Goodbye ZYX Airy 3

A recent ad on the Audio Asylum from SoraSound, tells of selling off the last of the ZYX R1000Airy3 SB cartridges for $1875 (was $3000).

This was about the same price that 2Juki sold them for, for years (also now gone).

Sad to see this expensive (but not absurd) gem go!

The Airy 3 had many fans and good reviews.

The Airy 3 has been replaced by the Airy 3 Premium line, introduced over a year ago. The Premium is about $1000 more.

Oddly there have been no reviews, and very little user info on the premium line that I can find. Are these "new" premium models actually better??? What is up?

SoraSound seems to "push" their own, "Universe" versions instead.
you will have to pay more day by day bcoz dollar is only paper now.
"you will have to pay more day by day bcoz dollar is only paper now."

BS! The strong US dollar means cheaper imports.

The "premium" is a redesign that is touted by ZYX to be superior.

The Premium line was introduced in September 2014. Why no reviews or user info, on the internet, 20 months later???

What do you have to say, Doug Deacon, the ZYX man???

You have strong ties to SoraSound.
there you go, but it's weak now, so imports are more expensive. platinum version is just another marketing tweak to make you pay more.
Cartridges do not get better. They just get different. Might be nothing more that the color of the housing, or a different rubber compound for the suspension, but a change is perceived as an improvement so sales will continue. It's all about the money!
It's not only with ZYX. It's with all cartridges and other products. Audiotechica OC9 used to be $50...60, now it's $420; went-up almost 10x.
All bcoz paper bucks, missing gold in FR vault (rapidly spent on MidEsast crusades).
I believe that if you run a search, you will see that Dougdeacon has posted his impressions of the Universe II, about which he thought highly enough to trade in his Uni. As far as pricing goes, IF the yen tracks the Euro, then the price increase cannot be attributed to currency fluctuations.
I have upgraded my grey market ZYX Airy silver coil (from Juki) to official Premium ZYX 4D SB2 copper once. Those models are different. I have been used Airy-3 on EPA-100 with stock headshell of EPA tonearm with silver Van Ned Hul silver headshell leads and silver VDH internal tonearm cable. Later i bought official Premium ZYX 4D X SB2 and when i mounter it on ZYX Live 18 shell the improvement was so big that my girlfriend noticed that. The 4D is much better cartridge than Airy, well at leat for my music (jazz, funk, soul, latin from the 60s and 70s). I have noticed that i like copper version over the silver one (both low output versions used with ZYX CPP-1 pre-pre and WLM Minueta Referense Phono Stage).

Anyway i would like to read the review about 4D vs. Premium 4D.

The expensive ($5K up) cartridges are IMO a money grab, and not worth the price. However that is becoming the norm, with all high end audio, since the old died-in-the-wool middle class audiophile, is retired and broke.

I avoid paying list if I can. I bought my grey market Airy 3's from juki for $1600 to $1850, instead of $3000 list. They were well worth that price!

I feel the Universe 1 and 2 is a rip off!

Maybe the Premium line is a breakthrough, and will be available from juki!
Oops, i meant Zyx CPP-1 Pre-pre + WLM Phonata Phono Stage (Minueta is my AMP).
I haven't heard any of the "Premium" ZYX cartridges, so can't offer any useful input on the visible or non-visible changes or their effect on performance.

Chakster is correct that the (original) 4D is physically different from and audibly superior to the (original) Airy 3. My initial reviews of both have been confirmed by other reviewers and by many listeners via public posts and private emails. (Note to Chakster: I also concur with your take on copper vs. silver coils. I've posted many times that with ZYX, copper is the most dynamic and lifelike, silver less so, gold much less so.)

Don_c55, you didn't say whether you've ever owned or heard a UNIverse (any version), so the basis for your feeling that they're a "rip off" is unclear. I've owned and extensively used the original UNIverse (three of them) and UNIverse II and I'd happily buy either of them again. I also know and converse with many UNIverse owners from around the planet, most all of whom would do the same. I don't know even one who felt "ripped off". Most feel quite the opposite, that the cartridge provides extraordinary performance for what they paid.
As to exchange rate effects on ZYX prices, the currencies which matter are those of the country of production/export (Japan) vs. the country of import/consumption (US). The US dollar has been in a steady climb against the yen since 2011 and is currently at an eight-year high. For Japanese-made products sold in the US., the future is anyone's guess but Czarivey's assertion has no basis in reality with regard to present or recent pricing.
Can you relate in details exchange rates to what I
factually observed in simple and obvious terms?
I believe I didn't give even a slight cwap about exchange
rates anywhere.
Anyone can explain how this grey market works? Juki always hide serial numbers on ebay and it fact when you got the products from him the stated serial number is fake even on actual cartridge. Manipulation with serials, manuals, boxes ... etc ... all looks weird. Some of his cartridges are older than you can expect, but many people still trust him. Some people report that it's not always perfect working cartridges. it's still risky to buy grey market stuff imho (even if the price is good). Slightly used original one from the agoners might be better altermative, at least no one is trying to stick non existing serian number on the cartridge you're buyin for $1500-$1850

You posted, "you will have to pay more day by day bcoz dollar is only paper now". You followed with a second assertion that the dollar is weak.

Whether you give a "cwap" or not, those were statements about exchange rates. The dollar, like any currency, is a medium of exhange.

ZYX prices for US customers are effected by only one exchange rate, the dollar/yen one. Your statements that a weak dollar is causing an increase in ZYX pricing were inaccurate. The dollar is not weak against the yen. It has not been weak against the yen at any time in the last 4 years.

If you decide to give a "cwap" before your next post, try checking facts. Currency exchange rates and their history are not secret information.
ZYX prices for US customers are effected by only one exchange rate, the dollar/yen one. Your statements that a weak dollar is causing an increase in ZYX pricing were inaccurate. The dollar is not weak against the yen. It has not been weak against the yen at any time in the last 4 years.

Really? Are you sure? Did YOU check facts?

2011-05-16: 081.32
2012-05-12: 079.72 (-02% y/y, essentially flat)
2013-05-13: 102.21 (+28% y/y, very strong gain)
2014-05-19: 101.55 (-01% y/y, flat)
2015-05-14: 119.49 (+18% y/y, strong gain)

During this entire period, the three largest drops were minor corrections of 7% (once) and 6% (twice). None of those corrections led to a new low. In fact, after each low the USD rebounded to new highs in less than a year.

As of today, the rate is a mere 1.5% below its recent peak achieved on 9th March. That's not even a correction, it's just noise.

Analyze the numbers however you like, the trend has been up. In the last 4 years the USD has exhibited systemic strength agains the JPY, climbing 47% with no periods of systemic weakness.

* Source: Bloomberg Financial News, readily verified by a hundred other sources
NO This reason: ZYX prices for US customers are effected by
only one exchange rate
That is pure BS.

Please review the following:
1. ZYX pays its production costs in yen.
2. ZYX sells to one US distributor, who pays in yen or dollars depending on their agreement.
3. The distributor's US customers pay in dollars.
4. As only one currency exchange occurs (dollars-to-yen), this is the only currency exchange rate that affects the final price to a US customer.

In your view, which of the above is incorrect and why?

If a seller is falsifying serial numbers then he's dishonest. That's reason enough for me to avoid him, regardless of price savings or other temptations. Call it naive, but that's how I was raised.
Don, the ORIGINAL zyx cartridge is the one with REAL serial number. I know what i'm talking about as i bought Zyx from Juki few years ago and it was fake serial, different manual and box without serial numbers (where should be serial numbers printed). It was OK cartridge (Airy-3), but i remember distortion problems with one channel for a long time on new cartridge. Remember that grey market ZYX can not be serviced by Nakansuka-San (he refuse them if the serial is fake like with all Zyx from Juki). As i said in another thread retipping ZYX with some other vendor is no longer zyx sound. So if the warranty/service is not a problem for you that's ok. But for me support by manufacturer is important. It is not a problem to find USED/DEMO cartridge from original source (disctributors) or sellers you can trust (they do not manipulate with serial numbers). Appart from ZYX i can say the same about Ortofon he's selling (also fake serials). I even remember fake Orsonic headshells from that source. Definitely not everybody happy about it.

I never got anything free from Sora Sound, but everybody knows that Mehran is top seller who taking care of his customers like no one else in this business.
Do you think that Yen prices stay same back than and now? Forget the exchange rate and your other facts that are irrelevant.
In other words, if we have let's say x amount of dollar per product, than no matter what is the currency status the price per imported product may still be much more expensive. Check other dollar depended currencies -- pretty much same situation... Purchasing products from Europe still too much $
The patience you display is one of the Seven Heavenly Virtues for a reason.
Good going! :)
The effect of exchange rate depends on the time frame you consider. From 2000 to 2008, the dollar/yen ratio was between 100 and 120. After 2008, the ratio dropped substantially, bottoming at around 78 in May 2011. Since then it has risen back to 120. The 2008 to 2013 were an anomaly compared to the last 30 years.

Dates of major crossing points.

July 2007 - 120
Oct. 2008 - 100
May 2011 - 90
Oct, 2012 - 78
Jan. 2013 - 90
May 2013 - 100
Nov. 2014 - 110
Current - 120

Data from website. You can get historical prices there, graph or table.

Historical Exchange Rates
Here is the ONLY review of a ZYX "Premium" cartridge I could find.