :slight_smile:

Personally I think you’d be amazed if you would replace your 122x/150x with a XS3 and use an Ortofon Black LVB through its MM phono stage. The Lehman sale pays for the cart.

(if the separates haven’t been serviced yet you will not be getting the fullest from either cartridge choice anyway, and even after service the XS3 will be quite a bit more engaging as will the MM)

Hi Daddy Cool.

You prompted me to update my profile as I upgraded to a Supernait 3 ( which has an MM stage so your comment remains valid) and changed the speakers.

The dealer said that there is a shortage of Lyras, something to do Boron being in short supply at the moment. so I may be in for a wait


Ah @Georgm that changes the amp situation considerably, great upgrades.

Would the wait now enable you to meanwhile demo the Ortofon Black and LVB, and possibly change your order if you like them? As a different sounding alternative I can also totally recommend the Nagaoka MP200 and MP300 cartridges.
The moving magnet phono stage of the Supernait 3 is even better than that of the Nait XS3, which says a lot. Both are very compatible with the Ortofon and Nagaoka cartridges.

Anyway, whatever direction you choose, I hope you find your cartridge solution soon enough so you can enjoy the turntable again to its fullest.

Did you ever hear the other Dynavector, the 17Dx? Dynavector seem to think it’s enough of an improvement on the D3 to warrant a price at the level of the XX2 but it will have a very different character.

Or possibly that they felt they were underselling the 17D3? :wink:

Getting to demo equipment particularly cartridges can be very challenging. I would love to hear a Koetsu to find out what the fuss is about however, the opportunity has not presented itself.
I am not sure which dealer within a reasonable distance of me might have the Nagoaka or the LVB.
Ken Kessler considered that the LVB was more suited to classical than Prog while Fremer who reviewed it, described it a smooth cart. So probably not what I am after

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Yes I totally understand that, comparing or even hearing cartridges is a challenge. Reviews are personal. Often I was able to do a pre-selection through YouTube or needle-drops, but still.

I cannot possibly forecast whether you’d like the cartridges I mentioned either. Besides musical preferences like prog or jazz, it is also very dependent on the deck itself and the specific tonearm like your SME and the interaction of both with the cartridge.

Personally I would like to investigate the “bespoke” versions of the Goldring 1042 (Reference) cartridges, an interesting concept. Like the Audio Note IQ3 you auditioned (not really available here in NL) or the Transrotor MM Uccello Reference (which is available).

Thanks for sharing your journey, hope your can enjoy it soon enough.

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The Lyra is now installed and it sounds great in my system really marries yp well with teh SME

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