Heard the XV-1t vs a Transfiguration Orpheus on the same table (different arms though).
The DV was extremely accurate, to the point that if you put on a bad album it sounded truly bad.
The Orpheus was warmer with more bottom end. It was far more musical to my ears and filled in sounding with just as much transparency and detail as the DV.
I own an old Temper myself and have had lower end DV's (20XH and XX1) in my system. Transfiguration and DV both have a somewhat similar house sound, so if you like one you will probably like the other. I just find the new DV's to be somewhat leaner than the old DV's and the Transfiguration to be more musical and enjoyable overall.
BTW - there was another poster on this forum who recently replaced a Temper with the Phoenix (since you can no longer get an Orpheus). I believe he was saying that the new Phoenix bested his older Temper in some regards. Perhaps he will chime in here.
Greg, I own a 2500 Signature and I've owned a Dynavector XV-1s mounted on it. I also have a friend who has a 2200 Signature with a Transfiguration Orpheus mounted on it. I would generally agree with what Ptmconsulting has posted. The Dynavector is more dynamic, powerful and transparent, while the Transfiguration is warmer and more musical. Which one would work best for you would depend on the rest of your system. If your system needs some warmth, go for the Transfiguration. If your system needs a shot in the arm, the Dynavector would work best.
Sorry, I haven't heard the Temper w, so I can't add anything there.
I believe I hear what you speak of...some of my recordings, even new ones, sound harsh (most sound great) with my XV-1s (I do not what to confuse this thread with bad recordings). So let's assume the difference with good recordings with both carts and add in the Orpheus. When you say the Orpheus is no longer available, the Orpheus L is? Do you know if the Orpheus Temper w or v are out of production? I would like to have another cartridge to throw in the mix with my XV-1s, any suggestions...good match with my Basis/Aesthetix setup.
I'd like to know if the Orpheus L is available. TIA
I haven't heard the Temper W in quite a while. At the time, I thought it was a decent cartridge, but somewhat "polite" and lacking in the ability to make the music jump. The later Transfigurations are much better in that regard. I've heard, and liked, a Phoenix that a friend had in his system for a short time (on a Linn table with Naim ARO arm).
I own a Transfiguration Orpheus L cartridge. I like it a lot. It works very well with my Basis Vector 3 arm/Basis Debut Vacuum table. I think the Basis arm would work well with just about any medium to low compliance cartridge. It is an arm that is very capable of draining/dissipating the large amount of vibrational energy a cartridge can deliver into the arm (one of the reasons Jonathan Carr of Lyra recommends Vector arms).
I also own a Lyra Titan cartridge. I like this cartridge a lot too. It has a bit more open and "airy" sound than the Orpheus. The Orpheus has a bit more emphasis in the upper midrange (Lyra is cooler sounding). Both are terrific cartridges with a different, though, to me, equally appealing sound.
It's been a while since I heard the XV-1S and it was in a somewhat unfamiliar dealer system. The system sounded good, so the cartridge must be good too. A friend has a cheaper Dynavector (XX-2, I believe) that he likes as much as his Orpheus. Beyond a certain price/quality point, preference becomes a system matching/personal preference decision and one cannot necessarily expect price to indicate "better" sound.
The XV-1s is far from being a top cartridge. It looks good but it is slow, dull and in general anemic. Good for very analytical Systems and for Listers who look for some "warmth". The Transfiguration W is a total different chapter, much closer to the real thing in reproduction, I think, it is among the best Trasfiguration carts ever made. The Orpheus is imo not worth the money, totally overpriced for its performance abilities and in a way it is sterile. Go for Phoenix instead when you don't like that attribute and save.
A top cartridge is the old Zyx UNIverse, I am not up to date with availability, but this one is really outstanding and works with any Arm at top level. When you look for something outstanding for small money --> Lyra Delos.
Syntax- I had the Lyra Delos in my system before the XV-1s and compared them for a couple weeks. The Delos was very detailed but thin sounding compared to the vx-1s. Overall not nearly as strong in the bass or natural sounding in the mid-range(vocals)and simply not as musical in my system. As I said before I would like to try another cart., but my first try w/ Lyra was not good for my ears. Thank you for you impressions of the Temper w.
I would never call the XV-1s slow, dull and anemic.
Like anything system balance is king and perhaps your choice in cartridges mirrors that balance.
Ah yes Wilson Slamms/Conrad Johnson tube amps, not exactly greased lightning, it is always a matter of perspective.
I think that when you are referring to "system balance," you are most likely meaning "system synergies" as king. When referring to balance, there is a sense of finding an equilibrium point; hence, more of looking to a tuning mechanism to work the extremes to an acceptable midpoint.
I agree with Downunder. Slow, dull and anemic may describe the listener, but certainly not a properly functioning XV-1s.
I've owned a Lyra Helikon and it is the fastest, most transparent cartridge I've ever heard. It sounded a bit lean in my system though. The Dynavector had more dynamics and power by comparison and was a bit fuller. Certainly not as full or warm as the Orpheus though.
Again, which will sound best will depend a lot on the rest of your system. My speakers are a tad warm, so the warmth of the Orpheus would be too much warmth in my system. The Orpheus sounded very good in my friends system, but his speakers are more transparent than mine. It's all about system balance.
The XV-1s, slow and anemic? I must respectfully disagree. Still one of the most well balanced carts on the market at any price IMHO.
I agree. The XV1s and XV1t are not slow. In fact, I would hardly call anything at that price point slow, not even the upper end Koetsu's.
However, when you hit these points it is more a matter of balance and flavor within your system. To me, the XV1 is overly neutral. For my money I want something much more musically enjoyable (I do have a very resolving system) and I find Transfiguration to fit that bill.
To go farther astray the ZYX and Ortophons tend to be farther to the lean side of the XV1 IMO.
No, I meant system balance. We all try to create a system that suits our own listening bias and musical taste.
To others this balance will be lean, neutral, warm, perfect and probably every other combination in between.
I would generally agree on the assessment of the XV-1S as slow and anemic - at least in my system. I have had a number of cartridges in similar systems including the aforementioned Dynavector as well as the Zyx UNIverse and Ortofon MC A90 and I can tell you that, at least in my system with my ears, the Dynavector was not in the same class as either of the other two.
Have also heard the latest Benz LPS in a similar system and it also easily bested the Dynavector.
I'm a huge fan of Dynavector's more modestly-priced cartridges, especially the DV20x, but I think their top level models lag behind many of the rest.
IMO, YMMV, etc, etc
If you have the tracking and other issues you related below, perhaps it is not the XV-1s that is deficient. I personally have never had any of these issues you describe on all your tables.
BTW, I have never heard the XV-1 sound particularly good when used with SUT's. Wth dyna carts I agree with Raul and active phono stages are a lot better. That is why dyna made an active head amp and not a SUT- to get the best out of their carts.
To be more precise, I've had Avid Volvere and Oracle Delphi V and VI tables, 2 SME Vs, one Graham Phantom, and multiple cartridges including Benz Ruby, Zyx UNIverse, Dynavector XV-1s and Ortofon MC A90. In every case I have had EXACTLY the same issues you are describing - with the added caveat that some of the combos gave me tracking issues in the right channel. With my current set-up (Delphi VI, Phantom and A90) I seem to be getting the best overall tracking performance but only with more than max antiskating and the DIN connector rotated all the way counterclockwise. All in all, skipping in the lead-in groove was worst with the XV-1s (the issue you're having) and tracking was worst with the UNIverse - the issue always appearing to be related to excessive skating force causing skipping ahead or mistracking.
Just FYI, Dynavector just came out w/ a new SUT. It is called the Sup-200, and retails for $2,650 US.
Very interesting, taken them 30 years. back to the future:-)
will be interesting on feedback if anyone has tried it.
that said, folks have had good performance from the Tron phono and XV-1s - low impedance - high gain SUT.
Wow Downunder, that must have been quite the research project you undertook to uncover my postings form previous years!
I haven't really made any progress in my strange tracking issues - as I have stated on previous occasions the "problem" is strange but doesn't really result in audible mistracking on more than a few records. I've come to the conclusion that it must be something funky with my room - perhaps some magnetic drag on the cartridge or something, hard to say. Again though, it's mostly on testing, rather than listening, that the "problem" becomes evident. Any further suggestions then please do let me know.
In the meantime, I don't think this invalidates my opinion on cartridges as, again, the overwhelming majority of records track perfectly. My personal opinion on the XV-1S is as stated but YMMV. I didn't hate the thing, just though it was not up the the level of the UNIverse or XV-1S (or likely the Benz LPS in a similar system with a different table/arm). And usually I am a big fan of Dyna cartridges.
I'm just kind of baffled how people can find something slow & anemic, since these two words derive from opposite directions in my experiences. Things that some refer to as slow in a negative manner, another would refer to as warm or musical in a positive manner. Things that one would refer to as anemic in a negative manner, another would refer to as transparent or neutral in a positive manner.
How one could use two negative words to describe the two polar opposites of sound is quite baffling.
The key to most systems is synergy, trying to find the right balance for a certain listener between warmth and musicality camp and the detail and transparency camps. That is why certain things sound better in certain systems. Try using a warm(slow) cartridge in a system with warm amplification and speakers and you will fall asleep. Try to run a transparent (anemic) cartridge in a system with transparent amps and speakers and you will be grinding your teeth.
That being said, from what I've heard, the Dynavector XV-1s is on the transparent/neutral/anemic side of the fence, therefore, it cannot also be "slow'. Slow may better describe a cartridge on the warmer side of the fence such as a Koetsu, Benz, Transfiguration, etc. ZYX and Lyra would be on the anemic side of the fence with the Dynavector, IMHO. I actually think that Lyra is the fastest most transparent cartridges that I've heard, and yes, some would call them anemic, but not slow.
That's my $0.02. I just can't understand how something can sound fast and slow at the same time, but whatever.
Jcmcgrogan2 - if you want to get literal and specific with these terms then how can something that is less transparent and detailed be more "musical"? In my mind one necessarily leads to the other. Any cartridge or component that transmits the subtlest of details - microdynamic shadings, vocal inflections, room acoustics, etc - is truer to the original recorded performance.
Never understood this "musical" vs. "detail" dichotomy.
But I think we're digressing here!
I tried dynavector xv-1s , ortofon a90 & zyx omega gold with raven 10.5 tonearm on a raven ac 3 turntable with Tron seven ultima phono & even with brand new XV-1S, I like it better compared to the other cartridges. It has the speed, better soundstage & more controlled bass.
My 2 cts worth of personal opinion- anaemic ? Certainly not
Obviously these things are system-dependent and highly subjective - at this price level all cartridges are basically very good and if I had just heard the DV-1S and not the others I'd have been happy owning one - but in my system the UNIverse and A90 sounded better to my ears. Anemic and slow are just adjectives to describe what I heard vs. the UNIverse and A90 - I didn't mean to sound harsh or suggest that it sounded awful - it just lacked in certain areas important to me vs. a few other comparatively-priced options.
I've never even heard an XV-1s, but a few years ago when considering a new cartridge, it was definitely among the candidates. And if I had bought one and found it "anemic and slow", I'd have to look elsewhere in my system for the reason; because simply on the basis of sales, we know that if the large majority of those who purchased them (in the beginning) found them to be so, then word would get around and sales would shrivel up pretty fast. So much for that.
I've had my TTW for 7 years now, and have no desire to look for anything else. Like all well regarded and popular high priced cartridges, it does all things as well as (or slightly better/worse than) other cartridges in its price range (~ $4k msrp at the time.) The reason my eyes are still not 'wandering' in the cartridge department, is because of something the Temper W does that is unique (within my somewhat limited experience) to this cartridge -- and I presume the Temper V and Orpheus models as well. And that quality is its amazingly QUIET presentation. I'm not talking about electronic noise or hum or RFI. Or mechanical things, like resonances or tracking issues. I'm talking about surface noise -- something which comes with the territory when listening to vinyl. It's just there; more or less, like it or not. And I noticed immediately with the Temper W (and so did a few friends who rushed over to hear the new addition) that the typical level of surface noise we've all come to expect, just wasn't there; ditto in the pops and clicks department too. Not completely gone, but very "noticeable by its absence" (let me put it that way ;--) and more so because all the dynamics and low level micro detail were exceptional, as I would expect in any cartridge of its price/popularity/reviews/etc.
Being of a somewhat inquisitive and analytical disposition, I've tried to figure out what (if anything) structural attributes of the TTW might account for this characteristic, and I've been unable to come up with anything. There are two elements in the construction of the TTW which are different from others in its class -- namely the ring magnet (more like a cylinder actually) and the 'push-pull' suspension. But I've been unable so far, to draw a connection between either of those elements and that special sonic attribute of this cartridge; and yet, there it is ;--)
Interesting and intelligent post Nsgarch, thank you. I've tried quite a few high end cartridges in my system/room, and while I do like some better than others, I've yet to hear one that sounds slow, dull AND anemic. Perhaps some feel the need to exacerbate, which they feel will make their experience more powerful. It doesn't, it just makes a poster come off as more of a novice. My guess is, if you feel a expensive, popular cartridge sounds THAT bad, you probably don't know how to set it up correctly OR you bought a damaged item. I'm certainly not a XV-1S owner who is just defending his cartridge. I did own one for a couple of months and found it to be a very good cartridge. No, not as good as a ZYX UNIverse, but very good in it's own right. I eventually sold it and moved on.
As I stated earlier, I have never heard the TTW, so I cannot comment. I have heard the Orpheus in my friend's system. It sounded very nice in his system, but his system tends to be more transparent and analytical than my system. I was afraid the Orpheus may have been a bit too warm for my system, based on what I heard in his system and Orpheus reviews.
Anyway, I found your comments on the noise floor very interesting, as I have never had this experience with a cartridge. Sure, some have been quieter than others, but I have not had a "AHA" moment with the noise floor with a cartridge. That said, I have had a couple of "AHA" moments regarding the noise floor in the analog front end. However, my two "AHA" moments involving noise floor came from a Basis turntable and a Walker Audio phono preamp, not from a cartridge. Again though, I haven't had the pleasure of listening to a TTW. :)
Hi. I was actually hoping to avoid giving the impression that I was referring to the noise floor -- we all know what that means. No, what my friends and I noticed was that the Temper W just seems not to render those surface artifacts that usually come from DIRT, as opposed to actual physical damage (worn grooves, scratches, etc.) It's almost as if the TTW has some way to filter out just those kinds of noise -- something that nowadays I understand, can be easily done with special software algorithms. The problem with that solution of course being it's only possible to do in the digital domain, and not something I'd want to insert into the analog chain.
So although I'll stick with my TTW, that isn't to say there aren't a few cartridges I'd love to hear in MY system, before I shuffle off this mortal coil. Including the UNIverse, along with a Colibri, a Koetsu Urushi, Air Tight PC-1, Allaerts, and some others I can't recall at the moment. I've already heard all those (except the ZYX) at shows or in other systems, which can't provide me information sufficient to make a purchase decision. As they say, "all cats are gray in the dark!" ;--)
I have a Temper W I use with a VPI Aries II and Aesthetix Rhea. I absolutely LOVE this combo. In fact, I have given thought to buying a second Temper W just to have as a back-up when and if this present one should go on me. The Temper W is very sensitive to VTF and VTA settings. I find this an advantage, as it allows me to dial in VTA for each record. I've more or less settled on a setting for standard weight records and another for heavy weight vinyl. But you would be shocked at the difference a slight adjustment can make if a particular record sounds bass shy or has too much top end energy. If you have a lead on a good condition Temper W and decide against it, let me know. I would be interested. Sound is rich and full bodied with plenty of low frequency extension. Vocals are spot on. Cartridge delivers plenty of air and sparkle.
Stew, I hadn't thought to mention the TTW's performance leap when the SRA (stylus rake angle) is just right. But it's true. Of course, it has to do (mostly) with the incredibly crafted Ogura diamond stylus.
When I unpacked my TTW, the first thing I did (as I always do with cartridges, especially new ones), was to stick it under the scope to see how the stylus is attached to the cantilever; you can tell a lot about a cartridge maker's concern for quality construction by looking at that one detail. (Van den Hul styli for example are GLUED on with an amorphous blob of epoxy!)
What I saw on my TTW literally took my breath away! The diamond stylus is a square crystal ROD, that pierces the end of the cantilever like a dagger! It is precisely shaped like that for its entire length, not just near the tip; while the line contact edges are long, clean, and sharp! No wonder it really "locks" into the groove when set just right ;--)