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07/18/19 at 12:29:47†


       



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Soundsmith -Zephyr MKIII es -2M black -Grado gold (Read 187 times)
Ace-Tone
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5+ years with
Decware gear and
Loving it!!!

Posts: 737
Soundsmith -Zephyr MKIII es -2M black -Grado gold
07/06/19 at 17:44:43
 
My cart 5 years ago was the Grado gold...I upgraded to 2M black 4 years ago and absolutely loved it. When it came time to re-tip the 2M I seriously considered have Soundsmith doing the work. After some extensive research on SS carts I decided to buy a demo Zep MKIII (not the new es model)
The good people at hi-fi heaven offered the new es version at 10% above the demo cost so I accepted the deal and made the buy!!  I am blow away happy that I did.
2.4mV output works fine with the ZP3. To achieve same volume levels as the 2M gave I have 25th anniv amp at 11:30 to 12:30 o'clock as opposed to 9:30 - 10:30.  Zstage and ZR2 levels have not changed and are fine tuning tools as before.
Cart now has approx 22 hours on it and it is f*&%ing awesome. It really began to sing after 16 hours and hit another level after 20 hours.
Sound stage, separation of instruments, reverb, decay, naturalness of instrument timber, tight bass and drums all easy to track in the mix, everything vastly improved.
I had some buyers anxiety wondering about the output and sound upgrade being more than OK with the ZP3 (many decware posts put my mind to rest). I like the fact that cart is made USA, Refurbish costs of cant/stylus is more than fair (actually cheaper than 2M replacement).
Wish you could all hear how good this thing is! Wow!
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SE84UFO25, ZP3, Zstage, ZR2, ZSB, DM947 Monoliths 946-mid
VPI-Traveler2, Soundsmith-Zephyr MKIIIes.
Cambridge CXC. Schiit Bifrost Multibit
Audio Envy, RAC-PC's/IC's, Mapleshade Dbl Helix+Spkr wire & jumpers
Blue Circle PLC FX2X0e, Herbies Lab, GIK, PI Audio
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NormD
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Posts: 187
Re: Soundsmith -Zephyr MKIII es -2M black -Grado gold
Reply #1 - 07/06/19 at 18:14:03
 
Iím glad to hear you are happy with the Zephyr. I sprang for the Soundsmith The Voice cartridge and Iím running it through a ZP3, ZTPre and ZMA, all with the Anniversary mods. I am delighted with the sound, hearing much as you describe. The highs are clear without being fatiguing, the voices are in the room and the bass extension is incredible without being boomy or forced. I took my ZSTAGE out of the system and use the ZTPRE for level adjustments. The cartridge has plenty of output through the ZP3. Great combo.
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OPPO Sonica DAC
Technics SL-1200M3D Turntable
SoundSmith The Voice cartridge
JRMedia Center running on a MacMini
Oppo 103D for video
Marantz AV8802a Pre
ZTPre & ZMA for Stereo
Rotel RMB-1585 amp
Focal Electra 1038Be speakers (93 db)
2Hsu Research ULS-15 M
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Archie
Seasoned Member
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Posts: 1417
Re: Soundsmith -Zephyr MKIII es -2M black -Grado gold
Reply #2 - 07/06/19 at 18:52:05
 
Quote:
When it came time to re-tip the 2M I seriously considered have Soundsmith doing the work.


Just curious, why would you retip and not just replace the stylus?  I don't know what Ortofon asks for that though.
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Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
HR1s (Upgrd - top & bass drivers & X-ovr)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under everything.
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HockessinKid
Seasoned Member
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Posts: 281
Re: Soundsmith -Zephyr MKIII es -2M black -Grado gold
Reply #3 - 07/06/19 at 20:49:46
 
FYI, retipping means replacing the entire stylus. It's just vinyl terminology. Soundsmith's average turn around time for a stylus replacement can be long.

HK
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Lonely Raven PC (or) TEAC PD-600H > ZDAC2 (or) Nottingham Interspace (heavy platter) TT w/ Dynavector 20x2 LO cart + P75 MKII phono pre > ZROCK2-25th > CSP3-25th preamp > Zen Mystery 25th amp > Omega SAHO XRS speakers > ZenWave Audio, TWL, & Acoustic BBQ cables.
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Archie
Seasoned Member
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Posts: 1417
Re: Soundsmith -Zephyr MKIII es -2M black -Grado gold
Reply #4 - 07/06/19 at 21:09:56
 
Oh.  I was thinking of the retipping that happens with a MC cart.  For the 2m Black I just figured a new front end from Ortofon would be the way to go.
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Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
HR1s (Upgrd - top & bass drivers & X-ovr)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under everything.
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jslateiv
Seasoned Member
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Posts: 120
Re: Soundsmith -Zephyr MKIII es -2M black -Grado gold
Reply #5 - 07/15/19 at 00:42:52
 
I went through a number of carts looking for the 'right' one.   Lyra, DynaVector, Grado, Ortophone.   When I finally got a hold of a SS Zephyr MIMC,  the search was over!   It was (for me) instantly apparent that the SS tucked the other carts into bed at night.   The thought to move to something different hasn't even crossed my mind.  And they not near as delicate as as MC carts either!  To each his own but Great pick on a cart!  I don't think anybody with any setup could go wrong with the SS line of carts!
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VPI Scout (SS Zephyr MIMC) > Lundahl 1933 SUT > ZP3 > Auralic Aries Mini > PSA DSD w/BridgeII > PSA BHK Pre > 25th Anniv. Zen Amp/NuForce STA200/TubeLab 300B > Triangle Celius 202 / Zu Omen (Hi-Mod) : PSA P12 : Iconoclast Cabling
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Ace-Tone
Seasoned Member
****


5+ years with
Decware gear and
Loving it!!!

Posts: 737
Re: Soundsmith -Zephyr MKIII es -2M black -Grado gold
Reply #6 - 07/15/19 at 16:22:56
 
Thanks jslateiv,   Yes, cart is amazing. And the great thing is, it's performance can be elevated with an upgraded new cant/stylus from SS when it comes time for cant/stylus. Albums spun lately are captivating!
But, I'm sure you know that.
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SE84UFO25, ZP3, Zstage, ZR2, ZSB, DM947 Monoliths 946-mid
VPI-Traveler2, Soundsmith-Zephyr MKIIIes.
Cambridge CXC. Schiit Bifrost Multibit
Audio Envy, RAC-PC's/IC's, Mapleshade Dbl Helix+Spkr wire & jumpers
Blue Circle PLC FX2X0e, Herbies Lab, GIK, PI Audio
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