Don't you just hate it when---

something very unusual happens to you pet toy! I had the great misfortune on damaging my ZYX universe cartridge in a freak accident. I was changing out my cartridge and installing on a new tonearm i built for my apollo. I had the cartridge (stylus cover in place) on the table. I dropped my small screwdriver and in a impulse tried to catch it and arggh, knocked my universe off the table on to the floor. I was not really worried as my stylus cover was securely fastened.

Well i picked it up and notice three prongs vs the normal 4. My ground prong was gone. I found it and looked at the cartridge under my scope and it appears as it fell, it somehow hit that prong and snapped the plastic body. Now i have a screwed up cartridge. I have contacted Soundsmith and they will look to see if they can repair. I can not see any coil issue and i can see the small wire the connected to the ground. Obviously i am heartbroken. I will install a carpet around my turntable "table" in case i get stupid again.
Fortunately i have an Airy3 as a backup.
I dread it when my vinyl sound heads south for whatever reason, usually cart related. There are so many ways to go wrong and only one way to get it right. I try to never touch it unless I hear something off.

Years ago, working at Tech Hifi, Lafayette, and Radio Shack at various stages, I set up carts for most customers regularly during purchase. DO don't recall many complaints. Of course my eyes were much sharper back then, which helps.

Nowadays, I do not play vinyl nearly as much as in the past. I try to leave good things alone for as long as possible.
Damaging a cartridge while you're working on your tt is not a freak accident. Unfortunately.
Hi Oilman

A few years ago I beheaded my XV1's long cantilever some 15 feet from the turntable when doing some maintenance. When I realized what happened I believe my soul left me for a while. My only hover over my body experience that I can recall so far :^(
Soundsmith said the accident damaged the coils and it could not be repaired. Luckily through audiogoneer Nandric I was put in contact with Axle in Germany. He rebuilt it. If SS says it can't be fixed let me know I can send you Axle's info. SS do excellent work and have retipped 3 of my cartridges. I nicknamed my cartridge XV1-AXE.

Good luck with it.
Well, Oilman, I would say 'you done lost your mojo.' At least for the moment. Do not delay, call Mehran straightaway, and let him know of your plight. Mehran is one of the coolest in the biz. I bet he will take good care of you. Any other path, and you are just taking more risk. If you live outside US, call Mehran just the same.
I have my Benz Micro RubyIII S with Axel right now. Also knocked if off the turntable stand. The Hardwood floors certainly didn't help when it hit!
I feel your pain!
thanks for the responses back. I did not buy first hand and thought Sorasound would not honor a second hand purchase but that is a good suggestion. I also appreciate the alternate in case Soundsmith can not handle a repair or if Sorasound option is not feasible. I do understand that cold feeling like the out of body experience as i saw the missing prong. I dont mind spending a little money on this obsession, but when i am the fault, it does hurt a bunch. But, hopefully i can find my Mojo again if one of these options comes through. Gotta get my mojo working! thanks for the comments
I can see a new thread appearing..'Don't you hate it when GOD commands you to upgrade?'
Basso profundo: UNIverse II... UNIverse II... UNIverse II...

Seriously, I'm sorry for your accident. OUCH!!!

thanks for the note. if i can not get repaired (just the prong repaired) that may be an option if Mehran will accepted a damaged cartridge for upgrade. I have seen the reviews and it sounds like another superb cartridge from zyx.
Got my Mojo back! looks like an UNIverse II coming my way. After discussing with Mehran and confirming the cartridge condition, Mehran put together a great package for me and i will soon be able to hear how this new cartridge performs. Sorasound is a great asset to our audio community! Thanks to Rtilden and Dougdeacon for recommending to talk to Mehran.
Woo-hoo! As Rtilden said, it must have been fated. ;-)

Let us know what you think of the UII.
thanks! i read you review when it came out and was very interested but couldnt see upgrading but now i cant wait for it to come in. My new preamp and amp with the Caldera speakers has really opened my eyes on so many fronts that i really cant imagine what the U11 will sound like. I will let you guys know
Oilman- I gotta hand it to ya... you chose the absolute best way to reclaim your MOJO! Hats off!
UNI is in. Any advice on setup. I read on Arthurs review this one likes a little more VTF than my first universe and the VTA is a little wider sweetspot. How long to break in before trying tuning in the VTA? thanks in advance. I got carpet now all around my turntable stand. Aint no dropping this one!
Arthur's U2 needed many hours before settling in. Ours knocked our sonic socks off on the first play and changed very little after 10-15 hours. In other words, YMMV.

The molecular bonding characteristics of elastomers used in cartridge suspensions produce highly random behaviors. Specific predictions have little validity.

Agree with Arthur that the VTA/SRA sweetspot is wider, as noted in our review. Tweaking for each LP is still audibly beneficial, but it's less necessary because the performance dropoff if you don't bother isn't nearly as great. The sweet spot for the U1 was razor thin, the U2 has broader shoulders.

Any finding that Arthur's U2 needs a little more VTF than his U1 should probably be ascribed to individual cartridge differences, not necessarily to the difference in models. My experience was actually the opposite.

I've had about 15 U1s in my system (my own 3, several belonging to friends plus multiple customer cartridges sent to me by Mehran for inspection). No two of them needed exactly the same VTF.

As for how to set VTF, I'd play the cartridge at some safe setting, say 2.0g or so, until you're comfortable that the cartridge has settled in.

After that, my procedure is the same for any UNIverse (and most top level cartridges):
1. Reduce VTF in .05g increments until you find the mis-tracking point on your toughest-to-track passages.
2. Nudge VTF back up in .01g increments until mis-tracking ceases; HFs should sound clear, open and non-fuzzy.
3. Nudge VTF further up in .01g increments until LFs and dynamics sound solid.
4. Nudge VTF further up in .01g increments until HFs and/or micro-dynamics begin to sound a bit muffled.

The range between Steps 2 and 4 is the acceptable VTF range for this cartridge, with Step 3 being optimal...
- on this day
- in these weather conditions
- for this LP
Change any of the above and the VTF range and optimum will also change. Tweak as necessary, depending on what you hear and how much it bother you to be off of "perfect".
Over the years I also have had mishaps with a couple of ZYX carts due to mishandling. ZYX and Mehran both have been more than fair in their dealing with me. I just wish more manufactures and dealers were this responsive with their customers.
I also have upgraded to the universe 11 and can only say WOW.....
thanks! i will let you know how it goes. DSremer, i agree that Mehran is one of those guys who really takes care of his customers. He was quick to put together an excellent and more than fair package. I will do more business with him in the future
I have a friend who is considering selling his maplenoll Apollo. This unit is in current use... looks and sounds good,
do you know anyone who may be interested?
Sorry, cant say i know anyone looking for one. These are great tables but they aren't for everyone. I will however ask around some of my cohorts.
Anyone considering an Apollo would be wise to contact Lloyd Walker about platter bearing replacement cost, whenever needed, as it is likely to be prohibitive. As far as I know he is the only person who could provide it. I know someone with a very tweaked (by Lloyd) Apollo with a bearing that went bad, and it has been sitting idle for years. Look before you leap.
EssentialAudio--If this person wants to get it going again, i might be able to help. I have a couple of "spare" bearing plates that might fit his service or could help him polish out the "bad" plate. Since these are match sets, you cant just replace one, but my experience, the plates are really hard to screw up. Sometimes they build up a film (early days when maplenoll used those crappy compressors which through a bunch of oil) but i have cleaned up a couple of plates. If they are scored due to metal trash, even that can be compensated for. The apollo is a fine table but all of the maplenolls require a lot of patience to set up right. However, once set up, they are outstanding.
Oilmanmojo, he is not at all inclined to do any such thing, nor am I. At this point, as it has been, the 'table sits idle. He might consider selling it but has a lot in it. It's a project for someone willing to pay a lot, and that's not about to happen.