I swapped from a 901 to a 90X. I'm using a tweaked VPI Aries (heavy platter, sds, etc.), JMW10 and a VKP10SE and listen to Rock and a little bit of everything else. To me it was a worthwhile upgrade because I feel like I got a noticable improvement in the midrange without losing what I love about the 901. FWIW, the 90x didn't sound very good (tinny)until I put in about maximum level of damping fluid, perhaps this somewhat compensates for less than ideal compliance matching.
I have the 90X with an LP 12/Ittok LV II. I listen to acoustic jazz 90%. I also have an Asthetix Rhea. I switched from the Benz line to the Shelter last spring. The 90X's claim to fame is the frequency extension. The reviews state that it combines the attributes of the 501/901 into one cartridge. I'm sure you already know that at the level you are improvements are generally incremental if at all. My dealer steered me away from the Zyx line to the Shelter because I prefer warm/lush. I don't regret the decision.
Dear Richard: The 90X is a very good choice and an improvement in the quality sound reproduction over the 901.
The XV-1s is a very good cartridge too but has a different presentation than the 90X: it has a more natural/neutral balance and IMHO overall is a little better.
Both are great with your kind of music, my choice: XV-1s but you can't go wrong with either.
Btw, I understand that HW use the XV 1s like his reference in its own VPI products, this could means something, don't you think?
Regards and enjoy the music.
>>this could means something, don't you think?<<
It could mean there is a very close business relationship, don't you think?
Rauliruegas - You wrote "it has a more natural/neutral balance". If you have time I'd like to know if this means that you feel the XV-1 is a bit warmer in character or a bit less warm in character.
My dealer steered me away from the Zyx line to the Shelter because I prefer warm/lush.
Xagwell, if you asked your dealer for warm/lush, neither the Shelter 901 nor a ZYX was an appropriate recommendation. I own a 901 and I've owned multiple ZYX's. None of them is warm/lush. If you asked your dealer for warm/lush he should have recommended Grado, Benz, Koetsu, Allaerts, Miyabi, etc.
It's good that you enjoy what he recommended but you were misled about the sonics. I'd be inclined to ponder the possible reasons behind such a recommendation. One hopes ignorance played a larger role than willful misguidance based on some other motive.
FWIW, ZYX's aren't sold through dealers. They're sold direct by the US importer, with a discount that in effect lets the buyer keep a dealer's normal markup. For this reason, few dealers will recommend a ZYX (unless, like AudioFeil, they're more interested in being honest about what they hear than in making a sale).
Hey Doug, I sincerely hope it was my ignorance, but for the record, my dealer represented both cartridge lines. I contaced him about the Zyx line because of the "quiet" reputation. I had no experience with Zyx/Shelter. Its been so long now that I can't say verbatim whether I stated "warm and lush", but after extesive discussion which included his experience with both and the sound attributes I "believe" I prefer, I chose the Shelter. In addition, I received as usual quality feedback from the Agon community about both lines prior to making the choice. Specifically, it was Agon feedbcak that influenced me to select the 90X over the 901. Nonetheless, I heard an appreciable difference/improvement over my Glider. Specifically, the 90X "smoothed out" several passages on my test recording on Pablo featuring JJ Johnson, Ray Brown, and Milt Jackson among others. I am about as satisfied as someone with this hobby can be, which means I'll want to try another cartridge pretty soon anyway.
Doug: I've had the Allearts Formula One, and at least it (among the Allearts line-up) did not come across as being a particularly warm-sounding cartridge. Regardless, I liked the total sonic results - a lot. Very nice, and a design that Jan Allearts can be justifiably proud of.
regards, jonathan carr
Dear Jeff: No it is not warmer in character it is better tonal balance, it does not " show " any frequency range over others like in the Shelter bass range.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Doug: IMHO, neither Allaerts ( I agree with JCarr ) and Myabi are on the warm side, as a fact the 90X either, at least not at Koetsu level.
If you already heard the Allaerts MC 2 Finish ( that I own ) or the Formula one and your heard that " warm sound ", maybe that was because a " signature " sound any where in the audio system. I want to remember you that only a first rate Phonolinepreamp can do justice to those Allaerts cartridges ( obvious that matched with the right tonearm ).
Now, I'm not sure what do you name " warm sound ". I know your system sound and the ZYX " sound " that is on the bright side and there is nothing wrong with that, but named to the Allaert a " warm sound " cartridge because it is not bright but more natural/neutral is a misunderstood.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul - Thanks. Back in the days when tone controls were the norm I always seemed to end up with the treble nob at minus one, midrange at zero and bass at +1 or +2. So it seems like maybe I've got the best match of the two for my personal preferences.
I am currently on my second Shelter 901. Before that I had a Benz M2. The Shelter 901 definetely is less warm, but has more extension, quieter background, tighter bass than the Benz M2. I had sold my first one after my son was born due to the lack of time to listen to vinyl, figuring I would pick up a 90X when we visit Japan in the future. So I went back to the M2 for a while. Had just installed my second 901 and wish I had just sold the M2 in the first place.
A friend of mine went through two 901s and also a 90X. He told me that the 90X has better bass extension over the 901 and not much else over the 901. My neighbor has the XYZ Universe. It's in another league vs. Shelter 901. I had been to his place twice listening to it (albeit both times with different speakers). I am just amazed at the realism it brought! The drums on some of the jazz trio LPs we listened to was just amazingly good!
Yeah, if I had that kind of dough, I buy one too. The latest Stereophile has a review on the Lyra Skala. Looks interesting. That might be worth considering as well.
I believe HW likes the Titan.Fairly certain,actually.Also,I doubt if he spends much time wandering the forums,in order to "police" those wanting to make a dollar,or two,from actual effort,and being a decent person.Stick with the "cute" straight line tracker,you "push"!!Maybe you can sell "one"!