I am really pleased with my Lyra Delos.
The Benz LP has the magic of music for me. Others sound too mechanical, detailed, rounded, etc. for music to come through.
Fidelity Research FR-7f on FR-64S.
I second the Lyra Delos - a fine specimen of engineering design. The retail price of $1500 is the highest I have paid for a cartridge to date.
Setting aside uber expensive models, mine is the Signet TK7SU.
An incredible 1970's moving magnet that embarrasses many contemporary moving coils. It was designed specifically for quad discs and didn't attract much attention at the time.
Highly recommended if you can find an unmolested example.
Look for an original or NOS stylus as the aftermarket version from LP Gear sucks.
Inna,'money no object'. I wish this was the case but I am glad with my Benz Ruby S wich seems to have similar stylus
as A90; Geiger II ( according to Fremer).
Decca Supergold. With the right arm/table combination and proper setup the sound can't be beat.
Lyra Kleos, mine is broken in now and I love it!. Well maybe not love, but a real strong emotional attachement.
ZYX Universe - purchased from Mehran Farahmand
ZYX 4D Gold Coil it is the most transparrent and powerfull dyanamic cartridge I have had in my system. Killed Several more expesnive Koetsus, Lyras, and a Ortofon MC Winfield and an Ortofon A90.
Decca FFSS Mark IV C4E. It's like a normal Decca, but on steroids!
I loved my hotrod denon 103r wood body shibata tip,not the most in all areas but set n forget . I miss it.
I have a few much more expensive ones but the Denon is the one I listen to most often.
I had the pleasure to try the best. In alphabetical order: Clearaudio Goldfinger, DV XV1t, Koetsu Blue Lace, vdH Condor XPP.
I own two cartridges that I like equally well: Lyra Titan and Transfiguration Orpheus L.
"I had the pleasure to try the best. In alphabetical order: Clearaudio Goldfinger, DV XV1t, Koetsu Blue Lace, vdH Condor XPP".
Did you like these all the same, or did one or two of these
suit your taste a little more. Certainly all four are top-tier cartridges.
I've had several of the cartridges mentioned and at one time would have voted the ZYX Universe as my favourite.......but time marches on......or in this case........backwards!
My top 8 cartridges now are all vintage MMs from the 70s and 80s with the current 'top dog' being the Signet TK-7e. This is the same as Audiofeil votes for (but with a different stylus profile) and although costing less than $300, there is nothing I've heard up to $10,000 that comes close?
Of the LOMCs I agree that the FR-7f (but in the FR-66s arm is even better than the FR-64s arm) is far and away the most complete I have heard.
Close your eyes and you could be listening to a classic MM cartridge?
MMs from the 70s---the 70s were an enchanted era.
"Did you like these all the same, or did one or two of these
suit your taste a little more. Certainly all four are top-tier cartridges."
I prefer them to the rest. Sadly, not all of them are good match to my favorite arm. As stated in the original post interaction, in this case compliance, is the key.
Emil_f makes a great point about tonearm/cartridge interaction.
The TK7SU I alluded to earlier performs far better in a Hadcock tonearm than in a Triplanar or Dynavector 507 Mk.II despite costing $4000 less.
OTOH, my Dynavector XV-1t and Zyx Universe sound only "good" in the Hadcock but spectacular in the other 2 arms.
It's all about matching.
Good Lord.......do all the various Signet TK-7 models sound the same?
Or are there levels of 'greatness'?
The Signet AM-30s is awesome as well.
I also own TK-7E and TK-5E but TK-7SU is top dog to my ears.
ORTOFON A90, after having owned about 10 other "high-end" cartridges. Playing through the VERA balanced current input MC phonostage, it simply dissapears and you are just listening to music!
Haven't heard the referenced Signets...yet, so the best in my experience has been the Technics P100C Mk 4. This observation has suspect credibility however, since my entire experience so far, is limited to MM/MI cartridges. Once I've "done my time" with MM/MIs and feel I have an understanding of what they offer, I'll move on to MC's which I look forward to with great anticipation. My approach may be somewhat eccentric, but I don't at all feel like I'm missing anything. In fact, I'm having the time of my life experimenting with top of the line older MMs, following recommendations made by several folks here as well as others (Raul for sure) in the various analog/vinyl forums. What fun it is to do this and wonder at the same time what magic Moving Coils will bring when their turn comes -bird
Decca, Koetsu, Shelter - heard them in that order but I wouldn't necessarily rank them in that order - in the proper arm and system they can all be outstanding.
Transfiguration Orpheus L
Cant decide between these two.
Another vote for Benz LP. Having said that, I loved the Koetsu Rosewood Signature I used for 3 years. Not a match for my current system though.
What's the 'best' cartridge for the Dynavector XV-1s?
Another vote for Benz Micro LP-S. It has caused me to upgrade rest of my system. Musical, huge soundstage, dynamic and transparent without etch and forwardness. It will remain in my system as long as I am listening to music. Those folks at Musical Surroundings have great taste.
For me, it's the Shelter Harmony, cuz I bought one. :-) Still breaking in, but will be a great fit for my system.
London decca supergold.
Microphonic / sensitive.
And dynamic , full of body , detail and definetively not boring .
Oh yeah and i forgot to mention all the other high end characteristics.
My Sonic Lab Emminent...
a significant upgrade in sound quality compared to the Ortofon Cadenza Black,I was using.
Benz LP-S. It has been by far one of the best upgrades I have made to my system in a long time. Excellant tracking, wide soundstage and explosive dynamics when called for. The sound of cymbals, trumpets and drums are perfect. Voices are hauntingly realistic sounding with many "who is in the room with me" experiences.