Transfiguration Orpheus - Has anyone tried it ?

I was considering buying a Transfiguration Temper W but I am now aware that a new cartridge called the Orpheus is available costing more than the Temper.
Not much info seems to be available about it other than basic specs, can anyone comment on differences between it and the Temper.

Many thanks
Roy,as a Temper-V owner,I was curious to get info on this,as well.I know a fellow "poster",named Karl Heinz claims to own one.
I have asked him,on his "audio system" threads,to please give a description,if possible,yet he has not responded.
I also asked the dealer,who sold me the (wonderful,btw)Temper-V for some kind of info,but even he could not come up with anything.Frustrating,but what else is new,in the world of "high end audio"?

My reason for interest is obvious,yet my current Temper-V has few hours on it,and is really a "killer" cartridge in my Graham 2.2("sorry Dougy" -:).
However, past opgrades in the Transfiguration line,from my dealer,has only cost me the re-tip costs,for a completely new cartridge.Hence,my interest!!
I also have a good friend,owning a Temper-V(2.2 ,and "Toto too"),who would move with me,if I could get some darn info,on this supposedly new cartridge!

What gives,anyone??????

Hi Roy. The Transfiguration V is an outstanding cartridge. I know someone who loves (an understatment) his Transfiguration V. He has spent some time with the new top-of-the line Transfiguration and his comment was, "it is the most amazing cartridge I have ever heard...a HUGE improvement over the Temper, which was among the very best already...killer."

Sorry I have no 1st hand experience with the new cartridge, though this friend has superb ears and I value his judgement.
Hi Sirspeedy,
well the Orpheus finally has his 70 hours playtime.
As I can judge compared to a Temper V which my friend
own's, is that the sound comes near to the ZYX Universe
but is better than the Temper V. Comparison
were made on the Kuzma Airline.Both set up on the Airline
and phono stage Klyne 7pxx
If you can get a Orpheus go for it.
Regards Karl-Heinz
Karl-Heinz wrote me, that the Orpheus is really good sounding and that one of his audiophile friends bought it after owning a Temper V.
He is very satisfied with that replacement.
Hope that helped a bit.
Can you expand on the differences between the Temper V and the Orpheus.
Many thanks
Now I know why I continue to correspond on these forums.It is because of quality guys,like you.Thanks for the very interesting info!!!I'm in the process of updating/upgrading certain parts of my system.Guess I'll have to start looking into the Orpheus.And I thought I might be able to take a nice summer vacation!Maybe it will have to be spent in my back yard,and audio room.Well,I guess that's not so bad.

BTW,could someone please relate the actual weight,of the Orpheus.As well as the output.The Temper-V weighs 7.5 gms,and has an output of .38----Perfect for my phonostage,and arm!

Of course,I would love to see a detailed comparison,between the Temper-V and Orpheus(you could throw in a "Universe or Colibri/XV-1s comparison" to get me through the weekend,as my system is completely down,due to updates/upgrades)but that may be asking a bit too much,so I'd be happy with the two parameters I just mentioned.

New Transfiguration cartridge specs
anyone knows their company website and email address? What's the retail price? Thanks
There isn’t a Transfiguration web site, the cartridge is manufactured by Immutable Music Inc in Japan.
Interestingly the Nightingale cartridge by Graham is also manufactured by the same company and the design is very similar, I wonder if the Orpheus inspired the Nightingale or perhaps it was the other way round.
Price perhaps $4400.

The only differences in specs between the Temper-V and the Orpheus(I know it means little,but interesting anyway)is a very small difference in internal impedence,and a slightly higher output and new body style,in the Orpheus.I hope the slightly higher output did not tip comparisons in favor of the Orpheus.I'm fairly certain this was NOT the case,in the comments from those hearing both designs,but believe me I've seen stuff like this before.

Transfiguration is distributed in the US by Profundo, at The Orpheus is not yet up on this website (neither is the "Aria"). I've been told it's more like $5k (full retail), but would be very interested to know if it's less.
Sirspeedy, what is the retip price of a V? Thanks! Great BB, by the way!
Larry,what is BB?
I guess the re-tip cost is set by the particular dealer,you use.Shop around for the best pricing.

I meant "bulletin board" should have called it the forum. I was hoping to find a ballpark price, since I just recently heard $1,500 to "retip" a V, and that seemed really high even by MC cart standards. Thank you -- Larry
Larry,call Galen Carol Audio!You owe me a nice bottle of wine!!

It looks like a lot of people owe you a nice bottle of wine, and I'd be glad to do my bit. I looked at gcaudio's site earlier, saw Transfiguration but no pricing details. However, I already have an Orpheus on order, though it sounds like I may have missed a good deal from GCA. I'll definitely keep your recommendation in mind in case I or a nearby friend who has a Temper W needs a retip in the future. Thanks!
Larry,I could not be definitive that an upgrade to an Orpheus would be comparatively priced,as the Temper to Temper-V,which was two years ago,for me.I'd like for you to PLEASE post your thoughts,regarding comparisons with the Temper,once you've gotten the new cart. broken in.Also,perhaps you may "now" have some thoughts as to the new Orpheus,in general.
I have tried to get some info on this cart. but my particular dealer is out of the loop,as he claims it's too new.Though I did see the info on a website,but would love to know how much I'd have to spring for,should it really trump the Tranny-v!

P.S.--Raul,if you're reading this,and have some clout with Jan Allaerts -:)I would seriously consider trading my Tranny-v for the Formula One,possibly the "Finish"too! -:)Since I'm quite idiosyncatic as to what "floats my boat",those are about the only two cartridges that currently appeal enough to me,for me to move to,"ear unheard"(that expression doesn't quite have the same ring as "sight unseen")!Well,I would go for an Olympos or Koetsu Coral,as a friend has both(the bastard)and I trust his sensibilities.

I'll be very happy to, especially after I think it's broken in enough. I'll get it tomorrow and will install it over the weekend. It is more expensive. Stay tuned.
Larry,if you fail to post,I(we)will track you down,and do something really terrible!Like, break your cantilever!!

And shake me down for the wine I might owe you too, I suppose! I do want to take about a week, two at the most.
Larry,should you have the verisimilitude to provide us with a fine review of the Orpheus,you can forget about owing me any wine!Let's face it.That was only a "pipedream" anyway -:)
Besides,why would you owe me anything?I enjoy interesting audio banter,and this is why I post.Though I would be "smitten" with a compelling comparison(if you have heard enough other competing designs,in familiar set-ups)to the other "fine transducers" that abound.

Speedy, the Orpheus is available for $2500 from the same discount source as I gave you for the Temper V/W. Also, it has a significantly (IMO) lower compliance than the Tempers (13 vs. 15). It has a higher output than the Temper V with a slightly lower internal resistance. To me, that means a stronger magnet and fewer (or fatter) coil wires.
Sir(!) -- I installed it late this AM, listened to only 2 LPs before turning to other things I have to do now. So far, I really, really like this cart right out of the box. It has only small break-in issues to get past! I want to get a little time on it before seriously commenting, so look for something mid-week.

I'm really surprised at the price quoted above. I think I saw that in an e-mail that -- apologies to the sender -- I thought was spam.

Other carts? I had a series of Benz and Clearaudios courtesy of Musical Surroundings, and ended up not liking any (including an LP Ebony) as much as my earlier Transfiguration T. Supreme. The CAs were bright and brought out record scratch, and the Benz's tended to be uninspired IMO. I went back to a T-fig when it got a new US distributor. A friend who also has a Basis table and Vector arm, had a Denon and a Glider (and some MMs) before he also settled on a Temper -- and altho' our musical tastes and electronics couldn't be more different (tho' we both have Klipschorns), he also wouldn't consider any other cart. That said, neither of us has tried an Ortofon, ZYX (sp?) or other of the ones mentioned above.

Nsgarch, the Orpheus is also slightly heavier than the V (9 vs. 7.5 gm.), and I can feel a slightly higher moment of inertia. So far, LP handling/playing and a very low level of record scratch don't seem to suggest adversity from either the compliance or the greater weight.
Larry, yes, I noticed the greater weight in the specs. Of more interest (to me because of issues w/ my SME V fat armtube) can you tell if the cartridge is taller than the T-fig W/V? I'm talking about the distance from the stylus to the top surface of the cartridge body. It would be nice not to have to use the SME headshell spacer.
Nsgarsh,nice to hear from ya!A couple of points,that I may not be accurate about,but here goes.Firstly, why would a lower compliance necessarily be better?Especially at 9 grams. Also,from the experience of myself,and all my audio friends,a lower output design produces better subtle detailing and overall sound,and is preffered by us.A stronger magnet would surely be better!Do you know if this is actually the case,or is it conjecture?Fewer coil windings would be nice,once again do you know if this is so?
Don't get me wrong!Based on the track record of Trannies,and the two I've owned,the later designs always were clearly better than their previous models.I hope this is the case here,as I'm betting it is!However, knowing how the "business of things" usually works,especially those "things audio",I like to let things play out,before "jumping out of the groove"!With all of the newer competing designs always coming out and getting their exposure,it would seem logical for Transfiguration to have a new model designation.No?We'll see how well received this new,and interesting design plays out.I hope it trounces my Temper-v,and am already working on a deep pocketed pal,to go for it.I'll know soon enough,as I do his installations.He currently has a Temper-v!

If it gets anywhere near the postings of the ZYX Univ,it will surely be on my short list of new toys,next holiday season!Sorry,Dougy!!-:)I'm a "Tranny Guy"!-:)Now you know!-:)

Oops, I need to look at the VTA. The Orpheus stylus looks like it projects downward a little farther which might make it higher, so I need to go back and make sure the armtube and cart are as horizontal as I can get them.

I didn't pursue it after everything else, because, before installation, when I set the V and the Orpheus upright side by side resting on their stylus guards, their heights including the stylus guard, as closely as I could tell by a very close-up look, were exactly the same! However, I realize now I should have turned them over and compared their stylus-to-top heights without the guards in the way. I'll let you know what I find, not long from now. It should be very close.

I definitely agree that lower output = more subtlety in MC carts. That's why I got a V instead of a W. My initial read here is a great deal of increased detail top to bottom, and more bass. The Reference AV site lists reasons why this might be the case, including tighter coupling and better resonance control for noise reduction, which I also think I hear. Anyway, I still need a few days --

OK, as far as I can eyeball it, the stylus-to-top distance is exactly the same, or not enough difference that I can tell it. Sorry 'bout that.
Well larry, the Orpheus must be very special. I was just listening to a Boulez 1/2 speed mastered LP of The Firebird sith my Tranny-W, and if there was any more detail or bass, it would have displayed on the video!
Nsgarsh,like you I am already "blown away" with how superb,already, the "underated" Trannies can perform.Of course that would consist of an arm that was NOT "sibilent",as it would destroy the magic.-:)Since both our arms are not of the "sibilent" variety-:)we have nothing to worry about!Heh,heh!(stroke of my moustache).

In all seriousness,I too have the Boulez performance you mention,and it is a "corker"!I have at least a half dozen Firebirds,and can really recommend the early pressing Mercury with Dorati,for the incredible double basses in the opening movements.Warmth and power at the same time,along with a huge,wide stage,that the Mercury pressings were famous for.I'm talking real/gorgeous/almost scary tonal balance,when "right".We're talking midbass resolution,as opposed to deep bass power,which is there too.BTW,the Speakers Corner Reissues are superb,but an early original has better tone color,across the board.That is why we love the "super cartridges".They can portray this clearly.Hard to quantify the difference between the "great cartridges" if you make a steady diet of heavy metal,and rock,though some of that stuff is loads of fun.I could never bring myself to getting rid of my rock collection.

I do look forward to your future comments,Larry.Take you're time.It will probably take a good few weeks for breakin and revoicing.Don't feel pressure to post quickly,just to satisfy "nuts" like me!Just do it soon -:)

I do know that the Trannys are considered in the highest echelon of designs,in some quarters,but they haven't caught on for a long haul in the U.S.I hope that is NOT one reason for a new model,but I'm always suspicious of newer models.One reason why I never warmed up to the Eidolon speaker,after living with my Ascents.

Sorry for the rant.

I really think it is. I'm being conservative for a few days, but it does seem like a major step forward. I adjusted the VTA to remove an almost imperceptible armtube downslope, think it lost a little, and will take it back to where it was.

Being an owner of a Temper V. A cartridge that IMO has a sound that is the essence of analog tape. I speculate that if the Orpheous offers a different sound. That sound would probably go in the direction of more speed and less warmth/bloom. FWIW, I never hear any sort of added sibilance with the V. What is most notable is the absence of distortion, heard in most any other cartridge.

Enjoy your O.
Larry,could you let me know what equipment you have,as well as the LP's you use to determine a cartridge's performance?

Thanks,in advance.
The equipment -- a Basis Ovation TT upgraded with the Debut platter on a Townshend sink on a Target wall-mount; Vector 3 tonearm with the VTA option; the new Orpheus; a Joule Electra LAP-150 tube preamp (this has a phono stage in the preamp chassis and a separate power supply); a pair of Joule Electra VZN-100 100-watt OTL monoblocs; a pair of Klipschorns, with the up-to-date AK-4 drivers and crossovers (rewired with Siltech internal wire) in '62 mahogany lacquer bodies; an ESP power cord on the preamp and NBS power cords on the monoblocs; a PS Audio P-300 powering the TT, and Siltech I/C's and Basis speaker cables.

Non-phono stuff: a Nak CR-7A cassette deck and Wadia 2-box CD player (270 and 27i). Townshend sinks for the CD transport, and preamp as well as the TT. The P-300 also powers the cassette deck and the 270.

LP's -- hmm. I'll select from just a few for an initial impression, e.g., the Reiner Scheherazade; London recordings of the Dvorak last 3 symphonies, Mozart and Beethoven; Berlioz Nuites d'ete; the Muchinger/VPO Haydn Creation, etc. Those are really examples of the initial LPs -- from there, I branch out to an indefinable variety that I think will bring out the advantages of the new item or sometimes that have presented problems that I'd like to see how it will handle or improve the sound and musicality I'd like to hear. The main points here are to either (1) confirm or raise questions about what I think I'm hearing, and (2) see how well the music and its emotion is conveyed.
Larry, a little off subject, but do you use your CR-7a much? Ever had it serviced? I've had one since new, and with 100-lot, brand new cassettes (even MFSL!) appearing on eBay for pennies, I was thinking of having it serviced/upgraded.
I don't use it much now, but am very happy with it. It had to be repaired once a few years ago, to replace an idler wheel that was starting to slip. I felt lucky a replacement (non-Nak) part was available. Does anyone make cassette decks of this quality any more?
Larry,OK you can be my "new best friend"!! -:)

BTW,Larry--I have always LOVED the Ovation!!Had a friend who owned one,with an air bearing arm.

Uh, gee, great -- what are the responsibilities of a new "best friend"? :-)
Howdy Nsgarch. Per your interest in a good service place to repair/tune your Nak deck. I also own a CR-7 since new. I noticed a repair facility that specializes in Nak decks and kept their name in event I had a need. I have not used them so I cannot provide a reference. Yet, as a Nak specialist, it seems they'd be worth contacting in event of any service requirements.

See Nak Repair Specialist
Tubes, thanks for the ref. I am aware of them and agree they're probably the best. A little on the pricey side, but I may break down and have them do a complete service/upgrade ($850!) if I start using the deck again alot. So far it works just fine, but probably could use a complete adjust/cleaning/lube after 15 years regardless.
Hi Nsgarch. Wow man, that sounds pricy. What do they do for the $850? Wonder if you have any specifics on any upgrades: what are they and their sonic benefits?

Enjoy that 'deck!

PS. Mine worked fine without any problems until I stored it for a few years when the system was down. Probably but the idler wheels requiring replacement.
The responsibility of ANY audio "best friend" is to try/buy ALL products of interest,to your pals!Then allow yourself to be the "moneyman/guinea pig",whereas all others can make a determination whether they,themselves, should obtain said equipment! I'll send you the authorized paperwork -:)

Best!BTW--nice(well thought out) setup!!
No, no, no !!! It's your responsibility to buy all the same stuff I do, if you as impressed as all that. No exceptions. Thanks for the clarification, though.
The job of being Larry's best friend is already taken.

Sorry guys.
I doubt if I could find the '62 gloss hardwoods,and original finish.Besides those suckas are heavy.I really don't have the same desire to constantly upgrade as I did some years ago.That's one reason I really like your set-up,and "audio mentality".I can identify with your decision to update/modify what you like,and build a really good/unique system to suit your tastes.Not the advertising hype!That's where I'm at these days.I like the idea of having a very well thought out,modded/updated system,that is unique to me.Not that I'm necessarily correct,but that's how I go about things,in my old age!BTW-the best set-ups I've heard,and I have heard a ton,are by serious hobbyists who like a specific combination of stuff,and set about refining that stuff.There are a load of different sounding,but fabulous systems out there.I love them all!!

Yet,I like having a very desireable,diverse music collection,above all!

Good luck with your wonderful hobby!

SirSp. -- Thanks, you very perceptively pulled my approach right out of my subconscious! I really fell into my mahogany K's, which are very pretty, by buying them as the third owner from a friend over 20 years ago. I think I eventually found out why the previous two sold them: see the Klipsch Forum thread, on restoring the normal bass horn throat in these babies:

Comments on the Orpheus in a day or two! Is Roy still around?

Gary -- No, according to Sir's definition, I'M YOUR "best friend" -- I sometimes buy spendy stuff and then you get to pick and choose what to look for on Audiogon!

Best, all --
OK, troops, I've put about 12 hours on the new Orpheus, and am ready to give my opinions. I wanted to give it a good break-in and be sure, because recommending a $2,550 (Tommy from to $5,000 (full retail price) cartridge to folks is a serious responsibility. Incidentally, I tried e-mailing Roy who started this thread, but it bounced back and the website in his e-address isn't active. Maybe he'll peek in again soon.

I am very -- extremely -- positive about the Orpheus! Let me give you some background re my Temper V, and then what I hear in this cart. I first looked into getting a new cart because my V began to have funny things happen to it. It was originally a demo, and although it was supposed to be OK, the cantilever looked a little deviated to the LP's inside. Over the approx. year I've had it, it seemed to gradually lose its accuracy and, more important, musicality. Friend Gary (gdpowers who posted above; I'm the "best" friend, though, according to sirspeedy) thought so, too.

So, I decided to look at getting a new one vs. a retip, and was told about the Orpheus for the first time. It was at that point that I Googled up this forum and thread -- a GREAT find! I mention all this in order to be clear that MY comparison of the Orpheus and the V in its present state would obviously be flawed. It would have to be with how I (and Gary) remembered how great the V sounded a year ago. always seemed to exaggerate record scratch a bit, so it might not have been a perfect cart even then.

But, by and large, I'm really very sure that my comments below are a fair comparison, since I've listened to a few Transfigurations over the years and Gary has a Temper that he likes and so does everyone who hears it.

The Orpheus really stands out every time I hear it, and I've really gone back to listening to a lot of my LPs including some I haven't listened to for a long time because they didn't sound that good. ALL of them sound good, now. I hear the following:
- A great increase in clarity AND instrumental accuracy, all the way down into the bass
- A considerably more powerful bass than I've had with any other cart including the V
- A quieter background, like the signal-to-noise ratio has been improved. I didn't think a cart would do that, but there you have it IMO.
- The timbre or tone-quality of instruments is better, especially of string sections. Strings tend to get steely on Klipschorns, even with tube equipment, and the softer, more individually parsed-out sound of violins has been quite a pleasant surprise. It still probably isn't like great cone speakers, but then those aren't always that realistic in woodwind and brass reproduction, either.
- Record scratch is nicely minimized, more than my seemingly flawed V anyway, but also compared with that from Clearaudios and Benz's that I experienced. I myself am convinced that it the record noise is as good as it's going to be. I haven't tried any tracking tests yet (I will), but no big problems so far.

So, as you can see, I'm enthusiastic, though I really hope for more reviews, since only one can be misleading. I'd be glad to demo it if any of this group is in the DC area.

One interesting new thing (for me) in the installation instructions: to initially set the tracking force at 0.2 gm until most of the alignment is done. A great idea.

Lemme know if you have any questions.