DRT XV1s Vs Orpheus Vs Shelter Harmony Vs 47 Labs

Hello. I am wondering if anyone can provide some recommendations on the cart's listed above, (I know that's a lot)? I currently am running an Ortofon Jubilee on a Graham Phantom with a TW Acustic Raven AC turntable and Tron 7 phono stage.

I can get a relatively reasonable price on the Dynavector, Transfiguration 47 Labs and Shelter but of course, have heard none of them. I suppose my only restriction is it must be low output as my phono stage requires it and I'm not interested in changing it, (about .2 to .7 mV).

I am looking for something that ideally has a full harmonically complete sound, (not overly warm but real sounding), with a good sounstage and very good dynamics.

I mainly listen to Jazz and contemporary music, (British Sea Power, The Mountain Goats, Spoon, Arcade Fire, etc...), with a little bit of Classical.

My system is posted and thank you in advance for your thoughts.

Of those three, I like the Dynavektor. The Jubilee always sounded hard whenever I heard it

I count four. Which three, if any, have you compared directly, in what system, and what are your more specific impressions? Thanks.
Also in which tonearms were they heard?

If VPI, discount the results; none of them will optimize the cartridges mentioned.
I have a XV1's mounted in a SME V with stunning results. TT is Sota Cosmos IV.
"If VPI discount the results,none of them will optimize the cartridges mentioned"....mispoken comments,or just plain wrong!

Though I have not been a huge VPI arm fan,since a friend replaced the fabulous Air Tangent with one,I have since been exposed to the potentially superb results one CAN get with one.It all seems to come down to set-up,and compatibility with the specific cartridge.The VPI 12.6/12.7 "IS" a wonderful arm!
Have you guys heard the superscout with rim drive? ..and the VPI arm is a great arm when correctly set up. What arm sounds good haphazardly set up? I heard the Jubilee in a Triplanar and an SME V - seemed over the top hi-fi sounding to me in both.
Dear bryan: I don't hear ( yet ) that Shelter but the other ones including the Ortofon.

The spontaneus advise ( it is too easy to recomended it due to its high quality performance ) according your needs and hardware you own is the Dyna XV-1, you just can't go wrong with it.
Other very good alternative could be the own Ortofon MC 5000 or if you can find ( second hand ) the great 7500.

Regards and enjoy the music.

If timbral accuracy and dynamic facility are your goals, the Transfiguration Orpheus (0.68mV) will meet and possibly exceed them. I've used it in reviewing four phono stages (ARC PH-7, Artemis PH-1, Atma-Sphere MP1, ZYX Artisan) and across them all its character holds true. Pardon the self-quote: "With its seemingly effortless dynamic contrasts and sublime tonal purity, the Orpheus is one of the great phono transducers of our day, a true music-lover’s cartridge."

For the record, Transfiguration Orpheus' output is 0.48mV not 0.68mV.

Dealer disclaimer

actually, you are correct in terms of the published spec referenced @3.54cm/sec; Jtim is correct in terms of the more common reference @5cm/sec.

dealer disclosure.

Piedpiper - thanks for the follow-up. Bill - I think the number given for a manufacturer's output measurement is likely based on the choice of test equipment they have on hand. For an 'apples to apples' comparison I use the 0.68mV output figure because the output measurement published for many/most cartridges is based on the CBS 'standard' rather than the JVC 'standard', Manufacturers should include which scale they use when publishing the measured performance. Transfiguration does, but many do not, and simply assume the CBS scale Here's conversion info.

The beauty of standards is there are so many to choose from. heh.

I was wondering if you posted the results anywhere for the review of the four phono stages? If not, would you care to share with us how the various phono stages compared with the Orpheus?
Tim,you are certainly correct in how you view the amazing performance of the Orpheus.Mine is still not broken in,but absolutely leaves me speechless(you know how hard that is,for me-:),as to it's ability do do almost anything called for on my LP's.If it got no better than now,I'd still be ecstatic!!
I agree with the above responses re: the Jubilee. The OP's rig and phono stage are worthy of a much better cartridge. I had a friend's Jubilee in our system for nearly a month, on and off (mostly off!). Not fair putting it up against our UNIverse, but I've heard far less costly cartridges that I'd put ahead of the Jubilee, at least on a TriPlanar.

...full harmonically complete sound, (not overly warm but real sounding), with a good sounstage and very good dynamics.
Of the cartridges listed, I agree the Orpheus is the clear best choice. Of the cartridges not listed, the ZYX UNIverse or Atmos should have been. ;-)
The Orpheus and the Aritight PC1 are my favorite kings of the hill.

dealer disclosure.
Ouch, the Jubilee comments hurt ;-)

Seriously though, it was probably a more reasonable cart back when I had a VPI Scoutmaster and Dynavector P-75 but I've upgraded a bit since then.

Anyway, the only reason I excluded the PC-1 was because it's about $1500 more than I can get the XV1s for and I was trying to draw the line somewhere with respect to price. I've tried to search to get a general sense of how the Orpheus would sound relative to the Dynavector, (brighter / darker, more detailed / less detailed, warmer / colder, dynamics, etc...) but haven't been able to find too much.

With respect to the Universe/Atmos, again I know people like them but I haven't heard too many people with my table using them. I know that's not the be all and end all but matching should be cosidered I suppose. Also, I thought they were about a zillion dollars, (OK a bit of exaggeration maybe only half a zillion).

Price wise, I'd like to stick close to $3K and obviously the lower the better, (should have maybe said that up front).

Anyway, thanks for all the info so far.

No_regrets - yes, three reviews are on-line. The ZYX Artisan is currently in-house for review and I won't comment in detail until publication, which could late May or June. Suffice it to say it lives up to the ZYX name. Pardon my shamelessness, links are below (if this is too much of a tout, tell me and I won't do it again):
ARC PH7 Atma-Sphere MP-1 Artemis Labs PH-1

SirSpeedy - wrt Orpheus break-in I found a corner was turned at ~70 hours and another around 120hrs. From the big Mahler stuff to Fingal's Cave to Mozart Quintets with Grumiaux, the Orpheus is a superb choice. And then there is choral. The Orpheus and the Atma-Sphere MP-1 with some nice '60's Siemens 12AT7s ... no better have I heard on female vocals - from Lucia Popp and Vier Letzte Lieder to Finzi's Intimations of Immortality - from Butterfly to Abbado and Brahm's, the O is It. She drove a Plymouth Sattelite? Faster than the speed of light? She Came From Planet Claire? Yeah, it cooks.

Dougy Dougy Dougy - Air Tight PC-1, Universe, Orpheus ... at this strata, there is no best, just taste and ears. ;-)

Bryan - send me a note offline saying how you like the Stealth Hyperphono. Thanks!


beautifully balanced effective writing.

I didn't understand your comment so I re-read my post, and I still don't understand your comment. Help me out here...

My one use of the word "best" was in a doubly qualified sentence, limited to the OP's particular list of cartridges and also to his stated listening preferences, just as you so wisely recommend.

I didn't say the Orpheus is the abolute "best" - did I? Nor did I compare it to any of the cartridges you listed. Again, help me out. I want to understand your concern.


Sorry if we rained on the Jubilee, but you knew this somewhere in your heart or you wouldn't have asked. ;-) Each of your other analog components is at or near the top class. The obvious next move is to make your cartridge so. At least you'll have fun doing it, whatever you choose.

Arm/cartridge matching and cartridge/phono stage matching are both critical, but table/cartridge matching is virtually a non-issue IME. The Orpheus and any ZYX are well known to be excellent matches for your Phantom. Their output and impedance requirements are similar enough so that your Tron should have no problems with either.

I believe the Orpheus can be had for ~$3K or a little above, ask some owners if you need a source. (There's a used one listed if you're willing to take that risk.) The Atmos can be had new for $3600 from SORAsound, the US distributor who sells on A'gon. I've had them both in my system but at different times and with notable system improvements in between, so I can't offer a comparison except to say they're both exceptionally good for the sonic preferences you stated. I haven't heard the PC-1.


P.S. If you're in the UK, I know a great dealer who sells both Transfiguration and ZYX, and also carries Phantom and Tron! You could probably compare in his shop on a setup very much like your own.
Tim, Thank you so much for sharing your reviews of the various phonostages. I currently own the Artemis Labs Ph-1 and was very curious as to how your felt it worked with the Orpheus. The comparisons of the other stages were of benefit as well.
>>The Orpheus and the Aritight PC1 are my favorite kings of the hill.>>

Ditto. I'd add the Dynavector XV-1s as the third.

In that order.

I've heard all of them along with a couple cartridges mentioned in this thread using 5 tonearms/4 tables here over the past 2 years. The two you mentioned simply suit my tastes better than the others.

Dealer disclaimer
Piedpiper - thanks! Douglas - no hidden meanings or agendas or point scorings or spoofings or feather rufflings or tweakings or critiquing fun at anyones expense were meant by my comments. Top-notch amps, and preamps, and other gears are often discussed in these fora. Whenever you've got a group of superlative products its hard to pick any single one as the top or an 'objective' best over others, with the net result being a personal choice founded on one's sonic priorities and preferences and what one hears. I wasn' trying to explain what you said, or argue different from it, just adding my own comment to yours in a friendly way. With the emoticon added from your post as an attempt to say 'I hear ya' or 'Amen' or whatever empathy neuron cares to fire. And hey - guess what I bought - a cocbolo armboard drilled for a triplanar.

Tim,I guess my new(very high "tested" output,and extremely low noise,especially for NOS)Siemens 6922 CCa's will suit the bill,in my phonostage-:)
I've tried around eight different 6dj8 families,and "these" babies really do a nice "little Orpheus" justice.Very linear,like the cartridge.BTW,my two back up tube sets are Ediswan 6922/2492's,and Ediswan 6dj8/5358's.Two different back up sets,sourced from Upscale Audio....and Platinum series,but "had" on the cheap,as my pal got hooked on some nice Amperex 6922 PQ's,and sold me them.
I'd love to get my hands on some Pinched Waist 6922 Amperex tubes,and just got offered "two" superb sets,but I'm not going for "that" kind of money.
Best to all.
Thanks everyone for all of the advice and opinions. After much debate I decided to go with the Dynavector DRT XV-1s. Should arrive shortly and we'll see how it is. Thanks again.

Sweet Bryan!! enjoy
Dear bryan: Good choice, enjoy it!

Regards and enjoy the music.