Cartridge for a VPI JMW10 arm

I need some help guys. I killed my Dynavector 20XL cartridge (by accident I swear! It was not homicide). Of course, being an audiophile, I would like to replace it with something better. Can you give me some suggestions? No very expensive models please, I am on a budget (as always). Most of my LP listening is Jazz, Blues, and classic rock. A very low output cartridge is no problem. I have tons of gain in my Supratek preamp. Thanks in advance and let me know if you need any other info.
How about another Dynavector? Maybe the 17D MKII. I replaced the 20X on my Scoutmaster with one and am very pleased with the results. Like you, I also use the Supratek Chenin and listen to a lot of jazz and classical.

I also had the opportunity to hear a Sumiko Blackbird on a SuperScoutmaster and thought it sounded very nice. Both the 17D and the Blackbird retail for about the same.
Hi Slipknot1,

I thought about the 17D2, but that short cantaliever scares me. It looks like it could be a problem on any record that has a warp of any kind. How would you describe the sound?
How about the Shelter 501/$850.If you want one,jump quickly as they are 2 months back-ordered.
I'm currently using a regular old (new, actually) Denon DL 103 in mine. Best $181 (ncl. shipping from Germany to U.S.) I ever spent.
Hi Tpsonic, I would love to get the Shelter, but I have been told it is not a good match with my tonearm, because of the compliance. I think a guy that works at VPI told me that one of the guys that works there had one on his VPI arm though. I don't understand this compliance issue. Cartridges that I have thought about are:

Denon 103 or 103R

Can anyone clear up compliance matching issues with me?
I also have a Shelter 501 and Denon 103. No denying they are great. That said, both the Denon and the Shelter suffer somewhat on the JMW line of tonearms due to an incompatiblity of their compliance and the unipivot design of the JMW. They can produce very good results, but in the case of the Shelter, 850.00 is a lot to pay for a cart whose excellent performance can't be fully fleshed out on the JMW arm. A case can be made for the 200.00 Denon which is an excellent performer, far beyond its modest price tag.
A compromise, if you wish to persue the Shelter would be to pick up a used one at about 50% of the new retail, which is what I did. I have had good (not great) results with the Denon on my JMW9 arm, but to restate: if you check back through some threads here at AudiogoN, including comments from many who know what they are talking about far better than I do, there is a compliance/unipivot arm compatibility issue at play with this combination.

If I had to describe the 17D in relation to the 20X, I would say the 17D is much more extended in the frequency extremes than the 20. Imaging is rock solid, and in the case of my setup, the side boundaries of the speakers got a whole lot wider, and the music still extended out beyond them. I'm not sure if the deeper soundstage I hear now is solely the result of the 17D or partly because of the new amps I have, but that is much more pronounced than with the 20X (a cart I loved by the way). The short little cantaliever scared the be-jesus out of me at first too, but once you get it mounted and set up the worries subside. I have not had any issues with tracking warped LPs, but then again I haven't played too many badly warped ones.

Perhaps Dougdeacon or TWL will weigh in on the compliance issue with the unipivot arm.
I recieved an e-mail from Harry at VPI. He said I could use the Denon if I put a 3g headshell spacer on so that the resonance would occur at the correct frequency. Has anyone ever used one of these?

I have a JMW 10 tonearm and a Shelter 501 II. I purchased both new about 4 years ago. I am not knowledgable about electronics so I did not know anything about “compliance” and “impedence matching.” But I have learned from posts by TWL and others that the duo probably is not the best match because of the physics.

Some experiments performed with my setup proved interesting. I placed a very small washer (.85 grams) on top of the head of the tonearm. Since the top of the head is perfectly flat, the washer rests nicely there. The washer is too big to fit between the two bolts that anchor the cartridge to the tonearm. So I just pushed the washer up against the two bolt heads, thinking that would center the weight of the washer on the tonearm.

The results? Excellent and not subtle! The upper mids and treble become very rich and full and more resonant. I was surprised at how much difference the little washer made. One thing I learned is that I had to use blue tack under the washer. Without the blue tack, the sound was much more muffled. I wonder if the blue tack served as a dampener to keep the washer from vibrating against the tonearm head? It is amazing to me how sensitive the head end of the tonearm is.

Of course, the counterweight must be moved backwards to rebalance the tonearm so that the Vertical Tracking Force can be maintained at 1.4 to 1.8 grams. No doublt you can fine tune the VTF more accurately by ear if so inclined.

I plan to experiment next with adding more weight by using a larger washer. I do have one concern that adding weight to the top of the tonearm head may cause instability. If there were a way to add weight down lower near the stylus, the center of gravity would be much lower and hence less tippy. But I have not figured out a place to conveniently add more weight. I do not pretend to know why this experiment worked, but the results are clearly positive.

Good luck with your search.
Technics makes a 3 gram weight. Seems silly to buy a weight but they are only $3. Part #SFPZB3501.

Picture can be found on page 2.

It also works as a spacer which would help on tonearms like Rega where VTA cannot be compensated for the lower profile of the Denon cart.
I just tried a 3 gram weight on my scout with the DL103.

While it did clean up the sound, it made it sound worse. The highs got bright and the midrange magic was gone.

I guess YMMV is appropriate here, or need less weight.
Hi Cableplex,

Thanks for giving the 3g weight a try. I think I will check into getting a ZYX cartridge. Not sure which model yet. Thanks to everyone for your input.
Hi Slowhand,

No problem.

I can get you ZYX carts. Let me know which model you want.

Lloyd Walker has one of the ZYX cartridges for sale at his or call him,he can discuss the cartridges he has heard:610-666-6087.Happy hunting!