Dynavecto Te Kaitora Rua vs XX-2 from an old timer

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Richard Milam, Apr 25, 2020.

  1. Richard Milam

    Richard Milam Active Member Thread Starter

    Kansas City MMO
    The old timer thing kind of hurt. I'm a dealer. I've been doing this for 35 years. I now am semi retired. I do only two channel (God, I hated the days when it was half theater and automation and I held out more than most) and I don't need to make a living. Extra income is nice, I won't lie, but I don't need it. I keep doing this insane stuff because first of all I love music, secondly I love the gear that helps me connect to it. Lastly, I love helping people find what they need.

    I am a Dynavector dealer. I won't sell to you unless you're nearby. Not the point. I've sold the 10X, 20X, XX2, and XV1-s. Also been a dealer for Lyra (great stuff) Linn, Rega, Benz, Koetsu, etc. This is about the Te... you know what I mean. It's loosely based on an XX MKII. Specs are similar, etc. The physical difference as I understand them, and I'm more worried about sound, is that the basic body of the Te is titanium and there is a different yoke. There are a few comparisons out there about how the Te is just a hot rodded version of the XX-2 and the differences are relatively minot (intentional music theory joke). I don't find that to be the case. The table I'm using for comparison is the Rega Planar 10. A great table at a fairly reasonable price. If you need a turntable for you ego look elsewhere... It does require a shim but just one so the rigidity and coupling design element of the Rega is minimally impacted. So, how does it sound?

    The XX-2 is quite good. It's the bang for the buck in the Dynavector line in my view. The XV1-s is clearly superior but almost 3 times the money and probably going to work best on a different turntable. The Te takes what the XX-2 does, on the same kind of platform that works well with it, and takes it to another level. My immediate impression is the old "there's more there there." It's more open, more substance, more effortless. I feel more closely connected both with what the players are doing and what the better producers were going for. Not in an intellectual way. In a "yeah, I got that" way. I think it's a terrific cartridge at a price point that is sure as hell not cheap and also not nuts. My two cents worth. As my grandma would say, change is available. This is written in late April, 2020. Please stay safe. We are seeing some great things from our country and some not so great. Let's go for the great. We should be one.
    ghost rider, JoelWat, grbluen and 2 others like this.
  2. Tom Littlefield

    Tom Littlefield Forum Resident

    New Hampshire, USA
    I went from a Karat D3 with about 900 hours on it to the Rua about a month ago. It was on a TT in my local dealers showroom, only had about 10 hours on it, Got one heck of a deal trading my Karat in.

    Yes I agree the Rua has a more open sound, it's a more of "you are there" experience. It's actually not even broken in yet (about 40 hours on it now) so in another 20 hours or so I expect it to open up even more.
  3. brucey

    brucey New Member

    Hi Richard

    After 1.5 years with the Rega Planar 10 and Te Kaitora Rua cartridge, what are your impressions with the turntable/cartridge combination? I'm hoping to get the RP10 with either the XX-2 or T.K if my budget can stretch that far.

  4. Hi, I shudder at a cart like the TKR or XX-2 being used on a Rega arm, they are a complete miss match. The Rega is a Low Eff Mass arm at 11 grams, whereas the cart are low compliance/medium compliance & need a much heavier arm to work at it's best.

  5. JoelWat

    JoelWat Forum Resident

    Dubai, UAE
    I am probably the only person in the world (but who knows right .... ?) who runs a TKR on an SME S2 Improved :) In order to get that working correctly I had to order the heavier counterweight from SME and I put the TKR into a Yamamoto HS-1 African Blackwood headshell. Btw, a while ago I sent my SME tonearm to SME Tonearms in Canada for a re-wire, rebuild and clean. They offer an excellent service. I can attest to the TKR sound - open, extended, refined, natural and not harsh on the treble end of things and it's also a very silent tracker (I had various types of carts in that same tonearm, like Karat D3, Audio Technica OC9 and some others). The TKR seems to be able to get out of the way - which is rather a vague term bu audiophile generally know what it means. Of course it has a sound signature but it seems to be lighter on its feet than others - it lets far more music through than teh Karat for example, which in itself is an important step up from things like the AT OC9 which frankly sounds pretty rough in comparison now. Anyway, my two cents worth..nice to see other TKR fans here. I wonder what my next cartridge is...not that I am looking but hey, one never knows and it's part of the fun .... :)
  6. Tom Littlefield

    Tom Littlefield Forum Resident

    New Hampshire, USA
    I run my TKR on an Acoustic Signature TA 2000 arm, excellent match in my opinion...
    JoelWat likes this.
  7. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    Think what you want but I have a Rega P10 with an XX2 MKII and it sounds sublime. Theory is nice but my ears don't care about numbers or physics; only great sound, of which I get plenty with this combination. :righton:
    KT88, SCM and JoelWat like this.
  8. JoelWat

    JoelWat Forum Resident

    Dubai, UAE
    I have heard the Dyn DRT XV-1S sound excellent on a Rega arm so yes there is the theory and than there is reality, but of course it's a system but still. Unusual combination which sounded excellent. I am always surprised how much tolerance vinyl has for still sounding good when something is off.....
  9. Luxmancl38

    Luxmancl38 Forum Resident

    Manchester NH
    I've owned three different Dynavector carts through the years all have been excellent. The 10x5, 20xl2 and currently on my Luxman 171-A the Karat 17DX. Price wise the Karat falls between the XX2 & the Te.
    KT88 likes this.
  10. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    It's a fine match on paper with the heavy counterweight. Then the ultimate proof is in the sound. I have used most all of the DV carts on various Rega arms and tables over the years. The sound is always excellent.

    You will want the accessory Rega Heavy Weight counterweight. The stock Tungsten weight on the Planar 10 will work, and it is heavier than the steel weight on the lower end arms, but the Heavy Weight adds more mass. It also allows the counterweight to be positioned a bit closer to the pivot for faster transients and greater dynamics. The combination is spectacular.

    The thought that Rega arms are too low in mass for a medium compliance cartridge is incorrect. Probably not the best mate for the XV-1, but even that is solvable with a heavier counterweight. The Rega arm is comfortably a medium mass arm and has greater effective mass when adding heavier counterweights and cartridges. So it's an excellent match for most carts on the market. In fact, the Rega arm is so popular with other turntable mfr's and with end users who assemble custom table and arm combos, that most cartridge makers find compatibility with the Rega arm an important design criteria.

    I have personally installed the DV Te Kaitora Rua cartridge on a VPI JMW unipivot tonearm, which has a lower effective mass than the Rega arm. And, in fact, VPI recommends Dynavector cartridges for use with their tonearms. The customer seemed very happy with it. I have installed many more 20x and XX2 carts on Rega and SME arms with great success.
    JoelWat and Strat-Mangler like this.

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