VPI Classic and new cartridge - which one?

Dear All,

I have a VPI Classic table + the trimmings (sds, clamp, vta tower) with a dynavector xx2 mkii into my c2300.

I am looking to get a new cartridge offering all round improvements in performance. The obvious step would be the xv1-s, but I have read that this might be topped by other newer models now.

I am keeping my options open and am considering:

Ortofon A90
Transfiguration Orpheus
Lyra Titan i

I like the musicality of my xx2 and would not be prepared to go for an uber analytical cartridge - some have told me that I should avoid the Lyra in that case.

Wondering whether I should consider others and whether anyone has experience with these cartridges with a vpi table.

I like the Ortofon and the Dyna as well, however, the Classic tends to be a bit "light" and therefore I think the Benz LP should also be on your short list. I think that the Benz with its lush midrange and powerful lows would be just the thing you're looking for.
Make sure it's a well shielded cartridge, or it will hum. Also, I found with this rig I didn't need the SDS and sold it. The VTA tower is nice, wish I had gotten that.

I had someone very knowledgable suggest Soundsmith and I have not been dissappoitned at all, it has been great, and is DEAD QUIET.

In your price range The Voice or the Surraso would be great. Out of cartridges you list, I like the XV1-s the best, and it's the only one I have heard on a Classic, and it of course sounded stellar. It was an world class set up though so take that into consideration.
I Agree with the Benz recommendation I put a LPS MR in my classic a couple of months ago and its a fantastic combination.Top to bottom everything you could want.
I recently bought the Classic turntable and went with the Ortofon A90. This easily beats out my previous SME Vi.iv and XV1-s. I have never enjoyed vinyl as much as I do now. I would also highly recommend getting the periphery ring as I think it makes more of an improvement than the center weight, which I also bought, but don't even use. If you can swing it, I would also recommend the Audio Desk record cleaner. It will pay for itself in 2 years or so. It makes the whole vinyl experience soooo much more enjoyable.
Thanks very much for your suggestions guys - not even thought about the Benz so will look into that for sure.

Not really considered Soundsmith before either - I was somewhat confused - i had thought you need their dedicated preamps with their cartridges - now realise that this is not true.

I have not got the periphery ring, so will get one of those too.

Tbh, the classic has never sounded "light" in my rig - I think it is mainly due to my Mac c2300 and mc275 - they add real body to the music. Also the dyna is a musical cart IMO.

Thanks again
Just an update. I got the Benz lps and it is wonderful.
Avoid Lyra cartridges? Where does this stuff come from? It's Horsehockey! These cartridges work FINE with VPI unipivot arms. I have a Helikon and an Argo i and they both work great on my Aries2/JMW 10.5i. I have also consulted with Jonathan Carr on the newest designs; there is no problem.
HW's cartridge of choice for his personal use is the LP-S. Be sure to get a heavier (180 grm) counterweight
yep - got the heavier counter weight from my dealer free when I traded up to this cartridge.
What a great set-up! I have the Classic with the Lyra Delos and I'm in analogue nirvana every weekend, but your combo is in a different class altogether. It gives me something to look forward to one day when I can upgrade my cartridge. Congratulations!
What was your particular problem with xx2 performance? I had one too....
Add another Classic/Delos combo to the list -- sounds great in my system, so I'm sure the Titan i would be a worthy candidate.

> No problem with the Dyna xx2 - great cartridge really. I just wanted a bit more of everything, and got it! Bigger soundstage, deeper and tighter bass, more air/space, better timbre - just a better cartridge and the classic is capable of eeking out the differences.