Dynavector 20 Xl , Benz Micro Ace SL or Denon

I am considering purchasing my first MC cartridge and am considering the Dynavector 20 Xl, Benz Micro Ace SL or possibly one of the Denon models. I am currently using a Rega Exact 2 MM cartridge on a Rega P3 with an upgraded RB 300 tonearm. I have an Arcam C31 with P1 monoblocks. I sometimes feel that the soundstage could be wider and more detailed. Would the move to either be justified? Thank you for your input.
Dear Raul, Am I understanding you correctly? Don't buy a HOMC? Any HOMC? I have an ARC PH1 phono pre with 48db gain. What cartridge would you recommend to upgrade from a Grado Z+?
Dear Geor: If you like Grado then go with them on any of its top ( not the very top that its output is low: 0.5mv. ) models. Grado has very good quality performers.

There is a current Grado model name it The Tribute ( 1.5mv. ) and marketed by Amber in Australia. This IMHO is one of the best cartridges ( LOMC or MM/MI ) ever made, its quality performance is something : " you can't ask for more " status.

There are other lower price options as Nagaoka MP-50 or Ortofon M20E Super, both you can find it NOS through Ebay/LPgear.

Regards and enjoy the music,
UPDATE - since my last post I have tried the following cartridges in my system: Benz Wood SH, Dynavector 17D2 mk2, Shelter 501 Mk2, Nagaoka MP-50.

My Dyna 20X-H is still my fave....by a wide margin...despite the higher price tag most of the others. I also really like my Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood.

Maybe I'm just a HO kinda guy? Maybe they lack a lil speed, clarity, precision and finesse compared to the LOMC I've tried. But they have greater body, harmonic richness and slam, and the music just seems to flow and hang together with greater coherency and naturalness. Also, they don't have the sheeny and brilliant kindof overlay to the music that bothers me about LOMC. It sounds hyped and artificial to me, and ultimately fatiguing.
Nice report, Spelly. Most of us don't get the chance to actually audition cartridges against one another before buying! If you're so inclined, I'd be interested to know more about your thoughts on the 20X-H in relation to the Shelter and the Nagaoka. THANKS!
Hi Bob-

There is just something about the overall tone and natural rendition of detail of the 20X that really appeals to me. It is rich and warm with good weight. Overall sound is relaxed and musical. Maybe not the transparency and resolution of most MC, but it also doesn't have the glare or etch either. It renders detail in a natural and unhyped way such that I can listen to it forever. It simply manages to pull me into the music better than the others. What I hear with it is a great balance of tone, harmonic richness, detail, weight, coherency and musical flow. Nice lucidity in the midrange. Of those I have tried, the 20X has the best bass weight and slam.

I would put it succinctly like this: the 20X does not do any one thing exceptionally well, but it does everything very well. The Shelter is very sophisticated with a detailed yet smooth presentation. To my ears the 20X is meatier and has better tone. I have read that the 501 is really good with arms on the heavy side, and needs an arm heavier than mine (12g) to really excel.

The Nagaoka MP-50 is actually very good. Similar in character to the 20X in that it is warm, musical, weighty and un-hyped. My friend is selling one on Audiocircle now. It is the exact one I borrowed. Brand new stylus that I checked with my 40X lens. It is perfect. I think he might be flexible on the price.


PS: most of the carts I have tried are borrowed from local buddies. I own the 20X and Virtuoso Wood, and this experience tells me that I have chosen wisely. For the price, and even more, you can't go wrong with these two.