Did you ever make a decision on a cartridge? Was it one of these two? I'm considering the Kleos, XX mk II, ZYX Airy 3-X SB and Sumiko Celebration II.
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Actually I have the Dynavector XX2 MK II and was debating going to the Kleos. Instead, I ended up purchasing a Jan Allaerts MC1 Boron. I like the Allaerts better than my Dynavector XX2 MKII. The highs are so much cleaner, the bass is tighter, the imaging is 3D. On good recordings both cartridges sounded good, but on mediocre recordings, the Allaerts seems to pull out a little more information and increases the enjoyment of listening to that record. It seems like the Allaerts makes EVERY recording sound so much better. The bass is tight, the highs are very free and airy, the sound stage is larger, and not flat, but more front to back three dimensional. Don't get me wrong, the Dyna is no slouch, especially in the bass, but I though the imaging,front to back and mids and highs were sweeter and more enjoyable with the Allaerts. Since I've had the Allaerts on my table for a month I was debating switching back to the Dyna to verify my initial impressions. I will say one thing, having a big block of gold on the end of your tonearm is pretty cool, also super easy to align, I use the Mintlp best protracted and Jan Allaerts has the cantilever perfectly aligned with the gold box, and it basically aligns to symmetrically in the tonearm. The gold box barely protrudes out the front end of the head shell when aligned.
Captain winters- Is the MC1 Boron in the 2K price range, like the XX-2? Also curious about how long it took to get your Allaerts, if you bought new. I heard it can take some time, since it is such a small company. I have been intrigue by the JA cartridges for a while. Thanks in advance.
Jmcgrogan2- What is your TT/arm again. You went from Basis to VPI, right?
Congrats Captain_winters, I can't say that I know much about Jan Allaerts cartridges, but it sure sounds like it's very good.
Fjn04 - Yes, I have downsized my rig quite a bit in the last few years due to economics. I had a Basis 2500 Signature w/ Vector 3 arm and Calibrator base. I have owned ZYX UNIverse, Dynavector XV-1s, Koetsu Rosewood Signature, Lyra Helikon and many others. The last big cartridge I had when I sold my Basis was a ZYX 4D-X SB2.
Now I am using a VPI Scout with an upgraded Scoutmaster platter and a JMW9 arm with Nordost wiring. I'm currently running a Sumiko Blackbird through my VAC Auricle MM phono stage. To be fair, it sounds pretty good for the money. Since moving back to a SS amp though (CODA Model 11), I am looking for a bit more sweetness.
Economically speaking, I am not flush like the old days, but the free-fall has stabilized for the time being. So I just ordered a new Cary SLP-98P with MC phono stage from Kevin at Upscale Audio (no longer a Cary dealer!!!). The Blackbird will overload the Cary's input stage, so I'm looking for a newer, lower output MC than the Blackbird's 2.5 mV. I did just pull the trigger on a Dynavector XX mk II yesterday. I toyed with the idea of a ZYX Airy 3-X, but I couldn't bring myself to pay 50% more for it.
I considered the Kleos and Delos too, but I still have rather poor memories of when I had the Helikon. Yes, Lyra is VERY revealing, but sounds cold and clinical to me after a while. Which leads to listening fatigue. So I'm figuring the Dynavector will be a good match with the VPI.
I had a VPI HW-19 jr many years ago with a Dynavector 10X4 mk II, and it is what first brought me back into the vinyl world about 12 years ago.
No, I actually bought the Jan Allaerts MC1 Boron used on Audiogon, it was actually a pleasant experience. I believe the new list price is more like S3,750, so quite a bit more than a Dyna XX2 MK II. You can get a lot better deal on the used market, but as you know, there is always a risk. Its been a month now, so I should probably re-install the Dyna and verify my initial impressions. Switch out that big block of gold for the Dyna black aluminum parallel sides.
I went from the XX2 Mk2 to the Kleos on my VPI HRX. I found that I preferred the kleos. While certainly no slouch, the Dyna was not a dynamic as the Kelos, nor as detailed. Where the two carts were very similar was in midrange and vocal timbres, and both were excellent. I wound up selling the dyna.
I currently use the Dyna XX2 Mk II on my Kuzma Stabi w/ 12" ref arm and Kleos on my Linn LP 12 w/ Ekos arm. Dyna is very layered and smooth. Kleos is detailed and dynamic, great bass. I am happy with both; They provide the just right change of pace w/o totally overshadowing each other. I know others might disagree; but I think the 12" Kuzma arm lets the Dyna play above its price and accounts for the smoothness and layering
I use to have a dynavector xx2 mk.2 on my VPI Classic 3 with a 3D arm. Then I purchased a used Kleos SL on Audiogon and it was so much better!
The xx2 was smooth and had nice tone but sounded a little dull compared to the Kleos.
The Kleos SL was much faster,detailed, and more open sounding without losing the tonality and great bass like the xx2.
It was a big step up in my system, IMHO.
I had a Delos, Kleos, Skala, EMT JSD6.
No i have a VdH Frog in a SME V and a Dyn XX2 MK2 in an Origin Live Conqueror. My Lyra´s were not really good trackers and on bright recordings or some with loud s-tones, they tend to fizzl.
On a lot recordings the Kleos sounds very, very good.
Now i am in love with the Frog, which is also very open sounding with an enormous resolution but better tracking than my Lyra`s. The Dynavector is very warm, analog sounding and is the choice for the bright recorded vinyls.
I love it really, but it is a step under the Frog.
I have both measured with Adjust+ and they are very well built.
Never had or heard an Allaerts. Had a Lyra Helikon some time back. It was too thin sounding for me. After owning a Dynavector XV-1S, I decided to "downgrade" to the Dyna XX2 Mk.2. I was pleasantly surprised about how much similar it sounded in comparison with the far more expensive XV-1S. In combination with the TW Acustic 10.5 tonearm, the XX2 gives much pleasure.