Soundsmith cartridges

What are the differences between the SoundSmith Hyperion MKII - MR (10k) vs the Hyperion MKII (8k)? From SoundSmiths website can't tell.


The difference has been stated to be a reduction in the internal moving mass and the addition of a micro ridge stylus.  The original Hyperion already had extremely low internal moving mass and an Optimized Contour Contact Line stylus so the engineering in that area makes this an interesting item.  My original Hyperion is currently at SoundSmith for an evaluation and possible rebuild.   

Thanks @drrsutliff can you tell me what cartridges you have compared your Hyperion to? What tonearm is it mounted on? I've only heard some lesser SM cartridges not in my system, and thought them very musical, also they seemed to track very well.

@rsf507 I have used among others the Ortofon Cadenza Black, Ortofon Winfeld Ti, Miyajima Madake, Kiseki Purpleheart, and Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum in the past. I currently also have a SoundSmith Paua II. The Hyperion has an ease that is beguiling as within its “musical ease” there is excellent separation, wide and deep soundstage, along with great detail that combine to create a beautiful presentation.   

The Ortofons had excellent detail, but were not as musically involving in my system. The RSSP was special and I do miss it but it did not outperform the Hyperion. In my system the Madake was a little fuller in the lower mids and provided a lot of midrange meat but sacrificed some soundstage and detail in that process, while the Purpleheart was just a great and fun presentation at its price level and continues to perform well on my friend’s setup who insisted that I sell it to him.

I have been using Origin Live turntables and Tonearms for over 15years. Currently  an Origin Live Sovereign Mk3 with dual tone arm plinth employing an OL Enterprise mk4 tonearm and an OL Conqueror mk4 tonearm.  My phono preamp (Dynamic Sounds Associates Phono 2) has loading options from 25ohms to 1775ohms in25 ohm increments. I find the SS cartridges like a lighter (high number) loading. Recommendation from SS is greater than 470ohms. Prior to sending the Hyperion in for a tune up I loaded it at 575ohms.  My Paua II is currently loaded at 700ohms.  Hope this helps.


I too have a Hyperion and agree with Rick's description of the sound.  Mine is an original and is installed on a VPI HW-40.  Prior cartridges included a Cadenza Black, and an original Winfeld.  Before settling on the Hyperion I also seriously considered an Atlas and an AT-1000.  While all three had considerable merit, the sheer practicality of the SoundSmith made it the best option.  My Hyperion is so good that the next step has been a new Conrad Johnson ART phono stage.  The cartridge is good enough.

I loved the Soundsmith Voice which is also making a friend very happy. I gave it to him for his 70th birthday. I am just shy of jumping for the Hyperion MR myself. I have an email out to Peter Ledermann asking how he thinks it will perform with a current mode phono stage, the Channel D Seta L Plus. At 10 ohms it might make it, but it is close. 

I have Auditioned the regular Hyperion at Soundmith's music room using my own records and could not come close to making it miss track. It smoothly handled passages that can come across sibilant with many cartridges. Knowing the Voice really well the only question mark is how well it does the 3rd dimension and I won't know that until I play it on my system. The Voice was mid pack in that regard. The best in my system has been the Lyra Atlas SL followed by the MC Diamond. Both are expensive to rebuild. The beauty of the Soundsmith cartridges is that the rebuild cost is very low in comparison. 

I'm not sure the upgrades to the Hyperion MR will make much of a difference. Soundsmith was already using an excellent stylus and the lower moving mass might improve tracking, but the Hyperion's tracking abilities were already excellent. It will handle groove velocities higher than any cartridge currently made. 

I might also add that dealing with Soundsmith has always been a pleasure and Peter goes out of his way to make sure you are happy.