ZYX Universe and Lyra Titan

I've been reading a lot about the Universe lately but have not read any comparisons with the Titan. Anyone heard them in similiar set-ups? Since I own a Helicon, I receive about a $1,400 credit trading it in for a Titan. Is the Universe $1,300 better at $4,700? I recognize the subjectivity of the question but does anyone have any strong opinions? Thanks.
I cannot help but comment even though I have not heard the Titan. I have heard many things and the Universe is the most neutral, best sounding I have ever heard. I own it and love it. Worth every penny!
I've heard the UNIverse and a Lyra Olympos in the same system. (The Olympos retailed for 10,000 Euros in 2003. It was discontinued due to the near unobtainability of the material its magnets were made from.)

The Olympos was 1-2% faster than the UNIverse and had a slight edge in tracking ability. Other than that they seemed neck and neck. Six experienced vinylphiles needed 30 minutes and multiple A/B/A/B switches on a two arm table before anyone would venture an opinion about the differences between them. All agreed that these were the two finest cartridges anyone there had heard.

IOW, the UNIverse all but matched a Lyra that would retail today for perhaps $12-15K .

If you can find an old Parnassus, Lyra will rebuild it into an Olympos for you. I'd do that in a minute if I had a Parnassus lying about.

Failing that, the UNIverse provides very similar performance for significantly less money, especially at Mehran's discounted price. I don't know how close a Titan comes to an Olympos, but it would have to play within a hair's breadth just to match a UNIverse.

Hope that helps some,
It is really foolish to believe one or two cartridge designs are heads above their competition.I doubt any of us have had privy to any really meaningful comparisons,amongst the,now,seeming plethora of contenders,and there are plenty!!

I am aware of,and do believe,the Univ is a top design.I have not heard one,yet based upon past experience(how many times does some reviewer,or happy owner/s tout the "latest" best of all times,only to see it fall from grace,in record time) I am fairly certain that it IS only one of many fine designs.There are quite a few.Probably just as noteworthy.

Based on the above comments,which are certainly not written in stone,some common sense should prevail,in your buying decision.THE PRICE OF ADMISSION!FOR YOU!!

I am very familiar with,both,the original Titan,and the new version(the Titan-i).I own a Transfiguration Temper-v,and am quite happy,yet although I find very little to criticise,I won't make any claims other than it sounds really good,in my system,and in my friend's identical set-up.

As for the Titan--I have a dear friend who is a serious LP collector,bordering on the obsessed.In a good way.His LP collection could buy him a small island.He has had many of these discs for many years,and knows what the music on them should sound like.Trust me on this (BTW--his system is similarly STUNNING)!The first Titan design,he had,was superb.All of the usual accolades.

Fortunately,for him,and anyone dropping by his home,he got the Titan,revised(the"i"),by accident.A considerable improvement over the first one.I hope it is this newer one,that you consider.I'm not claiming it is the best design on the audio front,yet I simply cannot believe it is significantly bettered by any design,and there are many.The UNIV must surely be one,yet it must be the cost to you,and some common sense,that sways your buying decision.Remember,you are getting a really nice credit,for your current Lyra.

I will try to give you a sense of what I (we) hear at this person's home (which is literally one big audio room/record collection).Since he is blessed with such a stunning variety of real reference discs (ALL are first pressings,and we are talking thousands of to die for LP's)he is capable of culling and playing some of the most unusual and amazingly diverse music one can imagine.This allows one to sample some very unusual,and detailed repertoire,that in many cases contains an unbelieveable array of subtle micro detail.He stands there,like a conductor,pointing out some interesting perspective,in the music,or production,or pressing,and sounds emanating in his superb room.One becomes transfixed,and it becomes an instant addiction.A lesson any music lover wants to repeat every day.This must sound a bit "nuts",yet on so many occassions I,and others,have been amazed at the "STUFF" he pulls from that darn "HAT"!

It is here,in this world of the "new discoveries" in what we thought we knew was recorded on lp,and yet there were so many other worlds,"universes", of "rare" and undiscovered instrumental varieties and voicings that the Titan deciphers.All to a "fairthy-well"!Harmonic virtue,timbre and accuracy(really hard,btw),major dynamics,focus,depth and a real sense of the magic we hear when you just know it is RIGHT.Boy,is it RIGHT!!Yet I would not be surprised,in the least,if SO many other designs could do it too!!This IS really the best of times,for enjoying LP's!

I really must seem like I'm going a bit overboard here,and am,yet my enthusiasm for this wonderful design takes hold.Especially in lieu of the credit,you will get.Best of luck.Either way,you will make a great choice,yet if you do go for anything other than a Titan-i,please send me the credit.I have kids in med school,and that cuts down on audio purchases!

BTW--It was a bit of indigestion,and not being able to sleep,that kepy my diatribe going this long.But it WAS literally heart felt.I'm sure it gave some of you indigestion as well.Sorry!

As I recall from one of your earliest post on another thread, you have been actively involved in the so-called highend for only a couple of years. Am I correct in my assumption?

I really don't think my comments will help you except to the extent of making you comfortable with whatever you choose. I was one of the attendees Dougdeacon mentions who heard both the UNIverse and Olympos. We had both cartridges mounted on Schroder Reference arms using a Teres 340 twin arm table. We could A/B quite quickly or otherwise with this setup. I think this was about as scientific as you could get but I'm certain there were variables such as how many hours were on the wire in the arms and how many hours each cartridge had previously been used. As Doug said, both were outstanding examples with very little difference between them. In my opinion, for what that's worth. About what you've paid for it, for sure.

I don't even own a cartridge of this calibre myself. Mine is a ZYX Airy 3 S SB which happened to fall at the top of my budget range. While I love my cartridge I doubt the other folks in attendance would have picked the silver wire version I own. I'm not offended at all if that's how they feel. Who knows, they may be right but since, in my system, I have no other reference to compare it to I either made the right choice or I'm lucky enough to not know it. Certainly, if there is a difference I'm confident it is very, very small in the real world of listening. The point I'm trying to make is that since we just don't have any real opportunities for comparrison one needs to be pragmatic. My take? You cannot make a mistake at the level you are considering. Certainly, the arm you are using will make a larger difference (assuming it is one I've not heard wiht a Lyra or ZYX) than the cartridges being considered.

Threads like this serve the purpose of at least allowing you to realize you can't make a mistake. For myself money is an issue. If you can realize significant savings by trading in your old cartridge then I'd suggest you place heavy emphasis on that.
Gmorris what difference would it make if a person were only involved in "so called Highend for a couple of years?"

The amount of time a person has spent in a given activity is less meaningful than their experience level. Some people will learn absotlutely nothing in five years while another person can learn volumes in a much shorter period of time.

I don't know Doug, as I have never met him, but his level of experience seems to be significant. I would rather learn from someone who is active and excited about a given hobby or past time rather then some self-proclaimed expert or audio engineer.

From what I have read, Doug Deacon has been involved in these tests and comparisons, who could more correctly speak to the results than a participant? Now he if wrote for a national publication we could all ridicule and mock him, but I think he's just another hobbiest.
Not to denigrate you Gmorris (BTW--took a look at your system,and philosophy,and it is WAY cool),but what if Doug was into the high end for only a year,for example.It is his,or anyone's,experience in how "actual music" sounds that carries any gravity,here.I'm sure there has been alot of real musical experience there,as his posts have given people like me the idea that this guy knows the sound of "music"!BTW--I have seen other less versed, supposed, high-enders pick up this hobby FAST,with some exposure to other well meaning audio friends.In the case of Doug,he frequently mentions a "PAUL",who I'm sure is active in this hobby,yet doesn't seem to post.

What's the problem?

Best regards!
Why are you guys assuming that I was on the verge of bashing Dougdeacon,? That was not my intent.
Guys, if you don't mind, lets stick to the original subject. I have been a reader of this forum for about 3-4 years and I welcome the opinions of all the above folks. Your answers have been thoughtful and meaningful. By the way, my arm is a Tri-Planar VII and table is an Avid Volvare. The Olympos confuses me since it's not around. Is the Titan its replacement?
Dear Richard: I agree with Sirspeedy: there is no " best cartridge " per se.

Like Lugnut, I think that the tonearm makes a great difference.

The exercise where Doug and Lugnut participate: Universe/Olympus it is only a " great analog time " but really don't tell me which one is better. It only can tell me some differences between them: maybe these differences ( for the better ) are because one cartridge makes a better match with that tonearm, we can`t be sure.

In my opinion the only way to really knows which cartridge is better that other one is to find to each cartridge the best tonearm match and do the audio tests in that way.

You have a plus on the Titan because they take the helikon in exchange. For me the Titan could be my first choice, as a fact the Titan is a top performer.

Now if you want to have the best cartridge you have to find which one is the best with your tonearm and find the best for your personal audio quality priorities.

There are many top contenders outside: Transfiguration, Dynavector XV-1, Allaerts MC2 Finish, Clearaudio Insider, Ortofon MC 7500, Van denHul Colibri, Denon Dls1, Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum ( in the right tonearm ), Lyra Titan, Ikeda Rex9, Benz Micro LP, ZYX Universe, Shelther 90X, etc, etc. You have a lot of top cartridges options.

Regards and enjoy the music.

We listened to the UNIverse on both a TriPlanar VII and a Schroeder Ref. Unfortunately we only heard the Lyra on the Ref, due to lack of time. You can only do so much in five days.

FWIW, there was no significant performance drop on switching to the TriPlanar. Many were surprised at how close the UNIverse/TriPlanar was to the UNIverse/Ref. The differences were a matter of taste. The UNIverse/TriPlanar had more leading edge crispness and PRaT. The UNiverse/Ref had more harmonic richness and ambience. Exactly what I'd expect from these two arms. The ZYX revealed the character of each.

I suspect the Olympos would have acted about the same. It is a superbly honest and revealing cartridge.

The Titan is not a literal replacement for the Olympos. It's more like a real-world design vs. a design that became unrealistic to produce. AFAIK, Lyra stopped making the Olympos *only* because the magnets it required became prohibitively expensive and/or unobtainable. The Titan uses more readily available materials. I don't know if anyone other than Lyra has directly compared them.

Your recollection about my "high end" experience was almost correct. We've owned some high end components since 1991, but only got into high end vinyl a couple of years ago. (Had to pay off the mortgage first.) I can't imagine why anyone would care, but thanks for asking.

Paul is my partner of 22 years. He has better ears than me, more brains than me (PhD in a real discipline vs. my lowly BA), makes more money than me, cooks better than me and has more fun beating up on Cello via private emails than he could ever have posting here. He also has no tolerance for fools, so I am truly grateful he doesn't read many of my posts!


I just thought at the time that your learning curve seemed pretty steep and your exposure to so many different “hard to audition” components was extensive in such a short time.

I may not always agree with your points but they are always well stated. I respect your opinions.
Nice to see audiophiles behaving so well. Doug--I knew/know,and think the utmost of those,like you,who always take the high road. I,myself try to be a bit provoking,at times,yet don't ever want to be seen as meanspirited(I'm not implying anything towards you,Gmorris,as I like your occassional contrarian nature).I do wish you'd rear your head more,as it could make for some interesting banter.

As for giving Cello a hard time,it seems that I may have inadvertently cut him off,on the road,while driving.Sorry!The silence seems to send a message,and don't fret.It's O.K!!
Dear Doug: I don''t understand your reply to me. Like I already post: five days of analog fun, nothing more.

I think that you already know my opinion about audio tests with more than one people: it's only fun.

A serious ( I'm not saying that you and your audio friends are not serious about ) audio test is something extrictly personal: with out any external influences, in a control of all parameters, in a very well know of the audio system and in the long run time. When there are two or more persons in an audio test a simple head movement from any one of those persons has a great influence in the others ones. There are many other issues and why's the audio tests has to be: personal ( one and only one ).

Regards and enjoy the music.

You've been outvoted by the six of us. LOL. We still respect your opinion even if it's wrong. Just kidding. You do make a good point about the power of peer pressure but in this case I feel each of us has a fairly strong personality and unafraid of voicing an opinion outside the "supposed" group influence. About the only thing we all really agree on is the strengths of the ZYX lineup. Is a UNIverse the best cartridge made? I honestly don't know but it's certainly in the running. You are very right in that this was a fun time. I wish you could join the group some day since we have so much more in common than we have differences. Best to all, especially Richardmr with whatever cartridge he selects. Let us know, please.
Actually,my pal's buddy got the Koetsu "Coral".You know,the one with the body that is made from (literally)petrified coral!He,also,has the new Titan,and dumped it in a N.Y. minute,for the "Coral".He,too,has heard a ton of cartridges,yet he is also an obsessed vinylphile/collector.His sentiments ride with the 20 "thou" Coral as the best available.BIG TIME,according to him.I,myself am laughing LOUDLY at the lengths that the hobby pushes some "types"!!

PLEEEEEEASE!!GIVE ME A BREAK!!--One thing that a heck of alot of manufacturers credit many of us for is "virtually NO common sense"!!
Dear Richarddmr: All of us in this forum always support the MC cartridges and never " speak " about other great cartridges designs: MM type.

There are great MM top performers that in many ways are better than the MC ones.

Between the MM manufacturers that you can take a look are: Ortofon, Music Maker, Rega, Grado, Audio technica, Clearaudio, Shure, etc, etc.

You or any one will be surprised how good are those MM cartridges: and for a lot, lot less money than the MC ones.

Regards and enjoy the music.
You know Sirspeedy I agree with you about manufacturers assuming that many audiophiles have limited common sense. Unfortunately, there is a pervasive attitude that equates audio performance with price. And as you are aware this is certainly not the case in most instances. Many Audiophiles (component of the month types) instead of trying to optimize the performance of their current gear simply throw a lot of money at newer gear.
Gmorris,you had to have read some of my previous posts!I have friends in both camps.Honest to GOD,and this has NOTHING to do with envy,the better sounding set-ups are in the homes of my friends who could care less about the "LATEST" mag rave!

I do have one dear pal,who tells me on a weekly basis,"I felt like spending some money,this week"!He does have a great sounding set-up,yet I can't even begin to relate how many expensive tweaks,cords,pucks,NOS tubes,cones,stands/shelves etc.,he has gone through to feed,literally,a perception of money equating to good sound.We are talking musical chairs.He is a poor listener,of his own set-up,only,and thank goodness he has some friends who try to give him some perspective.

Ex:--He had 14 thou,invested in power cords.I,knowing his propensity for simply spending dough,told him,in jest,that he needed to round off the Powewr cord number to a "nice fifteen thousand dollars".He proceeded to upgrade(?)his pre-amp cord from a 3500 dollar model to a 6000 dollar one.I love the guy,and he knows it(thank God he has no kids),yet fortunately for me,he is a veritable testing lab,for my own system!Now watch,as I'm going over to him,next week,as well as my pal Sid,this latest cord winds up being fantastic.Who knows?

Best regards.
I think I was your first response and now happened upon all the commentary. When Frank Scroder, who I believe makes the best tonearm in the world with a 6-8 month waiting list, tells me the Universe is one of the two best cartridges in the world that is pretty good backup to my ear. For the price that you can get if from the US distributor, it cannot be beat.
Presumably, from your account Frank Schroeder has auditioned every available cartridge arm/table combination in the world.

Maybe they are the best that he has tried in his arms in his system.

You do have a way with words.

My wife accuses me of being too much of a pedant at times.

I tend to have problems with sweeping pronouncements of “BEST”. As an experienced audiophile I am sure that over the years you have seen many components with the anointed mantle of “BEST” ending up with a half-life of a only few months.

I think most of us get careless with the use of words like best sometimes. I can't believe that anyone has enough experience to pronounce what is the best cartridge. There are just too many possible combinations with tonearms. And the cost of doing so! In this case the question was between the Titan and the UNIverse. I was at the four day event that Doug Deacon went to where we compared the UNIverse with the Olympos. Honestly, this was just about the most scientific comparrison one could set up. The Olympos is a much more expensive cartridge than the Titan (might not mean much) but since we came so close to comparing the two cartridges aked about I find it fair to offer up our take on them. Ever since the first discussion about our findings were posted here we have been attacked pretty agressively. We weren't scientific enough, responded to peer pressure, and on and on. It's tiresome to see myself or someone I know well being attacked unfairly. You're welcome to send me an email for my phone number and call me if you want the details but I just don't feel up to typing that much. I can also give you some insight into how much I think Frank Schroder knows about these things. He's a very humble and pleasant person with an incredible sense of humor, knowledgable about many things. I'm 55 and have been into analog since the 60's. I certainly don't consider myself and expert on much but I have a very good set of ears with about as much live seat time as anyone. I consider myself to be quite bright too. Being around Frank and a group of other vinylheads for a casual dinner is a jaw dropping experience. Being with him for an entire, extra-long weekend was an honor. He probably wouldn't agree with that assessment but I was really humbled in so many ways. Certainly, he knows enough to make "arguably" one of the best pivot tonearms on the planet. If we can't offer up opinions asked of us then what is the point in posting? Some of the things said freely here, sitting behind a keyboard in total anonymity, would not be said to my face. Well, nowadays you could get away with it but you get my drift. Sorry for allowing my buttons to get pushed.

I was not questioning your empirical observations in the comparison between the Olympus and the ZYX Universe. My comments were more or less directed at Retroinferno who unequivocally stated that the ZXYU was the "BEST" in the world.

Sorry to ruffle your feathers.
Dear Retroinferno/Lugnut: +++++ " Maybe they are the best that he has tried in his arms in his system. " +++++

I agree with Gmorris: that is all about. That does not means that those two cartridges are the " best " on the world, because other cartridges in the right tonearm can beat what Frank already heard.

For any body can do a serious comparation between differents cartridges the first step is to match each of those cartridges with the tonearm where they sound " the best ". Testing differents cartridges in the same ( one or two ) tonearm means almost nothing about which is better, you can have a lot of fun but that's all. The second step is to have a full range high resolution audio system: nothing less.

The reason why I own 15+ tonearms is because I want to match every single cartridge with the " best " tonearm for it: I'm not a tonearm collector.

From my 25+ cartridges I only already match six or seven and when you hear one of them and compare to the others 5-6 it is a very hard choice: all them are really great and you really have to be a live music expert to do the " best " choice. I'm sure that my choice could be different from your choice because: differents live music experiences, different music tastes, different ear frecuency response, etc, etc.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I listened to the Lyra Titan at the Auddiofest with the Brickman Table and Arm combination,and the ZYX Universe with the Teres Model 360 Table and I beleive the Schroder
Actually both analog rigs sounded entirely different.
The Teres rig with the ZYX Univerese was a huge dissapointment.Here I was reading all of the posts on this untouchable cartridge for almost a full year and never actually hearing it for myself with my own ears.
I finally had the opportunity at the show and listened for a long time on the last day when very few people were around.
My background in the past has been a semi pro bass trombonist with The Skagit Symphony for the past 15 years.
My reference is live unamplified music.
Here are my notes from the show.
The ZYX Universe had no deep low bass information at all.
The cartridge is very colored sonically.The midband was quick,But tonally thin.The cartridge exhibited no layered depth of field,highs sounded closed in,dirty,no ambience retrevial around instruments pickup patterns.The top end also sounded closed in and bright.
The Lyra Titan had a natural wonderful extended top end.A huge holographic sound stage that extended very wide and deep.Ambient retrival was in a class by itelf.Midbass reproduction was natural,But still lacked proper fullness.
Deep bass was much better then the ZYX Univerese ,But still fell way short of my live reference standards.
Actually deep bass,midbass,and midrange reproduction I feel IMO or better reproduced on my Grado Reference The Reference Phono Cartridge then the other 2 above.This is using live music as the reference.

A few comments to add to your observations regarding the UNIverse cartridge:
First off, the Teres Table (including a UNIverse cartridge and Schroder Reference tonearm) was paired with totally inadequate electronics and speakers in a woefully poorly set up room.
Secondly, I don’t question your ability to hear and analyze what you have heard, but please tell me how you were able to sort out that the UNIverse cartridge was the problem with the sound from that room ?
I was in the room 3 times and agree totally with you that the sonics were abysmal, but you cannot for one minute accurately compare and draw conclusions of the two cartridges from two different rooms and two different systems.
One can only relatively accurately compare components when they are placed in the same system, in the same room, while listening to the same music, on the same day with everything but the component you are comparing held constant. Then and only then, can you make reasonable comparisons and draw rational conclusions.
I am guessing that Chris Brady was far less than happy with having his table sitting in that room. He certainly could hear what we all heard. I would almost bet that you wouldn’t see a Teres table put in an inadequate setting like it was in Denver in the future. I would also assume that the Teres Room next year would have a Schroder Reference and a UNIverse unless something comes along this year that surpasses the UNIverse in what it can deliver throughout the frequency range. Chris could have put any tonearm or cartridge on his table and it would only make sense that he would pick what would sound best and portray his table in its best light.
I have heard 3 different Teres tables on several occasions accompanied with the UNIverse cartridge and combined with either, a Schroder Reference, Graham 2.2, Triplanar 7, above average to great electronics and excellent speakers. Clearly, there was no part of the frequency spectrum lacking from any of these systems that had a UNIverse cartridge in them. The best combination for me was the Schroder Reference paired with the UNIverse on a Teres 360 table.
You need to do yourself a favor and find a way to hear the UNIverse (Teres tables and Schroder Reference) in an adequate system. If you are planning to attend the RMAF in Denver again next year, look up the Teres room and report back in again. I think you will come back with a totally different impression. You could also contact Chris Brady and I am sure that he would be happy to have you come by for a demo of his tables (and a UNIverse cartridge) if you can make your way back to the Denver area before the RMAF next year.

Back at you. You seem to totally ignore the fact that I've never said the ZYX UNIverse, or for that matter, the ZYX line is the best. Never. Hell, I would be foolish to post such a remark because I simply haven't heard all of the offerings. I've said repeatedly that tonearms and cartridges need to be evaluated together. I have explained to the best of my ability the strengths of the ZYX cartridges I am familiar with. I voted with my pocketbook what cartridge I felt was the best for me and my system.

Again, the poster asked for anyone that had experience with a UNIverse and a Titan to share which they thought was better. Unlike most people I have heard a comparison of something close to what he was asking; a comparison of a UNIverse and a Olympos. I gave my impressions. What the Hell is wrong with answering the man's question? I even said I would place heavy emphasis on the ultimate difference in cost because he had a Helicon to trade in.

You've made personal and ugly attacks on several of us for how we conducted our evaluations. Recently, I grew tired enough with your abrasive style to turn the questions around and ask them of you. You didn't respond. It's obvious this boils down to you wanting your opinion to be the only one considered. Sorry but that's not going to fly.

Further, I was more irritated with what I viewed as an unwarranted attack on Frank Schroder. That is what my criticism of Gmorris was about. I stated my objection, apologized for getting angry and he even offered up that his wife thinks he's kind of over the top in getting irritated by folks using the word best too loosely. I agree with him 100%. You have assigned guilt to me where it is undeserved. I await an apology for your remarks on this thread and some answers to questions asked of you on the other thread.

Perhaps you would be better served by having a little fun with audio as you accused us of doing. You sure suck all the fun out of trying to help a guy here with some insight that was very close to the question asked.

76doublebass, I agree with what you heard 100%. I also heard my identical Airy 3 in another room and it too sounded really, really bad. So bad, that I told the exhibitor that they would be better served by not playing analog at all.
>>The ZYX Universe had no deep low bass information at all.
The cartridge is very colored sonically.The midband was quick,But tonally thin.The cartridge exhibited no layered depth of field,highs sounded closed in,dirty,no ambience retrevial around instruments pickup patterns.The top end also sounded closed in and bright.<<

Time to make an appointment with your local audiologist.
76doublebass, don't be too quick to write off the Zyx based on what you heard in Denver. That room was underwhelming. The turntable alone cost more nearly three times what the Parasound amps cost. Inspite of what some reviewers have said, the Parasounds are not even close to the best gear available. The speakers too were definately not up to the task. I felt sorry for Chris Brady when I saw the room in which he was showing his products.

I was disappointed by the sound in that room, but I am still extremely interested in the Teres table, Shroeder arm, and Zyx Universe. They were by far the only good products in the room.

Cello's question was valid when he asked how you were able to assign responsibility for the poor sound to the cartridge. With all those products in the sound chain it seems disingeuous to blame the UNIverse.

I heard the Airy 3 in another room and was very pleased with the sound. I don't know when that took place in relation to Lugnut's session, but we weren't there at the same time.

You stated in your response above that: “… I was more irritated with what I viewed as an unwarranted attack on Frank Schroeder. That is what my criticism of Gmorris was about.”

I simply wrote that: “ Presumably, from your account Frank Schroeder has auditioned every available cartridge arm/table combination in the world.

Maybe they are the best that he has tried in his arms in his system “.

This does not constitute an attack on Mr. Schroeder, who is in your estimation a very nice man. However, he is not an “Audio God”. He is not infallible, his opinions are just that: MERE OPINIONS, albeit probably more informed than the typical poster on these threads..
Doublebass, I am glad you are happy with your Grado, but I can't understand how anyone could hang the blame for the poor sound in the Teres/Parasound/Forgettable Speaker room on the cartridge. (I think the speakers should been taken out and kneecapped, they were that bad IMHO.) I doubt even your (insert favorite cart here______) would have saved that room. I do own a ZYX and it exhibits none of the poor traits you judge it to have, but I also own a Dynavector XV-1s (currently in use) and am searching for an early Lyra Parnassus to have converted into an Olympos. I also have a Colibri coming for a trial run. My point is that I will own whatever has merit in my system and feel no need to defend any of my equipment. I am responding because you might be cheating yourself or someone reading this thread of a great cartridge choice for yours or their system. It truly IS one great cartridges of today.

The Brinkmann Balance/Marten Coltrane/Lamm room was one of the best sounds there for me. I would love to try a Brinkmann Balance in my system along with serveral top carts. Maybe someday soon...
Dear ZYX club friends: +++++ " The ZYX Universe had no deep low bass information at all. " +++++

The 76 doublebass opinion only confirm what for many months I already posted about the ZYX cartridges: faulty at the bass, several times and not only my opinion but severals others opinions like the 76db here. Please there are no excuses for that.

I wonder why you all ZYX club members are satisfied: I'm sure you have good ears and experience in live unamplified music.
Now that I do a research about your audio systems I can see that any of you have a full range system, so any of you can't hear how great is the bass problems in the ZYX cartridges, so don't try to defend what you can't hear and never can hear with your today system: HOW CAN YOU DEFEND SOMETHING THAT YOU DON't KNOW THAT EVEN EXIST ? YOU CAN'T HEAR IT !!!!!!! and you never did till you have a full range system, that's all.
Maybe in the next ZYX cartridges generation they can solve that bass problems.
I really desire that they do it because if they do I'm sure that my next cartridge in my system will be a ZYX one, but not before. All of us deserve more that what ZYX is given today for its price.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Hi guys,
I just got back from Colorado, so please excuse the late response to retroinferno's post.
I don't recall ever stating that the ZYX Universe is "one of the two best cartridges in the world". If I ever did, there shurely must have been too much Tequila in that last Margharita. No, seriously - I wouldn't make such a statement, even I did listen to every high quality cartridge that was ever made(not many left though... ;-). Personal preferences are only one of so many variables when it comes to determining which cart is "best" for you. The Universe is a top quality cartridge, but in the room Chris Brady had the misfortune of setting up his Teres 360 NO cartridge would have sounded good. I couldn't stay in that room for more than a few minutes without getting a headache. Chris felt the same way and will return with a vengeance next year.
Comparing the Brinkmann table with the Teres 360 played via two totally different systems in different rooms and then drawing conclusions about the character of the cartridges used, well, those must be truly golden ears....or maybe they are made from Phyrite after all ;-)

Dear Raul, just for your consolation, I do listen to many cartridges mounted in other arms but my own. In fact, I own more arms than you do and have likely owned more carts too.
Neither of us should be bragging about it though and neither of us is any more right recommending a particular cartridge, arm or table than another "less well endowed list member" since it is all about INDIVIDUALS conveying the fun that playing with these grown man's toys and hopefully the enjoyment of the music that goes along with it can provide.
To sum it up, meeting old and new friends at the RMAF was what made the trip worth it, not the listening to systems that, while some might be truly great, can never be transported 1:1 into your own listening environment.


Frank Schröder

P.S.: Patrick, I just wish Albert had left me a little more time to talk with you....
Dear Lugnut: +++++ " Further, I was more irritated with what I viewed as an unwarranted attack on Frank Schroder " +++++

I never attack to Frank, I respect him like a person and like a great tonearm designer. What I already post about is something that every body understand and almost agree but you. I respect your opinion too.

Btw, I agree with Gmorris last post.

Every time that I disagree with you or with any of your members club always post that I'm attaking any one of you: sorry but you don't have any idea what " attack " means.

Stay calm and be happy: all of you.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Frank: I only do a reference on you because the wrong statement: " one of the two best cartridges in the world".

Btw, I'm not bragging any thing, I'm only trying to explain that for any one can do a serious cartridge comparison it has to match each cartridge with the best tonearm for each one, that's all.

+++++ " In fact, I own more arms than you do and have likely owned more carts too. " +++++

Great to know this. I hope that in a near future you can share with us your wide cartridge/tonearm experiences.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Please go on.
I just ordered chips and coke ....
Raul, there was no apology for misquoting Herr Schroeder, is that still forth coming?

It would be nice to have some arm/cartridge experiences shared from someone who knows what they are talking about as opposed to...
You continue to make arguments about things you do not know or have experience with and take shots at undeserving people.
There is no UNIverse Club as you patronizingly refer to a number of Audiogon members that think highly of the ZYX product line and the UNIverse in particular.
There has not been a group of "several others" as you say that have heard a UNIverse and found it to be lacking in bass or otherwise. There have been a couple of comments from people like 76doublebass that are illogical or un-supported that you refer to as "several others'.
76doublebass’ post did not confirm anything for you about the UNIverse and for you to take his post as substantiation of your opinion about the UNIverse cartridge just serves to prove that you are just out to nail ZYX at all cost, do not have a logical thought process, or both.
I know you won’t respond to this, but please tell us the names of all of the Audiogon members that have posted that the UNIverse is lacking in bass and in which threads. I don’t think you can come up with a list of “several” members that have found the UNIverse lacking that have direct experiences with a UNIverse.
Have you still not head a UNIverse in your own system ?
You say that people don't have full range systems that support the UNIverse so they don't know what they are missing in bass ? Who is on your list of UNIverse supporters that have non-full-range systems? Are you saying the I, Frank Schroder, Chris Brady, Vetterone, Stanfi, and Doug Deacon don't have full range systems.
It is not fair to the manufacturer of the ZYX cartridges to bash a product that you do not have sufficient knowledge about. It is their passion and livelihood that you are tearing at without basis. That is patently unfair and with out class on your part.
There are newer and less experienced audiophiles that do not realize that you are an articulate (well, not really) incompetent. It would be easy for them to miss that you often speak with matters you don’t understand while acting as if you do and miss out on considering the ZYX products and that would be a shame.
I really don’t know what got your panties in a twist against ZYX, but it is quite obvious that you go out of your way to trash their group of products.
Try getting off your pedestal for a moment and listen a bit to some of the other people’s points of view and experiences with out discarding them out of hand and you might actually learn something.
Those of us who have heard a UNIverse in a full range system know that it is an outstanding cartridge and want for others to be able to enjoy their systems and music a bit more. I know this group of people well and that is where the enthusiasm for their UNIverse emanates from.
They get a bit of joy from helping others and are a bit excited as a result of finding a special piece of equipment that is quite extraordinary.
Dear Nrchy: I don't know if I understand your post: are you tell me that I have to apology to Frank?

If this is what you told me let me know you that I don't have to send an apology to Frank because I don't insult or attack him.

+++++ " shared from someone who knows what they are talking about as opposed to... " +++++

If you are implying what I figure I can tell you that you don't know what are you talking about.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Cello: +++++ " . There have been a couple of comments from people like 76doublebass that are illogical or un-supported " +++++

I don't think that a person with the live music experience like 76doublebass is " illogical " like you say. Your arguments all over your post are " illogical ".

+++++ " Are you saying the I, Frank Schroder, Chris Brady, Vetterone, Stanfi, and Doug Deacon don't have full range systems. " +++++

First, Frank is not a member of your club ( He already speaks about ) and Doug, Lugnut and your system are far aways from " full range ". +++++ " You continue to make arguments about things you do not know or have experience " +++++ Wrong, who has no expirience is you: you can't hear the bass problems through your system due for bass deficiencies on your system.

+++++ " I know you won’t respond to this, but please tell us the names of all of the Audiogon members that have posted that the UNIverse is lacking in bass and in which threads. " +++++

I think that you can remember that Audiogoner that put on sale his Colibri for do a change to the ZYX. I e-mail to him asking for his reason to do that and through the time he back off and retain his Colibri and sold the ZYX: this man has a full range audio system. I can't remember in what thread.
If I can remember Thomasheisig that " just ordered chips and coke .... " give a ZYX opinion about or Johnnantais, I'm not sure.

+++++ " I really don’t know what got your panties in a twist against ZYX, " +++++

I'm not against the ZYX manufacturer ( as a fact I think that I'm helping to them for incite for they make research about to do a better cartridges in a near future. ). I'm against people like you that do false statements like : " the Universe is the best on the world ". This statement is unsupported by any standards.

Larry stay calm, put on sale your ZYX and buy a Dynavector XV-1, or a Colibri, or an Allaerts, or a Transfiguration and you will be happy about. If you do this you never return to today ZYX cartridges.

Regards and enjoy the music.


I am nonplussed. Are you a dealer or just an audiophile?
Hello again,
Just a few last remarks before I jump off this rope(I mean thread).
No apology neccessary(from noone, as even the initial misquote wasn't posted with bad intend, I believe).
I wasn't implying that Raul was bragging, it was merely a verbal boomerang, thrown to say that everyone, INCLUDING myself, can own all the hifi equipment on the planet and still not have the right to tell a fellow enthusiasts what they're supposed to like or dislike.
As it is, I shouldn't spend any more time on the computer than absolutely neccessary, so please don't expect me to give you a run down of the sonic characteristics of every tonearm or cartridge that I ever had or have in my system.
Just a tip for those who (think they) own fullrange systems: buy a quality set of headphones, preferably with a very good headphone amp and you will be able to assess how well one cartridge fares versus another in the low bass department. No room anomalies or feedback related problems to influence the result, and certainly fullrange... but not recommended for long evenings with company or that next air guitar session :-)
Secondly, not only is arm/cartridge matching important, it is just as crucial to partner the (mc)cartridge with the right stepup transformer(or active gain stage). The sonic difference between even well reputed trannies are sometimes staggering, proper loading nonwithstanding.

Cheers to all of you and back to the grind...


or as Jack Nicholson said in "Mars Attacks": Couldn't we just all get along?....
Cello is a music lover, not a dealer. He is employed in a completely unrelated field! His level of experience with the product that he is defending, though is significant!

Raul, again you make third party claims that are just plain outside the realm of reason. The comments doublebass made about the room at RMAF are without basis. The amp and speakers were mid-fi at best yet he maintains that it was the cartridge that caused the sonic issues in that room. How can a comment like that have any validity?

I can't speak with absolute certainty, but I believe that both Vetterone and Cello could buy any cartridge they wanted. They both chose the UNIverse. Do you really believe that they never heard another good cartridge??? Or is it that they simply cannot hear as well as you??? Vetterone has described another cartridge he currently uses, are his comments still invalid because he does not concur with you?

I don't knowif it is a language barrier, or a logic barrier, but there is a disconnect somewhere in this discussion!
Dear Nrchy: Leave the people to answer by itself. are you the whole mannager? and answer what I ask you.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I posted this tid bit in another thread and thought it might be appropriate here as well. Here goes:

IMO the only response to Raul's posts is no response. He is entitled to his opinions, as misguided as most of them are, like everybody else here. The record is replete with his omniscient and combative ideas so why not let him go? I for one take no stock in anything he says and read them for the entertainment content. Roll with them and grab a few laughs.
I have just hired Nate (NRCHY) as my manager/spokesman. He may speak for me anytime. Right now he is doing my taxes and laundry so I will file these antidotes to the venom flying around this thread myself.

What do you call a doublebass (DB) player without a girlfriend?


Whats the difference between a pizza and a DB player?

A pizza can feed a family.

What do you ask a DB player in a suit?

Will the defendant please rise.

What do you call a DB player on your front porch?

The pizza delivery guy.

What do you call a DB player with a beeper?

An optimist.

A DB player goes to the optometrist and the doc says "You really need to stop masterbating." The DB player, worried, asks "why...am I going blind?" "No" says the doc, "but you are distrubing everyone in the waiting room."

There's more where these came from...
Raul stop asking like a little bully on the playground. I will answer anything I want to, regardless of whether or not I know anything about the topic at hand.

People are themselves, not itself, and manager only has one "n" "and answer what I ask you," is not a complete sentence.

FWIW I have been retained by vetterone to represent him and my lawyers are in contact with Cello to see if he will also hire me to represent him. More news as the situation developes.

For now I have to get back to the laundry...
In my opinion, it is impolite and sanctimonious to correct Raul's grammar and syntax. English is not his main language.