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Immutable Music Updates Their Top of the Line Proteus Cartridge

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  • Immutable Music Updates Their Top of the Line Proteus Cartridge

    Newly-enhanced Transfiguration Proteus phono cartridge arrives in UK

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    Japan-based Immutable Music has long been renowned for its small but outstandingly formed range of Transfiguration phono cartridges, whose revolutionary design completely restructures the conventional moving coil (MC) concept. Now, the range is undergoing a number of enticing enhancements and first to arrive in the UK is the company’s flagship model, the Proteus.

    Hand crafted in Japan, Transfiguration moving coil (MC) cartridges have been described as the most important cartridge design since the invention of the moving coil. They are also hailed as being among the world’s most musically engaging.

    Their yokeless double-ring-magnet design provides an extremely accurate coil / magnet interface in which the coils are positioned right at the focal point of the magnetic flux field. This ground-breaking construction was conceived to remove the variations in flux introduced by traditional MC designs. The result is a new level of focus and resolution and a stunningly life-like musicality.

    Transfiguration cartridges have always been about getting out of the way. Their flagship Proteus model was specifically designed to lack any of its own character. With its internal impedance of a mere 1 ohm, it concentrates instead on extracting a recording’s every nuance with peerless musical realism. Says designer Seiji Yoshioka, “The best audio components are those that simply don't seem to exist - so good that they add nothing, subtract nothing.”

    So how exactly do you improve on that? This is the very question Yoshioka pondered, exploring in near-microscopic detail what could actually be changed in order to achieve an even more naturally revealing sound - yet without compromising the key fundamentals of a highly effective low-distortion design.

    Two key areas revealed themselves as good for the task: the dampers and the coils.

    The Proteus features push-pull damping, with the existing model sporting double dampers made from a specially developed stabilising compound. The latter is insensitive to temperature changes and provides excellent stylus/coil alignment and control. In the new model, the dampers have been further fine-tuned. While the detail of their make-up is a closely-guarded secret, they now feature a multi-layered design composed of different types of elastomer, painstakingly constructed to deliver an even more precise tracking ability.
    At the same time, the purity of the 5N silver wire coils has also been upgraded - from 99.9993% to 99.9997% - in order to further remove distortion and enhance transparency.
    While these may seem like relatively small changes on paper, their combined impact, says Immutable Music, is anything but. And they should know, since the Proteus’ redesign involved long hours of extensive listening tests. “What we were looking for,” explains Yoshioka, “was even greater focus and accuracy. The ability to read yet more information without distortion and to deliver even more of the natural musicality that Transfiguration has become known for.”
    The results speak for themselves. “The new enhanced Proteus really goes to work on detail,” says Yoshioka. “It presents a larger soundstage, increased depth and more natural tonal colours – and ultimately, most important, an even more musically involving presentation.”

    Technical specifications: Transfiguration Proteus
    Body Precision machined solid aluminium, resonance controlled
    Cantilever 0.3mm solid boron
    Stylus PA diamond 3 x 30µm
    Core & coils Ultra grade 3S-µ-metal square core with 5N silver coils
    Magnet Neodymium, front & rear
    Weight 7.8g
    Electrical output voltage 0.2mV (3.54cm/s, 1kHz)
    Internal impedance 1Ω
    Frequency response 10Hz – 20kHz + 1.5dB
    20Hz – 40kHz +2dB
    Channel separation > 30dB (200Hz – 1kHz)
    Channel balance < 0.5dB at 1kHz
    Tracking ability >70µm @ 2.0g @ 315Hz
    Dynamic compliance 13 x 10-6cm/dyne
    Recommended tracking force 2g
    Optimum working temperature 23 Celsius
    Break-in period 30 hours
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor,

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
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    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Kubala-Sosna, Audience FrontRow; Audience FrontRow, Genesis Advanced Technologies , Goldmund and Ensemble Power Cords
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  • #2
    I found the Orpheus and Proteus to have excellent tonality with little footprint of their own in that area. Very enjoyable cartridges, especially the Orpheus. Wish the trend was toward higher output.


    • MylesBAstor
      MylesBAstor commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah but don't you wish the Proteus had a little more midrange presence?

    • Guest's Avatar
      Guest commented
      Editing a comment
      Immediacy? Okay. For it's cost, offers a lot (except output.)

  • #3
    Originally posted by tima View Post
    I found the Orpheus and Proteus to have excellent tonality with little footprint of their own in that area. Very enjoyable cartridges, especially the Orpheus. Wish the trend was toward higher output.
    this is why I bought the IFi phono 2. 72db gain. The Proteus just sings with it. Also can load down to 76.5 ohms loading.

    Turntable: TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter mat & weight; PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.
    Digital: Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer
    Amplification: VTL 6.5 preamp Series II, Pass Labs 150.8 Amp
    Loudspeakers: Piega C711 Loudspeakers
    Isolation: Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks and grade 2.5 Balls
    Misc: Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator, Synergistic Research 12 UEF SE Line Conditioner, Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 Atmosphere power cords, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates, Synergistic Research Orange Outlet, Furutech NCF Booster Braces, synergistic Research Galileo and Atmosphere X Euphoria Level 3 Balanced ICs, Synergistic Research Euphoria Level 3 Speaker Cables, Synergistic Research Cable Risers.

    Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD800s Headphones.


    • #4
      After four year of faithful service, I sent my Proteus for a well deserved retipping to Japan. The manufacturer proposed to exchange my Proteus for a new Proteus S at the price of a standard retipping. This was an offer I could not refuse. Worth noting that the turnaround was less than three weeks.


      • #5
        what's the Proteus S?


        • dcc
          dcc commented
          Editing a comment
          It is the new version of the Proteus as described in the original post: improved damping and coils made with silver wires of higher purity.

      • #6
        whats the recommended loading ohms?
        Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mono) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects


        • #7
          On my Allnic H3000V and after numerous trials, I have settled down to the 177 ohms setting.