the voyd audionote combo was always a good synergystic match
cartridges however are very much a personal choice
trust your own ears
if you like what you hear
just enjoy it
I like the XX-2 very much, but Uktel is right -- it's a very personal choice. The XX-2 is extremely dynamic and, I think, produces a true, natural sound. Tom Tutay is a great guy -- I bought a custom phono cable from him for my Linn TT and am very pleased with it.
I heard a shoot out between 5 different cartridges a few years ago. It was presented by Harry Weisfeld and it matched the Dynavector XV-1, Dynavector XX-2 and 3 other cartridges that I cannot remember (sorry).
What I do remember is that almost all in attendance agreed that the Dynavector XV-1 was the best of them all. However, in my mind (and ears) the XX-1 was close on it's heels and sounded quite similar. The node, however, went to the XV-1 for me also!
Anyone find them a tad slow on the bottom? Am in process of tweaking one in my system & don't know if this is a setup/system match issue or just the nature of the beast.
I like my XX-2 a lot. Check out the review of it and the DRT on TNT audio. The XX-2 holds its own.
How does the XX-2 fair in light of the ZYX Universe?.
Don't even bother looking at other manufacturers. The Dynavector's are the only cartridges with a ruler flat frequency response curve as measured on the B&K analyzer. I once compared my XX-2H measurement tape to one from a Benz Lp. The Benz Lp measurement tape resembled an EKG Cardiogram with huge dips and spikes in its frequency response while my XX-2H was ruler flat from 20hz-20Khz. The DV20XL is a great low cost $500.00 cartridge, but it does have the dynamics of the XX-2. I have heard that the Te Kaitora Rua is even smoother sounding than the XX-2.
Glory, Thanks for your question.
I have never played them head to head on the same turntable. When the ZYX is down, the XX-2 goes on the Amazon and Schroeder, otherwise it stays on the Rega9. I am not a very good A/B guy. The XX-2 did a beautiful job on the Amazon and Schroeder, very similar sound as the ZYX line, nice and honest. The XX-2 just can't reach as far as the ZYX. There is an open, relaxed clarity with these two manufacturers. You don't think of adjectives like warm or liquid. You just focus on the music. If its good music, you are grooving. If the lp or the recording is not so hot, you get up and pull the record. When you hear the music through the ZYX, you hear things so much more clearly. Background passages or riffs from familiar (and old) lps are suddenly there. You are not sure that you knew they existed. It is amazing how much information is masked out by the noise floor
Of course the rest of your system has to be there to let the Z sing.
Did I even answer your question?
Glory, think Arthur Salvatore might write a bit about the ZYX compared to the DRT on his website.
Comparing the UNIverse to the XX-2 is apples to oranges. The Zyx is a great cartridge; the Dyna a very good one. However, at its' price the XX-2 is a good value.
FWIW, regarding the frequency measurement argument simply disregard it as audiospeak rhetoric. Those graphs and charts are nice to look but you can't listen to them. I've heard speakers measuring 20-20K flat that aren't fit for car stereo.
WHOA! The Dynavector XX-2 lists for $1650. The ZYX Universe for $7950. How can you compare the two?
Dear Gary: As good is the XX-2 the XV-1 is a step further ( whole ) in a cartridge quality performance and you can have it for 2.8K.
Of course that for the difference price between the Dyna's it must be a quality performance differences..
Btw, the cartridge selection is a very personal/subjective one and ( first than all ) with your music sound reproduction priorities.
One critical subject when we are looking for this kind of cartridge performance ( XV-1 ) is the phonolinepreamp: your cartridge quality performance will be best/worst depending of the quality performance of that phonolinepreamp!!!
Regards and enjoy the music.
I have an XX-2 and rate it very highly. I haven't heard a Universe yet but the XX-2 easily bests an Airy 3, especially in dynamics and palpability - the XX-2 just sound more like real people playing instruments.
I know someone who has set up both an XX-2 and a XV-1S on his Triplanar and says they are very close - close enough to question whether the extra expense is necessary.
Different isn't always better just because it costs more!
Dear Audiofeil: " +++++ FWIW, regarding the frequency measurement argument simply disregard it as audiospeak rhetoric. Those graphs and charts are nice to look but you can't listen to them. I've heard speakers measuring 20-20K flat that aren't fit for car stereo. " +++++
Of course you can listen to them!!!! With the today high level performance audio devices that we can have almost what we are hearing ( other than good/bad design ) are differences on the frequency response that means inaccuracies of different kinds that create distortions/colorations in what we are hearing.
If you have a few cartridges: XV-1, Universe Allaerts MC2, Myaby 47, Lira Titan i, Colibri, etc, etc and you run a test for frequency response: 10Hz to 40kHz, where you can " see " on the paper the frequency deviations from " ruler flat " response for each cartridge through this test results you could explain and hear the small/big colorations/inaccuracies that belongs to each cartridge.
It will be very complex to run that kind of test because we need not only the cartridges but several tonearms ( we have to match for the same resonance frequency ), a top performance analog system and the precise instruments/records to make the measurements but of course that you could hear those measurements!!!!
Your example of speaker/car audio is the worst you could choose, with cartridges is different.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Sorry Raul. Nobody can hear charts and graphs. They're nice to look at and give us an idea what a product MIGHT sound like but basically they are USELESS.
Once again--- I've heard speakers that measure 20-20K on paper that sound horrible. So you go with the charts and graphs; I'll go with my ears.
Dear Audiofeil: Like you posted: you are not a technical/numbers man, in that way it is USELESS to talk with you about because of your non know-how.
Maybe next time.
Btw, I hear with my ears too, of course you can't understand this.
Regards and enjoy the music.
LOL but you don't need a technical background to know what sounds good.
I have never built or designed (non know-how in your words) an automobile but I know a quality car when I drive one.
Not much time for details as I'm sandwiching 4 turntable builds between a road trip and next week's RMAF.
Suffice it to say that the XV-1s justifies its stature at the top of the Dynavector food chain. I've had a couple of sessions with experienced listeners where we went through a range of cartridges - including the Universe, a Benz LP, an XV-1s, and an XX-2.
Tonearms were 3 Triplanars. I only have one Schröder Reference and I wanted repeatability as well as to be able to work on one cartridge setup while another one was playing.
Some in attendance were overly harsh toward the XX-2 in my opinion. I think this was due to expectations (can you say wishful thinking?) that it would be closer to the XV-1s.
Taken on its own, the XX-2 is a very nice cartridge. When you hear the XV-1s however, it's game over and the drool will be running down your chin.
I have yet to live with a Te Kaitora Rua, and am curious how close it comes to the big bad XV-1s.
Note to Rwd. I learned that last Saturday's system where you heard the XV-1s was loading the XV-1s at 470 ohms. The owner and I had a miscommunication and I thought he was loading it at 100.
In this day of security checks and such, it's much more onerous to travel with a soldering iron and tools - especially if you don't trust the baggage handlers.
On most every system I've dialed in the XV-1s, it' likes to see about 100. This accounts for the slightly "zingy" sound we heard last Saturday.
I've experienced some "hot" systems where I've loaded an XV-1s at 35 ohms, but 100 is the most frequent number I've hit.
Note about the XX-2 bass "speed". Play with your tracking force. Like the XV-1s and all other high performance cartridges, it responds to slight changes.
You'll benefit greatly from a digital scale with .01 gram accuracy. A .05 gram change can make all the difference in the world at this level of cartridge - from a sluggish presentation to live and "snappy".
Don't get a .05 gram accuracy scale because there's too much rounding error. The price for a .01 gram or better scale is only marginally more.
The scale that Dan_ed and others are using is very nice - something I consider absolutely necessary for a cartridge at this performance level.
Play with your loading too ...
BTW (to GMC) ... yes, XX-2 to Universe is not a fair comparison, but you already knew that.
Next week at the RMAF, we'll be running a double arm rig on a Stelvio:
* Schröder Reference SQ / Universe
* Triplanar / XV-1s
If we have the energy and inclination, we may reverse the cartridges on Saturday night.
Thom @ Galibier
Yes Thom, I completely agree about the correct load for a cartridge. I am lucky that I have an Aexthetix Rhea phono pre-amp that is very flexible and can dial in different loads (and gains as well). My Helikon sounds to me so much better in my system also loaded at 100 ohm. My Benz M-1 wood likes to see 47k ohms.
I recently upgraded from a 20XH to the XX-2 MK2. It's a big price jump from the 20x to XX-2, but in my mind the XX-2 is really 3X better. It's simply an amazing cartridge. I'm using a P-75 phono stage in PE mode on a VPI Scout and the sound is simply stunning. Much wider soundstage, more extended highs and tihgter bottom, plus better tracking. I've not spun a single CD since mounting this cartridge, the music is so good. What really caught me by suprise is just how good original pressings sound. With the 20X they sounded fine and the fancy reissues from analog productions sounded excellent. Now I get wonderful music from all my vinyl, no matter if it's a (good, clean) $3 used LP or $50 45RPM pressing. I give the XX-2 my highest reccomendation. Only problem is now that I've heard the improvement the XX-2 made, I'm fantasizing about the XV-1!!
The ability to play (and enjoy) your entire record collection has to be the Dyanavectors' greatest virtue ... even more than its great sound.
I can now enjoy old RCA Dynagrooves along with my best pressings.
Having a window into the music is what it's all about. Everything else is just audiophile babble.
Thom @ Galibier
Congratulations Kentamcolin, the XX-2 is a very enjoyable cartridge and it does bring out the best in any recording.