Highest detail cartridges

Which cartridges give the greatest amount of detail? Imaging, soundstage file detail. These are qualities to consider. I know Lyra cartridges are high on that list. What others equal or better Lyras. Is there anything below, say $1500, that is in that same category?  Detail with reasonably flat frequency response.
I agree with the poster who mentioned the Decca cartridges.  However the tone arm used is critical - the cartridge has ver’y little damping and so the tone arm has to be very well damped.  Far and away the best combination I’ve found is the London Jubilee (with its fine-line stylus) and the Well-tempered Amadeus turntable, with its golf-ball-floating-in-silicone tone arm.  The sound is noticeably more detailed and more relaxed than the best digital sources I’ve tried, and streets ahead of a fancy Grado cartridge i’d Bought to copy recordings with, or a fancy MC I compared it with.
in the old days the Deccan were a bit too edgy, and of course would hop skip and jump with abandon, but this combination solves all of those problems.
now if only it would deal with the hole being off-center in the records...
I would like to chime in on the discussion of highest detailed cartridges, phono stages, cables, etc.

I just completed a replacement of my service entrance of the house which had a rather typical 200 amp breaker box with around 60 breakers all GE equipment.  The main lines coming in from the meter outside were also typical heavy gauge aluminum and the main buss on the breaker box was aluminum.    The reason for the change out was that I had been having a lot of peculiar problems with my new sound system; specifically my amps would go into over heating shut down or turning off due to lack of current under heavy loading (I do tend to play it loud in a 10,000 cubic foot room).  I had been using a nice Parasound amp driving a pair of Bryston Model T's, but I thought that I needed more, so I picked up a pair of Anthem Statement M1 monoblocks which are rated at 2000 watts per channel at 4 ohms if driven by dedicated 240 volt mains, which I am doing.  Even the M1's would go into protection occasionally when pushed, but not what I would call excessive pushing.  

I was begging to think that I had something else going on as the house took a lightning hit which came in via the power service two years ago.  I called a friend of mine who is a retired EE with Bell Labs/Lucent and formerly the US Coast Guard.  This guy knows more than anyone I know about electronics.  I asked him if a slight voltage drop under loading could be causing my issues.  I wanted to try removing the breakers, cycling them after a hit of DeOxit 5 and a light spray to the contacts which clamp the buss.  He said I was reading his mind; he felt I had a slightly high resistance issue on one or both of my lines which is causing a voltage drop when under heavy loading and that is why the amps go into protection mode.  He asked me how the buss appeared in the panel and I said the aluminum was either silver plated or had a slight aluminum oxidation as is usual, but I doubt  it's silver plated, so it has to be oxidation.  He said  "get that panel replaced! In fact get all the aluminum out, including all the main feeds from the meter"  "you need to have it all changed out with copper only"   Dave told me that more house fires have been caused by aluminum service entrances than anything else as the aluminum oxidizes or isn't installed properly with a proper coating of NoALOX; it all leads to elevated resistance with time and it heats up.  Especially when the house is near the ocean, which I am.

So, out it all came; I had all new Siemens copper buss panels installed with Siemens breakers and new heavy 200 amp rated copper mains brought in through conduit to the panel.  

Was there any noticeable differences?  You bet there is!   I find that I get much more output from the amps at much lower volume settings and I cannot push the volume as high as I used to or it's blistering to the ears.... plus, when I opened all the doors to the deck and really pushed it so that I could go outside, the amps have not gone into protection mode! Wow, first time.  And I took temperature readings last night on the heat sinks of the M1's after hours of heavy use, they were reading around 90 degrees F on a very hot summer night.  I mean they were about 5 degrees warmer than the ambient temperatures.  This is approximately 10 to 15% cooler than before.

Now 'hear' is the best part:  I could not believe how much dynamic range I am hearing.  The upper mid range and upper range is far more present than before, far more detailed and the bass is faster, tighter and more powerful.  I am amazed and when I reported this to my friend Dave, he said that of course I am going to hear this improvement as the amps are not seeing voltage sag under load, they are getting full delivery of current and when high demand for current with dynamic music occurs, they are delivering much more.
The best way to describe this is that it's as if the power from the amps has doubled or more and the detail in the music is as if I just installed a $10K cartridge picking out things I have never heard.   

Total cost for the change out by the electrician, $2600..... far less than buying a fancy new phono preamp and cartridge :)   I cannot over emphasize the importance of using only copper mains and buss in the service entrance.  Aluminum seems to very common in construction as it's less expensive and builders use it often.  So if you are into great HiFi as we all are; inspect your service entrance!!
Technics EPC-100C MK4 & Highphonic MCD-15 Signature.  ‘Nuff. Said!!!
Andy Kim in Seattle,WA does GREAT repair work for GREAT PRICE!!!   
Hey BIF. I had an old Shelter 90X, needed replacing.

Got the Zephyr Star from Music Direct. Great price $1695. Worth every penny. Great sounding cart, a bit warmer than my friends Lyra Titan and Atlas. Not quite as detailed. But many of my audiophile friends here in Houston actually prefer the sound of the Zephyr Star. I even contacted Lederman to see if he would upgrade me I got so enthusiastic about Soundsmith. I still may go all the way to Hyperion, but this Zephyr is so nice, and rebuilds so reasonable, its hard to justify the extra $$$. They Hyperion is $8K.

I need, alas, some ''theory'' to explain what I mean. There is

this ''truth by conditions'' theory ascribed to Tarski. The ''model'' is


1. For all x Fx & Gx

2. For some x Fx&Gx

The first sentence is not true if there is just one object which does

not satisfy conditions F and G.

The second sentence is true if there is at least one object which

satisfy both F and G  conditions.

Popper used this ''model'' by his ''Conjectures and Refutations''.

The statement ''all swans are white'' is refuted with one black

swan. For this purpose he brought one black swan from Australia

to England by some Philosophical  gathering and  demonstrated

his black swan to perplexed English colleague. The most thought

that he simply painted one white swan in black.

Well this is my introduction with my intention to refute chakster

theory about correlation between moving mass and details.

Many of us are familiar with those EMT cartridges. What is

curious by them is the output. We are used to low output

carts with probable assumption that they need less wire for

their coils. However this cart produces 0,9 mV output which

is like our ''black swan''. To put this otherwise this is an

contra example which according to our first ''model'' make

the whole theory not true (grin).