I have heard the Airy 2 which sounded delightful - everything you could want from a cartridge - open, balanced, uncolored with bass beatifully detailed, extended and natural. I was assured by the Zyx agent that the RS100 has the same "family" sound and that only the most resolving systems would benefit from the more expensive cartridge.
In contrast, when I heard the Cartridge Man, I was impressed by the sense of 'air' and openness of the music and it was detailed. I thought it lacked in bass weight.
Arthur Salavatore rates the Zyx R100 Fuji as one of the best. I have read a perception on some forums that the Cartridge Man is over-hyped.
I'm planning to pick up an R100 Yatra when I'm in Hong Kong later this year.
The Music Maker 3, like all cartridges, performs best when matched with the correct tonearm. All things being equal, it works better with unipivots as opposed to fixed bearing tonearms. Lack of bass weight should not be an issue if a suitable tonearm is aligned correctly and the tracking force is precisely adjusted.
Have not heard the Fuji, but in my system, with a Music Maker III, Hadcock 242, Spacedeck and Acoustech Ph1 pre, there is full bass, rich midrange and great musical sense.
I also have a Shelter 901 and Origin Live Illustrious that I bought second hand.
These are two very different animals: the 901 more hifish and the MM more sensual.
The 901 + OL retail price is almost twice than MM + hadcock, but I don´t see twice the difference.
I have the JMW12.5 Arm (unipivot design) & tried the Music Maker & ended
up selling it because it did not sound good. high frquencies showed excessive sibilance & I tried every
adjustment in the book & no dice.
I now have the Shelter 501 mkII on the same Arm & is
a better match with the JMW. Not great but better than
with the Music Maker.
I am now thinking of changing the Arm to an OL Illustrious,
or Shroder (if I win the state Lottery)
Manual.....do you think the Shelter 501 would sound about
the same on an Illustrious Arm as your 901 on that Arm?
Say...have you tried putting the 901 on the Hadcock or the
Music Maker on the Illustrious?
Thanks for the responses everyone.I'm surprised that no one has directly compared these two since they fall somewhat into a similar price range and both have been getting rave reviews as "giant killers".
Well, seeing how no one has offered a direct comparison, I guess I'll have to do it. I just bought them both.
It will take a few months, but when the dust settles, we'll see who's still standing.
Actually, i expect them both to be excellent, just different views of the same material.
Socoaste, I´ll try soon to combine MM-OL and 901-hadcock.
I don´t have time these days to do that, maybe in a week or so
I hope not to bee too late but by coincidence I have now a Music Maker II with Insulator, a Shelter 501 MK II and a Zyx R100 FS-H + Silent Metal at the same time. Arms are an Origin Live Silver, a Morsiani CM1 and a Hadcock 228. Turntable is a Scheu Premier MK III. Phono stages are an Aqvox 2 CI and the tube phono stage of Korato (4x 12 AX7 Telefunken)with Shelter 411 MK II step up.
I can confirm that the Music Maker has in my system a lack of bass compared with the other two cartridges and a tendency to be annoying on sibilants. The best match is definitely with the Hadcock or the Morsiani but not my version with the carbon shell but rather the lighter version with aluminium shell. Not at all with the Origin Live. The Shelter is very powerful on the bass; best set up is with 1,6g and VTA slightly higher on the rear otherwise gets "boomy". ZYX is very balanced and with outstanding stage. Arthur Salvatore suggests a VTF of 1,85g but with the Morsiani I have mistracking already on the + 12dB track of test record so I have increased to 2g.
Dear Darkmoebius: +++++ " and both have been getting rave reviews as "giant killers". " +++++
You own both cartridges and I think that you know that are not " giant killers ".
If you want something better quality performer for " peanuts " try the MM Empire EDR.9. IMHO this EDR.9 outperform the two named cartridges.
Regards and enjoy the music.
I've heard a lot more Zyx cartridges and would no longer put them at the top of my recommendations. They are very detailed, somewhat bright and not the punchiest.
I still don't understand the attraction of the Music Maker. I do know that its manufacturer has very good relationships with a few UK based reviewers who speak very highly of the man. Both Zyx and MM are promoted by viral marketing rather than traditional methods.
I concur with Raul that the NOS Empire EDR.9 is an excellent performer regardless of its budget price tag.
BTW, I didn't buy the Zyx - I went instead for a Dynavector XX-2 which to my ears is far superior.
***Raul:"You own both cartridges and I think that you know that are not " giant killers "."***
At the time that I posted this question in April of '05, I didn't own either cart or had just gotten them but hadn't mounted them yet.
Having used both now, I have formed an opinion. Like everything in this hobby, it's all about what they are mated with.
My tonearm wasn't the best possible match with ZYX. The matching silver or gold head weights probably would have added much needed body and weight to the Fuji's delivery, but that adds significantly to the total cost. Besides, I still listen to a healthy amount of rock and hard rock which is not the Fuji's forte. So, I decided to sell it.
The MM3 is great at it's current $990 price for my varied tastes in music. It does well with jazz and extremely well with all forms of rock.
But, my current line of interest is in the Dynavector Rua.
Dear darkmoebius: I understand. Anyway, if you can, try the EDR.9: its inexpensive cartridge and beats easily the MM3, you will be surprised.
Regards and enjoy the music.
"Beats easily" is of course an opinion only, as this is a subjective matter dependent on personal preferences.
Take comments such as this with a grain of salt; they are not based on facts and therefore carry little weight.
Also, specially take comments from a dealer with a grain of salt. Personally, I distrust their comments regarding their own products much more than enthusiastic personal opinions.
Audiofeil, did you forget to disclose that you are the US importer for Cartridge Man products, including the Music Maker?
I've noticed you challenge other dealers "bigging up" their own brands!
I did not forget.
I offered no opinion, comparison, or endorsement of the product.
Thanks for your interest.
I use a MM2 (sans Isolator) with a Roksan Nima unipivot tonearm.
My listening is almost exclusively jazz/improvised music.
All I can say is that I think I know music when I hear it and this combo enthralls, delights and makes it difficult for me to stop listening. If you want to spend more on a cartridge (not to mention extra amplification for a MC device), be my guest, but I have absolutely no desire to (well, OK, I'm curious as to how the MM3 sounds!).
To me, good hi-fi is all about the suspension of disbelief, not the unending quest for ultimate fidelity (whatever that is). Once you find a system that really does it for you, stop there and simply ENJOY THE MUSIC.