Basis Vector cartridge recommendations

Looking for some advice from the analog experts for a cartridge, running a Basis 2200 signature, Vector 4 tonearm with an Allnic 3000 phono stage, CJ Premier 14, Mac 501 amps and all Kubala- Sosna cabling. I have used an ortofon jubilee for 7 years or so and thinking about a change. short list:

Ortofon cadenza black - slightly concerned it might be too revealing with my Thiels and music preference - classic rock, blues, jazz.....

Ortofon bronze
Transfiguration Proteus
Lyra - never have moved me but limited experience

Any suggestions would be appreciated since auditions in my room are impossible. Thanks.
Hey Jerry,

If you are concerned that the Cadenza Black may be too revealing for your Thiels, you should have the same concern for the Lyra cartridges, IMHO. I owned the Helikon, and it was a bit too revealing for my tastes.

As you know, I am running the Cadenza Bronze, and it is a great match with my Allnic H1201. Transfiguration makes some great cartridges, but the Proteus is in a different price league than the Bronze, I'm pretty sure that would be the way to go if you can afford it. The Phoenix S is also a great cartridge, actually sounded better than the old Orpheus L, which is why Transfiguration had to re-work their line and come out with the Proteus.

One more candidate I would throw in there, just to confuse you more, is the ZYX 4D-X. Best cartridge I had on my Basis 2500 Signature table.

Since you list a $6K cartridge (Proteus) in competition with a $2300 cartridge (Bronze), I'm not really sure if you have a budget or not.
If you don't have a budget you may consider a My Sonic Lab Signature Gold! LOL!

Actually, you may want to look into the MSL line, as A.J. Conti of Basis likes them so much that he became the North American importer for MSL. I know A.J. was smitten with the MSL cartridges before he became the importer. If you are looking at a Proteus, an Eminent or Ultra Eminent may be in your wheelhouse. I have not had an opportunity to hear a MSL cartridge though.

There, how's that for more confusion?

Thanks John, your wealth of experience and council is always valuable. I would say my budget is no more than 6K. I did forget to mention MSL on my short list because AJ is so high on them, but I know very little about them other than brief reading on the net.

It is confusing with seemingly endless options! I would like to make a choice that I can live with for a while but it almost seems like a shot in the dark. I got lucky with my Jubilee, I have enjoyed it for several years.

Congrats on your system, I know you've got it humming!

I just installed a NOS Transfig Orpheus in my Vector 4 and it is astonishing compared to the Spirit. While the Spirit was good, the Orpheus is like taking a step closer to the musicians. More lifelike presentation, but without harshness. I would highly recommend one if you can find it. I purchased mine at Ears Nova for a reasonable price and I am very pleased with it. I believe they may have a couple more. I do believe that all the Trannys work well in Basis arms, so you certainly won't go wrong with any of them, IMO.
The Transfiguration Proteus is very musical with wonderful stage width and depth the best Transfiguration i have had them all.Enjoy!
Cadenza Black too revealing??? That's what we audiophiles pay for. I'm using an Orofon Windfield which is a bumped up black....I like it. I came from a Benz LPS. The differences aren't that great...LPS a bit more lush, Windfield more open. If I hear an orchestra in 2 different venues, those sonic differences are very much greater
I agree, I do not know much about the MSL carts at all outside of the fact that A.J. loves them.

I do agree with Chayro and Ebm, you cannot go wrong with a Transfiguration cartridge. Eminently musical, yet not is a warm, syrupy sweet way, more in an organic, natural way. Of those that you mention in your OP, the Proteus would be my choice.

Keep us posted.
I pulled the trigger on a Transfiguration Proteus, just sounds like a great fit in my system and nothing but rave reviews from those in the know. Thanks for all the great feedback, I will post my impressions when I get her in.

Stringreen the Windfeld was my second choice, I know you are enjoying yours. Hey John, I learned a bit more about MSL - they are expensive!

Thanks Chayro and Ebm thanks for the push!
Jmcgrogan2, unless you are fixated at the particular models you have mentioned, check out the Audio Technica ART9. It is their reference model. In my system it bested some of the best cartridges out there, especially the Miyabi 47, Miyabi Standard, Lyra Skala, Benz Ebony TR to name a few. This I am saying with first hand experience with long term listening to each in my own system using Platine Nouvelle Verdier turntable and a variety of tonearms. I was using the Vector 4 also for some time. The ART9 combines the best of all the cartridges beats all of them in one area, i.e musical flow/PRAT (as some would call it). It is extremely neutral in the best of the sense, very open and very dynamic (both macro and micro). It costs lesser than the bronze but what it does the bronze can only dream of.

If you check out my threads here at Audiogon and at Pinkfishmedia, you will realize I have been hunting around cartridges for the last 3 years. With ART9 I feel elated because I know, I not only have a cart that I dont have to upgrade from but also after this cart has worn off I will buy another one.
@Pani, thank you for the tip on the Audio Technica ART9. I will have to keep that in mind as a "must try". The price certainly seems reasonable. It sounds like a winner! Thanks again!

@Pops, yes, I know the MSL's are expensive. LOL!
However, you could have the entry level Eminent GL for around $3100, well within your budget.
No worries, congrats on the Proteus, and do keep us posted.
I use a Basis 2500 with a Vector 3 tonearm, (terminated with XLRs as I run balanced cables into my ASR Basis Exclusive phono preamp). I have been using a Dynavector XV-1S for several years now. (When I starting to wear out my first one, I bought a second one, which shows you how much I like it!). I found that it combined everything I really wanted in a cartridge: incredibly deep, dark black backgrounds; with great frequency extension at both ends; and a nice touch of warmth in the mid-range.

My two cents worth.

Good Luck in your search!
Pops - I will tell you that if you're doing the installation yourself, be patient and give yourself time. The cantilever on the cartridge is very small and tucked underneath the rounded body, all of which add up to some additional difficulties. It's doable, but just allow yourself the proper amount of time. If the dealer is doing it, let them worry :). I'm sure you will enjoy it.
Kurt - thanks I'll bet the Dyna sounds great in your system, which is killer! Chayro thanks for the warning, I've heard it is challenging, I will make sure I have plenty of time, no drinks, and hopefully no distractions!

Pani, I love hearing glowing endorsements from someone with a lot of experience with a component. The Audio Technica sounds really interesting.
I had the Vector arm and now I have the Super Arm 9. I am using the ZYX Ultimate 2 and the sound is fantastic. I tried lots of cartridges with Basis and I like this the best. Ones I have tried are Koetsu, Clearaudio, Benz, Vandenhall, Myabi, etc.
Thanks Jwm, I remember the threads about your Super Arm and how impressive it is! Hopefully you pop back on this thread and can comment on the synchro wave power supply and if it is worth the money?
Yes pops the Synchro wave power supply is a must have. It gives you a much smoother platter rotation and gives a much quieter background. I have observed without the synchro the motor vibrates and can send some of this to the platter. I noticed when the synchro is connected the motor becomes dead silent with no vibrations at all.
The Synchro wave power supply does a good job of smoothing the motor out, in part, because it splits the phase to the four pole motor and delivers two separate power feeds to the motor (the motor has to be sent back to Basis), instead of using a capacitor in the motor itself to split the phase. This is the superior way to provide outboard power. Those motor controllers that don't provide two separate phases of power (i.e., the type where one simply plugs the motor into the power supply) and rely on a capacitor in the motor are particularly less desirable when the controller is also used to change speed; the capacitor can be made ideal only for the 60 hz frequency that drives the motor and a change in frequency to change speed means that capacitor cannot be properly splitting phase.

I like the Synchro with my Basis Debut, but, I would characterize the improvement as fairly subtle (Basis already delivers a very quiet background without the Synchro). To me it is worth the money, but, I would not want anyone to expect too much of a difference.

Anyone with an old belt should replace their belt. Not only is a new belt always better, Basis has improved the quality control in manufacturing belts and this really boosts performance.
I have an update - installed the Proteus last week on my Vector 4 tonearm and could not be more pleased. What a cartridge! It does everything so well, excellent resolution without aggression, and voices just float and sound organic - like they are in the room but not in your face.

I only have around 8 hours on it so it needs some time to really settle in. It was not that difficult to install although getting overhang spot on was a challenge because of the small cantilever tucked under the body, as Chayro warned. If anyone is looking for me I will be spinning some wax!
That's a good description - "in your room, but not in your face." That's how I feel about the Orpheus as well. Very real sounding and un-hifi. Enjoy.
Congrats Jerry! I hope that the new Proteus will bring you many years of joy!

That Basis, Transfiguration, Allnic combination must sound fantastic! Enjoy the music.

Thanks John, sounds really good as I know your front end does. This cartridge is very nice, so much finesse and dynamic when called upon - only 10 hours cooked on this bad boy.
I don't know which Thiels you have, but they are very good speakers and would benefit from a higher level of cartridge. I am using an Ortofon Windfield. Set it up well (use 1000 ohms) and be very happy.

I like your choie in cartridges. I don't think there were many restrictions on your choices with the Vector arm; it would work with almost any low compliance cartridge and probably most medium compliance cartridges as well. Although Transfiguration cartridges have a low source impedance, which suggests they should be loaded down, I actually like them run with not much loading into my phonostage so do some experimenting (my Orpheus L is not that sensitive to loading).
Larryi thanks for the reply, I am currently loading into my Allnic H3000 at 45 ohms. That seems to be the best I have heard so far with my limited time listening. I only have a couple of evenings and 8 hours on it so far.

I will definitely do some experimenting.
Update, the Proteus is sounding very nice still only has 20 hours on it. It digs out everything in the groove in such a way that it has finesse and power at the same time.

Still experimenting with loading, 45 ohms has incredible bass and bass definition, 118 ohms allows more texture and sweeter highs. I know loading values are system and cable dependent. This is a very enjoyable cartridge! Still learn its character. Good listening!
That's great Pops! Thanks for the update, I'm glad that you are enjoying your Proteus!!
Dear Pops, would you please report about your long term experience with the Proteus, as I intend to buy one for either my Kuzma with Airline or for the Brinkmann Balance with Breuer tonearm. 
Maybe someone have some experiences with these gear and Transfiguration?
Or perhaps someone who had compared the ZYX Universe with the Proteus???
thanks very much!
Hi Breezer, could not be happier with the Proteus.  It is a great match for the Vector 4 tonearm and Allnic phono stage.  I have no experience with your tonearm choices but can say with confidence the Proteus is a long term pleaser!  Good luck.

Hi guys, need help !
I owned Basis Signature 2200 TT with Vector 4 tonearm. Phono amp
is Audio Research Ref 2SE. Currently, using Ortofon Cadenza Black.
Planing to upgrade to Ortofon Windfeld or MC A95. Should i go for the 
Windfeld or A95 ? Which cartridge will be a better match for my Vector 4
and AR phono ? Thks !


A friend has the Winfeld and it is a very good cartridge.  I have only briefly heard a setup with the A95 and it ,too, sounded good.  I would bet that there is not much difference between the two.  The minimal body, and use of titanium frame for the A95 fits into the philosophy behind the design of the Vector arm--vibration in the cartridge should be transmitted away from the cartridge and through the arm to be dissipated in the base of the arm/plinth.  But, as to the sonic result, who knows without a trial?

I have a Basis table and his best arm. I love the Miyajima Madake cartridge.
Hi Larry,
Thanks for your feedback. Will check out on the reviews on the two cartridges.
Cheers !