Review: Dynavector KARAT 23 R Cartridge

Category: Analog

This is one of those high end cult items, that just seems to have enduring value. Dynavector did it all very right with the 23R.

This is one was a NOS item. Was in the right place at the right time. It had never been mounted or used and came with original box,paperwork and accessories. A true rare find.

Mounted to the Oracle Alexandria with Sumiko FT3 tone arm. Mounting the 23R was one of the easiest I have ever done. Two screws go thru the headshell into the body of the cartridge. Thats it. Set the Balance dial in 1.5 grams tracking force.Set the overhang and VTA. Forte phono pre amp set to MC and loaded the 23R at 100 ohms, with capacitance set at 50pf.

Now off to spin some vinyl.First up was a MFSL album from Hiroshima. Main reason for this was to test the sonics of the different instruments that this band uses. Hiroshima has unique blend of asian and contemory musical instruments. To say I was totally stunned is a major understatement. Instruments appeared with depth,detail,transparency and clarity, that I was not prepared for. In fact played side 1 again just to make sure,what I was hearing was true second time around - it was!

The second LP was some rock from Santana, the venerable Abraxas on 180 gram pressing. Once again the 23R just literally came to life and Santana had taken on new and dramatic sonic signature, that I knew was somewhere in this album.

The third LP was Hows Everything - Sadao Watanabe - Live At Budokhan. Another slam dunk listening experience. Have heard this album many times with different moving coils, such as Denon,Sumiko,Yamaha. Have never heard this album played back with more authority and presence than with the 23R. The soundstage just literally came to life. This is a live recording and it was very enjoyable to hear things I had not heard from this album.The 23R is the most musical cartridge I have ever heard. The Sumiko Talisman S comes close,but thats about it.

The last Dynavector prior to this one was the high output 10x3. While a very good cartridge,clearly no where near the 23R in performance. According to the Dynavector Website the 23R is no longer listed,what a true shame that it is. Maybe their 17D is better. I can't say on that. But the 23R is a true joy to listen to.

The Dynavector 23R is truly worth seeking out.

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Showing 1 response by eiji

Dynavector no longer refurbishes the 23R, 23RS, and Diamond cartridges. Instead they offer an exchange towards the 17D2 , or the 20X. I looked into this as I was interested in buying a 23RS without a stylus on E-Bay last month.