I have an almost broken in Ortofon Black that is almost as detailed and full bodied as my Lyra Delos I use on a separate table. It tracks wonderfully with its Shibata stylus and I also run it through tubes. Alternatively, the Ortofon Bronze has the same body but instead a nude fine line stylus. The higher outputs might also help you.
I'm a huge fan of Dynavector and have found their carts to be neutral, revealing and very musical with a superior soundstage in comparison to others over many years. I'd suggest you consider going with the 20X2 H instead of the 10X5. It has a slightly higher output and offers superior cantilever technology. It should also do a good job of energizing your speakers as they are comparatively inefficient. It isn't even that much more money. Good luck & happy listening!
The carts are of the same class of performance and one may prefer one over the other. The most important point that cartridge matches arm and table so "2 worlds apart" is totally irrelevant.
Bad info on the 10X5 being worlds apart from the Virtuoso.
It is not.
Give consideration to an Audio Technica AT-150MLX. It plays far beyond its' price and both of the cartridges mentioned here.
I would check the specs on your phono pre.If your using the stock McIntosh you will most likely only be able to use MM or high output MC. 4.0 mv or better ,if I recall correctly.So if needed you can always purchase a external phono preamp so you can use a wider range of cartridges.Also, matching the arm with the cartridge compliance is paramount.
You can also consider an Audio-Technica AT-160ML or even AT170-ML/OCC, probably not cheap second hand but you don´t have to regret ;
Also SHURE ML-140HE won´t be disappointing.
Anyway, a high compliant & high out put voltage cartridge.
I would advise for the Ortofon 2m Black for live reproduction.
For about the third price: the JVC Z1S together with the amazing "Grey JICO SAS" suspension-cantilever-stylus.
Do not care about MCs.
Only if you have the will to buy a great step-up & a top quality LOMC.
Only cartridges like the VDH Colibri, Clearaudio Titanium and few others of top $$$ range can go beyond the MM limits!
Blacknoise ... I've touched many of the cartridges mentioned above, including the Clearaudio Virtuoso and Maestro, and the Ortofon 2M Black.
My recollection is that some of the cartridges are high compliance and others low compliance. Don't know much about your TT (particularly the effective mass of the arm), but whatever you decide, I suggest that you get your arms around the compliance situation before investing bucks in a cartridge.
Also, I seem to recall that the Ortofon has high'ish output voltage (> 5 mV), which was a little hot for my set-up. ARC thinks it might have clipped my linestage, which was the Ref 3 at the time. Be sure the MACs can handle the Ortofon's output voltage.
Another factor that you may want to keep under your hat is retip/exchange costs. Most people in the know who I've spoken with think 2000 hours stylus life is about it. The usage cost on a per minute basis gets expensive as cartridge and stylus retip costs go up.
I believe the Ortofon 2M series has a replaceable stylus set-up, which is good. The Clearaudios do not. Having said that, Soundsmith and Andy Chong have very good repuations re their retip services.
FWIW, I settled on a Lyra Kleos (.5 mV MC) (primary) and the Soundsmith Zephyr (2.3 mV MI) (back-up). Soundsmith has retipped my Zephyr 2 or 3 times already for about $200 a-pop. I plan to ask Andy to inspect and retip if needed my Kleos in the next week or so.
I own the very same TT and have been reasonably happy with it. I have tried the Dynavector 17D3 and found much to my chagrin, it is not a good combination for that turntable. With the cantilever being so short on that cartridge I could not optimize the tracking using Baerwald protractor setup. It came up short a few mm.You may say who cares, a few mm. Well the few mm it was short would cause the 17D3 to produce grainy sound, at times distorted and quite a bit of mistracking. A very startling revelation to be honest. The TT15 dose allow for much adjustment as far as cartridge positioning goes. So I opted for a few hundred dollars more a MC Benze Micro Wood S L2. Longer cantilever which allows for perfect set up. Oh yes , back to your original question. Move to a MC. Greater detail, wider soundstage, layered sound etc etc. The Virtuoso Wood, albeit a fine MM cartridge lacks the depth of good MC. The 10X5 represents the newer age of the Dynavector design so i am not all that sure of the setup. The 17D3 I owned is of an older design which will have totally different set up from the 10X5.
"Move to a MC. Greater detail, wider soundstage, layered sound etc etc"
Some of the finest cartridges, past and present, are moving magnets.
If you are comparing a 10X5 to a virtuso then I would say it would be a tossup. I went off on a tangent and mentioned the Dynavector 17D3 as to how is was not a good fit for the TT15. I guess I should have clarified as to what MC's. Since i do possess the same TT, the Cartridge I possess is miles ahead of the Virtuoso and the Ortofon 2M black. So yes I would agree that the 10X5 would definately not be miles ahead of the Virtuoso if its ahead at all to be honest.For the same dollar value as those, yes you are correct as a MC not being any better than the MM. If you have a higher budget for a MC, than I would say yes an MC definately would be a better choice provided you have the phono stage that can handle the Low O/P of an MC.
And I own a half dozen moving magnets that are miles ahead of your Benz.
At a lower cost.
That don't require an uber expensive phono preamp.
I think your full of you know what to be honest. I f you think that your Audio Technica is the answer or Virtuso or Maestro than I must emphatically disagree with you. I am sorry. Miles ahead my ASS!!! Have you tried the Benz and compared? How do you know this? I have a slew of MM's and none of them compare to my Benz. Now I am not saying the Benz is the end to be all of cartridges because it is not but you saying you have 1/2 a dozen better MM's makes me laugh. lol I'd be interested in what your 1/2 dozen supposed end to be all MM's are.
If you go Dynavector, skip the 10x5 pretty good sound, but poor build quality. Go to the 20 series, and one of them will outlast the 10x5 more than twice as long. Better sound, more cost effective in the long run and one less time to mess with a cart. more time to enjoy the music.
Dynavector 10x5 with a RB301 tonearm is a awesome match! This combo works amazingly well. I can't say enough good things about the Dynavector. For my table (modded Rega P3) and arm it's a match made in heaven. For some reason I lean toward the MC (high or low output) sound over MM's.
Well I figure perhaps Wc65mustang could be right with staying with MM for that price range. I diagreed at first but after reading other threads that pitted MM vs Mc, there are definately some very good choices for MM. Other than the usual suspects(ie Ortofon,Clearaudio,AT) you do not hear much about these companies touting the MM horn as much it seems. Hmmm I could be wrong...please correct if I am. Blacknoise this is your thread and you seem to have vanished...mia I would say. Have you decided on a Cart?
**I had a Clear Audio Virtuoso and am considering switching to a Dynavector 10x5.**
That would be a step down IMO. The only HOMC that might beat a Virtuoso is a Blackbird, and that's with the stock stylus on the Virtuoso. Benz is no longer sold in the US. Maybe 3.6mV of the V1 isn't enough? Perhaps 15cu is too low?
Most people don't know how to load a MM properly and pronounce judgment never realizing the potential. The Clearaudios need < 200pF total capacitance. Send it to Soundsmith and you'll be amazed, or get an ATN3472VL replacement stylus (Lpgear). That's a higher cu line contact. Cut off all the excess plastic so it looks like your Clearaudio and allow 5 hrs break-in.
The Ortofon 2M series is higher compliance, 22cu. You can also get away with higher capacitance, < 300pF. You might like the Black better. The shibata stylus is sweeter. The Black and Bronze share the same body.
I don't necessarily prefer MM carts. If people gave them the considerations they give a MC, including resistance and capacitance loading, I think many would change their mind. Now we await OP to return and tell us.....