ZYX Live18 and the RS Labs Headshells

Anyone have experience with these pricey headshells?
Are they worth the money?

Thank you for your insights.
To who? If they are worth it to me and I make $8,000,000,000 a year, will it be worth it to you?!?

Every ZYX product I have ever purchased was a great value for the money. Every item I have ever purchased from Mehran was, for that matter a great value...


I am sorry to have caused any confusion. I will delete the second sentence and start over.

Has anyone used the ZYX Live18 and/or RS Labs rotary headshell with a tonearm that accepts removeable headshells? Were you pleased with the results?

Thanks for your help.
Yes I have. The ZYX Live 18. It was used on my Ikeda 407. I have also used a Dynavector headshell, an original Ikeda headshell, and finally a Yamamoto Ebony Headshell. The ZYX was my favorite for fit, and sound when I did the comparison. It is subtle and might be more related to changing the effective mass of the arm/cartridge combination more than anything else. It could also be tonearm cables. Too many variables to know for sure. Basically, I recommend it but it is system dependant. I needed an additional headshell at the time. A few people I know who have tried it indicated that it they liked it a lot as well.

From memory, bass definition improved, treble extension improved and detail increased. Also the attack and timing was slightly more live. I compared it to the Ikeda headshell w. the ZYX Universe X-SB. Now I have a Jade in it.

In my system I didn't like the Yamamoto at all. The Dynavector headshell seems very good as well, but doesn't fit my Ikeda as well.
A word about the RS Labs rotary headshell. If you are fanatical. If you have all the time in the world, and if you are patient, you have to get it.

Smart design. The headshell is decoupled from the frame. The headshell also rotates slightly to more closely emulate a linear tracking tonearm. When the stars are aligned just right, the music explodes from the record. The base coming from my ZYX Universe is just as good as my EMM Labs gear. After that the RS Labs/ZYX combo passes even my best SACD's.

The madening part. The tension screw for the rotating headshell needs to be adjusted just perfectly. You can spend an entire night giving it the most minute adjustments. Next month, it will be loose again.

The leads coming from the cartridge need to be pulled, spaced, played with, and played with again. Let me explain. The headshell rotates slightly, and that is the brilliant part. The problem is that the wires coming from the cartridge offer resistance to the rotary headshell. Too many wires off of center, and the azimuth is WAYYY off. I can not tell you how many times I have removed the wires and tried to reinstall them. Some times perfectly straight, then slightly sticking out, then then then, etc. etc.

I have ordered another Hovland Music Groove 2 phono cable. This one will be canabalized. I will install new cartridge leads, and run it under my RS Labs A1 arm. Maybe the longer length of bare wire will offer less resistance to the rotary part of the headshell.

I know, I know. My wife tells me all the time. I'm an idiot. But the music is sweet.