Welcome Licorice Pizza (LP) lovers! Setup guides and Vinyl FAQ.
I recently purchased a Dynavector XX2 cartridge to replace the 20XL on my modified Technics SL1210 turntable. Some had told me, an upgrade of that magnitude would be hampered by the ability of the Technics, especially the tonearm. I felt, as did others, that the Technics was capable and I was itching to try a better cartridge. I had been given several good options, including the Dynavector 17D3, the Lyra Delos and others. I selected the XX2 for a few reasons: I already liked the sound of the 20XL, I could buy the XX2 for a lower price than the Lyra and only a little more than the 17D3, and since the XX2 had similar characteristics to the 20XL I didn't have to change my SUT loading or other parameters.
I've modified stock Technics headshells with DH Labs pure silver leads (I had one of their initial sets for the 20XL so ordered another for the XX2 headshell). The XX2 is not broken in as I only played three LP sides today: One side each of The Royal Ballet 'Gala Performances', Fleetwood Mac 'Rumours' and ABBA Singles 'First Ten Years'.
My initial impression is that there is greater separation of instruments so there is more detail, more transparency and better imaging. The wonderful - to my ears - 20XL sound remains but it is "better". I will have to sit down and go back and forth between the 20XL and XX2 to properly define what I mean by "better" but that's all I have now.
Is spending more $$$ for the XX2 worth it? It depends! I can best explain it by referring to seating at a philharmonic concert in my city: You may be happy with seats on the main floor but if you get to sit in the middle of the Dress Circle everything becomes clearer. If you don't mind spending the money I think the XX2 is a worthwhile upgrade.
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Topic - Initial Impression: Dyna XX2 versus 20XL - mcguirek 14:28:39 07/03/12 (2)