cartridge recommendations

hello all
I,m looking for a new cartridge for my vpi classic, my budged is $2500. I currently have a dynavector 10x5, but the upgrade bug has hit me. The sound smith zephyr MK/II is one i've been considering and also the ortofon cadenza bronze. The rest of my system is a luxman L505U integrated and spendor S8E speakers. I listen to neil young, the dead just to give you an idea of what kind of music interests me. Thanks in advanced, also if you have any other recommendations i would greatly appreciated it.
Hi John, I would recommend the Transfiguration Orpheus! This is a real Gem. Also, I would highly consider the LYRA DELOS for the VPI Classic. Both of these are excellent for your table.
Soundsmith Zephyr Mk II is outstanding.
I see your Luxman L505U has a MC section that goes down to .3mv. I would recommend the Dynavector XXMKII. Is has an output of .28mv which is lower than the rest of the recommendations mentioned above, but should probably work just fine. They mate very well with VPI and about $500.00 under your budget.
I'm sorry, but I don't understand the responses to your question johnm21.

The Orpheus is no longer in production. It has been replaced by the Proteus. It has an output of .2 MV. I don't know what the maximum gain is for your Luxman but I would not buy the Proteus unless you have at least 60 db of gain available.

If you have not replaced the feet on your VPI with Stillpoints, I would recommend doing so before buying another cartridge. If you do not have your Vpi sitting on Stillpoints with a good platform such as an HRS, Symposium, SRA, or Ginko sitting beneath everything I suggest you do that before buying a new cartridge. Those changes will yield huge improvements to your analog playback.
Elinor -
My Classic 3 sits on a 3" maple shelf. In your opinion, would my table still benefit from sitting on Stillpoints? If so, why?
The Proteus is a $3900 cartridge way beyond the $2500 budget, you can find a used Orpheus for under $2500, all day. I agree with the Stillpoints and platform tweak. Really, a great match for the VPI classic with the unipivot tonearm is the DELOS by Lyra, and its only $1500. experience with a Gingko platform with my VPI is that it absolutely ruined the sound. VPIs have to be solidly grounded to the center of the earth for best performance.
I've never heard a Lyra I didn't like, but I think the wood-bodied Grados are
also worthy of consideration. They top out at $3500, but the next one down
is under budget at $1500. They are available in the Reference series with a
4-5 mV output or in the Statement series with an output of 0.5mV due to far
fewer windings.

Reviews of this entire series are quite favorable; they tend to outperform
popular cartridges at their price points. A review of their top line Statement 1
asserted that it was clearly more resolving (while being lush and romantic)
than the much more expensive $5500 Koetsu Orushi Blue.
ZYX airy3 is a good cartridge in that price range. One of the best trackers i have used. Works well for a wide variety of music. I listen to rock, jazz and even a little classical and was never disappointed with my airy. Its my backup now as i just got a UNIverseII.