What is the “World’s Best Cartridge”?

I believe that a cartridge and a speaker, by far, contribute the most to SQ.

The two transducers in a system.

I bit the bulllet and bought a Lyra Atlas SL for $13K for my Woodsong Garrard 301 with Triplanar SE arm. I use a full function Atma-Sphere MP-1 preamp. My $60K front end. It is certainly, by far, the best I have owned. I read so many comments exclaiming that Lyra as among the best. I had to wait 6 months to get it. But the improvement over my excellent $3K Mayijima Shilabi was spectacular-putting it mildly.

I recently heard a demo of much more pricy system using a $25K cartridge. Seemed to be the most expensive cartridge made. Don’t recall the name.

For sure, the amount of detail was something I never heard. To hear a timpani sound like the real thing was incredible. And so much more! 
This got me thinking of what could be possible with a different kind of cartridge than a moving coil. That is, a moving iron.

I have heard so much about the late Decca London Reference. A MI and a very different take from a MC. Could it be better? The World’s Best? No longer made.

However Grado has been making MI cartridges for decades. Even though they hold the patent for the MC. Recently, Grado came out with their assault on “The World’s Best”. At least their best effort. At $12K the Epoch 3. I bought one and have been using it now for about two weeks replacing my Lyra. There is no question that the Atlas SL is a fabulous cartridge. But the Epoch is even better. Overall, it’s SQ is the closest to real I have heard. To begin, putting the stylus down on the run in grove there is dead silence. As well as the groves between cuts. This silence is indicative of the purity of the music content. Everything I have read about it is true. IME, the comment of one reviewer, “The World’s Best”, may be true.



@rauliruegas did you personally measure in your system, see in person, or listen to a DaVa reference ?  

For your information I will share my opinion with you when you share yours ( actual not theoretical ) one too. Deal?

Dear @dogberry  : This was my answer to you about my opinion and other gentlemans opinion:



 " And really, can anyone say they know what is best in anyone else's world? "


No one can because is something personal/subjective. What we all can is to give opinions/advise on some diffderent audio items in other audiophile room/system as alternatives bt at the end the system owner has the privilege to goes with its own decision.  ""


You just posted:


" I am unsure what philosophical underpinnings you propose to justify telling someone their subjective experience is less valid than yours.  "

I did not, that could be a misunderstood or a bad explanation from my part. Btw, I can tell you that my " subjective " opinion is weigthed by " objectivity " too, not only subjective.


Btw, in this thread I posted to M Lavigne:


""" qquestioning you what you like it because it’s a personal opinion your opinion of what YOU like and no one can question it. """


and that's a reality, I'm not questioning @mikelavigne . I'm questioning the Dava and by coincidence Mike is an owner.







you either you respect listening opinions, or you do not respect listening opinions. you don't need to agree. tell us about your listening opinions.

all the other is noise and nonsense..


I listened extensively to Soundsmith's Strain Gauge cartridge with records I know intimately. It has excellent transient response and a very vivid signature partially because it is too bright. It's tracking ability does not come close to that of the Hyperion. 

Well there you go.

I listened to the Soundsmith Strain Gauge cartridge set up by Peter personally, using his own phono stage in a friends system. Spent the evening listening - would never have described it as bright ( and I cant stand unnaturally bright or grainy top end ). Perhaps the brightness was related to your tracking issues.

Have you had your hearing checked for Hyperacusis lately ? Given your stated desire to listen regularly at over 100db perhaps the ears are not in great shape.

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