Kandid or Ekstatik

I’m planning to replace my cartridge in the next couple weeks. My search hasn’t led me anywhere on the forum. Any advice. I was actually thinking I may take my deck over to my dealer and see if he would swap out cartridges on my set up to listen first hand. Have a Krystal now and thinking about either a Kandid or Ekstatik. My funds are just telling me Kandid but is it worth the extra to the Ekstatik?


I’ve often thought about this also

What I can say is that I’ve gone from the Krystal to the Kandid on one of my Linns ( the other LP12 has the Kandid as standard) and the jump in SQ is extraordinary, you will certainly not regret that move.

I would imagine going for the estatik must give a further quantum leap in SQ but here in Australia it’s double the price of the Kandid so I’m happy to stay where I am.

I can’t remember reading on the forum if any member has gone from Kandid to Estatik and the performance benefits

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I went from Dynavector DV-XX2 to Kandid and was very happy with the improvement. I’ve not heard the Ekstatic yet but the guys at Signals said they were very impressed by it so I will be listening to it when the time comes to replace my Kandid. Hopefully not too soon though :sweat:

I went from Dynavector XX-2 Mk2 to Ekstatik 16 months ago and have no regrets. I didn’t have Krystal so can’t comment on Ekstatik uplift but I did choose XX2 over Krystal at the time.

My Ekstatik needed 70/80 hours on it before reaching full potential. I’m now 370 hours in and it’s amazing.

I still have a Krystal on 1 LP12 - it’s very good.

On my main LP12, I now have a Lyra Kleos, which I think better (and with a more generous trade-in deal when it gets tired).

Given the costs involved, I would strongly encourage you to spend a morning at a dealer hearing 2 or 3 options.


I went from Krystal to Kandid. It was expensive, I agree, but worth every penny in terms of performance lift. It’s the best moving coil cartridge I’ve owned.

Looking at your profile, I cannot tell if you’ve upgraded to K-Rad II yet. If not I’d urge you to have a listen to that as you might find it has a bigger bang for buck than changing cartridge.


I for one won’t be going to the Ekstatik I have a Kandid and with its long term heritage being made by Lyra it was a fantastic step up from Krystal.

In fact I changed from a very old Troika to Krystal on release and had a very bad experience with two faulty examples in a row with large numbers in serial between.

Probably the worst product and bad Hi Fi mistake I’ve ever made.

But my dealer took care of everything in a very swift and professional manner.

As for Ekstatik it’s a new manufacturer on me EMT on inspection it looks like a leap into the esoteric as opposed to pure performance.
Hearing it might prove me wrong but really enough is enough the laws of diminishing returns is too close to call.
If you must have the three point mount “ I did “ then it’s Kandid.

If three point mount isn’t a deal breaker for you then Lyra Kleos is on radar.


This is great, thank you everyone. @Clive I have an Akurate Radikal. I thought of upgrading that with the II as well. Had not thought about entertaining a Klimax Radikal though instead of a cartridge upgrade. Just figured the cartridge would bring more excitement.

Really appreciate it everyone!

Just for my interest & education, I would like to understand the lineage of the various Linn MC cartridges, over the years.

AFAIK, the Asak/Karma/Asaka/Troika were all made by and or derived from Supex designs…?

After that, I believe Lyra were the source - and now its EMT…?

Any more, detailed info appreciated… for interest & education purposes… :slightly_smiling_face:

Here you are, :+1:t2:
Linn carts

Maker Audio Technica





Maker Supex






Maker Goldring / Armour




Maker EMT



Maker Lyra






Moved from Kandid to Ekstatik around a month ago and whilst it’s still got some time to go to fully settle down its streets ahead.

Quite remarkable how much detail it manages to get out of the groove. Huge new sonic insights into tracks I thought I knew well!

This does come at a slight more neutral sound than the lovely natural warmth of the Kandid, but in my view the additional cost has been well worth it.


If you are happy with the Krystal you will be delighted with the Kandid.

Decisions on a new cartridge purchase should include how readily flush the funds will be at future trade-in times, Linn do a reasonable trade-in deal but these things are still bonkers expensive to periodically replace, and they will need to be in due-time being a consumable.

I went from Dynavector XX2mkII to Kandid: after a demo with the lovely Dyna’ TE-Kaitora; which i had every intention of buying before hearing the Kandid but IMO the Kandid outclasses the TKR and offers up music in the way i like to hear it.

Regardless to how deep your pockets are, only you can know if Kandid or Ekstatik is the right choice, and this during a demo, and to consult with the dealer if it would be better to spend upgrade money upstream beforehand even if this means settling for the Kandid.


I have twice bought upgrades for my TT, one a Cart, which gave more detail and resolution at the expense of warmth and some bottom end. I didn’t enjoy the music as much and took a step back into the direction from which I came. Better is not always more enjoyable imho.

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I am a extremely happy user of a Kandid, probably one of the best cartridges I have ever had, although I do harp back to fond memories of a Troika back in my early days.

My Kandid will possibly need replacing later this year, or early next year, and I am sure that the Ekstatik will be on my list for a replacement cartridge.

I am also an extremely happy user of my Superline with no intention of replacing it unless Naim ever produce a Supeline+ … dream on!

So, my question is: are the Superline loadings for the Ekstatik the same, or similar, as for the Kandid?


p.s. I will also ask my dealer next time I pop into town.

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I liked the Ekstatik which I had on home dem for two weeks, and thought it out-performed my Lyra Kleos SL in many respects: wider soundstage, better dynamics, greater separation of instruments and vocals, and superior resolution. Despite this however, on re-installing the Kleos SL I was reminded of something about the Lyra sound I had been missing. So I decided in the end to upgrade the Kleos SL to an Etna SL (same cost with generous trade-in as would have been the Ekstatik).


Interesting as I have heard other comments about some preferring the Etna SL, which I will definitely have to dem when the time comes.

I have also read comments that the Ekstatik can be a bit ‘dry’ which, if so, would not appeal to me.


Appreciate all the feedback everyone! I’m leaning towards a Kandid at this point. @FangfossFlyer what is the loading you have for the Kandid?

I know many prefer 576R but for me I much prefer 560R.

Thank you. I never paid attention to these. My dealer has a 500R loaded for my Krystal. I don’t see a 560R in my set.