Waaaah. Snapped off my cantilever.


Today I bumped the needle of my Dynavector XX-2 MkII, it's a big bucks cartridge for me, I've only had it about six months, and 2 of those months I couldn't use it because my pre-amp was in for re-tubing.

Makes me understand why some stick with CD's/Downloads and solid state equipment.

Looks like Soundsmith is the way to go to repair it, but please do chime in if you have any other recommendations. Thanks.
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Andy Chongs retipping service in WA does an excellent job with a much quicker turnaround time than Soundsmith.

Best of Luck

Peter
I just got my XX2MKII back from Soundsmith, where I had their best retip done. Without a doubt, it is a much better sounding cartridge now than even when it was new.

As Peter said, there is a long turnaround with Soundsmith (three months), but, in the end, you'll have an even better cartridge. I haven't tried Andy Chong for retipping, but it might be a better alternative for you, since you wouldn't have to wait so long.

Good luck,
Dan
Can you send it back to Dynavector through your dealer or distributor? I'm just wondering why the recommendations I read are always for Soundsmith and other services rather than the original manufacturer. Is it based on cost and repair time?
Darkj, that's a serious bummer. I can sympathize because I did the same to a Dynavector ten years ago. Mike Pranka, the US distributor, took pity on me and replaced the cartridge at dealer cost. It was a kind of "leniency for boneheads" policy, and I qualified. Might be worth checking into.
Mr P- One sonic benefit of a(top shelf) repair through Soundsmith involves a much upgraded cantilever(ruby), if available for your cartridge. Their Nude Contact Line sylus profile also is an upgrade over many that OEM manufacturers provide.(http://www.sound-smith.com/retip/)
Dear Darkj: I think that your cartridge is first step down the XV-1s so it is not an unexpensive cartridge.

If you send it to a " universal " re-tipper " you will receive a different cartridge with a different quality performance level that almost always is only different but not better one. IMHO there is no single reason for a cartridge coming from a re-tipper can sound better only because a different cantilever or stylus shape or what ever, a cartridge is more than cantilever/stylus shape. Let me explain:

With top and expensive cartridges every single part of the cartridge design was choosed to achieve the cartridge designer targets. Normally all those manufacturer cartridge parts are sourced especially only for that cartridge manufacturer ( in this case: Dynavector. ) and no re-tipper ( any ) can put his hands on any single of those valued cartridge building parts that are exclusively for Dynavector.

In the other side the re-tipper does not know each one single " reason " why the designer made the cartridge design in that way, not even know the real " hidding " manufacturer designer targets in that cartridge design. Only the cartridge manufacturer can fine tune the cartridge suspension according those targets.

Additional when you send the cartridge to the manufacturer what you received is a totally new sample with all the manyfacturer up dates on it, up dates that several times the manufacturer never speaks on them. So, probably you will receive from the manufacturer a better cartridge than the one you own. This can't happen through a re-tipper.

I use re-tipper for vintage cartridges or today non top of the line ones.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
Rodman99999, the Dynavector has a boron cantilever. The Soundsmith ruby cantilever is not an upgrade at all as boron is a far better material to use, which is why for a retip (rather than a broken cantilever) the Soundmsith option of a straight stylus only replacement is the best option when your cartridge has a boron cantilever.
So, are you writing that the OP's Dynavector will sound better, cost less and be repaired quicker if he sends it to Soundsmith rather then sending it to Dynavector? If so, that would certainly be worth considering. What are the comparable costs and time estimates? I imagine the resulting sonic differences would be subjective.
Well if it makes you feel better, I've snapped the cantilever off a cartridge that was much more expensive AND much newer than yours. ;)

It happened about 8 years ago, but I can still feel that sickness in the pit of my stomach when I think about it. It will haunt me forever....
Dear Darkj: I think that your cartridge is first step down the XV-1s so it is not an unexpensive cartridge.

If you send it to a " universal " re-tipper " you will receive a different cartridge with a different quality performance level that almost always is only different but not better one. IMHO there is no single reason for a cartridge coming from a re-tipper can sound better only because a different cantilever or stylus shape or what ever, a cartridge is more than cantilever/stylus shape. Let me explain:

With top and expensive cartridges every single part of the cartridge design was choosed to achieve the cartridge designer targets. Normally all those manufacturer cartridge parts are sourced especially only for that cartridge manufacturer ( in this case: Dynavector. ) and no re-tipper ( any ) can put his hands on any single of those valued cartridge building parts that are exclusively for Dynavector.

In the other side the re-tipper does not know each one single " reason " why the designer made the cartridge design in that way, not even know the real " hidding " manufacturer designer targets in that cartridge design. Only the cartridge manufacturer can fine tune the cartridge suspension according those targets.

Additional when you send the cartridge to the manufacturer what you received is a totally new sample with all the manyfacturer up dates on it, up dates that several times the manufacturer never speaks on them. So, probably you will receive from the manufacturer a better cartridge than the one you own. This can't happen through a re-tipper.

I use re-tipper for vintage cartridges or today non top of the line ones.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
How about shearing off half the diamond on a 50 hr Benz Lps cartridge that I had just bought 30 days earlier for $2500?

and then finding out Benz had a 12 mth wait for their $900 retip?

Sound smith was not an option as a non factory retip would have diminished the value of this $5000 cartridge.

Luckily Musical Surroundings, Benz's US distributor, took pity on me and I was able to get it back within 6 weeks, sounding good as new.

Thanks Garth at MS and Jay at Audio Revelations for the great customer service.
Jmcgrogan +1, I actually watched myself bump it as it damaged so effortlessly. The funny thing is I can't seem to get back on the horse and have become overly nervous when handling the tonearm.

I got right back on the horse Vicdamone. It was a lesson I will never forget though. I was in the set up process, and looking back I realize that I was rushing it a little bit. I couldn't wait to listen to this big, expensive cartridge. LOL!!
As I was checking the VTF on the digital scale for about the 5th time, the tonearm slipped and the cantilever snapped. Lesson learned, NEVER rush setting up a cartridge, or changing LP's, take your time.

I'm not nervous anymore, but I take my time and move very deliberately these days. :)
Hi John, I see that it was you who had the experience. As I said in my response to your e mail, sorry to read the news. If you go the Delos route, you won't be disappointed. Thanks again for looking at my ad. Bruce
I just had Andy repair 3 cartridges. turn around time was about 2 weeks after he got them. Havent got them back yet to see, but other work he has done for me has been first rate. I have also had Soundsmith do some cartridges, and they were excellent too, but about 12 weeks turn around time. Prices are comparable.
Stuff happens!!
I recall the amount for a factory repair of an XX2MKII was $975, but that was a couple of years ago. I can't see any reason to spend that much, when the end result for a SS retip is a better sounding cartridge than the factory retip.

Dan
My experience with Dynavector is that their top of the line cartridges get a full rebuild, they do not do retips. New generators, everything. If you have a top Dynavector and it is more than 2 years old, then I would recommend factory retip ( which should mean new cartridge/old body ). My advice is check with the distributor what the rebuild actually consists of.
Mr D- "the Dynavector has a boron cantilever. The Soundsmith ruby cantilever is not an upgrade at all as boron is a far better material to use," Have you heard one, with a ruby cantilever? If not: On what is your opinion based? Thank you for your reply.
"If you send it to a universal re-tipper, you will receive a different cartridge with a different quality performance level that almost always is only different but not better one." Again: On what is this opinion based? Both Van Den Hul and Soundsmith have built some excellent cartridges. In fact; the Van Den Hul styli profiles(VDH1/VDH2) were used by a number of upper-crust cartridge manufacturers(ie: Elac, EMT, Coral,
Ortofon, Allaerts, Clearaudio, Audio Note, et al), in the 70's and 80's. While the OP's cartridge is also an excellent(but not, "state of the art") specimen(I own a Dynavector myself), I see no reason that it's performance could not conceivably be improved upon, or matched(at a competitive price point) by those with the experience to extract the sound of live music, from a vinyl pressing. But then: If the OP was perfectly pleased by the original sound of the cartridge; an exchange via Dynavector(admittedly- no gamble) would certainly be indicated.
Rodman99999. Oh yes, i've heard plentiful ruby cantilevered cartridges, both stock ruby omn Ortofon cartridges and Soundsmith ruby on repaired cartridges of various makes . Ruby is a lovely material for a cantilever but boron is better especially when it comes to the very fine detail retrieval due to its extra stiffness and significant lightness. The Soundsmith ruby cantilever is a worthwhile upgrade if your cartridge originally had an aluminium cantilever but it would be a retrograde move for a boron cantilevered cartridge.

Why do you believe ruby is an upgrade on boron? You use the term 'much upgraded' so i am interested in your response and to what cartridges you've compared where you have moved from a boron cantilever to a ruby one.
Mr D- My question was whether you had heard the XX with a ruby cantilever. I have and thought it more organic(natural/alive, while retaining air/ambiance), which to me is an improvement, as I actually listen to more live music, than canned. I probably should have qualified that, "much improved", with a, "personal preference" disclaimer. That the stylus profile was different adds a variable as well(same records listened to/probably another area of the groove). Boron and ruby are both extremely rigid(boron-9.5 Mohs scale, ruby-9, diamond-10) and(actually) some of the hardest substances on Earth. That their specific gravities come in(respectively) at 2.4 and 4, should give boron an edge regarding moving mass and(yes) detail retrieval, depending on the length of the cantilever, compliance and other mechanical considerations. However: Being a tuned system; every cartridge is unique and(like every recording's mix) subject to the tuner's biases.
Dear Rodman99999: cartridge cantilever and cantilever build material is only a single part of the cartridge design, important yes but certainly not the one that makes the difference. A cartridge design is the sum of its parts where and through those parts and fine tunning it the designer works to achieve the quality performce targets and only the cartridge designer knows exactly why boron or why ruby or why aluminum. All is about design targets.

Now, it is not only the cantilever build material important but the cantilever shape/length/rod or tube/thikness of cantilever walls and the like.

In the other side the cantilever does not transmit music but only movements that the trasducer convert in " music ". Even IMHO the stylus as a whole is more important than the cantilever along the kind of cartridge suspension because that gives the abilitie or not to track the grooves accurately. Yes, the cantilever is important but maybe not in the way you are looking at.

A re-tipped cartridge that was not re-tipped by the cartridge manufacturer is a different cartridge and not a better one because the cantilever build material.

A universal retipper does not rebuild the whole cartridge with a retipper quality performance targets, he only change cantilever/stylus and suspension adjustments and at random left the cartridge quality performance.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
Even I can assure that the universal re-tipped cartridge specs are different from the original one.

R.
Like I said, "depending on the length of the cantilever, compliance AND OTHER MECHANICAL CONSIDERATIONS. However: Being a tuned SYSTEM; every cartridge is unique and(like every recording's mix) SUBJECT to the TUNER'S BIASES." BUT- Thanx for pontificating. =;^)
I am sorry a simple mistake caused such damage to your cartridge. I did that ONCE to a Benz Micro cantilever. Their trade up program allowed me to get a better cartridge. I am extremely cautious and give my complete attention/focus to my TT when playing LPs.

Contact the manufacturer to see if you can upgrade or if they can fix it for a minimal fee as you are trying to stay "brand loyal." Good luck.
Thanks for all the comments. I'm heartened to hear that at least some think that the ruby cantilever might even improve the excellent sound I was getting from my XX2 MkII. I did send it off to Soundsmith, and will wait 3 months. I don't mind this as $350 seems a reasonable repair price for a $2K cartridge.

In the meantime, I've purchased a new Lyra Delos from Hi-Fi Heaven. It's in the system but I've only had it for one night. I would say that there is definitely more clarity in the high frequencies. My system is a bit in flux at the moment so I'm not sure what I'll end up preferring and keeping once I have the DV back to compare.

I will say that if I break another cantilever, my next cartridge will be the Dynavector 17d3 with it's ridiculously short and well-protected tip.