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PHC1
11-30-2009, 07:34 PM
After a few weeks wait for the back ordered Dynavector XX2 MKII it finally arrived. As luck would have it, my digital stylus force gauge crapped out on me after calibration just as I was awaiting the arrival of the MKII. As usual, Jeff at A/V Solutions came through for me. Thanks Jeff. http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?anlgtabl&1262400602

With the expedited shipping of Jeff's reasonably priced and impressive quality VTF gauge, it was time to get down to business and mount the XX2 as I was getting anxious to hear my first MC cart in my system.

Spreading out all the setup tools I would need on the table as well as bringing in some additional lighting, I put on some background music, made a cup of coffee and got to work.

Removing the Maestro Wood took only a few moments. The installation of the new cartridge is always a task that one should be prepared to do without distractions and thinking ahead as well as making sure the mood is right to do it. No shaky hands or foggy head for this job.

I installed the XX2 without using the stylus guard and this step as always has a high pucker factor. Actually until the TT is back on the rack and the tonearm is resting in its place, the whole setup takes calculated and careful moves around your working area.


I thought I would focus on the setup for those that are interested in those types of things in this post and then elaborate on the sound and impressions a little later on in the thread.

Some pics. Keep in mind, these were really hard to take. Some of them needed to be taken through a magnified glass with a camera on "macro" mode.

Stylus checked through the magnifier.

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd18/PHC1_2007/Dynavector%20XX2MKII/StylusClose.jpg










XX2 Mounted in the headshell and wired.

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd18/PHC1_2007/Dynavector%20XX2MKII/Mounted.jpg






Using the most excellent Dr.Feickert protractor, the overhang and Loefgren geometry is set. http://www.feickert.com/

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd18/PHC1_2007/Dynavector%20XX2MKII/Overhang.jpg
http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd18/PHC1_2007/Dynavector%20XX2MKII/LoefgrenGeometry.jpg





Typically, at this point, one would set the VTF (assuming the VTA has already been set) and play some vinyl. This is not good enough for me. Having witnessed the amount of error in the alignment even using the excellent Feickert protractor with the Mint LP "Best Tractor" Best Tractor / Arc Protractor / Mint Tractor / tonearm alignment / Yip Mint Protractor / Mintlp Protractor (http://mintlp.com/best.htm#impt) I was prepared to go the extra distance and really get the alignment down as close to perfection as humanly possible.

The Mint LP "Best Tractor" is a custom made device for your particular table. Without the lighted magnifying glass and the 10X Lupe, the job would be very difficult indeed. The problem with other protractors is that even when they look spot on, they are typically off.... The problem is the almost "microscopic" amount of precision needed to achieve perfection here and the fact that "parallax" effect comes into play. Your eyes will trick you. Parallax is an apparent displacement or difference of orientation of an object viewed along two different lines of sight, and is measured by the angle or semi-angle of inclination between those two lines.

The "Best Tractor" gives you the solution and ability to view the alignment with lines that are superimposed one on top of the other within the mirror protractor body. You only need to line up the superimposed lines and you will notice right away if your alignment is off. The rest takes a bit of patience and microscopic like adjustments of your cartridge in the headshell until alignment improves. Better have patience here. The Clearaudio headshell makes this much easier as it has a central bolt that allows rather fine adjustments while the cartridge is securely mounted to the plate underneath.

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd18/PHC1_2007/Dynavector%20XX2MKII/BestTractor.jpg





Before using the Mint LP "Best Tractor" to fine tune the setup. This pic is after using the Feickert Protractor for geometry and overhang which seemed spot on. Notice the alignment is still off. Doesn't take much of misalignment when you think about the size of the stylus, the vinyl grooves and the way the two interact. Perfection comes with patience. :yes:

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd18/PHC1_2007/Dynavector%20XX2MKII/Parallax.jpg






After using the "Best Tractor" and making fine adjustments. Much better!
http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd18/PHC1_2007/Dynavector%20XX2MKII/ParallaxFinal.jpg





VTF re-checked. Suggested VTF is 1.8 to 2.2 gm. I started right down the middle and will tweak further as the cartridge breaks in.

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd18/PHC1_2007/Dynavector%20XX2MKII/VTF.jpg






Phew.... TT back in the system and we have music!

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd18/PHC1_2007/Dynavector%20XX2MKII/SpinningVinyl1.jpg

MC352
11-30-2009, 07:49 PM
Excellent post, great write up thanks for the links also.
Oh, and great pictures too.
Now you just have to tell us how is sounds.

two dot
11-30-2009, 08:45 PM
Thank you, Serge, for this incredibly detailed and beautiful post.



:tresbon::tresbon::tresbon:

KMC45
11-30-2009, 08:48 PM
Serge,

Thanks for the post.

cmalak
11-30-2009, 10:08 PM
Thx Serge...excellent post. Enjoy the new Dyna cart.

MC352
12-03-2009, 07:33 PM
I just got my very own Stylus Force Gauge from AV Solutions, and the protractor is in the mail, after your write up.

The Gauge worked great and I got my cartridge trascking force dialed in perfectly.

Now once I get the Protractor, I will be able to ensure everything is right on the money.

Thanks again for the post.

PHC1
12-03-2009, 07:38 PM
I just got my very own Stylus Force Gauge from AV Solutions, and the protractor is in the mail, after your write up.

The Gauge worked great and I got my cartridge trascking force dialed in perfectly.

Now once I get the Protractor, I will be able to ensure everything is right on the money.

Thanks again for the post.

Cool. Which protractor did you go with? I use both, the Feickert for overhang and geometry and then fine tune with the "Best Tractor".

MC352
12-03-2009, 08:13 PM
I picked up the Best Tractor for now.

f1 fan
12-03-2009, 10:49 PM
Serge,

Great info for proper cartridge installation and the pics are beautiful.

Let us know how it sounds.


Dave

Vintage Pete
12-03-2009, 10:56 PM
Great post and great pics! I too await to hear your impressions on the sound.

Pete

dbz
06-30-2012, 04:05 AM
Did Serge ever write up his impressions?

How's it to the Maestro?

Edit-found it, thanks. Probably worth linking it here anyway. http://www.audioaficionado.org/turntables-tonearms/2773-dynavector-xx2-mkii-initial-impressions.html