I personally like the Benz LPS
I personally like the Benz LPS
Dear Altanpsx: Every one of us have their own opinion, mine goes for this very good alternative at very good price:
I think that this cartridge can fulfil easy your music//sound priorities.
Regards adn enjoy the music,
This week I set up and aligned a Kuzma Stabi XL 4 with 4Point and Air Line arms for a customer who purchased from me. One of the cartridges was a Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum. Terrific match with the 4Point, astonishingly good with the Air Line.
Other customers who have purchased 4Points from me have had good results with Clearaudio Goldfinger v2, Lyra Titan i, and Zyx, I forget which model.
Unfortunately lyra titan was sold. Still looking for.. Asr is very analytic, but also not dull, i cannot say prat is the strongest point of it like naim. System plays everything smoothly, nothing taking your attention but everything is there. Maybe alittle bit romantic also better bass performer cartridge would be nice. As i understand from your comments, shelter/koetsu etc may give romance but dynavector/lyra gives better bass. Anything in the middle :)
The Kuzma 4P is a very soft sounding Arm, good for slow music with nearly no dynamic swings or for very analytic sounding Systems. When you want to push the reproduction to a "bite" you need an extremely sharp cartridge, like Coldfinger, Air Tight or vdH. The majority of carts sound more or less in a way that there are no real differences. It makes the choice of carts pretty simple. Maybe a Transfiguration is overall a very good balance with that Arm, it is worth a try.
Syntax, I don't know if you have heard a 4Point, but by your description it was far from being set up properly, because when done so it is not at all soft sounding, in fact it has some of the liveliest, most vivid, fleshed out sound with vanishingly low noise floor I have heard from any arm. As a Kuzma dealer I have sold several, and the arm matches well with a variety of cartridges, just not with high compliance ones.
You mention Transfiguration, but I have just heard an Orpheus in a 4Point which my customer had and I set up, and although it was good it was certainly not an optimal choice. The customer has very defined taste based upon regularly attending classical music concerts in his area, sitting near the stage in the center, so he is intimately familiar with the sound of live music. To say he is pleased with his elaborate new turntable system which I installed and aligned over the course of three days is an understatement.
Those two cartridges are very different. I believe the Transfiguration Proteus to be the more natural sounding. The Lyra Titan i is very revealing and articulate, but may sound thin in your system.
If your system was a bit on the warm side, and you were looking for some more speed and resolution, I would recommend the Lyra, but as you state that you would prefer not to add or subtract from your current very natural sound, I would recommend the Transfiguration.
I own both a Lyra Titan and a Transfiguration Orpheus L. I like both cartridges--the Lyra has a touch more open and airy top end, the Transfiguration has a bit more prominence in the upper midrange. Neither is really a "warm" cartridge, as I would use that term for something like Koetsu wooden-body cartridges (upper bass, lower midrange prominence). Perhaps the Titan leans a bit toward being harder and sounding, but, it also delivers an exciting sound.
I have not heard the Proteus, but, given Transfiguration's recent track record, I am sure it is a fine cartridge too. I haven't had my Transfiguration long enough to compare it with the Titan for stylus wear, but, I can say that every Lyra I have had has lasted a VERY long time.
There are so many good cartridges out there and system matching and particular taste can be so specific as to make suggestions somewhat unhelpful. I have heard great systems using all of the major brands, and some you have not mentioned (e.g., Allaerte). To a significant degree, your choice will be a gamble.
I have had the luck of finding local dealers that allowed for reasonably long term auditions (one or two weeks) of the cartridges I chose. One dealer has even allowed regular customers to take home a $12,000 cartridge for audition. I did not try any sort of comparison in my cartridge auditions--the evaluation was more in the line of whether I liked the sound or not. This sort of thing is NOT common, so I sympathize with your "problem."
I know this is somewhat compounding your problem by mentioning another cartridge, but, I would also add the Dynavector XX-2 to the candidate list. A friend bought one and traded in a much more expensive Transfiguration Orpheus. In his particular system, this is a great cartridge.
Thanks for your recommandations. But as you mentioned, demo is not possible. Even listening these cartridges can be very difficult. Most of the cartridges i mentioned provided by internet base sellers in my area. Few hifi dealers in my regions does not have these expensive cartridges. i know i am gambling, thats why i asked your experience with these cartridges. Also cartridges are making the biggest impact or sonic signature whatever you call, on every system. Thats why i am trying to find an arguably neutral cartridge. i made my system in that philosphy, of course as best as i can. Someone may easily argue that my system is not neutral. i am trying to find black jack but in the end i am aware that my choice maybe 19 not 21. But in the end i do not want 23. i am just trying to stay in the game. Also, ii do not have a cahnce to hear others, i may easily be happy with my choice :)
i am trying to learn what should i expect from a spesific cartridge from audiogon members.
You have a number of suggestions that would be described as being neutral. I think you may be at a point where you should double check that these neutral carts will work well with your arm's effective mass. Then read as many reviews of these carts that on specs look ideal for your set-up. And pull the trigger. Maybe you have your heart set on one, or maybe you wait to see what of the carts of interest you can get a great deal on.
Personally, I have quite liked the Dynavector XX-2 (a Soundsmith rebuild) and the ZYX 4D I have heard. Both would fit your aim of getting a neutral cart. And it seems that folks above have already given a heads up on some of the warmer carts with more "bloom" that may deviate from what you are looking for (Koetsu and Grado for example).
i did not express myself. i found a top performer cartridge with a good price. i am not buying because it is cheaper. Also i do not believe the things, some components performs ten times of it price. You get what you paid. i am totaly thinking like you. But if i found a good deal in my target cartridges, tonearms etc. Never miss.
The Titan is a fine choice. For setup, I found it to be relatively insensitive to changes in loading, but, it is somewhat sensitive to changes in VTA/SRA. I found that small changes are audible (more than is the case with my Orpheus anyway). It is also pretty easy to mate with most MC phonostages because of its decent output.
I've used the Titan with two different phonostages, one solid state (the phonostage built into a Levinson No. 36 linestage) and a Viva Fono tube phonostage (the loading is on the primary side). With the Levinson, I actually ran the Titan wide open without much loading (47k ohms). But, the performance was not that radically different when I used 150 ohms and the steps between 150 and 47k offered by the Levinson. The Viva Fono came with a fixed 460 ohm load right at the input jack of the phonostage (primary side of the built in step up transformer). I tried unsoldering the resistor and using resistors with other values (I made plug in replacements using radioshack phono jacks) and again found that loading was not that critical and that the 460 ohm resistor worked reasonably well.
According to Jonathan Carr, the designer of the Titan cartridge, modern cartridges do not really need much loading to tame any kind of peak in the audible frequency range. However, some phonostages need loading in order to prevent ultrasonic peaks and RFI from causing problems. So, to him, loading requirements are specific to the particular design of the phonostage.
I have generally found that loading values of somewhere around 150 ohms to be almost universally acceptable for most cartridges. If the sound at such value is a bit too thin or sibilant and bright, then more loading should be tried (i.e., a LOWER value resistor, such as 50 ohms). If you do need a lot of loading to get the right balance, the good news is that the Titan has a reasonably healthy output so that high loading will probably not result in output that is less than ideal.
Also, keep in mind that changing loading affects tonal balance in somewhat the same way that changing VTA also affects tonal balance. So, while experimenting with loading, one should also try to optimize VTA at each loading option being tested because it will be some combination of the two that will work best (yes, this can be maddening).
I cannot recall how long it took for the Titan to burn in. I generally find that most cartridges are substantially stable at somewhere around 50 hours of play. If there is any change after that, it would be quite slow and hard to detect. The big swings will happen quite early (in the first 10 hours) and can be quite frustrating because the sound will go back and forth between good and problematic. I would not do much serious fiddling with setup and loading until something like 60 or more hours have passed.
Yes, the line contact styli I have used are extremely sensitive to changes in VTA/SRA. I know that many claim that small changes should be inaudible, but, my experience is otherwise. Making very precise changes of well under 1mm in height at the tonearm pillar on a 9" arm makes a clearly audible difference.
I do use records of regular thickness to set the VTA/SRA and then I don't bother to make changes for different records.
Vta matters in Titan, especially for thick records. i have got nearly 1000 records. % 60-70 old records, % 30-40 new records(most of them 180-200 gr). Last night one of my friend and i was listening mofi frank sinatra at sands. it is a great concert and also a good recording not the best but very good. When we listened first i thought that i must have been remembering wrong about the recording quality, because it was muddy. When i had changed the vta, everything changed. i am planning to find an optimum vta heights for thick and normal records.
In your list I found that Lyra Titan would be a great choice, detailed and open; less richer than Koetsus and Shelter 501/901/7000.
I own a Feickert Blackbird TT and sounds excellent with a Zyx 4-D cartridge (also known in US as "Atmos"), but my tonearm is different than yours (I got a Reed 2A) so my listening opinion may not useful to your experience.
Good luck for your choice!
I own not one but two 4Points amongst 8 arms on various tables. Couldn't disagree with Syntax' comments more . This is by far the best arm I have ever heard and I've pretty much heard them all and own a Graham , Dynavector , SME , Reed & Triplanar. Setup as Brian Walsh said, is absolutely key . I use a Uniprotractor / Uni-PS system for absolute precision in alignment and setup . The arm reacts to tiny changes in VTA / VTF and Azimuth . Full, vibrant, dynamic and absolutely stable - this arm is a work of engineering genius. I have had great luck with a ZYX Universe II , Clearaudio Goldfinger and Benz LP-S . Franc Kuzma himself loves mounting the LP-S on the arm. The Dynavector XV1-S would be a fine middle ground choice for someone who wants to traverse the analytical-lush divide with it's inherently warm yet detailed presentation.
Marco zyx omega was a another choice in my list. i am quite sure it goes well with kuzma, i think kuzma cartridges made by zyx, so they may match well i suppose. Lots of reviews of 4point made with titan, thats why it is number onenin the list, also i found a very good deal. Next run i am planning to buy koetsu or shelter for stogi ref313 for a diffrent taste, but who knows maybe omega :) i hate being an audiophile :)
I own nearly the same 'German artillery' with Emitter II
Exclusive instead of your Emitter I. My Basis is the so
called 'Gold version' (2010). I also own the Kuzma but
the turntable ( Stabi Reference).The Kuzma is 'armed' with
Triplanar VII and Reed 2A (on an armpod). The carts I
use at present are Benz LP 's'(mr=micro ridge), Miyabi
Standard and Magic Diamond. Those three are the best
carts I ever owned so I can recommend them all.
This is an interesting hobby. i am very consistent about buying koetsu or koetsuish cartridge. But i ended up with zyx universe ii. Titan i and universe ii has same attributes in lots way i guess. Waiting for my cartridge....
if you have any speslflc setting tips for zyx please let me know....
God please save me, i dont want to be guy have 5 cartridges cost 20-30k :)
just to note something...kuzma 4p arm is everything but not what Syntax described...obviously he diddnt heard proper set up...im using 47 labs phono cube with MCBee cartridge set up by Franc Kuzma...wouldnt change that natural timbre for nothing...this sounds like a real music playing not good reproduction...regards...
ok Syntax you are absolutley right and i advise all people to not be fools and throw their money on a 5000eu arm that is soft colored and cant handle no dynamics at all...to cut the story one of worst arms ever made no doubt as you described with your empyrical knowledge and pure presenting of facts...second time ill try to pick some more "sharper" cartridges lol...
no one except Rockitman diddnt mention any reviews...on this thread i only saw atleast 3 guys that had extensive experience with this arm describing it all but not like you described and dozens of others i know using it or hearing and no one said ANYTHING similiar like your description so i guess you are alone...Syntax...please...put the bong down and go to sleep...
I had one of the first 4points and we improved some topics together with Mr. Kuzma. In opposite to the Airline which is one of the greatest designs in tonearm building the 4point is not a really convincing arm. I was testing a lot, nearly a year, with the best LOMCs - no chance to reach my other arms like FR-66s, SAEC 8000, SAEC 506/30, SME 3012/I, Cobra, Axiom.
I diddnt said that 4point is best arm in whole white world nor that is better than airline...im just have a good laugh when Syntax said that 4point is soft sounding and has no dynamic to push fast paced music(just now im listening Great southern trendkill)...which is a blatant lie...for the money 4point is a hell of a good arm...
4Point can be soft sounding using it with carts like Lyra Olympos etc.
With other carts like Zyx UNIverse, Goldfinger v2 it is not soft sounding.
I think Frank improved the design in many steps. Yes it is not a bad arm, for me in the end it was not convincing. Question is which kind of set up you are going for. I have the airline since its appearance. For me it is the best arm Frank ever made. I asked myself why he came up with the 4point but was attracted by its features, so tested it quite a time. It did not work with me in the end but maybe with others. Mike Fremer I heard is a great fan of this design, too. If this does mean something to someone he should go for the 4point.
btw Thuchan...some of arms you compared with 4point in your previous post are double and more retail price than 4point so i dont feel its a fair comparison...ive met few people that like more 4point than airline allthough i dont agree on that...its all pretty subjective in this hobby...but one thing is subjective opinion and other thing is spreading false informations...