Cartridges

I had a Dynavector XX2 which I upgraded to an Ortofon Windfield, and after about a year upgraded to a Lyra Etna. After a year with the Etna I decided to sell it as I preferred the Windfield. Fat fingers me broke the Windfield, and reinstated the Dynavector after say a couple of years and I am impressed by its overall sound in comparison to the other two. I don’t have a point to make other than except I upgraded my tone arm when I bought the Etna. Now I have read elsewhere that higher end tonearms allow the use of cheaper cartridges and from what my ears tell me seems to be valid. Of course, when I broke the Windfield I ordered a Koetsu Urushi, yet to arrive, but to my surprise I could easily live with the Dynavector and it is only less than the other two in it’s imaging but only marginally.

I’ve had two Dynavector XX2 MkII cartridges on my LP12/ARO for the last 20 years or so. They are lovely cartridges (and I have bought a third, new one, ready to be installed on an LP12/Ekos as a gift for my son). I have had a Te Kaitora Rua fitted to the ARO (but not been able to listen to it yet).

Dynavectors are beautifully made cartridges (although the ‘nude’ design of the TKR is less obviously sumptuous than the XX2). And they match well with the fixed geometry of the ARO headshell.

Ortofon used to make lovely cartridges, and were very much at the forefront of the MC revival 40 or so years ago, where previously MM cartridges such as the Shure V15 III had been the favoured choice of audiophiles.

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I think a lot is to do with the phono stage. I’ve had a XX2 and Rua with my Superline and I the synergy seems spot on.

The Phono stage I use is a Van de Hul Grail Se. Which is about 8x the price of a Dynavector XX2. I agree

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This is interesting and pertinent for me right now. I have a Michelle gyro se and on Tuesday collect an origin live Illustrious tone arm to replace the techno2.
I currently have a DV 20X2 L and will run with that initially, but am looking at cartridge options. One is a pre-owned Windfield ti. For whatever reason I hadn’t considered the XX2.
I run the Whest 30 RDT se phono stage which I am very pleased with, but note Whest are offering an upgrade to this to match their new 30 pro spec for 1300.00.
Tempted to do that and give the XX2 a go for similar outlay to the Windfield ti. I have little experience of cartridges as only recently returned to vinyl so your findings are welcome. Thanks for posting

My dealer convinced me a Linn Krystal should replace my Benz ACE SL. £1400 vs £750? Well, the Linn is not IMO worth the extra over the Benz. I did consider the DV XX2, but his view was the Krystal was better. Dont get me wrong here, there is to my ears nothing wrong with the Linn, but the Benz was just better value.
My set up is Gyro SE, rega rb3000 into a cyrus phono signature with power supply.

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I have had a few MCs on my LP12/Aro over the years. For me, the important goal is to get the tonal balance that I want. I have found that better/more expensive is not always more enjoyable. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between better and different. (imho)

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It’s unfortunate that it’s not easy to do comparative listenings of cartridges, unless a dealer happens to have your chosen cartridge in use in a demo system.

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I reckon cartridges and perhaps arms are pretty much impossible to get a proper dealer test of. Mine certainly didnt want to. Talked a lot about, this and that, blah, blah. Which meant i had to press the trust button.

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I hold on to my Clearaudio Virtuoso 2. Superb and unsurpassed…

I have been through a Clearaudio Talisman and Concerto V2 previously, and am now on a Dynavector XV-1s. The DV is so much nicer than the Concerto. It has more lush midrange and better bass, but with no comparative loss of detail or treble extension. Since I acquired the DV I upgraded my tonearm to the Clearaudio Universal, their best pivot tonearm, and that makes it sound even better. My DV is getting a bit long in the tooth, so now I have a Lyra Atlas Lambda SL on order. I am looking forward to hearing it in my own system. I currently use a Superline/SCDR and Z-Foil Airplug for my phonostage with a HiLine IC.

Cheap MMs then a year with a Goldring Eroical L before I trashed it, then I used Dynavector 17D2 and 3 for a couple of decades, initially on a Rega arm with Townshend outrigger and trough and then an Aro without. Then a Transfiguration Proteus, which did everything the 17Ds did only better and with more meat on the bones. When that wore out, by which time I was using a Schröder arm, I went for an Ortofon SPU Royal N while I tried to get the Proteus retipped. I wanted a different flavour and I was curious but found I really liked it. Even fuller bodied than the Proteus with a richer tone but a bit soft on the leading edge. When the cantilever got skewed I put the 17D3 on the Schröder and really missed the Ortofon, though not the amount if static it generated on the disc. I‘m currently using the Proteus again, retipped with a Gyger S, because I liked the Replicant 100 equipped Royal N so much and the profiles are similar, and I’m liking it most of all, though it does give away some tone to the SPU. Where the Royal N swings the retipped proteus is up for a party but sometimes I still miss the SPU.

Dynavectors have “lowish” internal impedance which matches well with your Grail.Same with Lyra’s. Not surprised that you are finding good sounds from the XX2 :+1:

Thanks. Hope a Koetsu works, when it arrives