Transfiguration Proteus

I have owned this low output (.2mc) cart for about 5 months. Previously I had a Benz Ruby, about 5k. at the time of purchase, so in the same league.

Where to begin; the difference is night and day. The Benz has a glorious lushness to it; a rich musicality that, on classical particularly, gives a wonderful glow to the instruments. It is neutral but manages to be soft without undue warmth.

The Proteus is different in that it recreates the event in a characterless but absolutely penetrating way. The musical spectrum sounds real. You can hear that x is playing a flute and there is the bass line in every aspect, and oops, the singer has come in a bit late. Its all there.

With so few windings the cart is lightning quick and I suppose that is what allows it to capture every picosecond of time. It is "real" in an astonishingly lifelike way.

Also present is, by definition, the emotive quality of the music. This device allowed me, perhaps for the first time since I sold my old Sumiko Blue Point to really be moved by what I heard.

The sound is simply "there there". I don't know how to describe it better. For example, I have some yellow parlophones - With the Beatles, Help, etc. that I never listened to because they were kind of boring. Muddy , somewhat low fi; collectible though because they are rare and in great shape.

I put on "With" under the Proteus and, really, for the very first time, was blown away!! John's voice and intonation with the amazing harmony was astonishing. The raw power that popped out of the speakers made me realize - again for the first time since I heard "Help" on my parents breakfast table' Grundig in '65 just why the Beatles were the Beatles.

Realism, detail, musicality, and emotion don't get better than this. It is the top of the pile in my book. Your journey to the ultimate audio experience could very well end here.
Congrats on the Proteus! I haven't heard the new Proteus, but I am a big fan of Transfiguration cartridges. I've been putting my nickels and dimes away with the hopes that one day I can find a Phoenix that I can afford.

out of curiosity...what phono stage are you using?
Have one as well love it musical,wonderful stage depth,great natural bass best Transfiguration ever had them for 20 years.Enjoy.
Congrats on your Proteus. I have had one for nearly 3 months. Fully endorse all you have to say on this cart.
Curious about what loading(I know this is phonostage/system dependent) other Proteus owners are using. Was getting superb results with a 30ohm loading much like the earlier Orpheus L. I have 2 inputs on my phono stage the Nagra VPS, MC and MM. The MC has a Lyra Atlas and the Proteus is plugged into the MM stage via a Ortofon 80SE SUT and I get the best results leaving the loading wide open at 47k ohms.
I have had a Proteus since January. Superb and IMO superior to my Orpheus LO. No retipping available from this mfg but a generous trade in program. I know since I accidentally did in my Orpheus prior to making an excellent trade in for the Proteus. I am using a Hovland Preamp with MC Phono 536 ohm loading and 66 db gain.
I've had an Orpheus for about 9 months now and I love it immensely for many of the same characteristics discussed above about the Proteus. For those who have heard both, I would be interested to hear specifically how the Proteus improves on the Orpheus. There's a part of me that doesn't want to hear the answer as I feel like after much tweaking and upgrading I finally have my system singing in a very enjoyable way, but such is how the hobby goes I guess...
In several respects the Proteus is a better cart than the Orpheus ,the most apparent improvement ,IMO ,is its bass response . It's not a day and night difference(it seldom is). Remember, the Orpheus L was discontinued as it's maker had some medical issues(hearsay) and the Proteus is at almost the same price. There are differences sure but not huge.
Just my 2 paise worth

IMO you do not Have to buy a Proteus. There are improvements over the Orpheus, but not enough to warrant the expense even with a great trade on your cartridge. I purchased the Proteus because I damaged the stylus on my Orpheus and I had to do something to fix or replace it. If you must spend money, put it into another part of your system.

All the Best
Thanks very much for your views Pradeep and Elinor. I really appreciate it. I've made a bunch of upgrades the last 2 years and am hoping to take a breather and just enjoy the music for a while.

I still have my Dynavector XX-2 mkII that I was using before I got the Orpheus, and I put it back on the other day just to do a comparison. I think the Dynavectors have a similar house sound to the Transfigurations, but the difference was quite noticeable (which is good I guess, as the Dynavector is less than 1/2 the price of the Orpheus). I liked the Dynavector a lot and it still sounds good in my system, but the Orpheus takes it to another level, particularly with soundstaging and more of a "full" sound from top to bottom, to my ears at least, and the highs are just a bit smoother on the Orpheus. The Dynavector has tons of detail and a very nice sound, though.

Ok enough upgrading...for now...
Very positive Proteus review from Michael Fremer in the latest Stereophile. Makes me consider trading up from my Orpheus.
dazzlingmd, Do you feel the Amadeus and Transfiguration are a good match. I am using an Amadeus and DV20X/L in my second system. I run a Heed Quasar, which Profundo is also the distributor for. I was thinking about Transfig as an upgrade there, likely a Phoenix or Axia. Thanks -Don

I've been very pleased with the match of the Orpheus and Amadeus. People universally rave about the Dynavector xx2 with the Amadeus, and that sounds great to my ears too, but the Orpheus is one step up in the ways that I mentioned. I also agree with other observations I've read that the Dynavectors and Transfigurations have a similar house sound. Very detailed, fast and dynamic, neutral presentation of the music. And I've also read people's posts that the Phoenix does almost everything the Orpheus does. I would think you'd be happy with a Phoenix on the Amadeus. I know less about the Axia. I'm still not sure why you don't hear more about the Transfiguration line on these forums and in the press.
Thanks- The Amadeus powers that be say almost any cartridge works well. This may be true, but I'm sure certain ones are better. The ones I have heard of
owners or dealers using: DV20X @ XX-2, Emt tsd-15, Lyra Delos, Benz L2 wood, Cartridge Man. I have also heard of Denon 103, but am skeptical of that one. I own a GTA, and use the tsd-15, and a standard Amadeus w/ a 20X/L. As good as the 20 is, that's where i want to explore an upgrade. Perhaps a at one point, an Axia or PheonixÂ….. Cheers -Don
I have been told that the newer Phoenix, the Phoenix S, is the reason behind the dropping of the Orpheus L and the release of the Proteus. Supposedly the new Phoenix S was outperforming the Orpheus L, so Transfiguration dropped it and released the Proteus as their new top of the line.
I know Bob Clark, the US distributor of Transfiguration cartridges. He told me that the Orpheus was discontinued because the one employee who could correctly align the coils in Transfiguration's unique arrangement of magnets could no longer do the job. For the Proteus, Transfiguration had to return to a more conventional design. Bob claims that in the trying to design something as a worthy alternative to the Orpheus L, Transfiguration actually managed to make something that is, in his opinion, actually better than the Orpheus L (makes one wonder if similar refinement would have made the Orpheus even better).