Are you looking for more of "the same" or are you looking for a change of some sore. Dyna's seem to have a house sound that just gets better as you go up the line. It's similar but just "more".
Don't know about the voice, but I bet it would be a different sound to some degree.
You should also look into a Benz cartridge. Dynas and Benz's work very well in the VPI arm.
Ptm...Hard to say. I've been disappointed with my analogue set up ever since I got my Esoteric X-03SE. I thought I'd begin by selling my ARC SP16 with phono and going for a better linestage coupled with a dedicated phonostage. So I bought an ARC LS26 and now have a Whest PS.30R on the way. I'm going to put the Whest in the system and see what I've got but in the meantime I'm planning for the next move. I can't really afford to do a new table (though I feel the Scout has certain limitations) so I thought a better cartridge might get me closer to where I want to be i.e. more dynamics, speed, articulation and life. I used to be a hard core vinyl enthusiast but after hearing what good digital can do I'm not so sure anymore. I'm hoping the phonostage/linestage upgrade will really move things forward but, if not, I'm thinking the cartridge would be the next step. String: which of the Benz's do you like with the VPI?
In general, I would agree about a house sound with Dynavector, with the exception being the XX-2, and possibly the Te Kaitora Rua. I have had no experience with the Te Kaitora.
If pressed to choose between the 17d3 and the more expensive XX2, I would opt for the less expensive 17d3. This would not be true in all systems.
Here is the text of an earlier post of mine on the topic:
Of course, one would expect a manufacturer's more expensive cartridge to be "better", but in this case the 17D3 is far, far better than the price differential from the 20X would predict. I've even commented to the US distributor that I actually prefer the 17D3 to the more expensive XX2, and he couldn't disagree with me.
We both agreed that this preference comes down more down to personal taste than absolute goodness. It's also a function of the components you're matching up with this cartridge, and in this sense, I don't want the above statement to be misconstrued. My 'tables tend to control resonance very well, but a more "excitable" analog rig might not respond as well to a lively, bouncy, cartridge.
I can envision someone with a system that tends toward the bright side as considering the XX2 to be a far superior cartridge. In the context of their system, they'd be right.
In the 17D3 and XX2, it's as if Dynavector took two parallel paths toward the ultimate convergence occurring in the XV-1 series (the "s" and "t" models) - acknowledging that you can't have it all without heroic efforts and a commensurate price. I look at the XX2 as appealing to a fellow who's willing to sacrifice dynamics in favor of refinement. The 17D3 makes the opposite compromise.
While the choice between a 17D3 and the more expensive XX2 seems to be very system dependent, the leap up from a 20X to a 17D3 does not seem to be. You're not sacrificing any refinement in stepping up to the 17D3 from a 20X.
Disclaimer - I'm a Dynavector dealer.
Thom @ Galibier
I would like to make a note that Soundsmith diamond is not nude mounted on ruby cantilever. It fixed with fair amount of glue. I guess Soundsmith doesn't have the technology to make rectangular hole in ruby cantilever to mount it the way it done in B&O MMC1 and MMC2 (these use tube sapphire cantilevers).
Actually Qudio-technica AT-OC9 MLII and AT33PTG is doing the same, which was unheard of during heyday of analog.
Thom's comments on the XX2 match my experience. I went from a 20X-H to an XX1-H (the precursor to the XX2) and although I did get more refinement and texture I definitely lost some punch and dynamics. I do plan on putting the old 20X-H back into the system sometime this winter just to give a listen and see which one I truly prefer.
Don't get me wrong, it sounds damn nice, but I still know that I lost something that I had before, so I'm curious.
I prefer both the 17D2 MKII and the xx2 MKII over the 17D3. In my system the XX2 MKII has greater dynamics, is definitly more refined, and looses the brightness, and grian, i got sometimes with the 17D3. Also, IMO the original XX2 seemed a little slow and slightly soft in comparison the the newer MKII version. I'm a big fan of the Dynavectors , but compared to each other these were some things I noticed.