Cartridge Catastrophe or Upgrade Opportunity :(

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by _rod_serling_, Mar 23, 2015.

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  1. _rod_serling_

    _rod_serling_ Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    florida
    So after almost 3 years of protecting and caring for my Dynavector 10x5 I was dusting (really how many cartridges die from this fate each year?) I caught the tip/cantilever with a tiny piece of the swifter pad and did not think anything of it cause it barely felt like i had touched it. I came back that evening to listen and do my normal before listening pre-clean and sat there staring at the needle for a good 30 seconds wondering why it did not look right (forgetting the earlier dusting incident for a moment ) then it dawned on me. and then my first thought - i am one of those people now that I, in the past, couldn't figure out how they could have damaged their needle so carelessly.
    SO... enough of my stressful tale.
    I am using this as an upgrade opportunity. I like a neutral accurate sound . I listen in a small (11x11) room and any brighter tendencies might be overbearing.
    In speaking with my audio seller awhile back I asked what my next cartridge step might be if I got into an upgrading mood-i suggested a dynavector 20x2 and he suggested one step further a lyra delos which after research sounded plausible. I currently have a rega p3-24 /rogue triton pre/rogue cronus magnum/dali zensor 7 setup.
    TL/DR: I broke it, I will upgrade... It will be reborn! any suggestions ?

    PS - i intend to have the old dyna retipped at soundsmith i think as either a backup or cartridge for a second table.
    PSS - thanks for reading this far :)
     
  2. GoldprintAudio

    GoldprintAudio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lexington, NC
    I would put the Ortofon Cadenza Red (and maybe Blue) on your list of options. The Red in particular is very neutral and not bright/forward in any way.
     
  3. The Ortofon 2M Black would also be a nice choice for a few dollars less. The Lyra Delos is a cartridge I've always wanted to try, but I've never heard even a demo so I'd be flying blind. Does anyone know how the Delos compares to the 2M Black and Cadenzas?
     
  4. Upinsmoke

    Upinsmoke Well-Known Member

    Location:
    SE PA
    If you enjoyed the sound of the 10x5 it just keeps getting better up the Dynavector line. The next level up to the 20x2 really wakes things up. The improvement between that and the xx-2 is just another step in the right direction.
     
    Johnny Vinyl likes this.
  5. I was gonna mention that earlier and agree 100%. My buddy progressedfrom a 10 to a 20 and now has an XV-1s.......a blow your brains out fantastic cartridge.
     
  6. BrewCrew82

    BrewCrew82 The Most Notable Member

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I put a "no dusting" sign on my gear when the cleaning lady comes :)
     
  7. Upinsmoke

    Upinsmoke Well-Known Member

    Location:
    SE PA
    Agree with you there Johnny, I've liked everything I've heard in the Dyna range. Not sure I care for the price of the xv-1s though lol. The extra $3000 over what I put out would have hurt. While there is an improvement from xx-2 to xv-1s to my ears they were not worth the extra $3k. Honestly, I think the 20x2 sounded pretty damm good but after hearing the xx-2 it was no contest. Moving up to the XV-1s you still share the same cantilever and stylus, just a bit more refined. I think the real sweet spot is the XX-2 in the line.
     
  8. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I did the same thing you did, in that case the cartridge was quite old and was replaced. However I didn't mount it's replacement properly and the cantilever developed a severe lean. I had it fixed at The Soundsmith with the $250 option and it sounds great.
     
  9. _rod_serling_

    _rod_serling_ Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    florida
    i had considered moving up the dyna line and my audio seller recommended the lyra - that was more than a year ago. after speaking with him today he mentioned that lyra's are extremely backordered and can take months to get. he did mention something newer they had gotten in and were VERY impressed with. the Kiseki Blue NS - there is very little out there on it but from what i have read it sounds impressive. i am going down on thursday to check it out/get replaced.
     
    utahusker likes this.
  10. patrickd

    patrickd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin TX USA
    I've damaged a few cartridges like that but I can go one better now -- I bent the cantilever on a 10x5 by storing it in an overprotective manner. I actually put it back in its case after placing the plastic protective white cover it comes with over the exposed stylus, then screwing the cartridge back into the plastic case for safe keeping. Far from keeping it safe, the white protector, which is invaluable when the cartridge is mounted on an arm, should not be closed over when the 10x5 is stored in the plastic shipping case.....but I only found this out when I took it out of storage this weekend. Quite amazingly, rather than fall off, the cantilever has an amazing bend which curls the stylus tip 180deg around. Ouch.....a $250 retip might be a good option as it's a fine performer and the new price is now over $500. I presume Soundsmith can handle this but are there other 'fixers' out there that people can recommend in case the wait it too long?
     
  11. It sure is a huge difference in price and I must agree that oftentimes the performance doesn't improve in-step. I will say the XV-1s sounds amazing.
     
  12. Don Parkhurst

    Don Parkhurst Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    I use the 20X2Lo and my dealer told me that Dynavector has a trade in policy that is generous. When I have worn it out, Dynavector will give me $250 towards a new cartridge. He didn't mention any limitations with the offer.

    Good to know. Might give you another option that you hadn't thought of.
     
  13. Don Parkhurst

    Don Parkhurst Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    I have heard good things about the Blue, but my understanding is that the Purpleheart is the sweet spot. About $1k more than the Blue (give or take) and it got quite a good review by Michael Fremer a month or two ago in Stereophile.
     
  14. ggergm

    ggergm red right returning

    Location:
    Minnesota
    _rod_serling_, have you eyeballed the cartridge to make sure it's damaged? Any time I've trashed a stylus, it's been so apparent that I didn't need 30 seconds of listening to hear I was in a heap of trouble. You must have bent the cantilever to make a difference in the sound. That should be readily visible. You couldn't have damaged the stylus itself and have it still play. You have a nude elliptical diamond on that cartridge, which means it's solid diamond all the way into the cantilever. You're not breaking tbe needle.

    If you can't see anything wrong, I'd clean the stylus really well. You could have just transferred some gunk onto the needle and that's what you are hearing. Also check down by the cantilever's suspension. I've had problems with grunge building up there upon occasion and I needed to use a fine artist's brush, slightly damp, to clean it off.

    As for your question, my last two cartridges have been a Dynavector 20x2H which was replaced by a Lyra Delos. The 20x2 is a real winner, one of the most musical cartridges I've ever owned. It wasn't the last word in resolution or detail but it always, always, sounded good. Warm and lush, it was like sitting in a comfy chair. I loved it and would have not hesitate recommending you buy one.

    The Delos is a much better cartridge, though. It's more revealing. Ruler flat in its response, it's faster and better in most every way. Its bass and transient response beat the 20x2 handily. The Delos is also much more extended in its high end than the Dynavector. It is a bitch to set up right. You have to have the geometry dead nuts on in every respect to get the maximum out of the cartridge. I could hear the difference in tone arm height with the 20x2 but it's much more apparent with the Lyra. Get the tone arm height right with the Delos and the soundstage snaps into focus. I wouldn't call it finicky. Demanding would be a better word. But like a high maintenance lover, she is worth the effort. Everything is smooth as silk when things are going her way.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
  15. Analogman

    Analogman Well-Known Member

    That statement (requirement) goes for any cartridge
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
  16. _rod_serling_

    _rod_serling_ Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    florida
    ---when i went to clean it - it was literally facing almost the opposite direction -
     
  17. ggergm

    ggergm red right returning

    Location:
    Minnesota
    Oh.

    .sdaeh rieht edih dna nur yeht ,semoc niar eht nehW. .niaaaaR. .senihs nus eht...
     
    Johnny Vinyl likes this.
  18. Don Parkhurst

    Don Parkhurst Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Ouch!
     
  19. Stefan

    Stefan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    I feel your pain. My finger lightly brushed against the cantilever on my AT-OC9-MLII last Saturday evening and bang, that tiny little wire of a cantilever broke right off!

    I will say however that it led me to re-install my Ortofon 2M Black and other than it being extremely sensitive to surface noise, which will prompt me to up my cleaning regime, when dialed in properly and with the right capacitance setup, the Black is detailed without being as bright as the AT. I was listening to Steve and Kevin's brilliant remastering of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours last night and the way the Black seems to present the various layers of Mick Fleetwood's percussion with depth and a 3D soundstage was just amazing. Whereas the OC9 gives bright, sharp detail that sound quite resolving, it never had the kind of depth the 2M Black renders so well. I've had problems with the Black getting it dialed in, but once I did, wow! So in my case, my cartridge catastrophe turned into an upgrade opportunity. Plus the money I saved I think I'll invest in a proper record cleaning machine.
     
  20. _rod_serling_

    _rod_serling_ Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    florida
    well i already have an okki nokki and use it on every used piece of vinyl i acquire. i also listen in a very small room (11'x11') and my current equilateral setup is only 60" so any surface noise is certainly more noticeable that close. thats why i think maybe moving to some kind of line contact from the dyna's elliptical might actually reduce my current noise a bit further - thats my hope at least.
     
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