Smooth, great dynamics, good at fleshing-out material in the inner grooves, but served up mis-tracking on a silver platter when combined with JMW 9 arm.
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Recently went from the 20X,HO to the XX2. A giant improvement:
tighter base, smooth mids, clean extended highs. Much "faster" than the 20X. Music is more "right",I Could never go back.No tracking issues with a Graham Phantom arm. I had to have my Audible Illusions 3B modified with the John Curl Gold Phono boards-turn around time 48 hours.
Had a DV XX2 MKII 3 years ago on and SME V arm. I still miss it up to this day - even after 2 XV-1s & 2 Vdh Colibris! It had a magic with the ARC Ref Phono, smooth from top to bottom. Awesome bass and dynamics, sounded supper with any LP I threw at it - this can't be said with some higher-fi carts. The XV-1s does have more delicacy and resolution, but I suspect you will be very happy with the XX2, especially at a third of the price! If only my "helper/maid" didn't take a feather duster to my turntable :-(
I currently have this cart on a Scoutmaster with the JMW9 arm and am very happy. No mistracking or other misbehavior. That said it is very fiddly to set up. Thanks to Soundsmith and the counter intuitive and the heavy mounting hardware and a Mint protractor it can be done. Orders of magnitude better than the DV20XH it replaced.
McDonald43: That is exactly the set up I had, included a desperate attempt with Mint Lp protractor as well, (and Symposium anti-vibe shelf. While it fleshed-out inner grooves better than 20xl, man, the mistracking! I had an expert over twice to double check my work. Some albums which offended, (for split seconds, but stil: Britten's "Rejoice in the Lamb" on Argo, esp. the Missa Brevis, Varese' Poem Electronique, (last few minutes), Freni's final aria, side one Karajan La Boheme, Last 1/3 side one, of Janacek's Katya Kabanova/Mackerras, Debussy's Sonata for flute and harp final pages, Melos Ensemble; Climax of final Kyrie Vaughan Williams' Masss in G/EMI, Moravec, 4th Ballade Chopin "Poet of Piano," final climax of "Jeux" Haitink/Philips, Askenazy Rachmaninoff Preludes, London; Final chorus Rosza's Ben Hur, Perlman/Ashkenazy Beethoven Spring Sonata, final mov't, well...I could go on. Have any of these Lp's?
Well my new DV XX2 MKII has been installed and it sounds GREAT! Very happy with this cartridge and I am confident it will sound even better as I use it over the next 30 to 50 hours. There's no doubt in my mind that the XX2 is several notches above my old DV 20xl (which is pretty darn good for the money). But, the XX2 is definitely better in every way. Highly recommended!
BTW, a big thank you to Jeff at High Water Sound in New York for providing this great cartridge. His advice was right-on target and Jeff really knows his trade. A great guy to deal with also!
Glad the XX2 worked out for you. As I said, I am very pleased with it. I just can't wait to spin more records every day. If you are dealing with Jeff, then I would have to recomend a Raven table. They seem to be top shelf in their price range. I almost bought one from Jeff but at the time I could not make it work in my system. Jeff was very pleasent and even though I did not buy anything from him, he was very helpful. I would go with a Raven one probably if you could afford it. I am happy with my Amadeus GTA and I know I can get it sounding better. But some day who knows... Enjoy your new cart and I will give an advance congrats on the new table :)
I have lusted after the TW Acustic tables since I first saw them at RMAF four years ago... I would love to have an AC...
I like my VPI Aries 3 okay (but just ok)... I love my DV 507 MKII arm! If I could spring for an AC and mount the 507 arm on it I would be set for a long time... Saving as fast as I can...
The only one of the LP's that I have is a MFSL 2-526 Von Karajan La Boheme. The Dyna tracks the entire side one without a hint of mis-tracking. The VTF is 2.01 - 2.05g, no anti-skate other than the twist, I used the Mint LP and a USB ($40) microscope to set it up. The rest of the system is very capable of resolving mis-tracking (Atma-sphere MP-1 & MA-1's with Quad ESL-63's). Frankly, I have never heard a hint of mis-tracking with this setup.
Not even a hint of crackle on the entire side two either. I do have the Soundsmith mounting hardware to increase the effective mass of the arm and the Counterintuitive to adjust the azimuth and VTF more easily. I don't know if this contributes to the tracking ability or not, but I have no complaints at all.