Dmanzi0219: Eight years with the same cartridge signature sound could means that your ears/brain are totally equalized to that " signature " sound that you can't find in either of the cartridges you name it.
IMHO you can do better through the KRSP or the Allaerts Finish Gold.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Been there and done this. Rauliruegas gives advice that I (by example) agree with 100%. We do develope preferences. I've owned the Koetsu Rosewood Signature and moved up from it to the Onyx. I've been a running various Koetsu's since their first releases. I have a special warm spot in my memory for the Rosewood References I've owned, still keeping two in my drawer. After hearing my frst Koetsu Onyx body cartridge in my system, I had to have one. IMHO, It just offers more detail, slam, bass and is more acruate the KRR's. I've tried and have other cartridges, just love the Koetsu sound.
BTW; I have a Lyra Titan Mono and like it a lot. I also have listened to and like the Dynavectors XV-1s a lot, but never quite pulled the trigger on that purchase. The Dynavector XV-1t Supreme sure is getting great comments now.
I have the xv1T and lyra titan i. I have listened to the xv1s a few times. Titan i is more resolving and more energetic performer comparing to the xv1S. Dynavector is very slightly warmer sounding. In my system, the lyra does not sound thin but a lot depends on cart/phono setup and equip. matching.
My 2 cents worth having lived with and enjoyed 2 carts in the Lyra line : the Helikon and the Skala. Both are outstanding in terms of detail retrieval, bottom end slam though you could argue that the house sound is a wee bit on the analytical side. When I traded up it was a choice between the Titan i and the new Transfiguration L Orpheus. The price is almost similar and IMHO you owe it to yourself to audition the amazing new Orpheus L. Its a tad more musical than the Lyras.
>>the amazing new Orpheus L. Its a tad more musical than the Lyras.<<
I'm not sure what "musical" means and therefore avoid using the term.
However, the new Orpheus L is a bit more polite and refined in its' presentation vis a vis the Titan. Both are excellent cartridges.
My XV-1t just arrived and has only a few hours so I cannot offer a detailed analyis yet but initial impression would be a hypothetical melding of the Titan and Orpheus. Tremendous precision and sophistication.
My personal fav remains the My Sonic Lab Eminent Ultra BE.
As Raul has said, I am not sure you can go wrong with any of theses cartridges. They are all excellent. I used a Rosewood Signature for years and loved it. Tried the Zyx Airy 3 and did'nt really like it that much. Now on a Benz Micro LP and just love the sound, but it still is'nt a Koetsu.
I plan to get another sometime, probably 2nd hand and it will be a Rosewood Signature Platinum or one of the Urushi's. But really, XV1 S, Orpheus, perhaps Ortofon Winfield, I do'nt think you can go wrong with any of them. Nor should you have a problem, considering how much they all cost
If you like the Koetsu sound, I suggest staying with Koetsu. You won't find that kind of sound anywhere else. Except maybe with Grado. The Dynavectors and Lyras tend to the more neutral, more detail resolving.
Im not familiar with the My Sonic Lab Eminent Ultra BE, but have heard the XV-1t and think it is very good. Can you tell me what you prefer about the My Sonic Lab and also what phono do you use with the two?
The Orpheus L really is worth all the hype. I have put about 20 hours on mine so far, and it just seems to get better and better. I still want to hear the Dynavector, but can safely say that I could live with the Transfiguration in my system for a long time to come.
I have listened to some Lyras, and nearly all Koetsus and I would say, it is like what is better ? Night or Day? You will get no real answer. They have nothing in common.
Only exception is the Lyra Olymos, totally different to other Lyras, more Koetsu-like, Midrange power, soft at the ends of lows and highs.
The Dynavector XV-1s different, too, but I had always a problem to "rate" it, it is good, but there are others, too, which do the same (Orpheus for example...)
My xv1T is still breaking in so my opinions are limited. The XV1T brings more of the performers into the room and the ultraeminent takes you to the recording space. MSL reveals more info about ambience and slightly more detailed. XV1T has a directness in sound and very neutrally balanced. MSL very demanding of loading changes and VTA. Dynavector is less so.
I have never listened to a koetsu. Can someone outline what is so special about it? I will seek an audition sometime.
I had an Urushi for three years and then heard a Lyra on a friend's system. I bought a Helikon as a potential replacement for the Urushi and decided that it had more of the sonic landscape I was searching for, more dynamic, better extension, perhaps a little more grain, but it seemed to track much better at the optimum VTF.
For the second system I installed an Argo i so you could say I am conveted Lyra fan.
I wish I had such tough decisions to make...
Hearing a Lyra once was quite an education, something very expensive, often superlative reviews, you'd think the be/all end/all, yet, it was such a huge disappointment. Tons of information, detail. Still, it couldn't time, boring in the extreme. Not for my tastes, I suppose.
You may feel quite differently.
Let me just a little something... I have a Lyra manufactured AudioQuest 7000Fe5 (that sounds and stages more like the Titan than the Helikon or Argo-i...) and a Grado .5mv Statement Reference (often reffered as "Koetsu - like")... On A Basis 2001 Vector TT (wally tools used, Baerwald aligment) . The Grado when set up at almost no antiskate, and tracking at 1.5g and not a hair more(as more VTF slows the Grado down and looses air and hall info), gives me all the hall info of the Lyra made 7000Fe5, but more of the "Mid range" magic than the Fe5. Both have similar "Punch", staging, layering... Now the Lyra has better PRaT, but the Vector/Basis allows the Grado to almost catch up PRaT wise... But the Grado is definitely the Vocal champ here. They both track everything thrown at them too... The Lyra can sound more detailed at times, but that detail is there with the Grado, just more "rounded" players in the stage versus the dryer Lyra. The Grado is more "lit from within" the Lyra more "lit from above"...
Now, I assume you are more in the Grado Statement Statement $$$ area, with the Titan and XV-1s... so not having heard the Grado Statementx2, I cannot say if it is more equal or not to the Titan/XV-1s as top offerings... The Grado Statment Reference .5mv I have being a small step down from the best there... just as enjoyable for me, but a step dwon from the Titan-i. But If you are more a Koetsu man, than Lyra, the Grado Statementx2 might be a winner. The Grado .5mv Reference here has that full midbass, vocals to die for, in the room players with seperation - with great back corner stage info... similar stage layering with the Grado having a slightly taller stage, similar width and depth... Just not the hall info of the Titan, or the macro dynamics, or PRaT; the Titan-I is more "you are there" the Grado is more "They are here"... The Grado lets me hear the music more, the Titan more the recording....
I have had a Titan-i here for a week, its just that the 7000Fe5 is damn close... I still prefer the AQ to the Helikon and Argoi, so when/if my 7000 finally dies, the Titan-i will be its replacement. I have to have both "night" and "day" as another post calls it. Thus the Grado and Lyra both are used by me here... If your Koetsu still has life left, maybe go Lyra, and switch back every so often for a change up... I like them both! WEt and Dry, night and day...
I'd love to hear what you're hearing....sounds fun!
That's one iritant for me with these forums, it's like reading about food without getting to eat it.
If you like the Koetsu Rosewood sound, another Koetsu would be the safest bet. The Onyx Platinum I've heard, though is not nearly as warm sounding as a Rosewood, so there is a signficant difference within that family.
Still, the Titan would be a much bigger departure from the sound you are getting from the Rosewood (faster, more dynamic, more open on top, but leaner sounding). I own a Titan, and have taken considerable measures to make its sound work in my system. It is VERY sensitive to VTA, it requires mating with the right phono stage, etc. And still, if someone says it is too analytical and cold sounding, I can understand the sentiment.
Outside of the Koetsu family, but, more in line with the warmer sound of the Rosewood than the Lyra Titan, I like the Orpheus. I had a friend's Orpheus in my system for about two weeks and liked its slightly warm (upper bass/lower midrange prominence) presentation. It is not as "fast" and dynamically explosive as the Titan, but, it is no slug either. The other cartridge I have heard, that is somewhat similar sounding (I heard it in a friend's system, not my own) is the Ortofon PW.
I don't know about the top end Grados. These are very warm sounding and harmonically rich (conveys the complex and full bodied sound of bowed string instruments correctly) cartridges, but, for my taste they sound too slow and muddled (somewhat like a blanket has been thrown over the speaker). I actually thought the table was running WAY slow when I heard the Statement.
Allaert makes some terrific sounding cartridges that are also soemwhat warm sounding but reasonably detailed and open on top. Some of these are VERY good, but VERY expensive. Some have really low output that can be problematic. A friend has the top of the line cartridge and it doesn't have enough gain for his Boulder phonostage -- too much noise and a dull sound. I've heard that same cartridge in a dealer system sound fantastic, so it is a matter of compatibility.
It's hard to even guess what someone else will hear, but my guess would be go with another Koetsu or the Orpheus (the Phoenix is cheaper and no slouch either).
Note these JV comments are from TAS's Editor's Choice Issue.
"Editors Choice Award - The Absolute Sound, 2008
"The Onyx Platinum may... well be the last word in integrating low level resolution, transient speed, neutrality, soundstaging, dynamic range or any other of the standard review categories into realistic musical wholes - and because it is more concerned with wholes than parts and so much more generous than analytical, it allows you to forget you're listening to a hi-fi and to concentrate on the music, making it sound good and real in a uniquely pleasing way."
- Jonathan Valin, The Absolute Sound, Issue 185, October, 2008"
You found a music presenation you like. The Onyx will give you that and possibly much more without losing what you like.
Have you considered an Air Tight PC-1? It is very detailed and quick, but not analytical or dry. Lots of body and wonderful timbre. Simply beautiful on vocals and strings.
i owned the Koetsu RSP for 10 years, for the first couple it was my reference cartridge; i recently reluctantly sold it. yes; it's the 'classic' Koetsu and was always a lovely performer. while 10 years ago it was in the performance ballpark with other top MC's that's no longer true. there are quite a few other cartridges which will get you closer to the music without glossing over so much detail and energy. i'm no expert on the stone body Koetsu's.....however many love the Coralstone.
recently i have been listening to the Lyra Olympos, which is still breaking in. my long-term reference had been various versions of the vdH Colibri. for energy and detail there is nothing that touches the Colibri; but it is typically too edgy on many Lps for most listeners. the Olympos gets most of the way to the Colibri on detail and energy, but adds a civility and refinement as well as a measure of warmth that seems perfect. it only has about 30 hours on it so far but seems to improve almost every time i listen.
the Koetsu RSP and a vdH Colibri are about as far apart in presentations as one can get; yet both bring unique superlatives to the table which i enjoyed for years. the Olympos seems to combine the strengths of them both in the service of the music. you can get beauty and truth in one cartridge. it would be an excellent choice for one who loves the Koetsu sound.....but wants 'it all'.
a caution; the Lyra Olympos is not cheap and one needs a 'donor' Lyra Parnassus for the magnets to have an Olympos built.
added note; i have owned the Dynavector XV-1s. it is a very nice all around cartridge....and, i think, preferrable to the Koetsu RSP. OTOH i have an Allnic Verity 'Z' which i (provisionally) likely prefer to the XV-1s at less money. i only have 50 hours on the Verity Z so my opinion is not yet fully formed. but it seems a great value; very energetic and musical....with a big bottom end.
I have owned a Koetsu Jade, Urushi,an Air Tight PC-1, MSL Eminent, and more. I currently own a Titan i, and VdH Colibri. IMO w. your arm you would be best served by the MSL/Air Tight/Transfiguration family. While the Titan i is incredible I find its performance to excel in my Schroder a high mass arm. The MSL,Airtight & Transfiguration Orpheus are all fairlyl similar as they are very similar in sound & design w. improvements as you go up the line. I have listened to the Orpheus on the Vector and it was a very nice match. But I can't imagine the Titan i being a great match w. the Vector. But when it is well matched there is no lack of body or thinness in sound as some have mentioned. If anything it goes to the rich side. It really isn't about the cartridge alone, it is about the right match for your arm.
a zyx may fall somewhere in your tastes too if you are considering a lyra. I have never owned a koetsu, but like higher end grados fo the body. However, like some people here, I got addicted to the neutrality and speed of the lyra and zyx carts.
Your Vector 4 arm can handle the Titan i, any Koetsu including the Onyx Platinum, and the Dynavector XV1-s with ease.
In the Vector arm, the Titan i is an explosively dynamic cartridge, with an very good amount of detail, richness, and nuance. Tracking and tracing are first rate. Regardless of the differing variety music choices, the performance is first rate. The last comment is a very important because it can effect how one approaches new and different music.
IMO: Because you own such a good arm with a vanishingly low signature, especially when set up correctly, any of the cartridges you mention will be able to display more of its uniqueness.
You only have to pick the character of the cartridge and it will come through. Again, when well setup.
Important: My opinion is only one of many. My suggestion is to always try and listen for yourself. I'm unsure how much time and energy you want to put into searching for a cartridge. However, it can get very involved if you choose to allow that to happen.
Hope this helps,
Dear Dmanzi0219: It is not an easy task to choose the right cartridge that match our priorities, there are several options as you read here and almost all those options are very good for each one of the " promotors " due that is what we have/experienced and what we like that not necesary is what you are looking for.
Unfortunately there is no cartridge dealers that borrow to us 4-5 different cartridges to try in our systems and this makes more complex which is the " cartridge " for me.
There is another, almost inexpensive, alternative that can cope your priorities: the MM cartridge one, there are several MM cartridges that can help you at a top quality level where you don't have to risk big money, think about.
Regards and enjoy the music.
I highly recommend you email or call AJ Conti. Who best to discuss cartridges with the Vector tonearm?
He's auditioned dozens of cartridges in the Vector.