Hand-Built van den Hul DDT II Special Moving-Coil Phono Cartridge Plays Vinyl LPs with Energy and Refinement: Features Type 1S Fine-Line Stylus, Matched Crystal Silver-Wire Coils
Fast enough to rock n’ roll and refined enough to capture the elegance of a classical string quartet, the van den Hul DDT II Special is a moving-coil phono cartridge that can both dress up and get down. The hand-built DDT II Special features a patented Type 1S fine-line contact stylus and boron cantilever renowned for the ability convey the deep-seated essence of musical performances. No wonder it took home top honors at Hi-Fi Choice’s cartridge shootout for its outstanding integration, timing, and “skillful balancing act.”
Approached with utmost precision, every DDT II Special is personally approved by Mr. van den Hul himself, who’s been designing critically acclaimed cartridges for more than 40 years. In addition to employing a high-powered microscope and testing equipment, the highly trained physicist uses his ears to troubleshoot any potential problematic areas and ensure each DDT II Special gets every detail right.
Equipped with a thick frontpole and small magnet, DDT II impresses with its low-level resolution and ability to convey subtle ambient cues and senses of space. Its matched crystal silver-wire coils (extremely rare at this price point) provide a tonal purity and transparency that bring out the realistic timbre of instruments necessary for convincing reproduction. Spec’d with light tracking force requirements (13.5 to 16.0 mN), a properly aligned DDT II Special will result in less record surface wear – making it a wise choice for protecting your vinyl investment. What’s more, van den Hul’s cryogenically frozen proprietary elastomer formula controls unwanted vibrations like no other solution in the industry.
Delivering 35.9 dB of channel separation, DDT II Special plays LPs with three-dimensional imaging and instrumental bloom. Plus, its moderate 0.65mV output allows it to mate well with some moving-magnet phonostages – and any moving-coil setup. An analog gem, DDT II Special is your chance to experience Mr. van den Hul’s world-renowned craftsmanship at a price that still leaves room in the budget for more records.
“As it turns out, DDT stands for ‘depth, detail, and timbre’; ‘II’ signifies a revision or refinement; and ‘Special’ means it’s, well, special. I’ve never heard a DDT-I, but I’m here to tell you that the DDT-II is special indeed, and a damn good buy to boot.”
– Art Dudley, Stereophile
“From the opening bars of Jean-Michel Blais’ skillful piano work, the DDT II Special shows that its major strength is bridging the gap between accuracy and emotion. More than any other cartridge here, the van den Hul gives a sense of really being there to experience the performance in the flesh.”
– HiFi Choice