ZYX ultimate 4 D

SOUNDSTAGE ULTRA

TEST CONCLUSION

For listeners to jazz, opera, and classical music, ZYXís new Ultimate 4D-X is a winner. Its sound is smooth, with great body to the mid- and bass ranges, and sweet, clear highs. It has the ability to track and organically reproduce the evolving notes, both subtle and dramatic, of most musical genres, render complex and shifting timbres, and reproduce the many different sounds of a full orchestra in a coherent soundfield. There is something flawless about its overall sound. One of its chief attributes is a fine frequency balance: no portion of the audioband is boosted or shortchanged. There is no hint of the forward midrange that many find pleasing with some music, nor are the highs heated up to artificially emphasize detail in jazz and rock to the detriment of orchestral string sound or operatic voices. While the Ultimate 4D-X is not the most consistently rockiní cartridge Iíve ever heard (though it sounded great with more recent rock records), it conveyed orchestral dynamics extraordinarily well, with solid, stable imaging, and soundstages that were consistently wide and deep.

In the range of cartridges available for a similar price, the ZYX Ultimate 4D-X is my favorite for the kind of music I most prefer. I encourage anyone looking for sophistication, a wide timbral palette, and evenhandedness throughout the audioband to seriously consider it. Its merits donít leap out at you, but its rewards are rich, deep, and lasting. With it, you can hear more of whatís in the music. I think itís a significant upgrade from the prior 4D-X. I like it so much that Iíve made the ZYX Ultimate 4D-X my new reference cartridge.