Another cart question


Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to gradually upgrade my system. Currently based around 552/500 (neither DR) driving Totem Mani-2 Signatures.

Most of my listening is from ripped CDs through a late model NDS fed by a Synology NAS or Tidal but I have a collection of LPs from 1974 onwards (including recent stuff) and I find myself increasingly gravitating towards playing these during ‘special’ moments.

For the LPs I’m using a Michell Orbe SE, SME V, Dynavector 10xGold L (10x4 special edition), Dynavector P75 MKIII.

The 10xGold was migrated from a Rega P25 and the improved sound from the Orbe/SME setup was so amazing I didn’t rush to upgrade.

I’m now ready but not sure what I should be considering. Given I’m very happy with the sound character should I aim for a better Dynavector cart (XX2 or D17D3) or consider something else (HANA/Lyra/something else)? My budget is in the £1200-1600 range.

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

You’ve got the phono stage, I’d have a good look at the XX2 as a start.

Hope it turns out.


The P75 MKIII is a great match with the XX2. No surprise I guess. I used to have that combination and had to spend significantly more to get a worthwhile uplift.

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Thanks for the responses guys. So it sounds like XX2 rather than D17D3? I was thinking at some point to try a Superline. Would this not be worthwhile?


That’s what I moved to. The P75 was great and not just in value but the Superline is a big step up, especially powered by a Supercap. Value for money…well the law of diminishing returns etc.

The XX2 is a great cartridge. It was on my short list until I got a great deal from my shop on a traded-in XV-1s. Dynavector makes wonderful sounding cartridges.

I use XX2 on a HCDR’d Superline through 252/300DR into Mani-2 Sig’s and love it.
Steve O


Dynavector XX2 Mk 2 is the sweet-spot in the Dynavector range for performance/price tradeoff IMO. Important to factor in the periodic replacement cost and not having to remortgage the house to do it !

I got my XV-1s gently used with just a couple hundred hours on it for about 25% more than a new XX1. :yum:

Thanks again for your inputs guys. XX2 it is then…



Hah. So there I was ready to buy the XX2Mk2 and the dealer I was talking to yesterday suggested that the new Dynavector Karat 17DX (17D3 replacement) might be a better bet. He suggested it was faster, cleaner and more neutral than the XX2 with a more ‘live’ sound and slightly less smooth/warm. A quick search of the forum doesn’t yield any comments of either the 17D3 or 17DX so wondering if anyone else has tried this cartridge in a naim system and how they would characterise the sound?

I should add that I’m not a fan of the ‘lean’ style of presentation in that I like to feel the air flow to some extent and SWMBO likes a little warmth which she equates with analogue (she’s not a fan of digital).

I tend to listen to rock/pop from 1970’s to present day - Genesis to Harry Styles (yes, really).

Thanks again.

The Dynavector 17D2 (and 17D3 successor) is/was one of the greats, and superb on an arm like the Naim Aro in particular where it could be compared with any of the best carts from elsewhere. It was definitely fast and was very tuneful in the low end, if lacking the weight of the very best. Neutral, yes, but not warm. If the 17DX continues the trend then on your SME, which has a fairly heavy bottom, it might just be a great match. I reckon that if your dealer thinks it’s the better bet, he may well be right - that’s why a good dealer is so valuable.

Just be careful of the very short diamond cantilever…

Be interesting to see the the Dyna v the Apheta 3. Similar price and no shims needed on the RP10

while I’ve not compared the two directly, the consensus view on the forum has long been that the XX2 is warmer than the 17D3.

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Just get the XV-1s. You know you want to. I vouch for its greatness. :stuck_out_tongue:

Sounds like your dealer has heard both cartridges. Maybe he could demo them against each other for you? My recollection of the 17D series is that it was VERY “lean” (and I’m used to Lyra cartridges which also tend to be on the lean side). I’d be inclined to stick with the XX2 unless you can hear the 17DX and it suits your sensibilities.

Back when I had a turntable VPI TNT with a Graham Arm. I listen to numerous cartridges and I really liked the Van Den Hul Frog. They make a Frog Gold now haven’t heard it though. Others I liked the Benz Ruby. But if you want musical and can afford it nothing sounds as sublime as a Koetsu

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I decided to go with the dealer advice (thanks @Richard.Dane) and the 17DX arrived last week. The dealer has kindly said if I don’t like it he’s willing to resolve the situation without pain to me so the risk is small.

However, when I was removing the old cartridge at the weekend I managed to break the clip on a headshell lead. Some frantic calls later I’ve got a new set arriving by post this week. Sigh, for the love of vinyl.

Hopefully I’ll get the turntable up and running again later this week.

Just to update everyone on the outcome. I replaced the headshell leads and fitted the 17DX a couple of weekends ago. I’ve been able to play music most evenings after work and a little longer at the weekends (still have chores to do :frowning_face:).

Obviously I don’t know what the XX2 might have done but the 17DX has been everything the dealer promised. Now that it is run in a little, the sound is vastly improved over my 10XGold. It makes the music sound much more ‘live’ and there is a greater sense of rhythm I didn’t realise I was missing. I particularly like the drums but the guitar is no slouch and I feel as well as hear the music. Not to mention the higher sweeter highs and deeper, tighter lows coupled with much more detail and harmonic richness.

So it is definitely staying in my system. Already listened to Supertramp, Dire Straits and now Genesis this evening while contemplating attending the Bristol show tomorrow.

Thank you all for your input. Much appreciated.


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