Hearing Only The Music...
I recently purchased a Kiseki Purple Heart cartridge from an Agon seller. I had heard so many great things about this cart, so it had been on my bucket list. When this one appeared for sale at a fair price, it coincided with some bills being paid off and some extra money being available, so I pulled the trigger.
After careful set-up and a week or so of listening I am simply blown away at how good it sounds in my system.
FYI, I have a SME 20/2 w/IV.Vi tonearm, a Parasound JC-3+ phono stage, Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP amp with Harbeth 40.1 speakers.
My previous cartridge was a Lyra Delos. The Delos was a fabulous cartridge, which made it very difficult to decide on this upgrade. Now that I've made the jump I have to say I have zero regrets. The Purple Heart is a pure delight. Soundstage is huge (wide and deep), and so much of the fine detail of the music is coming through like never before. The backgrounds are so black and quiet. It's like the equipment has disappeared and I am only hearing the music. The sound is so smooth and lacking any coloration. It makes me just want to skip work and listen to records all day long (another thing that is on my bucket list :-)).
The one thing I will have to get used to with this cartridge is not being able to see the stylus well when cleaning it. The Lyra has a nude stylus, making it very easy to see. The Delos also has an excellent slide-on protector that I liked a lot more than the one for the Purple Heart. I am not using it, but since the stylus is not exposed I don't worry about it as much.
The Purple Heart is a wonderful cartridge. I hope you have a chance to hear one for yourself if you haven't already.