One step or Two Steps

I am about to collect an Aria Phonostage for my LP12 to go with my 222/300/250DR.

Currently, I am wavering between just getting the Aria for now and upgrading my cartridge at a later date, so sticking with a Dynavector 10X5 mk2 for now. The alternative is to get a Dynavector XX2 II cartridge at the same time.

Initially, the plan was to do it in two steps but now I am thinking of doing it all at once, so one step.

I am wondering what people’s views are about the pros and cons of doing this either way.

I’m going to play devils advocate here and hope that you havn’t actually parted with any cash yet for the Aria ?
If you plan on moving to a DV XX2 II, i would very seriously consider the DV P75 Mk4 above the Aria. I have the DV P75 Mk3 paired with a DV-20X2 and it is a match made in heaven, even more so when set to Phono Enhance. The Mk4 is a big improvement on the Mk3 with a much lower noise floor and if buying new now would be a no brainer.

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I would endorse Kitkat’s comment about the phonostage but also in my experience Dynavector cartridges work very well with Naim phonostages.

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I once had DV P75 Mk 3 + DV XX-2 Mk 2. PE mode or otherwise, just didn’t sound right. Strange but true. PE mode just did not sound ‘natural’ and was noisier than standard mode.
Just one person’s experience though.

@jlewis and @kitfit1 I’ve got the DVP75 Mk3 and DV XX2 II also. I’m reasonably happy with it however I did notice a significant increase in the noise level when no music playing when I moved from a DV10x5 to the MC cartridge. I got some help from PearAudio (I think) wrt to the jumpers in the DVP75 Mk3 to help reduce the noise but still pretty annoying. Not sure it’s the DVP75 specifically as I understand this is pretty common finding when you move from MM to MC?

Paul, I had three or four Dynavector XX-2 Mk II cartridges over a period of around ten years. Last year I went slightly mad, and bought a Te Kaitora Rua.

The XX-2 is a great cartridge, which I can heartily recommend. I see that you have an Ittok, which will be perfect for the XX-2, or any other Dynavector cartridge, for that matter

Go for it, and let us know how you get on…

…to confirm, I found PE mode much noisier than standard mode.

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Thanks for all the replies. My Aria arrives tomorrow, my dealer has an install near to me so offered to drop it by and set it up on the way past. Now the question, is how long until I get the XX2?

The 222 phono stage works really well with the 10X5, initially, I intended to keep my Fono for a while but the 222’s phono stage was clearly better, which slightly surprised me as the Fono was much better than the SuperNait 3 phono stage. Naim clearly put a lot of effort into it Unsurprisingly the Aria is another step up from the 222.

The system is getting closer to my intended end point, next year, the 250DR will be replaced by a NC250, well most likely but a pair of monoblocks might work really well with my speakers and room.

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To me the 222 built in phono sounds better than the Aria (I mean easily better). I am in fact quite surprised you found the Fono better than the SN3’s one but may be a preference?

But isn’t the 222 phonostage only MM?


Yes, which is the prime motivation for the change.

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