Can't go wrong with the Dynavector 10X5, one of the best values in hifi period, not just in phono cartridges. IMHO.
I think the Clearaudio Aurum Beta and the the S version are excellent carts for the price. My Beta was something like $275--got it for an AR ES-1 and will go on my Gyrodec until I can afford a Koetsu. The woods are very nice as well. I haven't heard Dynavector, unfortunately. The Shure's a classic, but I personally feel that others perform better at the price...that's my two cents, hope it helps...
Shure V15 is one of the best with a long track record. Objective specs (such as tracking ability) are the best. Subjective evaluations (how it sounds) are just that, and you should make those judgements with your own ears. The price is right.
I have been down the MC road, and I have heard sound from my system that was more pleasing than that provided by a Shure, but I have come back to the Shure because, to me, the improvement wasn't enough to be worth the expense and hassle.
Seems like you have only a MM phono stage. If you have more gain that can handle a MC low output cartridge, but believe that you can't get a good one in your price category, take a look at a Denon DL103R, DL103S, or DL103D. They are all very good low output MC cartridges that are well under your price ceiling. For your "best cartridge under $450" classification, these have to be considered, although they do need about 65-70db gain in the phono stage.
I'd second the Denon DL-103D. I think it's one of the
great bargains in high end audio. It's available through
Denon USA for about $320. Search this forum or the Vinyl
Forum on audioasylum.com and you can find the phone number
for them. I'm using a Lehmann Black Cube SE phono preamp
which works nicely. Because the 103D only outputs about
.23-.25 mv it does require a higher gain phono preamp.
From my personal experience I would recommend the Goldring G1042 MM cartridge. It has a 6.5mV output & it really sounds excellent. Your present phono stage should work just fine with the G1042.
Here's their website:-
They also offer various MC cartridges such as the Eroica H (2.5mV output), which is also supposed to be a good buy.
I ran the Shure on my Rega P3 (which I'm guessing is what you have)for two years and replaced it with the Dyna about two months ago. You can click on my system link to see what kind of gear I'm using, and it will be clear that my priorities are not neutrality or transparancy, but rather a rich, smooth, enjoyable presentation. In fact, my system isn't really resolving enough to highlight dramatic differences between cables and such. Not surprisingly then, I didn't find huge differences between the two, though I ended up staying with the Dyna. Here's my assessment, then:
The Dyna's bass seems a bit flabby in comparison to the Shure. The Dyna has a richer midrange and more "sparkely" highs. Both are very quiet, with maybe a slight edge to the Dyna. The Shure is a better tracker, though the Dyna is no slouch in this area. The stylus of the Shure seemed to attract gunk more readily than does the Dyna. The Dyna seemed more sensitive to VTA than the Shure. The Shure has a user-replacable stylus and is easier to mount to the arm. The Dyna is better looking.
In summary, I found the Shure to be more lean/transparent, while the Dyna seem more lively. I liked them both and could have easily lived with the Shure for a couple more years.
Like so many things, I suppose, the right choice depends on what you're looking for. Good luck and have fun.
I'm a big fan of the Shure V15, which of all the cartridges I've tried, mm and mc, over 20 years, seems to get to the heart of the music and accurately preserve the rhythmic structure better than any other (the two factors are connected). It's also quite detailed. If you only want to enjoy the music without audiophile pretensions, this is the cartridge to get. Others may be more detailed or more dynamic (the Shure is no slouch, however), but the Shure simply sounds "right," you can relax. When you get the itch to improve it, a small dab (and I mean small, a tiny bead) of epoxy-resin here and there (one on each side and one in the middle: it can then be undone when replacement time comes) to hold the removable stylus assembly in place will squeeze some more performance out of it.
Before I found out they could repair my bent Grado Reference Master, at no cost, I stupidly bought a Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood.
Now my Grado will make a great back up for the much more musical Virtuoso Wood. Get yourself a Woody for $499. It has better dynamics and extension in both extremes. It also has a larger soundstage and greater depth. It is great with a tubed preamp.
It is a superior Cartridge. Get your Woody today!!