Yes it is better bass,stage height etc.The new Phoenix S is even better getting one soon.
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It is a wonderful cartridge, and I am greatly enjoying having it in my system. It makes you want to listen to more and more music.
I suspect that there are only incremental differences between version III and the S, but I have not compared them (but the S may in fact be version III???) - perhaps somebody can jump in here?
I had not heard of the 'S' designation and it was not used when I purchased. Read your note (saying, <2, less than 2) so not being aware of the 'S', I went to check mine. The included sheet read "Internal impedance 2 Ohms." No biggy - just posting for others who may have had my uncertainty. Only after looking did I see the 'S' on the box and handwritten s/n above 2400. Embarrassed to say its not mounted yet, waiting for a new tonearm. Wanted an Orpheus L, but those are gone. Bob Clarke (Profundo) described the new Phoenix (I believe it is the 3rd version) as kind of a sleeper, better than the 'L' - I trust his ears, so... Fwiw, I understand there is a new Transfiguration flagship model on the horizon.
I'm also behind on cleaning records.
Jtimothya, send it to me, I'll mount it for ya. ;)
I've been looking for a good deal on a Phoenix, can't seem to find one though. I just missed out on a dealer demo with less than 50 hours for $2200 last week. I won't hold my breath to wait for another one to come up. :(
Yes, the Proteus has replaced the Orpheus-L model, but Bob Clarke told me that he expects the new Phoenix-S to be in the line for another 2-3 years. It looks like the list price on the Proteus is going to be about $6250.
That is a really great price - sorry you missed it - best of luck with the search. I plan to run the 'S' on a Triplanar. Was ready to pull the trigger but waiting to see if the changes found in Tri's new Ultimate U12 version will find their way to his 9" arm. My original Orpheus on an SME-V continues to give good results but it is also way long in the tooth.
I see no reference to the ring magnet arrangement used in the Orpheus/L, so a new design. Makes sense, as I'm told there was only one guy in the world who could build those!
Thanks for the link, but I can't even look at that kind of stuff, I'll have to sell a kidney. :)
A friend of mine had an original Orpheus on a Basis 2200 Signature w/ Vector 4 arm, it sounded great.
Yeah, I don't think I'll get another crack at a Phoenix, so I'm changing my focus to another few cartridges. I'd like to grab one in the next week or so. Here are four I'm considering, the order changes hourly. :~)
*Dynavector XX mk II
*ZYX Airy 3 X-SB
*Sumiko Celebration II
I have heard the older Phoenix in a friend's system and liked what I heard. It is a lively sounding cartridge, as compared to the "darker" sound of the Temper series. I personally prefer the slightly midrange prominence that gives the Phoenix its lively sound over that of the Temper series. I currently own, and like, the Orpheus L (on a Vector 3 arm/Basis Debut vacuum table).
While I really like the Orpheus, there are plenty of quite different sounding cartridges that I like too, such as the top Lyras (a touch leaner, very open and extended on top).
I don't think there is any reasonable way to guess what would be anyone's particular favorite (differences in taste and system matching), so, unfortunately, there is a lot of random luck involved if one cannot audition cartridges in one's system. The only good news is that the "right" choice is not necessarily related to higher cost. A friend of mine who owns an original Orpheus, had a chance to auditiona Dynavector XX 2 in his system. He actually preferred the less than half priced XX 2 and worked out a trade "down."
Thanks Larry, a part of me just wants to grab the XX mk II because it is the best deal I can get financially speaking.
The quote I got for the Kleos is do-able, but a bit more than I wanted to go. It's a price that I would have jumped at for the Phoenix-S, but a stretch for a Kleos.
I started out looking to stay under $1500 (deal price, not list price). The more I looked, the more I started to stretch that number. It went up to $2K, then I found myself offering $2.5K. But you are absolutely right Larry, spending more money does not guarantee anymore musical satisfaction.
I wound up working my price up for the Phoenix, because I have heard the Phoenix and the Orpheus and liked them both quite a bit. I have read quite a few negative comments about the Axia, so I decided to avoid that. So I feel that I have crossed the Transfiguration cartridges, the Lyra Kleos and the Sumiko Celebration off of my list. However, I haven't crossed Lyra off, perhaps a Delos.
Which leaves me with 3 today (in no particular order):
*Dynavector XX mk II
*ZYX Airy 3-X SB
As I sit here right now, the Dynavector is in the lead. I have had good experiences with ZYX cartridges, but I don't think that the Airy 3 is worth 50% more $$$ than the XX mk II.
The Lyra is still in there due to it's high praise, but to be honest, the Helikon was not my cup of tea. Very exciting, sort of like Nordost cables, but I found that in the long term, listening fatigue became an issue. I've read that this new Lyra generation is smoother, but I also recall reading that about the Helikon 10 years ago.
It's funny how this audio nervosa manifests itself, I wake up in the morning and come to my senses, and just want a good X at the best price. However, as the day goes on, and I look at more and more toys, I find my price tag climbing as the day goes on, working my budget upwards. Late at night I'm want the best X at a good price.
Wake up again the next morning back at ground zero thinking "Thank God I didn't pull the trigger on that last night". haha No wonder most sellers have auctions ending late at night, huh?
Well I cheaped out and bought the Dynavector XX mk II. I hope not to feel bad 6 months from now, and I have had that feeling before, so I know what you're talking about. It's just that when you get caught in this upgrade fever, if you don't watch yourself, it never ends. If I had spent the 50% more on the ZYX, then maybe I'm thinking I need a better amp, table, phono stage, preamp, cables and/or speakers next because the cartridge is too good for the rest of my rig....it never ends, and I don't want to get sucked back into that merry-go-round.
I've owned 3 ZYX's, the Airy 3-S SB, UNIverse-S SB and 4D-X SB2, and yeah, ZYX's are great cartridges. I have down-sized significantly in the last few years, and in the last two months I have started to creep back up again. I wanted to get a LOMC for my new LOMC phono stage, and I think the XX mk II will mate well with my VPI table/arm.
Maybe I'll hit the lottery and get back in the big leagues again, but I'm not holding my breathe or gonna worry about it. Hopefully the Dynavector will fit in well.
I agree. It is worth coming to a level of satisfaction that one is, well, satisfied with, where its not an issue of beating yourself up over spending while continuing to enjoy the hobby - a balance, as it were.
And hey, there were no bad choices on your list and now its time to enjoy a new cartridge and some good music! Congrats.
John...I think you made an excellent choice going with the Dyna XX2 Mk.2. I used to own the XV1-S, until for some reason,(which I was never certain of)its suspension seemed to have collapsed. I decided I did not again want to pay big dough for a cartridge. I wound up getting the Dyna XX2 Mk.2 new at a sizeable discount. To be honest, it comes amazingly close to the sound of the XV1-S, and for a helluva lot less money. I'm extremely pleased with it, and I'll wager you will be too. You don't have to spend "an arm and a leg" to get very satisfying reproduction. Hope you enjoy!
Thanks Tim and Jeff! That's weird about the suspension collapsing on the XV-1s, but I probably never owned my XV-1s long enough for the suspension to collapse. :)
My ZYX UNIverse died too, it took about 5 years, but the eventually the stylus wears and the suspension breaks down and you are left with a very light boat anchor.
I can't see myself ever playing up in that high ticket area again Jeff, especially with toys that wear out like cartridges.
I still remember how close the Airy 3 and 4D came to the performance of the UNIverse. You have to pay a LOT of money to move up just a wee bit. That's not just cartridges though, as I've downsized I've been quite pleasantly surprised at just how good a $20K rig can sound compared to a $100K rig. It's a LOT closer sonically than it is price wise. I'm sure a well assembled $5K system could push mine.
Now your wetting my lips for AZ Jeff. I have a pair of AZ Satori Shotgun speaker cables due in, hopefully next week. I actually received them already, but they were damaged on receipt. The seller was kind enough to take care of repairs, AZ has had them all week now. Hopefully I'll get them next week.
It has been a pleasant surprise for me while I was checking from google about Transfiguration cartridges that by chance I have seen my original post thay I opened here in 2007. It seems after 5-6 years I got plenty responses :))
Anyway, I used to buy Phoenix in 2007 (I presume the first version) I liked it very much. Phoenix had more focus on its midrange, had plenty of dynamic range while not getting very sparky or muddy hence keeping most of the focus over midrange with beautiful integration of instruments and a great soundstage. In 2008 got Orpheus due to upgrade bug, even though O had better dynamic range, they almost had the same tonality and naturalness. O seemed to be delivering more detail w/o being too analytical, Phoenix was more on the big picture with relatively less detail. I felt if O was an audiophile's reference cartridge to prove what its analog is capable of delivering in most natural way, Phonenix was his cartridge to listen to music for longer with great joy though not having same punch as O. It has been almost 4 years that Phoenix was kept in its box as a backup it was now time come again. While I was re aligning O, I guess I made a mistake such that hurt cantilever, no matter how hard I tried with Graham Phantom via its many settings, on some tones there came audible distortion (like piano) while on some notes cartridge played its part. So it was time to go back old friend Phoenix while taking O to a needle doctor. I realized after 4-5 years with only playing with O, how close these are in terms of naturalness, tonality, seperation, soundstage. Phoneix never made me feel like I need O back. Indeed, it played with great easiness, perhaps a bit more musical compared to O. I am sure new generations of Transfiguration should be considerably better. Also I am not saying original Phoenix is a great cartridge, so many expensive beasts out there for sure that will more likely outperform Phonenix. The point is getting joy and satisfaction. Phoenix made me remember again it is not only the cost, it is not only the newer the better. Instead, it stopped those issues for me, it made me sitting until dusk changing vinyl over vinyl. Is not it great?!