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  • Contenders in the $2.5K range?

    The suspension on my Benz LP-Smr is starting to sag. I'm going to run it until the wheels fall off then trade it in for a new one.
    In the mean time I'm looking for a back up in the $2.5K range or less. I see the Zyx 4D on Audiogon for 2400.00 from Sorasound but know nothing about this cartridge. I also saw a new in box Kiseki Purple NS for 2500.00. I have only read about, but never heard this either. Another is the MKIII version of the Shelter 901. Any info on these three, or others in the price range? I will only buy new.
    The arm used is SME V
    SOURCE: VINYL - EAT C-Sharp with, EAT LPS power supply, My Sonic Lab Signature Gold
    DIGITAL - Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC. Roon Nucleus w/EAT Lps power supply. Auralic Aires G1
    PHONOSTAGE: AudioNet PAM G2 with AudioNet EPX power supply.
    PREAMP: Audionet PRE G2.
    AMPLIFIER: Audionet MAX monoblocks.
    SPEAKERS: YG Acoustics Anat III Signatures (upgraded to Sonja 1.2) JL Audio F112 V2 (x2)
    CABLES: Kubala-Sosna, Kubala Sosna Xpander.....Audio Desk Systeme RCM, Adona Rack, GIK & Acoustimac room treatment, Isoacoustics

  • #2
    I saw that new in box Purple Heart too, and another dealer told me the dealer is a bit shady, so I passed on it (if it is NY Sound and Vision). I would just be sure and be careful all is good with it. Would hate to see you get burned or something. He isn't an authorized dealer for Kiseki or Transfiguration and other brands, yet has new carts to sell them? I asked how he got them and wouldn't divulge the information. Something just didn't seem right about it. I'd also be worried about buying a Kiseki new also since the warranty is void if you don't buy from an authorized dealer. That being said, I bought a lightly used Kiseki Purpleheart from a friend/dealer I know and waiting to mount it on my VPI table. I'm waiting for a different counterweight that I need for it. Should be up and running next week hopefully. I haven't heard it in person either, so this will be my first experience with it.

    Comment


    • tom_hankins
      tom_hankins commented
      Editing a comment
      This one is from Greenwich Ct. Good feedback since 2003. But who knows? Please let me know your thoughts on the Kiseki when you get it mounted. Have you spent any time with any Zyx cartridges?

    • Analog21
      Analog21 commented
      Editing a comment
      That sounds more legit then. I will let you know about the Kiseki for sure. My other carts to compare are Ortofon, Transfiguration, and Soundsmith. What are you looking for in a cartridge? What are your sonic tastes? Neutral, Dynamic, warm/rich, etc?

    • tom_hankins
      tom_hankins commented
      Editing a comment
      Looking for a cartridge to play alot of different music without bringing attention to itself. Not looking for bells and whistles. My last three fulltime cartridges were LPS (now), Dyna XV-1s, Koetsu Rosewood Sig. Platinum. I prefer the LPS of the three. I'm not looking for something better than the LPS at half the cost. Just 6-8 week full timer and emergency back up.

  • #3
    I have a new/sealed box Charisma Audio Reference Two available (I am a dealer). Contact me if interested. I'm not sure what Myles thinks about it, as I don't know if he has published his review yet?
    Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
    Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
    Phono 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable with 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Decade Phono Preamp
    Phono 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable with 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
    R2R Tape: Studer A810 with Bridge Console
    Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
    Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
    Power: Audio-Ultra Power System, IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
    Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

    Comment


    • tom_hankins
      tom_hankins commented
      Editing a comment
      This looks interesting.

  • #4
    So no info on the Zyx 4D w/ silver base? I'm surprised I don't know anyone who uses or has used Zyx cartridges? They have a ton of models in every price range and usually get great reviews. I'm not sure if its justified, but it makes me kind of hesitant to try one.
    SOURCE: VINYL - EAT C-Sharp with, EAT LPS power supply, My Sonic Lab Signature Gold
    DIGITAL - Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC. Roon Nucleus w/EAT Lps power supply. Auralic Aires G1
    PHONOSTAGE: AudioNet PAM G2 with AudioNet EPX power supply.
    PREAMP: Audionet PRE G2.
    AMPLIFIER: Audionet MAX monoblocks.
    SPEAKERS: YG Acoustics Anat III Signatures (upgraded to Sonja 1.2) JL Audio F112 V2 (x2)
    CABLES: Kubala-Sosna, Kubala Sosna Xpander.....Audio Desk Systeme RCM, Adona Rack, GIK & Acoustimac room treatment, Isoacoustics

    Comment


    • #5
      A lot of good carts mentioned. I tend to go the other way asking myself what works best with the arm I have. I acquired a Sumiko Pearwood from the first owner that had it mounting in a SME V and it was very synergistic, it also worked very well in the Graham Phantom I had at the time.
      TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | B.M.C. | Boulder | Magico

      "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

      Comment


      • tom_hankins
        tom_hankins commented
        Editing a comment
        I've had good-great results with several brands and asst. models with SME. The only cartridge i felt didnt perform up to its potential was the Koetsu Jade i tried with it. The Rosewood platinum worked very nice though. Ive had 3 Dynas, 2 Lyras, 3 Benz work great, although i didnt like them all. I dont put that on the arm, just personal taste.

    • #6
      Following this thread. I'm looking to replace a Dyna XX-2 MkII some fine day, fairly soon. It was around $2K. I moved up from a lesser Dyna cartridge (17d something or other). And I've liked it, and it's better, but then I'm getting curious about options around the same price range. Soundsmith? Koetsu? Kiseki? Lyra? So difficult to know what's going on with cartridges, isn't it? I say, I realize, this as a lowly non-dealer among a fair number of connected industry folks.
      Lyra Kleos SL, Dynavector XX-2MKII, VPI JMW 10.5i, VPI Aries, VPI SDS, ModWright PH-150 Reference Phono, Sony HAP-Z1ES server, McIntosh MR80, McIntosh C2300, McIntosh MC352, Vandersteen 5A, PS Audio P10, Bright Star Audio Rack of Gibraltar. Cables: Shunyata Cobra Ztron IC, PS Audio Statement AC, Synergistic Research AC, Harmonic Tech Silver Phono, Cable Research Labs Silver IC, Audioquest Gibraltar bi-wire.

      Comment


      • tom_hankins
        tom_hankins commented
        Editing a comment
        The XX2 MKII is on my list. I've owned one in the past and liked it. Left my room unlocked one time and the dreaded cleaning lady got it. Gave me an excuse to get the XV-1s.

      • MylesBAstor
        MylesBAstor commented
        Editing a comment
        Given you liked the Dyna, the Lyra would seem right up your alley.

    • #7
      I've been using the Kiseki Purple Heart NS for a few months. It's good but not great. More senior reviewers praise it but I do not really see why. It's not bad but ... I dunno ... For my tastes it's tad too lean and analytical. So far tested on two TTs and four different arms, SME V among them.

      Comment


      • tom_hankins
        tom_hankins commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, lean (even a little) won't work for me. Its off my list.

      • Per Sundell
        Per Sundell commented
        Editing a comment
        Just a TAD lean ... It may work well in your system Tom!

      • tom_hankins
        tom_hankins commented
        Editing a comment
        I'll wait to hear more opinions.

    • #8
      Originally posted by Per Sundell View Post
      I've been using the Kiseki Purple Heart NS for a few months. It's good but not great. More senior reviewers praise it but I do not really see why. It's not bad but ... I dunno ... For my tastes it's tad too lean and analytical. So far tested on two TTs and four different arms, SME V among them.
      If it sounds too lean on an SME V, it must really be anorexic.
      Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

      Comment


    • #9
      Originally posted by tom_hankins View Post
      So no info on the Zyx 4D w/ silver base? I'm surprised I don't know anyone who uses or has used Zyx cartridges? They have a ton of models in every price range and usually get great reviews. I'm not sure if its justified, but it makes me kind of hesitant to try one.
      I thought the ZYX 4D was the same as the Omega line? Too many lines and I get confused. I reviewed the ZYX Omega gold and copper as well as the Universe II. ZYXs have a familial signature and of the ones you mentioned, maybe the closest in sound to your Benz. ZYX are pleasant, a touch warm but really musically engaging. Pretty good imaging and staging too.

      Shelter is is good but my experience is that different models may favor one type of music over another. I thought the Harmony was better on classical while the 9000 better with jazz and rock. Now can't speak for the Shelter you were thinking about but might wanna check.

      One cartridge not on your list and not sure anyone has heard is the Air Tight PC-7. Another less expensive alternative to check out might be Steve Leung's VAS. Performance in the vein of Ortofon, not quite as resolving. But very neutral and transparent.
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

      Comment


      • tom_hankins
        tom_hankins commented
        Editing a comment
        They told me the omega was internally different than 4D. So many models and variations of those models, hard to keep up.

      • MylesBAstor
        MylesBAstor commented
        Editing a comment
        Ok thanks for the info!

      • tom_hankins
        tom_hankins commented
        Editing a comment
        I thought the Omega was the 4D with the silver base and the ball on the front to add even more weight to the super lite 4D. But not so according to Sorasound.

    • #10
      For the price, I don't think one can go wrong with a VAS Nova whether the stock 0.8 mV model($1500) or the slightly more expensive (but still less than $2000 last I checked) 0.4 mV Nova Signature. The Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC Star is another overachiever in the same price range.
      Analog: Holbo Turntable, Transfiguration Proteus; Forsell Air Reference, Transfiguration Phoenix S; Rega RP-8, VdH Crimson XGW; VPI Prime Signature, VAS Nova Mono, VAS Nova Signature, Symphonic Line RG-8
      Digital: Mac mini 6,2 with YFS PS-12M LPS; Exogal Comet Plus, Exogal Ion PowerDAC
      Electronics: Aurorasound Vida, Channel D Lino C; Merrill Cara, Gryphon M-100 Mkii (pair)
      Cables: Morrow, Gryphon interconnects; YFS USB cable; Morrow, XLO, Channel D phono cables; Morrow, Gryphon, Goertz speaker cables

      Comment


      • #11
        Originally posted by jonathanb View Post
        For the price, I don't think one can go wrong with a VAS Nova whether the stock 0.8 mV model($1500) or the slightly more expensive (but still less than $2000 last I checked) 0.4 mV Nova Signature. The Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC Star is another overachiever in the same price range.
        Got that right, I heard one on my VPI table and was shocked on how good it was. Its on my list to purchase.
        Chris
        ----------------------------------------------------------------
        Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE, Manley Chinook, VPI Classic, Dynavector DV20x2L, ExaSound e32, Acoustic Zen cables. (Office): Vincent SP331 Mkll, Quicksilver Pre, Lumin D1, (Ken Lau Signiture Edition PSU), Bryston BCD-1, Vapor Audio Breeze, WooAudio W6se,Questyle Audio CMA800R LCD-3,HD800s, HD600, Mr Speaker Ether C Flow,

        Comment


        • #12
          Originally posted by jonathanb View Post
          For the price, I don't think one can go wrong with a VAS Nova whether the stock 0.8 mV model($1500) or the slightly more expensive (but still less than $2000 last I checked) 0.4 mV Nova Signature. The Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC Star is another overachiever in the same price range.
          what is the compliance of the cartridge?
          Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

          Comment


        • #13
          Here's the spec sheet:
          Click image for larger version  Name:	VAS Nova Signature specs.png Views:	1 Size:	313.5 KB ID:	36282
          Analog: Holbo Turntable, Transfiguration Proteus; Forsell Air Reference, Transfiguration Phoenix S; Rega RP-8, VdH Crimson XGW; VPI Prime Signature, VAS Nova Mono, VAS Nova Signature, Symphonic Line RG-8
          Digital: Mac mini 6,2 with YFS PS-12M LPS; Exogal Comet Plus, Exogal Ion PowerDAC
          Electronics: Aurorasound Vida, Channel D Lino C; Merrill Cara, Gryphon M-100 Mkii (pair)
          Cables: Morrow, Gryphon interconnects; YFS USB cable; Morrow, XLO, Channel D phono cables; Morrow, Gryphon, Goertz speaker cables

          Comment


          • #14
            So what is the cm/Dyne compliance of the above listed cartridge?
            Analog: Holbo Turntable, Transfiguration Proteus; Forsell Air Reference, Transfiguration Phoenix S; Rega RP-8, VdH Crimson XGW; VPI Prime Signature, VAS Nova Mono, VAS Nova Signature, Symphonic Line RG-8
            Digital: Mac mini 6,2 with YFS PS-12M LPS; Exogal Comet Plus, Exogal Ion PowerDAC
            Electronics: Aurorasound Vida, Channel D Lino C; Merrill Cara, Gryphon M-100 Mkii (pair)
            Cables: Morrow, Gryphon interconnects; YFS USB cable; Morrow, XLO, Channel D phono cables; Morrow, Gryphon, Goertz speaker cables

            Comment


            • #15
              I've tried for a while to get a Nova out of Steve (he was going to bring it premounted on a VPI arm) but nothing has happened. I guess he's selling as many as he can make. BTW, Steve will build the cartridge to any output one needs. My buddy got a higher output since he has an older phonostage and the one listed comes in at 0.4 mV.
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
              -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

              Comment

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