Thinking of cart upgrade [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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Mr Peabody
01-06-2015, 07:30 PM
My 10x5 sounds good and a great value but now that I have my newish table I'm thinking of an upgrade. The Performance's magnetic arm limits me some. I've been looking at Ortofon, I'd like something in the Cadenza but $$. The Clearaudio Maestro v2 Ebony is Stereophile "B" rating and has good reviews. Seems Stereophile only gives ultra high dollar carts class A rating. And, a strong option is moving up in DV's line, a 20x2 wouldn't be that expensive with a trade in of my cart. The 17d3 is not a great deal more but I understand this cart has a bit of a departure from DV's typical sound, I haven't quite got a handle on it yet. Then if I go insane or hit the lottery there's the xx2 which really is about the same price as Ortofon's Cadenza Blue.

Any experience with these?

01-08-2015, 10:55 AM
Mr P. Give the Needle Doctor a call, they are very helpful.

What about the Ortofon Black? Reviews on this cartridge are great. Another to consider is the Nagaoka MP-500. The MP-500 is a giant killer and leans to the slightly warm side of neutral.

The Clear Audio Maestro is a nice sounding cartridge. A friend of mine has one with a $1700 Pro-Ject TT. I like its transparency and detail.

Here is a good review of the Ortofon Black at the bottom of the page on the link-

Nine Cartridges Reviewed, Compared and File Identities Revealed! | Analog Planet (

I am really surprised at the price of catridges right now. They seem to by skyrocketing. I almost bought a Nagaoka MP-300 for about $350 from Japan. They are almost double that right now. Even the Ortofon Black seems to have gone up by at least $100-200.

01-08-2015, 01:08 PM
I recently returned to my Ortofon OM20 cartridge. The detail is incredible and greater than my budget MC cartridges. The Ortofon has a fixed magnet and fixed coils. Magnetism is induced in the cantilever and when the cantilever moves between the fixed coils a signal is generated. The low mass of the moving system and the naked stylus reveals much detail. Oh and when you replace the stylus the assembly you receive a new suspension, magnet, cantilever and stylus. Only the coils are in the body so you are refreshing the cartridge with each change.

01-09-2015, 04:56 AM
Peabody has heard my black and he likes them....And no Peabody, I havnt reset my cart yet...just havent had time. And remember Peabody...Dont know if you've called Wylie yet, but he can give you a deal on the Ortofon as well as Dynavector.

01-09-2015, 07:49 AM
Such is my alienation from from the LP medium that it took me a couple of reads to understand that the "cart" you were talking about was a phono cartridge. :smile5:

01-09-2015, 01:57 PM
such is my alienation from from the lp medium that it took me a couple of reads to understand that the "cart" you were talking about was a phono cartridge. :smile5:


01-17-2015, 06:20 PM
I'm rollin' with a 20XH on my Rega at the moment, while the wife continues with the 10X4 MKII. The wood Benz will eventually find its way back to the Rega, but I'm enjoying the Dynavector life for the moment.

Mr Peabody
01-17-2015, 08:06 PM
How big is the difference between the 10 & 20?

01-17-2015, 08:55 PM
The difference is substantial. I'm hearing more refinement, a greater openness in the highs, and a greater quantity of bass. I'm not sure the additional bass would be welcome in every system, but it's fine in mine. I think I read somewhere that the 20x is forgiving of noisy records. I have not found that to be the case. It's the same as my other cartridges in that aspect.