Live Magic

Just accidentally I discovered a cartridge which is so different to all my other 100 units that I couldn’t believe in the beginning how this is possible?

Owning the Archon and Astron of Acoustical Systems I thought these two carts cover my needs in the specific area. When I was exchanging ideas with Dietrich Brakemeier, the man behind Acoustical Systems, he told me he had done some improvements on his Aiwon cart, his latest design so far. He shortened the cantilever, changed the tension wire a little, used less wires, put some c37 laquer on the cantilever which is made of tempted aluminum, a material with provides a better natural resonance than Boron, Diamond etc.

So why should I go for another cartridge?

Okay, for a test it would be fine. When I put the Palladian into an Arche headshell using it in the FR-66s I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Never, never before I was caught in such a Live Atmosphere as the Palladian transported into my room. This was a kind of power and sheer attack falling over me when listening to Billy Joel’s Songs In The Attic I never had experienced so far.Besides of the dynamic approach the sound is so harmonic, the stage well structured, deep and high frequences well dosed. My god, and I had not spend 20 hours of playing or even more. Just from the beginning the Palladian plays perfectly.

In a way I feel really addicted to Brakemeier’s designs. I had not opted for his big Apolyt turntable as I do not have the space in my listening room. Instead I went for another ingenious air bearing design which convinced me absolutely despite it needed some smaller improvements. But this is the way it always should be, learning and enjoying when improving High End Systems.

I am pretty sure the Palladian will shock the “cartridge world”. Isn’t it wonderful  that it’s still possible seeing such great designs on cartridge building!?


6 thoughts on “Live Magic

  1. Eckart,
    It’s remarkable when this happens. My modest system still allows me to have similar experiences, though I am sure not at the same level. Reading this I remembered the very first time I heard a vintage London Decca ‘ruby’. It was thrilling for me to play records that I new backward and discover them in a totally different light. The presentation of course can always be improved if one is patient enough to dial in the correct load, which is often different that the manufacturers recommendation. Please follow up with more thoughts on the Palladian. I’ll never be able to afford one, but I would enjoy reading more.


  2. Eckart is right!
    He has Palladian No.22 whilst I have No.11.
    How did that happen……?
    After 40 years of searching for ‘The Perfect Cartridge’…..I was happy to hear all the different possibilities each of my 60-70 cartridges were able to afford me on this futile journey.
    The Palladian however may mark the end destination…..?
    It appears faultless with a sound combining all the attributes of the revered FR-7f with the classic SPU-Ae/Gold.
    One need to hear this cartridge……


  3. I would like to hear from Eckart his opinion on the ways in which the Palladian exceeds in performance his two other AS cartridges, the Archon and the Astron. Thanks.


  4. Lew,
    I started with the Archon suprising me with its dynamic and open character a bit similar to the FR7fz.
    The ASTRON is made out of the very best special selected ARCHON-generators.
    Then transferred into a new body with additional damping features inside the body.
    It sounds distinctive relaxed and balanced – extremely well suited for large orchestral music.
    Outperforming the ARCHON while featuring the very same balance in sound and sonic character.

    The PALLADIAN looks similar, but has seen a lot of marginal alternations in various parts of the generator system. Less windings than ARCHON/ASTRON – output down to about 0.33 mV vs 0.50/55 mV with ARCHON /ASTRON, different tension wire, different flux strength and focus of magnetic field.
    Cartridge body is hammered Timet 1100 with again different internal damping measurements.
    The sound – while featuring a similar “basic character” with ARCHON/ASTRON – is distinctively different from the other AS cartridges.
    It’s sound is more “there” – more alive, faster, more sensual and agile.
    You could try to picture it as a top-class male ballet dancer – full of energy, body strength and power and virile tension.
    Allowing the “dancer” to accomplish every step and jump with utmost ease and grace in all movements.



  5. Eckart,
    You know nearly all of the Lyra cartridges. How would you describe the difference between the original/first Lyra Atlas and the Palladium, when played in an Axiom tonearm?
    Thanks for any informations.


    • Balázs,
      The Lyra Atlas sounds a bit on the hard side but in a very nice, clear, exact way. The Palladium is one of my two favourite carts at the moment. While the Ortofon 100 opens up in a kind of a three dimensional space the Palladium underlines the live character in a beautiful and harmonious way.


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