Just in case Doug D. doesn't catch this right away...
You'll probably find info here if you search, that the 4D here in the USA, is called the Atmos. In the ZYX Family, it resides in between the Airy 3, and the UNIverse.
From what I understand as well, there's a ZYX Cartridge even above the UNIverse, sporting a pure Diamond Rod Cantilever, and is extremely expensive, but Mehran once stated I believe, that its added cost wasn't justified, being not much, if any better he felt, than the UNIverse, hence he never imported this Cartridge into the USA. Mark
As Mark says, the 4D is the Atmos rebadged for non-USA markets. The two models are identical, though I've seen European dealers claim otherwise.
Performance vs. the UNIverse? A search here will turn up a UNIverse owner who tried the Atmos/4D and went back to the UNIverse. Also, read the reviews next to my signature, which were the first ever written for either cartridge.
The Atmos/4D is a great cartridge that outplays all but a few competitors - but it does not outplay the UNIverse. Non-USA dealers have an incentive to say that because they can't sell you a UNIverse.
As to timing, a properly set up UNIverse will outplay every cartridge I've heard in this respect, including the Atmos.
Hope that helps,
There are a number of top flight cartridges that will meet or exceed the Universe in this regard IMO having owned two of them.
However, you buy and listen to that which pleases your personal budget and preferences.
And the only opinion that matters is your own.
You didn't address the 4D question, but thanks for clarifying that "the best I've heard" means "in my experience, budget, preferences and opinion".
I doubt Jwm could have worked that out, perhaps he'll thank you separately.
I did not mention any brand and/or model.
Had I done so, a disclosure would have been included.
Concerning my first post let me correct any misunderstanding as my wording was poor. The first paragraph should have read:
"Having owned two Universes, IMO there are a number of top flight cartridges that will meet or exceed it with regards to the timing issue Doug mentioned".
Sorry I was unclear.
I'm sure once you get up in that neighborhood (as R. DeNiro would say "A very respectable neighborhood"), I'm sure all TOTL Cartridges from Lyra, Benz, Koetsu, Dynavector, Transfiguration, etc, are all breathtaking, and offer truly impeccable sound to say the least, and as you say Bill, it ultimately comes down to personal taste, and system synergy.
Not wishing to steer this thread in a different direction, I still have a simple question in regards to some Cartridges, namely the ZYX.
I've probably read every post in this forum about Cartridges from A-Z, and I have read mention about some, (or all of ZYX Cartridges being "Phase Inverted"?
What exactly does this mean in layman's terms? I'm assuming it doesn't mean hooking Headshell Leads differently-incorrectly than how they supposed to be, but I'll let those who are more knowledgeable enlighten me. Thank you! Mark
I think, the reality is a bit different. SORAsound made Zyx famous, mainly with the UNIverse. The main "problem" was (and is) that he sells them direct, without a dealer rate.
Lots of Users had a very interesting experience when they compared their 12k+++++$ cartridges with that one and got a result which showed what is really out there (overpriced average cartridges, pushed via Marketing, not via Performance).
The UNIverse is a special US cartridge, the 4D is available everywhere through dealerships ... of course "they" say it is the best ... what do you expect? The truth?
SORAsound doesn't give review samples, when someone wants to have it, he has to pay for, like everyone else.
That is another "problem" ....anyway, normally the UNIverse is a 8.5k cartridge and you can have it for 50%. New.
That's good news, I always wanted to buy a Koetsu for 12k, but in Japan I can get them for 1/3....no, i don't trust them, too cheap .... :)
When you are the sole supplier of a proprietary product the MSRP, in this case $8.5K, is a meaningless figure and totally unrelated to the actual selling price.
Well, there's not need to start a war over the Universe. There are not a lot of more expensive cartridges so am not sure how much budget plays into it. I have never heard a cartridge that does everything well in the sense of flattering the particular instrument. The universe does the least harm of the cartridges I have heard. It isn't as exciting or lush as some and it doesn't have a lot of extra second order distortion harmonic soound in it either, but it sounds a lot to me like what is probably pressed on a the LP and digs a lot of detail out of the grooves.
It's a very reliable friend.
I don't believe there's a "war" here Mothra.
The discussion has focused on the Universe (an extremely fine cartridge), other Zyx cartridges, the Universe's peer group, and retail/selling prices.
You've made a pleasing choice for your system and that's what matters.