MYSTERY DYNAVECTOR KARAT 23R


I got this MC a few years ago, NOS, and just mounted it. I can't really identify it.

•   It doesn't have a badge on the side saying "KARAT 23R" like all the pics on Vinyl Engine.
•   It has a small badge on one side, only saying "Dynavector".
•   But "KARAT 23R" was written by hand on the box.
•   VE says it has a Diamond cantilever but it's clearly Ruby-red, and has the triangular cross-section.
•   VE says it has a "super elliptical" stylus, but under a 30X scope it looks VERY thin and has parallel sides. It looks almost identical, at 30X, to the Shure Micro-Ridge on my V15-V. 

Can anyone tell me what I have?  

Also, I got a Dyna 20B Type 2 High-Output MC at the same time, also NOS. Any opinions on it? I've only heard a couple of Hi-Output MCs I like... but haven't tried many. Nor this one yet.
bimasta
Vinyl Engine is the worst source to ID specs for vintage cartridges, 50% of the cartridges on their site listed with wrong specs unless there are downloadable manual. 

"R" is for Ruby
"D" is for Diamond 

You will find more in my thread about Dynavector cartridges. 
There are several version of 23 Ruby with Elliptical and LineContact styli, depends on exact model, the best is DV 23RS MR - this one has Micro Reach stylus. 


Not really a mystery, as Chakster points out. I used to have one as well. The 23 refers to the length of the cantilever. The 17D with a diamond cantilever had an even shorter cantilever (17 as opposed to 23)

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/review-dynavector-karat-23-r-cartridge
I have the same Karat Ruby. And a Dynavector 20A. The A stands for an aluminum cantilever. Your 20B has a beryllium cantilever. That type I owned back in 1978. I used it briefly before buying a lomc. 
Also, I got a Dyna 20B Type 2 High-Output MC at the same time, also NOS. Any opinions on it? I’ve only heard a couple of Hi-Output MCs I like... but haven’t tried many. Nor this one yet.

It was before the company changed its name from Ultimo to Dynavector.

Even series 30 was described in the catalog as Ultimo/Dynavector.

Can’t say anything about 20B, but 30A was beautiful headshell intergated design, here is mine in the box, it was "A" with aluminum cantilever. 30B is even better, but also HOMC (1.8mV).

However, the best of the best was LOMC (0.18mV) 30C with Boron cantilever!

If you need a quite from Van Den Hul:

"This Dynavector DV-30 was one of the best Dynavector cartridge they made. I have retipped this cartridge already a long time ago. You can read on the other side my inscriptions about when and what. The cantilever is made of beryllium, an actually not used material anymore. It was at the time a very high respected cartridge..."
- Aalt Jouk Van Den Hul


Series 20 is much cheaper.
Comparing my series 30 (high output MC) to some of the best MM i can say that MM are definitely better, but the design of those Dyna 30 series is lovely, i wish they could sound better. Choosing between HOMC and LOMC - the low output is better. Choosing between nice HOMC and nice MM - the Moving Magnet is better.

My 23RS MR and 17DS mkII are so much better, i believe in evolution of Dynavector MC cartridges.


+1 Chakster on the 17DS,I just got back into analog after taking a 20 year break, picked up a lightly used Prime with a 10" 3d gimabled arm and about the only thing I hadn't sold off was a 17DS that I had completely forgot I even had! Old age! I'm a happy camper..

Pete
Thanks all, for the comments. Chakster, I can’t say VE is 50% wrong but I’ve seen enough errors not to trust it. The Karat 23R I have sounds very good, but it’s NOS so has to "break in" (or whatever a cartridge that old does, hopefully not "break down".)

Many will impute this to fantasy, but as I mentioned that alleged "super elliptical" looks so much like the Shure Micro-Ridge under 30X. The Shure V15 IV is a "super-elliptical-type" stylus and looks very wide compared to the V15 V, which DOES look a lot like the Dyna stylus. Maybe I’m just dreamin’.

As for the 20B Type 2 High-Output, I’m in no hurry to try it. I agree with others, including Chakster, that MM/MI is better. When I was first starting this audio thing ages ago, a friend imported cartridges and let me try them new. I had a LOMC and a HOMC from Glanz, and the HOMC was really bad — the Stanton 881S and Shure Ultra 400 totally humiliated it.

But the Glanz LOMC was terrific and I bought it. But it was lost, along with 25+ other "New" (±33 years ago — now "NOS Vintage") carts, during a burglary. Among them were 5 of the Grace F9 series, with all the variations stylus/cantilever variations. All new.

Did the burglars want phono cartridges? Hardly, they didn’t even know what they were — but they were in drawers that could be emptied real fast into big sacks like jewelry, watches, etc. Smash and Grab and get out Fast.

Probably threw the cartridges in the gutter. Or maybe, if they took the time, saved the nice little wood and plastic boxes and screws — now THOSE had an obvious usefulness.


Also, I got a Dyna 20B Type 2 High-Output MC


Here is your 20B type 2



It has a small badge on one side, only saying "Dynavector".

This is probably your model if there is only Dynavector log on the side.


If you want to check the specs for old models a Japanese library sources are much better to look for it. They know their stuff.

Funny that Dymavector own name for Micro Ridge was actually MICRO REACH!

What microscope do you use to look at the styli ? 


Bimasta.
Sorry to hear about your Audio loss during the burglary.
Hope no harm done apart from material losses.
Chakster
BTW I did buy the nos Karat 23R.
Awaiting it's arrival.
Hope no harm done apart from material losses.
By sheer luck. They broke in a 4 a.m., when my wife and I would normally be sleeping. They came prepared to kill. But it was a very rare night we were out at an after-hours jam, so they left the weapons behind as needless weight to carry back.

No guns or anything costly to replace — just a sawed-off short-handled Shovel for smashing my skull (kill the man first) and two Machetes for decapitating my wife if the noise of my skull crunching beside her woke her up. If she eluded the first machete because she'd been wakened and ran, the second was for chasing her down.

I've often read in these and similar pages that "I'd kill for a (fill in the blank)" — I always read them with a jaundiced eye.
Chakster
BTW I did buy the nos Karat 23R.
Awaiting it's arrival.

Sure, i bought mine in 2018 when i started this dynavector thread.  
My first Dyna was DV-30A, my second was DV-23RS MR SUPER, next one was DV KARAT 17DS and finally KARAT 17D2 last year.