Teres 265 or 320 vs. Sota Cosmos

I am looking at picking up a new Turntable. As of right now I'm guessing either would be equipped with a Triplaner arm and the ZYX Airy 2.

BUT anyway has anyone had the chance to do a direct comparison between these models? What differences did you notice, and how would you compare them?

Any insight would be appreciated!
Hi NRCHY,I and a friend,both,own a COSMOS series III.We have Graham 2.2's.I did own a Wheaton,but had some mounting problems,so had to sell it.What I can say about the COSMOS,and in CAPITAL LETTERS,is that it is an incredible design/performer/value for the money.The current SOTA ownership(actually they were around from the beginning,two decades ago)are very dedicated to their customers,and do incredible work with the current product line.

The fit and finish on my series III is in the class of the MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE products,and IMO the COSMOS could sell for much more money.I have discussed the pricing with the owners,who feel,STRONGLY,on marketing a fairly priced product,based on their costs,rather than on prices generated by great "PRESS"!!What more could I say?I'm sure the ownership of the other competitors feel as strongly,and probably with good reason,as well.Best of luck!!!
What mounting problems did you have with the triplaner? What version was the Wheaton?
Dear Nrchy: Other than Sirspeedy post, I think that the vacumm hold record is a great plus on the Sota Cosmos against not only Teres but any TT with out it.

If you are looking for a great music reproduction cartridge I think that you can do better that with the ZYX if you try elsewhere: Dynavector XV-1, Transfiguration W/V, Allaerts Boron/MC2 or Van denHul Colibri/Condor.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Nrchy,my "former"dealer screwed up,in that the (older)Wheaton and cartridge combo could not be "Lowered" enough,to allow for a correct VTA.The Cosmos that I had,at the time(not the new one),had a fairly low armboard,in the arm reservoir.This caused the Wheaton(a great arm,BTW)to sit way too low,and Herb Papier,rest his soul,had to make a "shim" for the arm.This could not cut it,and it cost me "bucks" to sell it.The current 2.2 is a perfect match,but,to me there are quite a few great/interesting arms around.

One word about the Vacuum.Through the years,competition has used the "eventually causes noisey records" marketing ploy,to knock vacuum systems.What a joke!!I,and my pal,have had vacuum set-ups for well over 18 years.I have a very extensive LP collection,consisting of the vast majority of the Decca/EMI/Mercury original pressings.I have NEVER had a single pop or click,that I could attribute to vacuum.I DO keep the platter surface totally clean,though.Believe it or not,a nice soft facial make-up brush does a great job.If CD had not taken off,as it did,There would be numerous designers employing vacuum today.In the Cosmos,the vacuum sensor is SO good,that once it detects a seal,it immediately resorts to very low pressure,in order to keep that seal.How much pressure do you think a screw down clamp places on the LP?Yet these have been marketed ad nauseum.

Also,boy do I sound like a salesman,here,sorry,the Cosmos construction IS what a really good table should be constructed from.Inert,stable,and rigid,with a GREAT and well designed suspension too.A great armboard as well(A very important aspect,there).No plexiglass platter/construction etc.Though this can,and is viable,it is generally used because it is cheap to work with,and profitable to the mfgr.Use common sense when making a choice.Look at the materials used by Rockport,SME etc.You'll make the right choice.I'm sure.Best of luck!!BTW,the Oracle is a cute/proven design too.And GORGEOUS to look at!!It's in the right price range,as well.As in," fairly priced"!!
Does that mean if I get the new tri-planer that I will not have that problem?

I have a Star right now that will be traded on a Cosmos, so I am already familiar with the vacuum platter. I also ordered the Cosmos armboard for my star and got the reflex clamp. I wonder how much better the Cosmos will be than the Star?!?
Nrchy,I doubt if there will be any problems,with the new Cosmos.Verify with Kirk,of SOTA.He's very educated,regarding this subject.Also,I had updated from a Star.NOT CLOSE!!!
Sirspeedy thanks for the reassurance, I was wondering.

I also owned the SOTA for many years. It was a very good table and was a reliable and musically satisfying performer. I purchase it from Lyric Hi Fi in NYC in the eighties and sold it in 1998.
The Oracle Delphi MKV with the Granite Plinth (about 65 lbs compared to 30 lbs for the Acrylic plinth) and Turbo power supply is a very underrated performer. The Oracle is quieter mechanically and more resolving than the SOTA. Improved speed stability on the Oracle was especially noticeable on piano recordings compared to the SOTA. Bass performance is also markedly improved with the Granite plinth.

I can't say anything about a SOTA, but we recently upgraded from our Teres 265 to a 320. The performance improvement was far larger than the cost difference. This was one of the most dramatic upgrades we've done. If you decide in favor of Teres I strongly recommend the 320 over the 265 if your budget allows.

Obviously you'll have no problems mounting a TriPlanar (or just about any other arm) on a Teres.
Nrchy: For many years the Sota/SME V and Sota/ ET, combinations were a favorites ones.

The Cosmos/SME V/Sumiko Celebration is an analog rig very hard to beat, recomended.

Regards and enjoy the music.
If I were to go with the SME V how much would I be loosing to the TriPlaner? For purely cost issues I'm connsidering the less expensive SME V over the TriPlaner. I would rather go with the later, but it just might not be possible! Any help?
Dear Nrchy: +++++ " how much would I be loosing to the TriPlaner? " +++++

Your question could be too: " how much would I loosing to the SME V ? "

The Triplanar is a very good tonearm but the SME V is an excellent tonearm.

From today tonearms I don't know any tonearm that really " hands down " the V ( all these is relative because many things depend on the other analog items: cartridge, TT, etc... ). It's design take in count almost any parameter for the " perfect tonearm ".

The SME V ( btw, all SME products ) is not only a " tonearm " it is really a high tech instrument named: tonearm, the building level quality is unmatched in the industry and its performance is first rate by any audio standards.

Now, if you mated with the Sumiko Celebration you could have a " awesome " combo for the music repoduction.

For do the Celebration " voicing " the designer cartridge did use the SME V. So, that combination is really a great one and will work beautiful on the Cosmos. No, the ZYX is not a " contender " against that combination.

Regards and enjoy the music.

Which ZYX models have you heard a TriPlanar VII?
I mean "on" a TriPlanar VII. Sorry for the typo.
Having owned ,both,the Triplanar and SME-V,on a COSMOS,I would have to say that I preferred the Triplanar!At the time,I had the Koetsu ONYX PLATINUM,on the SME.I then switched to the Triplanar,with a Tranny.Although I had differing cartridges,I still would have chosen the Triplanar.My pal,who now has the Air Tangent,had an SME-V,as well.He felt it was too bass heavy,but,that has always been the "Rap" on the model-V.He was using the VPI TNT,at the time.Who knows if it is really true.I don't.When I sold the SME,I remember it "broke down" into what seemed like puzzle pieces.I know this is just my idiocynchrosy,but the Triplanar was "cooler",from an ergonomic(VTA on the fly)and "machined" aspect.This appealed to my tastes.Just my opinion.

It really comes down to tastes,and cartridge mating,though if I were to ever replace my 2.2,and not move to a Shroeder,or Phantom (what I would really want would be a Kuzma Airline),my choice would definitely be towards the Triplanar!!It really was a great arm!!I do remember,when setting up the Triplanar,that I was "Blown Away" with the incredible lack of bearing friction,when I was "fotzing around" with it.Obviously,all quality arms have a very low friction,here,but,the Triplanar WAS special!!Too bad my dealer screwed me ROYALLY when selling me a cartridge/arm combo,along with a table that,at the time,couldn't accommodate the proper VTA settings.This after I specifically asked to have ALL parameters carefully "scoped" out,before ordering.I was not able to get my deposit back,and thank God for the late Herb Papier!!

PS-the dealer currently pushes anything "VIDEO"!Fired all analog salesmen,too!!Now I know why I had to wean myself(for the better),on anything analog.
Dear Sirspeedy: Any Koetsu cartridge is not the best match for the SME V.

+++++ " and "machined" aspect. " +++++ , as you say: to your taste.

Doug, the SME/Celebration combo is unrivaled for the ZYX in any tonearm. I already mentioned others threads: the ZYX is faulty in the frecuency extremes, especially in the low end one. You can't heard that because your system can't reproduce it in a proper way.

Regards and enjoy the music.

Have you listened to Doug's system ? I am guessing you have not. How do you know what his system can or can not do ?
Perhaps Doug has also heard the ZYX on other systems and his comments might be based on that.
ZYX also makes several cartridges. Are you saying that the ZYX UNIverse is limited in the low bass and the upper highs ?
Which ZYX cartridges have you heard and in what combinations with which tonearms ?
Raul's unresponsive reply speaks for itself.

He'd be a fine poker player. When caught bluffing about cartridges and arms he's never heard, he boldly raises the stakes by criticizing entire systems in homes he's never visited - and is never likely to.
It's "those nasty tube equalizers" again!
Raul is your comment about the low frequency extension of Doug's speakers?? (your current subwoofer thread). Never the less his system sure looks great to me.
nasty something...
TWL am I ever glad to see/hear you again. It's not as much fun here without your input.

I was wondering if Raul really had anything to offer other than opinions!?!
Thanks gents! If you ever play poker with Raul, make sure he's wearing a short-sleeved shirt.

Many months ago I commented that my TriPlanar VII had deeper bass extension than its predecessor, an OL Silver. As an example, I noted that on the HFN&RR test record's resonance tracks, the OL reproduced audible test tones down to about 24Hz while the TriPlanar reproduced audible test tones down to 17-18Hz. (Same table, same cartridge, yada, yada).

I never claimed and do not claim that my system is anything like flat down to 17Hz, or even to 24. But under the right circumstances (eg, a test record at high gain levels) it does produce *some* audible energy down there.

Raul's occasional swipes at my pathetic system and its non-existent bass began on that thread. He may believe I was claiming flat response below what my system is capable of and is trying to protect you all from such heinous misrepresentations.

Raul, I hereby confess:


Feel better?
Doug, I'm soo ashamed for you! Isn't it funny how someone will take something out of context and base an entire arguement on that misinformation???
Just my two cents,here.First,what the heck is wrong with Doug's set-up!!Many would die for it!!second,I haven't heard it,but based on the comments he made in the "UNIVERSE" review,which had a wealth of pertinent observations,I'd bet my poker hand that it's damn good.Also,as my pal Sid would say,"there's bass,and there's bass,and who cares if it doesn't go to 20 Hz!!!"

Now on the other hand,I love Raul,even though we don't see eye to eye,on the bass subject.Who cares,as long as we like(without rationalizing)our own set-ups.He is entitled to his opinion,and one has the right to agree,or disagree with him.Though,what seperates us is the fact that I can't make a definitive comment on stuff I haven't heard.Maybe Raul's extensive love of the hobby,and equally extensive experience gives him the confidence to make these statements.We,others ,on the otherhand,are free to NOT agree,and Raul is equally free to offer his opinions.Some will be correct,and some not.The experienced hobbyist can make his/her own mind up about them!That way everyone is happy.
Nice post. I would add that the main issue here is that when people offer opinions as fact and in an insulting manner, it is usually not taken well.
When it is done frequently as in the case of Raul, people may seem a bit thin skinned, but in reality they are tired of the condescending, pompous, holier than thou and derisive manner in which "wisdom" is dispensed.
I will suggest that you may fall out of love with Raul when given the time to get to know him a bit better.
Warmest Regards,
Dear Doug: +++++ " Raul's unresponsive reply speaks for itself. " +++++
+++++ " . When caught bluffing about cartridges and arms he's never heard, he boldly raises the stakes by criticizing entire systems in homes.. " +++++

I don't need " bluffing " about anything and I never do about ZYX: why do you think that? , I don't have any interest on doing that.

I have a solid opinion on the 1000,100,2 and 3 ZYX cartridges because I already heard on systems that I know, including mine ( two of them ).

There are many issues that take in count to differenciate a good cartridge to an excellent one ( btw, in any audio item ). For me two critical of those parameters that do the difference are how the cartridge performs at frecuency extremes and the ZYX that I already heard are only good at those frecuency extremes especially at the low bass.

The Sumiko/SME V combination is an excellent combo. Maybe you are not happy with my comments because you own the ZYX cartridge and you think is the " best " out there: it is not. There are severals cartridges that beats ZYX, not only the Celebration and don't think that because the Celebration is " only " 1.5K is not an excellent cartridge that can't compete with ZYX.

Other than the Celebration that can beat the ZYX: Dynavector XV-1, Van denHul Colibri ( low output ), Allaerts MC2 Finish, Transfiguration W/V, Myabi 47, Lyra Titan/Parnassus, Clearaudio Accurate/Discovery/Insider, Ikeda 9REX, Shelther 90x.

Now, there are some peoples like you, Larry and others that claim that ZYX is the " best " on the world ( I respect your opinions ), but any of you are heard all those cartridges on your systems, so that claim is a irresponsible one: not for me that I know is not true but for the people in this forum that does not have enough experience about.

Doug, I'm never refer to your system with the " pathetic " word. Your reference about the bass issue with your system is a very old one.

+++++ " You can't heard that because your system can't reproduce it in a proper way. " +++++

I'm not trying to insult you with this statement. You know ( be honest ) that your system can't reproduce the low bass in a proper way, it is limited: no question about. I'm not saying that your system is a " lesser " system: it is not but for we can do a serious evaluations against differents cartridges we have to take in count these " small " inconvenients in the system.

Doug, you can remember that I congratulate you for your ZYX review: if I did have any thing against you or your whole system then at that time I could post not only the bass issue but many other subjects where I don't agree, but I respect to any one that do a review, good or bad that's not important, and I do it.

Larry, +++++ " Nice post. I would add that the main issue here is that when people offer opinions as fact and in an insulting manner, it is usually not taken well.
When it is done frequently as in the case of Raul, " +++++

please don't live in the " past ". Please do a revision of my posts in the last three monts ( more or less ) and learn who I am.

Sirspeedy, +++++ " that I can't make a definitive comment on stuff I haven't heard.Maybe Raul's extensive love of the hobby,and equally extensive experience gives him the confidence to make these statements.We,others ,on the otherhand,are free to NOT agree,and Raul is equally free to offer his opinions.Some will be correct,and some not.The experienced hobbyist can make his/her own mind up about them! " +++++

This is all about. Tks Sirspeedy.

Regards and enjoy the music.


I do remember your complimenting the Airy 2/3 review and thank you for that. Unfortunately, you still haven't answered the one question that matters to Nrchy:

Which current ZYX models have you heard on a TriPlanar VII?

That is what Nrchy is thinking of buying. Your opinions are relevant if you've heard this combo, but irrelevant if you have not.

A simple, "I don't know, I haven't heard that.", is quite acceptable. Saying so would even enhance your credibility.

Raul,I would like to make two points,to you.Firstly,with all of the arms,and cartridges you own do you really feel that confident that you have hit on ALL the "Exact" parameters of the "infinitesimal" combination variations,that yield "spot on" performance?I can't believe anyone, with that collection, can "dial in" perfect parameters,and then make "EXACTING" claims towards the vast combinations available to them all!!I mean this with total respect.I have friends that have been at the cusp of audio journalism (one active reviewer,one semi-active,and one retired(the retired one,a GURU to me),who was there at the beginning),and they take "light years" to get their one arm/cartridge set-up to operate at a perfect state(a perfect state to them,really HAS to be PERFECT,or they're miserable)!!Even HP needs a set-up man,and how many times have we read that he didn't realize something was amiss,months later.When I say light years,I mean that 6-12 months down the road,they may find a better voicing option.Multiply all this by your numerous collection(that I think is wonderful,BTW)and you can see why I ask this of you.There just doesn't seem to be enough time,in a lifetime,to get it all "definitively right"!!There's a huge difference between "good enough"(most people,and I have some friends that fall into this category),and "SPOT ON"(VERY TIME CONSUMING).I,also, like to leave time for actual listening!!How much fotzing around does one really want to do.Also,there's family,work,movies,exercise,socializing,rest etc.,etc!!One arm/cartridge combo(with the fanatical level I actually hold myself to)is enough for me,and takes me a "dog's" lifetime to feel that I got it right!!Actually,my friends have "forced" me into being this critical.To get any enthusiasm from them usually requirs a payoff!!Just kidding,but,you get the point.

This leads me to my next question,Raul.Why don't you start a dedicated audio magazine.I'm serious here!!I'm not trying to be disrespectful,at all!You obviously love all of this,so why not enlarge your hobby's perspective and maybe start a "dedicated to analog" print journal.The magazines I read(TAS,Stereophile,Hi-Fi plus)are not nearly as good as years ago,so why not fill the void.You seem to have the enthusiasm.Why not try to make a few dollars along the way?Best of luck!!
Hi Doug: +++++ " When caught bluffing about cartridges ... " +++++

This is what an Zyx airy3 owner ( Amazon,Tri`planar, etc ) post about this cartridge against the 90X, that confirm what I already post about ( it is not the only one that share my point of view ):

+++++ " I thought the Shelter did a slightly better job of handling the bass frequencies in terms of overall weight. " +++++

Doug, with all respect, I don't need your approval/satisfaccion for " enhance my credibility ", at least for now, but stay tunned.

Regards and enjoy the music.
It seems that you only provided us with part of the quote from someone that compared ZYX Airy3 and a Shelter 90X.
Your extraction of the quote from the thread was:
+++++ " I thought the Shelter did a slightly better job of handling the bass frequencies in terms of overall weight. " +++++
The entire quote about bass on the two cartridges in total was actually
++++ " I thought the Shelter did a slightly better job of handling the bass frequencies in terms of overall weight. On the other hand, I felt the Airy was slightly more resolving in this area".++++
Raul, Try to be a little more even handed when trying to prove your points. The Audiogon member did not say one cartridge did a better job of handling Bass; they both did different aspects of Bass better. He also did not say that the Shelter 90X goes lower than the Airy3.
For those that are interested, here is the URL to the thread from which Raul's quote comes from as well as Audiogon member "Wrp"'s posting to that thread that Raul quoted:



I had an opportunity to audition both cartridges in my system (Avid Diva TT/Origin Illustrious arm) before buying. I chose to go with the Airy 3, which I subsequently upgraded to a UNIverse when I upgraded my turntable (Amazon Model 1/TriPlanar arm). Here are my comments from the audition (LONG), as told to the two gentlemen who let me borrow these cartridges:

>>Well the long weekend is over, and I’ve had a chance to evaluate the Shelter 90X and the ZYX Airy 3, also know as “A Tale of Two Cartridges”, also known as “Godzilla vs. Mothra”!

First, these are both world class cartridges. I am amazed at the level of information retrieval, resolution at the frequency extremes and dynamics, to mention a few of the characteristics that immediately presented themselves. That said, I’ve decided to go with the Airy 3. Here are some overall impressions of what I heard over the course of the weekend.

I think the Shelter 90X combines the best qualities of the 501 and the 901 cartridges. The 90X has that great midrange quality of the 501. It also has the frequency extension and bass control of the 901, as well as incredible transient response, which makes for an exciting and dynamic presentation. You were right in that it’s very easy to get this cartridge to sound good without much effort. Initial setup was easy (less than 15 minutes) and very forgiving in light of the fact that I have a suspended turntable and Origin arm, which means no precise method of dialing in setup parameters! I spent approximately 90 minutes fully setting up the cartridge and dialing in VTA, VTF, cartridge alignment, etc. before listening critically. I tried setting the VTF to 1.85, 1.9, 1.95 and 2 grams. I got the best results in my setup at 1.9 grams. Overall, the soundstage was wide, deep and vivid. I noticed a bit more surface noise using the 90X as compared to the Airy3. In terms of overall presentation, I felt as though I were in the 2nd or 3rd row; a very good seat indeed! Imaging was locked and very well defined. To my ears, the imaging was slightly more delineated than I’m accustomed to; not a bad thing, just different. I’m sure this contributes to the overall sense of excitement this cartridge brings to the music.

The Airy3 is also very forgiving in terms of setup. I was able to get a good sound after 15 minutes as well. My initial impression was one of seamlessness. Nothing about the overall sound really called attention to itself. I thought the Shelter did a slightly better job of handling the bass frequencies in terms of overall weight. On the other hand, I felt the Airy was slightly more resolving in this area. In particular, it was easier to hear both the fundamental tone and the acoustic body of an upright bass on a number of my jazz LPs. I was also able to better discern the timbre of kick drums and the differences in recording techniques. I spent about 90 minutes fine tuning the key setup parameters of the Airy3 for critical listening. I got my best results with VTF set to 1.95 grams. Again, soundstage was wide, deep and slightly more “palpable” than the Shelter. I also detected a slight increase in the height of the soundstage. In terms of presentation, I would say that the Airy3 gave me a front row seat to the musical event. As with the Shelter, there was an incredible amount of information retrieval. While playing a selection from the LP version of Cassandra Wilson’s latest album, Glamoured, I noticed a very low pitched growling sound that I had never heard before with my old cartridge or on the CD version. When I read the credits, I realized that what I was hearing was a close-miked washboard that had been mixed in with the rest of the percussion! I particularly like using this album to test low frequency resolution. Eastern and western percussion instruments are used extensively in lieu of a traditional drum kit. Imaging was locked, well defined and seamless. This sense of seamlessness is one of two differentiators for me. I tend to prefer imaging that closely resembles a live performance as opposed to imaging that resembles the typical recording studio process of acoustically isolating the performers during the session and assembling the presentation during mix down and mastering. The Airy3 did a better job than the Shelter at approximating “live performance” imaging in my system. The other differentiating factor, for me, was resolution of surface noise. The Airy3 was quieter in my system than the Shelter was. I think the main factor here is the difference in stylus design. This is important to me since I have a number of original Jazz LPs from the 40s, 50s and 60s that belonged to my Dad. These records hold great sentimental value for me, and as you can imagine, are not in the best shape. Getting maximum musical information with minimal surface noise from these LPS is very important to me.

Either one of these cartridges would be an outstanding choice for any high end analog rig. As far as I’m concerned there is no “best” cartridge. It’s merely a matter of taste, and for my ears, my system and my media, the Airy3 is a better fit.<<

System components included Thor Audio preamp (approx. 79db gain thru MC stage), ASL Hurricane Monos, Vandersteen Fives. There was a 3-5db decrease in gain comparing my vinyl to digital sources due to the low output of the ZYX, but that was never a problem in my system.

Hope this helps you in making your decision
Wrp (System | Answers)

Raul, One final point; Doug was trying to be constructive in helping your posts be better received on this forum. You might want to think about your approach to people and see how it might be improved. It would make for more pleasant interactions on Audiogon for all of us.
Dear Larry: +++++ " to be a little more even handed when trying to prove your points.. " +++++

For the last few months my statement about the low bass performance of the ZYX cartridges is the same: good performance only not excellent one, and the Dmailer post confirm it.

There is nothing that you or Doug can do about, only the manufacturer can do something about. Don't try to defend the indefensible, you can't do nothing against: facts.

I understand your feelings about because you and Doug are ZYX owners ( like many other people ). Now, don't believe me: try to borrowed a Dynavector XV-1, a Colibri or a Transfiguration and you can check easyly how any of these cartridges beats your ZYX. As I already told: the ZYX are only good cartridges but not an excellent one.

I think that the ZYX design is going in the right way and only needs more time-experience for approach the excellence: do you think that the XV-1 or the Colibri is the result of a " lucky strike " ?, no is the result of many many years of research/design/test/build ( in the Dynavector case: till dead. ) and these cartridges are not perfect ones but certainly a step higher than the ZYX cartridges, sorry. The problem for you and Doug ( and many other people ) is that " rush into " ZYX like a " child with a new toy ", with blind " eyes ", with out " seen " many other superlative alternatives out there: that's was your choice.

Now, like Sirspeedy told us, if you are satisfied with your ZYX: great for you, this is the important issue.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Hmm!My Transfiguration "BEATS" Larry and Doug's UNIV!Heh,heh,heh!

Now,what about the "NEW",with a signal to noise ratio of GREATER than 100db,Clearaudio designs,coming to a theater near us all?If you are not already hooked,this is a good time to give up the hobby!!Maybe a nice saltwater aquarium!
Dear Sirspeedy: " Spot on ". Well I agree with you it is almost imposible to have each cartridge in a perfect " spot on ".

The ten ones that are already installed in my system are near that " illusion point ", example: the Colibri, the XV-1, the Allaerts and the Ikeda: the other ones are in the process of " which tonearm is better " test.

As a fact with the number of cartridges that I own it is not almost imposible to do that but in many cases to remember exactly the sound reproduction characteristics of each one.

What I can tell you is that I have a lot of " fun " trying to do it. I learn something everyday doing that.

+++++ " Why don't you start a dedicated audio magazine. +++++ "
By coincidence, I already think about, but >I don't have nothing at hand for now.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul,based on my initial question,and your honest response to me,I can surmise that it isn't really fair for you to dismiss the ZYX UNIV cartridge(that has gotten an almost overwhelming degree of enthusiasm)until you have REALLY lived with one(and spent your own money on it,which "forces" us ALL to put a bit more into getting it "spot on")for a lenghth of time.

There are way too many parameters to consider before drawing a conclusion,as you have.Please try to follow my logic here,you may begin to see things in a differing light,that may make you a better hobbyist,and better received by other(experienced)hobbyists!

Example:I have had my Tranny for about 1.5 yrs(of light use,due to long equip update waiting time).I have an evolving dial in process that has changed EVERY time I make an update,or change to my system.This literally re-voices the set-up with each change.Like a new type of line cleaner(my PS Audio Ultimate Outlets),new turntable mods(major update by SOTA).I even sent my Audio Research SP-15(after owning the SP-8,10,and 11,and feeling the most potential,for me, lied in the 15)to Great Northern Sound for a complete REBUILD,where I was given my own(to MY tastes)choices of caps in the power supply,line section,and phonostage.For each stage I chose a different cap(Elna/Black Gate/Infinicap etc).You get the point.I have also,made TOO numerous other mods/changes to virtually ALL my stuff,so the set-up is really one of a kind,and NOT the latest picture in TAS or the latest "favorite" by some reviewer!And that is the way I want it.

I have,as an "ad-nauseum" ongoing process,continued to mod and refine my set-up,as per the fact that a friend has the EXACT system(except his Kharma,and my Avalon speakers)and he loves to throw money at the system.I like to use him as my guinea pig(he has no kids,so the money spent is no big deal to him).I add those things that sound good to me.A nice little arrangement,if you're me!!Though the pre-amp and SOTA mods were my idea!!

Each time I have done a mod/refinement(I have done stuff that my friend may have liked,but if I did not care for the sound,even if it cost me $$$,it was dumped,and fast)I have been able to carefully get a bit more from my phono front end.You have heard it before.Each cleaning of the haze(no matter how little),reveals a new,yet smaller and more annoying one.Yet each time I have ben able to "slightly" re-voice the table/arm/cartridge interface.Now,until last week,I was NEVER completely happy,because I have a friend who has a PERFECT analog set-up,and he has multiple pressings of the orig. recordings(all the biggies,and then some/plenty).To add to this he knows the music like he was there at it's creation.Believe it or not,he actually was,in some cases.He also knows Wilma Cozart,and a few other serious folks.So,when he takes out a pressing or FIVE(literally)of the same album,and can point out the extreme differences in a particulr musical thread,between a 1s,2s/6s stamper(for ex.)or the diff between a U.S. vs English vs Canadian vs German vs Italian vs French pressing( get the point) and still points out PERTINENT musical and production aspects,one really listens to him,and his system,ALOT!!

Now I have recently added 3 new phono tubes (the only tubes in the set-up,which significantly change the "flavor" of the sound,that I vary to MY tastes,only).So,for the umpteenth time I have locked myself in my listening room,and re-dialed the voicing of my LP set-up again.Hopefully for the last time,in a good couple of months,I think!!

Well,my point being--Unless I'm completely incompetent(a possibility,that exists),the voicing parameters,that a REAL fanatic(which many of us are,sadly)actually goes through takes what seems like EONS!So,to dismiss a product like the ZYX UNIVERSE, as you have, really does not take into account the INARGUABLE fact that it's owners may have #1-Been more careful than you may have(in set-up),since they spent their own money on it(I didn't see a UNIV in your collection).#2Have differing performance characteristics,from their existing systems,that may bring out the finer details of it's design.#3Have differing tastes than you,that migrates towards what the UNIV offers.#4Have less revealing systems than you,which is why you feel there is a problem,with the cartridge.Or #5 Have MORE revealing systems than you,which allows them to hear something in the design,that you cannot!!

I have no idea myself,but since my set-up is probably incapable of ascertaining that cartridges "MAGIC" I have NO interest in the matter!

Best of luck to all!
Dear Sirspeedy: The Transfiguration is a top level performance cartridge. You are on the " big league " here.

Regards and enjoy the music.

Bravo !

Thank you Sirspeedy and Cello. I have learned a lot from your posts. The TT issue is settled since I have ordered the Cosmos. As soon as I have the money together I will be ordering the ZYX Airy 3. Your comments have been very helpful. $ for $ the Zyx seems to be a giant killer, but at a David sized price in comparison.
Dear Sir5speedy: Like you ( I like everything almost perfect but I'm not obsessed about. I like to have time to enjoy the music ) I'm " always " looking for a " tweaks/up-grade " for to have a better quality music reproduction ( btw, you have to try the V-caps in all your audio items. Recomended !!! ). But I'm very " lucky " about because till today, during the voicing after the up-grade , I never have the necessity to do a change in the cartridge mounting parameters ( exception when I change a tonearm/cartridge combination ) and always could " know " for sure if that " up-grade/tweak " was really an improvement and enjoy it or not.

+++++ " Raul,based on my initial question,and your honest response to me,I can surmise that it isn't really fair for you to dismiss the ZYX UNIV cartridge( " +++++

I respect you point of view and here I remember what you already post on this thread:

+++++ " the hobby,and equally extensive experience gives him the confidence to make these statements.We,others ,on the otherhand,are free to NOT agree,and Raul is equally free to offer his opinions.Some will be correct,and some not. " +++++

Your final statements on your last post are a universal ones and there are more issues to add about. But what tell me those statements ?: that we can't do any statement over any subject because there are too many differents " issues " between two peoples and between two audio systems ? . Come on Sirspeedy !!!!!

+++++ " since they spent their own money on it ... " +++++

Sirspeedy I know that . Larry, Doug or any other happy ZYX owner my next statements/subjects/issues about ZYX has nothing to do with any " bad feeling " from my part to any of you or any one and it's only an effort trying to help and " be better ":

- +++++ " is that " rush into " ZYX like a " child with a new toy ", " +++++

I think that this " fast track " attitude has a lot to " see " with what happen with the ZYX owners:

- there are many forms for to choose an alternative ( any audio item ) for to buy audio items, mine is a very long research process to take a decission: first I do a deep research about the builder/designer: who are they? where they come? for how many time on the subject? why I should buy their audio item ?, etc... Second, I do deep research too through differents dealers that carry the audio item and others similars for to know their opinions about. Third, I do a research through as many proffesional reviews as I can find, reading " between lines " for to know about. Fourth, I try to have a " live experience " ( my own system ) with it but if I could not, then I try to " heard " at a friend's system or directly with the dealer. Fifth, I ask to owners of the audio item. Sixth, I do a differents forums research about. etc...
Maybe all of you do the same " long track " process for make your decissions. My impression is that many of you are on the " fast track " ZYX alternative: why I think in this way?, well every time that I do a " simple " question, about " your " : " the best cartridge in the world " ZYX statement, that if you already compare the ZYX cartridges against the long list of excellent cartridges that I categorically post that beats the ZYX ones, the " silent " answer is NO.
Now, I'm not against the " fast track " attitude, it's not my money it's yours, I'm only trying to help that's all.

Btw, in the time I buy many audio items with the " fast track " attitude and in almost all there were a mistake because I buy the wrong audio item.

My last " fast track " was the Shelther 901: I buy this cartridge " only " with a fast research in this forum about the 501 and the 901. At that time all the the forum opinions about the 901 were " awesome ", so I buy it.
My first " hearing " impressions with the 901 were really great, but after a month ( more or less ) I could identify some problems with the performance of this cartridge till I have to put on sale and sold immediatly. I buy the 90X.

At that time I was the first people in the forum to post anything against the 901: " a hi-fi " cartridge or something like that, immediatly the " 901 club " people " fight with me because my post.
Two months latter that " same people " agree with me.

+++++ " didn't see a UNIV in your collection.. " +++++

Till today the ZYX can't belong in my collection. When any ZYX will be on target with the excellent performance of " others " top cartridges you can be sure that I will have that ZYX in my system. I remember you that this " hobby " is an extremely important subject on my life, nothing less.

Now, I'm not the only one that thinks that the " ZYX is not the best... ": I already post this on other thread:

- One person ( Walker TT, Wilson, Atmasphere, etc.. ) put on sale his Colibri through the Agon classifieds, trying to help I send a e-mail asking why he puts on sale the Colibri and buy the ZYX. He explain that the ZYX was better on..., on..., on... and on... that the Colibri. I give him my advise and he return the Colibri to Vandenhul for a check up. When the Colibri come back to his system, he was really happy with and hands down his ZYX cartridge easily. He gime me " tks " for my Colibri insistence.

Again regarding the " fast track " attitude. I think that all of us " other(experienced)hobbyists! " , like you say, have a great responsibility in this forum for to help to others people to take good " decissions " ( if they take it or not, that's another history ). The ZYX " fast track " attitude approach to an incredible post like this one:

+++++ " I have recently been through a search for a new cartridge. I cannot listen to anything anywhere near my home, since I live in the middle of nowhere. I have been talking to several fellow music lovers and narrowed my search to a couple of cartridges including some of the Benz and ZYX models. Based on what I have heard from ZYX owners, these cartridges outperform many cartridges costing more and having great reputations. " +++++

This person never heard the ZYX cartridge but " based " on what others " heard " he do the statement that the ZYX " outperform MANY cartridges costing more... etc..

What happen when not so experienced people read this " fast track " opinion ? Do you think that this kind of audiogon-forum post really help to anyone?

I'm sure it helps: for take wrong desicions for buying the wrong audio item, when out there are many alternatives that could help that that people could be really happy and not thinking if their choose really was the best one at that time.

No, Sirspeedy I think that I don't do a favor to anyone " telling him " what he " wants " to hear. We can do a " favor " when we tell what we know or think we know is the true or nearest to the true about. We can be wrong but we have to " say " it.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul,you remind me of my daughter,as I'm currently giving her driving lessons.No matter what I tell her,as she is behind the wheel,she ALWAYS has some kind of comeback answer.I can never win,with her!

It was not really necessary for you to respond to my post,but you seem to have to justify everything with your own "take".Let's get something straight.I have ALWAYS liked you,and your posts.I'm not trying to even argue with you.I have always been a bit surprised as to the somewhat nasty attitude some have to your posts,but,you are a really good soldier(much better than me),and continue to preach your audio philosophy.That's great!!

I'm not really all that PURE!Sometimes I re-read some of my posts and cannot believe just how obnoxious I must seem to some.Maybe I'm a bit insecure.My intentions are,also good,but,I'm just making general observations.On subjects that interest me.I'm not trying,as you seem to be(and that's a good thing,for you)to direct some hobbyists to make different buying decisions,based on my tastes.What do I know?And who am I to think I can be well received,by others,as the "Audio Police".The vast majority of "these" people know their stuff!

I'm NOT hinting that you are anything other than a knowledgeable, WELL MEANING and good natured hobbyist,but as I suspected,you are NOT a testing laboratory.Everyone has their own set of tastes,and you have to be KIDDING me if you think the average reader of these threads does not research product before making a buying decision.Have you seen the prices of,even,the cheap stuff?Sure there is always the person with a few extra bucks,that can afford to make a mistake,and buy on emotion,but I'll bet 99.9 percent of us do not!!You can "save"the occassional one who swerves off course,but I don't feel I have that responsibility,here in this forum.I,also have no desire to acquire new products,as you like to do(you will get a UNIV,for your collection,if you like the design improvements,in the future?).You have to be kidding me!If you feel that you "like everything almost perfect,but are not obsessed",and really feel the need to get a UNIV(with the collection you already have),if it pans out to really be great(something I really have no idea of,and that was not my original point anyway),then I have to let you in on a little secret Raul.You ARE obsessed.And coming from another obsessed hobbyist(me),that's just fine with me!Now,go take your wife out for a nice dinner.She must really love you.Mine?She's ready to kill me if I spend anymore on audio!Trust me,if you don't hear from me,in the future,you'll know what happened!!

I'm here to have a good bit of fun.Learn a few things(even if I don't initially admit it).Correspond with some nice people(like you).And what I have come to like the most,and will be planning more "surprise strikes" in the future---giving Larry a hard time!!I haven't even touched upon his,admitted,bright sounding listening room!!

Dear Sirspeedy: I love your post !!. Makes me laugh ( in the best way ) and makes my day a best one.

Stay tunned !!

Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul,I was beginning to question if you had a sense of humor.Happy you got a good laugh!!
This has been a great read. Much more entertaining then watching the late evening news. I must confess up front I own a ZYX Airy 3. I had a Koetsu Rosewood Sign. before. The Airy 3 is miles ahead of the KRS in musicality and inner detail. Dealing with Mehran @ SORAsound was nothing short of a great joy.
I have been on a musical journey for over 28 years. This has been one of the best years, and the ZYX Airy 3 has been part of it.
One of my favorite LPs is Ray Brown & L. Almeida, one the first cut of Mondscheinsonate/Round about Midnight Ray comes in with a VERY deep bass note that almost drives me off my chair.
I have also just order a pair of Merlins VSM-MM speaker to go with my OTLs.
Thanks again for the entertainments.
Did you get the copper or silver coil version of the Airy3. Congratulations on a nice system. You will love the Merlins. Do count on the Merlins taking a long time to break in.
Geetings Larry
I got the silver coil .24 output. Sounds wouderful, works very well with my Morch DP-6 arm.
Dear Bryan: +++++ " I had a Koetsu Rosewood Sign. before. The Airy 3 is miles ahead of the KRS .." +++++

I agree with you. But till three days ago something happen with the Koetsu subject on my system: stay tunned.

The Merlins are great speakers I hope your OTL can do a good match with the " electric impedance curve " of the speakers.

Now if you can mate the Merlins with a pair of subwoofers in a true stereo integration, you will have a system that will be very hard to surpass at any price: http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?eanlg&1117893153&openflup&27&4#27 and http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?eanlg&1117893153&openflup&31&4#31

Regards and enjoy the music.

+++I agree with you. But till three days ago something happen with the Koetsu subject on my system: stay tunned.+++

You have me hooked, what up with the Koetsu.

+++The Merlins are great speakers I hope your OTL can do a good match with the " electric impedance curve " of the speakers.+++

I talked to Bobby P. at Merlin and he said that the Atma-Sphere will work great. He used OLTs to demo his speakers at shows. I also have a pair of Paul Speltz Autoformers.

+++Merlins with a pair of subwoofers in a true stereo integration, you will have a system that will be very hard to surpass at any price+++

I am using a REL Strata III now with my Reference 3A de capo i, I will keep it till the Merlins arrive. If they do not give me enought deep bass with the BAM I will user it in my system.
Thanks for the links
Did you consider going for the MX version? I am told the MX is a nice bump up from the MM but I have only heard the MX. You are fortunate with the timing of your purchase and now will be getting the newer version of the BAM.
Do let us know when you get the Merlin's in and how you like them. Do not begin to judge them until you hit 200 hours (and they continue to break-in after 200 hours). They change dramatically for the better with break-in.
Hi Nate,
Hope you are having a nice holiday weekend.
I have backed off quite a bit on my posting over the last couple of months because frankly I'm burned out a bit.
I consided the MX, but Bobby said that the MM would work best for my system for the money. We do not want the high gloss finish. If you look at my room, which is living room/listening room you will see that the fireplace is flat black and my wife did not want a glossy black finish in the room. WAF!!!