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Zyx or Ortofon

Discussion in 'audio' started by oldius, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. oldius

    oldius Can pleasure be measured?

    My new arm should arrive before Christmas; a 12" Nottingham analogue Ace Anna. It will be mounted in a 401 in slate plinth.

    At some stage I will be looking for a Cartridge and I have somewhat narrowed my choice to a Zyx R1000 Airy 3 or an Ortofon Jubilee. Both are available for a similar price.

    Neutral and balanced is my preference. The phono stage is a Leema Agena.

    I am happy to consider other choices too.
  2. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Two things which may have a bearing, Oldius.

    My 12" Ace Anna is definitely 'softer' (as most/all 12 inchers are, judging by the recent thread on PFM) than my previous SME 5, and would benefit from a lively-ish cart. My K Urushi, although lovely on the A.A., has lost a bit of 'bite' relative to being on the Five.

    Secondly, my only experience of the Jubilee, by now a decade plus old model, was on my friend's Orbe/Five some 8/9 years ago. He got the dealer to take it back in exchange for a Lyra Helikon. It really was a bit dull, though the lowish output (0.25mV) could, if pressed, account for some of that.

    The ZYX I know not. N.A. arms are frequently used with Lyras, I gather, though you may want something a tad less 'in y' face, like a Benz, Transfiguration, DV (or ZYX?), though the fairly recent Kleos (Lyra) is used by dealers et al to good effect on N.A. arms.
  3. oldius

    oldius Can pleasure be measured?

    I have read that the new Lyras have a touch less treble lift so I am definitely not averse to that option. The other two are available at a significant saving on retail. I'm sure that's not the case with the Lyra.

    I am not a fan of Koetsu or Supex type warmth as it seems to "thicken" the sound of the 401 which is known for its prodigious bass output. Neither do I want a harsh top end, just a neutral balance if atall possible.
  4. hifi_dave

    hifi_dave Hi-Fi Retailer

    Zyx and Lyra work well on the Ace Anna and just recently I have been getting excellent results with the Ortofon Cadenza range. A Blue now resides on the end of my Ace Anna.
  5. oldius

    oldius Can pleasure be measured?

    Thanks Dave. How does the Cadenza range compare with the others?
  6. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Just a thought. If you manage to pick up a battered old Lyra (any one), you'll be entitled to 25% off a new Lyra. Saved my friend a packet on his Titan i a year ago.
  7. oldius

    oldius Can pleasure be measured?


    Thanks for the tip!
  8. F1eng

    F1eng pfm Member

    I have a Jubilee and the treble is fairly sensitive to load, it can sound harsh if the load is too high and soft if too low.
    I have been happy with mine for years.
    I have never heard a ZYX though, so my opinion is only feeling the Jubilee is great, but you need to experiment with the load in your phono input.
    I had been using mine into a Goldmund PH2 phono stage but now have it into an Ortofon T3000 transformer into a standard 47 kOhm MM input.
  9. krenzler

    krenzler pfm Member

    T-3000 gives 30dB which equals 47 ohms loading (with 47k ohm MM stage). I use my Jubilee with the 37,5 ohm tap on my CineMag CMQEE-3440A. The other option for me is 150 ohms but i prefer 37,5 in my setup. Ortofon themselves recommend 100 ohm or higher but hey..
  10. paskinn

    paskinn pfm Member

    Modern Koetsus are not at all 'thick' or 'romantic'..rather they are just accurate.Look at the measurements carried out by Martin Colloms in Hi Fi Critic on several Koetsus over recent years.The striking thing is how well they measure, specifically they do not have the exagerated high end of most mcs...they are actually flatter in frequency response. Surprisingly (to me) they also track well.None of the other expensive cartridges he measured did so well on basic parameters, except for Dynavector. If modern Koetsus have a 'secret' is it is just that they are designed properly (as are Dynavectorsj. The Zyx is distinctly more 'peaky' to my ears. Sadly, a lot of hifi people seem to think that a treble lift is somehow correct, because most MCs fail to tame it.
    As for my own tip , I would at least consider a Benz.More natural sounding than the Ortofon, which can sound a touch bland.Or a Dynavector as their units are among the best made and designed in the business. But, in the end, it is a matter of preference. Just avoid buying on the basis of apparent 'bargains'. They usually are no bargain at all.
  11. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    Don't Dynavector make the 'insides' of the Koetsu range, Koetsu just add the bodies .
  12. Papa Lazarou

    Papa Lazarou Hello Daaaaaaave!!!!!

    I'd look at Transfiguration too.
  13. ridley

    ridley pfm Member

    Hi, i'v recently fitted an Ace Anna to my Fletcher .5, the first cart I fitted was my Lyra Kleos which I had been using on my PU7. Fitting the Anna & Kleos resulted in a smoother more spacious & natural sound which I preferred to the PU7 which could sometimes be a bit forceful.
    I then tried a Cadenza Black which I think is very close in sound to the Jubilee, for me it sounded to soft & lacked focus & drive.
    Since then i'v fitted a London Decca Super Gold which sounds fantastic most of the time, not as airy or detailed as the Kleos, nor does it track worn records as well but it does have a certain magic, if as I plan I change my amp to the Croft set up I'm currently using I may well stay with the Decca.

  14. paskinn

    paskinn pfm Member

    I think that might well be true, although if so, Dynavector make the motors and cantilever to Sugano specs. Because they don't sound quite like Dynavectors.Not to my ears anyway.
  15. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    There may be small differences but as you said, the frequency responses of both 'manufacturers' are pretty flat unlike Lyra for example.
  16. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    You don't say whether the arms are 12" or not. Regarding the former, the extra length and (the A.Anna) being a unipivot would account for the smoother presentation at least. This would indeed match the exuberance (in the mid/ top) of Lyras, which is why dealers and others often marry the two.

    I have also found (as has Paskinn) Ortofons to be rather matter of fact in the past.
  17. oldius

    oldius Can pleasure be measured?

    I think this looks like just making a choice and dealing with it.

    The softness and lack of drive highlighted with some of the options could well be mitigated by the natural drive of the 401 as against the belt drive decks mentioned. My TD125 has a very different presentation to the 401; more detailed with the same arm and cartridge but certainly softer and a nice balance to the rest of the system as the Leema Agena, Bryston amps and Shahinian Obelisks are all quite revealing.

    I think I will swap some of my existing cartridges around and go for something with the balance that suits the arm. None of my existing cartridges are in the price range that I am considering with the exception (almost) of the Denon DL-S1. The other cartridges are DL304 and 33PTG.
  18. ridley

    ridley pfm Member

    Should have said, the PU7 was 10" & the Anna is 12".
    Lyra's to me do seem to match well with any of the carbon tubed Notts arms.

  19. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    You are the third or fourth person on PFM recently to mention owning a 12" Ace Anna; and there was me thinking it was an uncommon left-field choice !:)

    I understand from various sources that the 'new' Lyras (Delos, Kleos, e.g.) are more refined beasts than the previous incarnations. Don't know if this goes for the Titan i, whereas I've heard that the Skala (which is not really 'new') is rather cool tonally.
  20. markf

    markf pfm Member

    I had a thread on here (Jan 2008) about a ZYX Yatra, had some good pictures, but it seems like it has been erased.
    Anyway I found the ZYX lively and more dynamic than the Ortofon Kontrapunkt A
    that I was using before, but I like that sparkly sound. The surface noise also seemed
    to reduce when using the ZYX.
    I have a Denon DL A100 to play with over Xmas, never tried a Denon so I'm keen to see
    how that compares to the ZYX. (I'm using a Brinkmann 10.5 tonearm)



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