Question on Soundsmith carts

I have been looking at some sound smith carts, and was wondering if the mkii vs original are that different.

I am seeing I can get the zephyr non mkii for about 1k versus the mkii for 2k or an older voice for like 1600.

is it better to go with a higher cart and older generation or newer generation and lower cart.

I see a new zephyr or older voice or older zephyr star mimic.

thanks for the input,  k
Why not just call and talk to Peter? He would know better than anyone.
He is not always easy to get a hold of as he is very busy, but if you do get to speak to him you will readily acknowledge it was worth the effort.
I found this post in another forum, but it describes the new ES generation some. I did not write this, but, believe that the newer ES generation may have some lower noise due to the design factors. I have a Sussaro MKII and a Hyperion MKII ES. I know this is not quite a good comparison but from what I read about each of these in previous forms, they were very good years ago. So, if your looking at an opportunity to get a used higher end model, just make sure that it is serviceable and plays. I don’t think you could go wrong. The flip side is if the new variant is an blatantly cartridge, then, I would get the latest and greatest. It may be hard to get precise feedback from people who have owned both types because they may not hang around here on this forum. 

“I like the designs of the previous generation of Soundsmith cartridges, but the new ES generation is said to have a design that lowers resonances more than the older design. So the new generation may be ugly, but may also sound better. As for compliance, what Soundsmith calls "medium compliance" is "high compliance" to other makers. :) So Soundsmith cartridges likes low to low-medium mass tonearms. It’s a fixed coil design, a "moving micro cross" which is a variant of moving iron. Nagaoka MP-cartridges (Moving Permalloy) could be an alternative, or Goldring 2x00-serie (Moving Iron) or Grado (Moving Iron) if one has a tonearm that is not really working with Soundsmith.”

Why would you call the manufacturer to see if their products are any good or if their new product is better than their older product? Do you really think that any manufacturer is going to say that their newer products aren’t as good as their older versions? I know some people here get a kick out of talking to manufacturers to find out how good their products are, I’d rather talk to people that actually use the products for advice.
p05129. I’d rather talk to people that actually use the products for advice.

I think that is what the OP was trying to do.

Why not call the manufacturer and have him or her sell you on the difference in the new vs previous version?
You don't have to buy everything latest even if the manufacturer will tell you it's better. In my opinion SoudSmith Zephyr and mkII are OK, but the latest mk III is awful looking new cartridge body design! In terms of design the latest is definitely not better in my opinion. 
I have a brand new The Voice. The New cartridges look sharper and appear better made, more jewel like but, for most of them the working mechanism is the same. The new cartridges have only one new feature the old ones do not and that is a mounting system that allows you to adjust azimuth and dampen the cartridge. This is useful for people who do not have well dampened arms and no azimuth adjustment.
I like the previous post.  I have a dampened arm, and Azimuth adjustment so not a huge amount of impact for me in theory.

I am honestly thinking about the Paua (old) and Voice
I email Soundsmith and he was very honest.  Net new and not used, older higher end will squeeze more music out of newer lower end units.

Very refreshing to see a vendor to be so honest.  Case closed...
@kro77 , get the Voice!! It is a high output Sussurro. The only reason it is priced lower are marketing considerations. Peter told this to me himself.
The higher output gives you a much better signal to noise ration and more dynamics. The only cartridge Soundsmith makes that is substantially better is the Strain Gauge. 
@kro77  Yup, all because of the higher output. Peter only makes low output cartridges to suit the market. He told me this himself. If people didn't want to use their expensive phono stages and were not fixated on low output cartridges he would not make them. Lower output has benefit for MC cartridges but absolutely none for MI cartridges. The coils and magnets are not part of the moving system. I did not ask him why he did not make a high output Hyperion. My guess is that the high output club would not pay that much for a cartridge.
Something to be said on knowing your audience, maybe the voice is the way to go instead.

Looking at the Weigh it is super low at 6.8 grams...

you gave me alot to think about here.  Really appreciate it.

The Soundsmith MK ii models with the DEMS alumina mounting rods and a non-"boxy" body are supposed the have lower internal resonances.If you have a tonearm with does not permit azimuth adjustment, using the middle alumina rod allows some adjustment and would be an advantage.When I bought my Aida, I chose the older model at a big discount because my Graham 2.2 had an elastomer pad under the cartridge mount and is fully adjustable for azimuth. I don't know if the new body contributes to lesser resonances, but I preferrred the looks of the older model, and certainly the price. I do not believe the moving parts of the models are different.
Interestingly enough I asked much the same question a couple of years ago and SoundSmith steered me toward the previous generation Experion, which at the time was being phased out in favor of the new updated design.  The differences were subtle as it was explained to me.  I saved a bundle of dough.  Subsequently I have been able to compare the two and feel that the differences are indeed very subtle between the older Experion and the current version.  For sure SoundSmith provided honest and accurate advice to me.  This is a great company.