Cartridge issues need suggestions


I am having issues with my Transfiguration Proteus - the left channel is cutting out.  It starts with a strong center  image then in a few seconds it drifts to the right intermittently, almost like someone is turning the balance control very fast.  Then it stays far right but I still have faint output in the left channel and sometimes some feedback like the stylus is out of line. 

It is not my tubes in the phono section because I checked that with my backup and it does the same thing.  I have rechecked overhang, cantilever alignment with my protractor, VTF - nothing has changed.  The only thing I haven’t adjusted is anti-skate and haven’t since initial setup.  Azimuth is set on a Basis Vector 4.  I took it off and upon visual inspection the it looks ok - the cantilever is straight but it might have shifted slightly to the left.  I can’t be sure.

Anyone had this issue - I never have...thanks for any feedback!
pops
Check and/or replace the headshell wires.
I believe the headshell wires are good they are captive.  I will check the clips.  
This cartridge has 500 hours on it - mid life.
Sorry to hear about your issue. I also own the Proteus, which surely is a great cartridge. To be honest this doesn't really sound like a cartridge problem. I'm also pretty sure it has nothing to do with anti-skating, azimuth ot other alignment related issues.

So I guess you should try to be as methodical as possible. First you might consider trying the Proteus in a different system. I suspect this will rule out the cartridge as the culprit. Your description more likely  suggests a cable issue. A loose contact perhaps, either with the tonearm inside cabling or the tonearm cable to the phono amp.

As I suspected it is the Proteus.  I put my Ortofon Jubilee back in and it plays fine.  Anyone know who would work on a Transfiguration?  What a time to go out of biz....only 460 or so hours on this tranny...bummer.
You need to systematically determine where the problem lies, and not assume it is the cartridge.  Because you think it is the cartridge, start at that end.  Switch the left and right wiring of the wires at the pins of the cartridge.  If the problem changes sides, then it is the cartridge that is causing the problem.  If it doesn't switch sides, the problem is somewhere downstream of the cartridge (tonearm wiring, interconnect to phono stage, etc.).  You can work backwards switching left and right.to isolate the source of your problem.  Intermittent fading or loss of signal is often a problem with an interconnect or a problem at the jack where the inteconnect feeds into.  
I just saw that you switched cartridges and the problem is the Transfiguration.  The builder died not too long ago, and, I believe, production has stopped so there might not be a way to get Transfiguration to check on your problem.  Rebuilders/re-tippers would be able to do something if the problem is with the stylus, but, it sounds like a problem with the wiring (winding of the coil) and that might not be repairable.  

You might want to talk to Bob Clarke at Profundo; he is or was the U.S> distributor of Transfiguration.
Dispose of it as you see fit. And forget about it. Half life or not, the designer has just died and so has the cartridge. Put it to rest. Problem solved.
Make sure that you didn’t inadvertently fix or affect the issue when you were swapping in the test cartridge.
Larry, it does seem likely to be the coils based what I was hearing.

noromance, I took it off and reinstalled and no matter what I did the problem was not solvable.

thanks all for your responses.
@pops Before you throw it out, you could try a trick we used do and that is to apply a hot soldering iron to the suspected pin.
Thanks for the suggestion, I will do that.
Throwing away could be silly. Most good cart repair pros will asses its condition for free or low cost once you send it in...
Agreed solypsa, I did not take inna’s advice seriously.  I definitely plan to have it looked at when I get around to it. 
Pops,
Yes I think an autopsy is a good idea.

Bear in mind that if you apply a soldering iron to make sure no residual solder actually makes contact. (Gold can/will diffuse into solder although that comment applies to old-fashioned tin/lead.)

My first thought was to suspect the coil/s but I would have expected a complete O/C rather than intermittent signal. As a matter of interest does your captive tonearm cable terminate at the base of the tonearm or continue all the way to the pre-amp?
My vector 4 tonearm cable runs from the clips to the phono preamp.

Where  exactly would I put the soldering iron, on the cartridge pins and why?  Not sure I understand....
That is a bit of a scary option.  If there is an open circuit because of a bad solder connection of the wires from the coil to the pin, that might cure the problem.  But, if you apply heat too long (something pretty hard to judge) you might cause all kinds of additional damage.

I would NOT do this myself until the cartridge has been sent to an expert for examination.  If you get it back with the word that it is junk, then maybe it is worth a try.  BUT NEVER before.

Send it to SoundSmith or others that do this kind of work.  
Pops,
I was adding to NoRomance’s suggestion (and your agreement to try it) a note of caution depending on the vintage of your soldering gear ;)

I personally am not proposing that you apply a soldering iron to your cartridge pins. I would suggest getting the cart checked first.

Moonglum understood and I think I agreed without thinking it thru....good idea Larry I will contact SoundSmith.  
I wouldn't put a hot iron on those pins......its a nice cartridge when working.   Send it to Soundsmith for a look/see, and a serious opinion