Dynavector DV Karat 17D2 MKII Cartridges

DV Karat 17D2 MKII

17D2MKll Karat Diamond is the first cartridge built using 'dispersion' theory. Its Micro-Ridge stylus and very short (1.7mm) solid diamond cantilever give a huge reduction in 'frequency dispersion', unmatched dynamics and a high frequency extension all the way up to 100kHz. The latest patented magnet circuit design increases the output to 0.26mV with crystal clear mid-range and treble even during the largest symphonic crescendos.

User Reviews (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4  
Anthony Lewis   AudioPhile [Feb 16, 2009]

First of all, ignore the comment in the previous review re no cantilever on this cartridge. Of course, there's a cantilever! It's just that it is very short, being composed of solid diamond, which gives this cartridge lightening fast response and digital-like resolution. I bought mine lightly-used on Audiogon more than two years ago, mounted it on a Rega P5 (tracking set at 2.0 gms) where it has performed flawlessly ever since. You really cannot go wrong matching the 17D2 to a Rega arm. Granted, given the low mass of the cartridge, the fancy tungsten counterweight Rega offers can't be used, but the stock counterweight works just fine. My only complaint would be that the cartridge is way too bright and edgy on the stock Rega glass platter. But that problem was solved by going to an Iron Audio platter topped by a Herbie's Way Excellent II mat -- I was rewarded with deeper, more lively bass, plus a refined midrange with a positively outstanding life-like quality of the vocals in any record. I could hear the singer's voice go the the utmost end of the note, whereas before I simply didn't know what I missing. The vocal quality of Style Council's "The Whole Point Of No Return" from My Ever Changing Moods lp literally knocked my socks off! (still can't find 'em) I am telling you, this is a giant-killer combination. Rega owners, you cannot go wrong matching these three (cart, platter and mat) together. It WILL be worth it, if not for the sake of that song, but for the sake of your own peace of mind (to paraphase Eric Burdon). One other point: The micro-ridge design of the stylus ensures that the contact radius with the record groove never changes as the stylus wears, so there is no gradual deterioration in sound quality over time. As I said, it's been over two years since my purchase and the cart sounds every bit as good as the day I mounted it. Like all Dynavector cartridges, when the 17D2 wears out it is abrupt and complete, so there's no second-guessing whether it's the record or the speakers or your ears. Used in the following system: Rega P5 w/TT PSU separate power supply, Dynavector P75 phono amp, NAD C162 preamp, NAD C272 amp, Monitor Audio RS6 speakers, and Blue Circle Audio MR800 power conditioner.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jörg   AudioPhile [Feb 27, 2007]
Strength:

Dynamics
Neutral tone
Detail
Transparency

Weakness:

Can fail without warning in a heavy arm

I've been using two DV 17D2 Mk II for a year now and agree that it is awesome, great dynamics and good tonal balance and exceptional resolution. The low mass and rigidity of the cantilever/tip provides a response that's only possible with good amps! We are talking electronic response of electronic mediums as transistors and tubes which react with the speed of light, not mechanical devices! But there is a caveat.
Contrary to what Fronkle stated in his or her's earlier review the 17D2 Mk II is NOT a very rugged cartridge. Perhaps it will perform well and reliable in a "matching" tone arm but I already had two failures of this cart in my beloved old Empire Troubador 598 III (no accidents). I love this turntable and had it for about 35 years now but its arm is very heavy and apparently not suited for the 17D2 Mk II. All my previous carts performed very well without failing or damage, even a high-end ELAC with high compliance tip.
I just had my second defective 17D2 sent to Dynavector/Japan to have it repaired but wonder if it will last in my Empire, I'll probably sell it right away. I'm looking for a 2nd hand DV XX-2 Mk II now as it seems to be more rugged and has less compliance. I also talked to a German guy which builds his own high-end turntables and he told me that the 17D2 Mk II is the best DV cart concerning resolution, neutrality and dynamics even though it's not the most expensive. But if it doesn't match with the arm its prone to failure.
At the moment I'm using my ancient DV Karat 23RS van den Hul modified. It has a bit less resolution but it it's very close to the 17D2, same dynamics and even better bass (the 17D2 sounds a bit "lean"). I'll probably be able to audition a DV XX-2 Mk II soon and if it sounds good I'll probably get that one. The DV DRT XV-1s is just a bit too heavy for my arm and it's also quite a bit too expensive ...

Similar Products Used: Shure
Elac ESG 796 HSP
Goldring 1042
Ortofon MC 20 Super
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Jörg   AudioPhile [Feb 27, 2007]
Strength:

Dynamics
Neutral tone
Detail
Transparency

Weakness:

Can fail without warning in a heavy arm

I've been using two DV 17D2 Mk II for a year now and agree that it is awesome, great dynamics and good tonal balance and exceptional resolution. The low mass and rigidity of the cantilever/tip provides a response that's only possible with good amps! We are talking electronic response of electronic mediums as transistors and tubes which react with the speed of light, not mechanical devices! But there is a caveat.
Contrary to what Fronkle stated in his or her's earlier review the 17D2 Mk II is NOT a very rugged cartridge. Perhaps it will perform well and reliable in a "matching" tone arm but I already had two failures of this cart in my beloved old Empire Troubador 598 III (no accidents). I love this turntable and had it for about 35 years now but its arm is very heavy and apparently not suited for the 17D2 Mk II. All my previous carts performed very well without failing or damage, even a high-end ELAC with high compliance tip.
I just had my second defective 17D2 sent to Dynavector/Japan to have it repaired but wonder if it will last in my Empire, I'll probably sell it right away. I'm looking for a 2nd hand DV XX-2 Mk II now as it seems to be more rugged and has less compliance. I also talked to a German guy which builds his own high-end turntables and he told me that the 17D2 Mk II is the best DV cart concerning resolution, neutrality and dynamics even though it's not the most expensive. But if it doesn't match with the arm its prone to failure.
At the moment I'm using my ancient DV Karat 23RS van den Hul modified. It has a bit less resolution but it it's very close to the 17D2, same dynamics and even better bass (the 17D2 sounds a bit "lean"). I'll probably be able to audition a DV XX-2 Mk II soon and if it sounds good I'll probably get that one. The DV DRT XV-1s is just a bit too heavy for my arm and it's also quite a bit too expensive ...

Similar Products Used: Shure
Elac ESG 796 HSP
Goldring 1042
Ortofon MC 20 Super
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
loukasb   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 13, 2006]
Strength:

Fast, dynamic, transparent and overall tonal balance.

Weakness:

Very low output needs a very good phono stage.

I purchased this product 2 months ago as part of a total turntable upgrade to a Michell Gyrodec SE/SME 309 combo. My initial impressions were not that good since the phono stage I used at that time, a Musical Fidelity XLPS v3 was not up to the task of driving very low output cartridges. Changing the phono stage to a Trichord Dino+ the results are impressive. Excellent dynamics, very good focus and overall tonal balance with slight emphasis in frequency extremes (excellent reproduction of high and low frequencies). Listening to operas and jazz vocals, human voices have an equal dose of warmth and clarity not found in other cartridges I've heard in the past. Symphonic orchestras are reproduced with proper amount of scale and really fast tempo.

Similar Products Used: Denon 103 & 160, Grado Reference Signature and Platinum, Rega Super Elys, Audio Note IQII, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Fronkle   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 11, 2005]
Strength:

Built like a tank and virtually kid proof.

Weakness:

Maybe a little lightweight in sound quality, but at least it hasn't ever degraded due to cantilever damage.

This product is particularly interesting as it has no cantelever (i.e. rod or tube) to hold the tip. The tip is the cantilever!!! After having many previous stylii rendered ruined by bent cantilevers, this is the most robust cartridge I've ever had. If you have small kids, it's a good choie for a decent stylus. The sound quality is acceptable, but I haven't really done an A-B comparison to provide you with particulars.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-4 of 4  

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