Vocals soar above the pumping bass lines and are hauntingly life like. Amid all of this the other thing that strikes you is how dynamic the sound is. With the pumping bass lines and soaring vocals you might think that all of the subtle details would be lost. Don’t you believe it….all of the “tinkly” bits are there as well.
The DV XX-1 was the first cartridge to feature a “magnetic flux damper” (patent) and softened magnetism” (patent)processes that reject the magnetic fluctuation that is detrimental to a moving coil cartridges performance.
The The DV XX-2 MKII retains the benefit of the flux damper but features the Alinco-5 magnet and the similar rigid construction to the Te Kaitora Rua. Alnico magnets exhibit high magnetic flux density combining with a low coercive therefore magnetic resistance is lower than other magnetic types such as rare earth and ferrite, providing the exceptional stability of the XX-2 MKII output voltage. There is also the additional advantage of low magnetic and electrical resistance contributing to a discernable improvement in sound quality.
The XX-2MKII also exhibits deep powerful bass, treble is both clear and lively possessing none of the hardness found in many moving coil designs.
The XX-2MKII also features a 6 mm solid boron cantilever fitted with a Pathfinder Line contact stylus. PCOCC (pure copper ohno continuous casting process) copper wire is used for the coil. The output voltage of 0.28mV is higher than that of the XX-2 and 6 ohms impedance are suited to most moving coil phono stages.
For ridgity of construction the XX-2 MKII cartridge body is machined from 7075 aluminium the hardest available. However, having only a total weight of only 8.9 grams it is suitable for a variety of popular tonearms.
The bass line, when it kicks in is huge. It provides all the foundation for the rest of the track to hang from. I love the bass of this track and know it well. What I wasn’t expecting though was how tuneful the notes were.I recall, many years ago, sitting in a Linn dealers show room, listening to this track. The dealer told me to listen to the bass playing tunes rather than a one note thud.It was a convincing demonstration. Now let me tell you that with the XX-2 MKII bass will astound you! It is remarkably powerful and tuneful, with real texture and micro dynamic detail.The sound of fretwork and of fingers on strings is presented with staggering clarity. This cartridge must have been designed by a bass guitarist. But if music was all about bass then what a very uninteresting world we would live in. On this track the vocals of Mark Hollis are an acquired taste. If they are your taste then this track shows them in their best light. They soar above the pumping bass lines and are hauntingly life like. Amid all of this the other thing that strikes you is how dynamic the sound is. With the pumping bass lines and soaring vocals you might think that all of the subtle details would be lost. Don’t you believe it….all of the “tinkly” bits are there as well. It’s a measure of real high end that all of this detail is not masked by the more powerful notes and in this respect the XX-2 MKII is real high-end steal.