Zyx top of the line models - which is which?

iaxel

Active Member
Oct 25, 2016
153
16
33
#1
Hi,

I’m pretty confused with Zyx’s top of the line offerings.
I’ve owned the Zyx Ultimate Omega, which is a great cartridge and is near the top of the line model on their international website.
However, there’s also the Universe 3, Universe Premium and Universe Optimum. Which do not appear on their international website.
In addition to the Ultimate Dynamic and the Ultimate (Omega?) Diamond.

Can anyone make sense and explain the differences between these models? And what are they based on?

I’ve received an offer on a new unused Universe 3, and would like to know how it compares to the other top of the line models (including the Ultimate Omega, which I’ve owned).

Thanks!
 
Likes: Ron Resnick
May 14, 2014
384
1
18
#3
Universe line is specifically made for US market as far as I know.
 

marmota

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2016
59
77
50
#4
Nice post, I would also like to know the differences between their high end models.

Ultimate Omega VS Ultimate Dynamic
Is the Ultimate Dynamic better because is more expensive, or is it a sidegrade with a different type of sound and due to being different is more expensive to build?

UNIverse Optimum VS UNIverse III
I expect the Optimum to be better, but is it a small improvement or better by a large margin under appropiate conditions?

Ultimate Omega & Ultimate Dynamic VS UNIverse Optimum & UNIverse III
Are those two UNIverse cartridges much better than the Omega and Dynamic, or are they sidegrades with different type of sounds in mind but more expensive because they build less cartridges? (UNIverse are only available from @SORAsound in the US while the others can be bought worldwide).

I would be glad if someone with the necessary knowledge (or, if possible, ZYX themselves) answers because their lineup is extremely confusing but the products seem to be true high end, state of the art, designed with real passion and intelligence, something really welcome and rare in today's world.

EDIT:
Just found this on ZYX's website, a new "top of the line" (their website does not show the UNIverse line, so even more confusing) cartridge:
ZYX Ultimate ASTRO
http://www.zyx-audio.com/products_mc_ultimate_series_astro.html

Couldn't find the price, but damn, add the Ultimate Diamond to this and is impossible to get an accurate idea.
We need a short, simple bullet point resume with the organized lineup explained, this is incredibly difficult to understand and it's a shame because the cartridges have an excellent (and I'm sure really well deserved) reputation for their sound and build quality.
 
Last edited:
May 14, 2014
384
1
18
#5
Nice post, I would also like to know the differences between their high end models.

Ultimate Omega VS Ultimate Dynamic
Is the Ultimate Dynamic better because is more expensive, or is it a sidegrade with a different type of sound and due to being different is more expensive to build?

UNIverse Optimum VS UNIverse III
I expect the Optimum to be better, but is it a small improvement or better by a large margin under appropiate conditions?

Ultimate Omega & Ultimate Dynamic VS UNIverse Optimum & UNIverse III
Are those two UNIverse cartridges much better than the Omega and Dynamic, or are they sidegrades with different type of sounds in mind but more expensive because they build less cartridges? (UNIverse are only available from @SORAsound in the US while the others can be bought worldwide).

I would be glad if someone with the necessary knowledge (or, if possible, ZYX themselves) answers because their lineup is extremely confusing but the products seem to be true high end, state of the art, designed with real passion and intelligence, something really welcome and rare in today's world.

EDIT:
Just found this on ZYX's website, a new "top of the line" (their website does not show the UNIverse line, so even more confusing) cartridge:
ZYX Ultimate ASTRO
http://www.zyx-audio.com/products_mc_ultimate_series_astro.html

Couldn't find the price, but damn, add the Ultimate Diamond to this and is impossible to get an accurate idea.
We need a short, simple bullet point resume with the organized lineup explained, this is incredibly difficult to understand and it's a shame because the cartridges have an excellent (and I'm sure really well deserved) reputation for their sound and build quality.
Nice post, I would also like to know the differences between their high end models.

Ultimate Omega VS Ultimate Dynamic
Is the Ultimate Dynamic better because is more expensive, or is it a sidegrade with a different type of sound and due to being different is more expensive to build?

UNIverse Optimum VS UNIverse III
I expect the Optimum to be better, but is it a small improvement or better by a large margin under appropiate conditions?

Ultimate Omega & Ultimate Dynamic VS UNIverse Optimum & UNIverse III
Are those two UNIverse cartridges much better than the Omega and Dynamic, or are they sidegrades with different type of sounds in mind but more expensive because they build less cartridges? (UNIverse are only available from @SORAsound in the US while the others can be bought worldwide).

I would be glad if someone with the necessary knowledge (or, if possible, ZYX themselves) answers because their lineup is extremely confusing but the products seem to be true high end, state of the art, designed with real passion and intelligence, something really welcome and rare in today's world.

EDIT:
Just found this on ZYX's website, a new "top of the line" (their website does not show the UNIverse line, so even more confusing) cartridge:
ZYX Ultimate ASTRO
http://www.zyx-audio.com/products_mc_ultimate_series_astro.html

Couldn't find the price, but damn, add the Ultimate Diamond to this and is impossible to get an accurate idea.
We need a short, simple bullet point resume with the organized lineup explained, this is incredibly difficult to understand and it's a shame because the cartridges have an excellent (and I'm sure really well deserved) reputation for their sound and build quality.
For universe cartridges you need to talk to Mehran from Sorasounds and/or check their web site.
My understanding is that Uni Optimum is the newest and presumably the best Universe cartridge of its line. It has two versions, one is 1 ohm and extremely low output and the other is 4 ohm and its internal impedance and output voltage are similar to Uni Premium cartridge that I have. The new uni optimum cartridge is listed around 17k usd.
I didn’t have a chance to hear either 1 ohm or 4 ohm versions of new Optimum. I have had some experiences with Omega cartridges. Though some properties are similar as unmistakably all of them are ZYX cartridges, in terms of overall sonic qualities and to compare to Uni Premium , my assessment has been no contest. But evaluating and comparing cartridges is a tricky business. You need to be sure each cartridge has its own optimum settings including similar alignments to compare. You need to try them with same tonearms also. To make things worse, a higher performance cartridge may not show its sonic qualities properly in a setup if that sound system is not capable in terms of resolution and transparency. From tonearm’s internal cable to phono cables to phono stage to others all those matter. Last but not the least, lower output of a cartridge means it demands more from phono preamplifier and in some cases it may be wiser to add a step up transformer to the chain.
 
Likes: marmota

gian60

Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2016
2,021
933
178
#6
I liked the old Diamond of my friend and the universe listened many times in the Kronos of Louis in Italy or in show but I never consider to buy a ZYX and spend a lot of money for this big confusion in their different model line
And also really doesn’t know which think to buy,so I forget ZYX
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
3,728
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Bangkok
#7
The Universe Optimum and Universe Premium bear no resemblance in term of presentation. The Universe Optimum with higher price tag is not an upgrade to the Universe Premium from that reason alone.
 
Likes: marmota

marmota

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2016
59
77
50
#8
The Universe Optimum and Universe Premium bear no resemblance in term of presentation. The Universe Optimum with higher price tag is not an upgrade to the Universe Premium from that reason alone.
Very interesting!
May you please share a bit more about the differences in presentation between the two?
 

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,723
848
275
United States
#9
Universe line is specifically made for US market as far as I know.
This makes no sense at all. Why? Do USA audiophiles hear things differently than audiophiles in the EU? Japan? Thailand? HK? To be honest, I have always found ZYX marketing to be an abyss of utter confusion and have posted on this previously. Indeed, I have a ZYX Uni II Premium I bought over a year ago directly from Mehran and it is still sitting on a shelf. (I have no motivation to install it due to good satisfaction with my current Benz LPS on my current Goldmund T3F rig). Yet while it has been on the shelf, ZYX has come out with 3 newer "improved" models, not all of which appear obtainable from SORA sound. Are they better than the Uni II? Worse? Different? (how?). Damned if I know. Does anyone? And frankly, the ZYX web site and their marketing is so confusing, disappointing, and at this point, somewhat suspicious, that I'm not inclined to find the answers to these questions.
 
Last edited:

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
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#10
Very interesting!
May you please share a bit more about the differences in presentation between the two?
The Universe Premium is more lively. You are closer to the musical performance and you are more front roll, more raw also. The extension on both ends is great with the Premium. I feel the Premium sounds a little flat or less dimensional. The Optimum is more distant less lively sound. It is more like you are watching the performance from a super high definition screen 4k 5k 6k. The midrange especially the vocal is not sweet but very very fake you real. They are just different dogs. Cant say which is better. It is so easy to bump up the price in audio.

Kind regards,
Tang
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,962
1,205
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Hong Kong
#11
A frd of mine in HK bought the Ultimate Diamond last year. He was happy.
At that time, there was no Astro yet.
His Ultimate Diamond was the most expensive model then, even more so than the Ultimate Dynamic which sat higher on the ZYX website.
Very confusing.

Can any ZYX representative explain clearly their model hierarchy?
 
Likes: Ron Resnick

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
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#12
A frd of mine in HK bought the Ultimate Diamond last year. He was happy.
At that time, there was no Astro yet.
His Ultimate Diamond was the most expensive model then, even more so than the Ultimate Dynamic which sat higher on the ZYX website.
Very confusing.

Can any ZYX representative explain clearly their model hierarchy?
Coming out from the mouth saying not liking it is unlikely for those who just paid around $10-20,000 for a cart, CK. ;)

Mr. Mehran is smart enough to work with ZYX creating different line, the US line of products exclusive for himself, to free him form the price elsewhere in the world. It supposed to be confusing. How different in sound of his line of zyx to the rest of the world models has to be find out by buyers themself. It is so easy to play with the head and ego of audiophiles. Bumping the price of high end goods is so easy.
 
Last edited:

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
14,119
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#13
May 14, 2014
384
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#14
This makes no sense at all. Why? Do USA audiophiles hear things differently than audiophiles in the EU? Japan? Thailand? HK? To be honest, I have always found ZYX marketing to be an abyss of utter confusion and have posted on this previously. Indeed, I have a ZYX Uni II Premium I bought over a year ago directly from Mehran and it is still sitting on a shelf. (I have no motivation to install it due to good satisfaction with my current Benz LPS on my current Goldmund T3F rig). Yet while it has been on the shelf, ZYX has come out with 3 newer "improved" models, not all of which appear obtainable from SORA sound. Are they better than the Uni II? Worse? Different? (how?). Damned if I know. Does anyone? And frankly, the ZYX web site and their marketing is so confusing, disappointing, and at this point, somewhat suspicious, that I'm not inclined to find the answers to these questions.
Marty, I would definitely give it a try if I were you :)
 

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