Transfiguration Axia S Moving Coil Cartridge
Axia - S is Transfiguration's "entry model" that offers performance which is anything but, as it benefits from the technical achievements of their more expensive models. Transfiguration developed two types of ring-magnet construction. The double, as here in the Axia (similarly the Phoenix and the previous models of Spirit and Aria) place a ring magnet both in front of and behind the coil, allowing the coil to move in a balanced and focused magnetic field. The intimate positioning of coil and magnet creates an unprecedented focus of the magnetic field, resulting in a coherence of the musical presentation that is different from all the others.
Those who place timing high on their list of priorities will recognise the importance of the ring-magnet construction. When a timing (or phase) shift occurs in the complex field of sine waves that combine to re-create the sounds of harmonically rich instruments, e.g. voices, echoes (hall sounds). The possibility arises that not only will the temporal puzzle that is music, not quite be put back together properly but also due to phase-shift, that varies with frequency, may also lead to tonal inaccuracies, contrary to the desire of many who consider it to be a priority. (This is often the case with an inductor and is one reason why Transfiguration cartridges constantly strive for a coil with as low an impedance as possible),
The cartridge has been deliberately and uncompromisingly designed as a top rate product. Mechanically it locates the cartridge on a plane, which provides least variation in tracking angle relative to tonearm movement.
...But, as always, the magic is in the music. Human voices take on a you-are-there sense of reality that raises those goose bumps. When you hear things you have never heard from your records before, you can be sure they will help to complete the musical picture, rather than distract with meaningless detail or artificial "air." The transparency of these cartridges extends from the deepest bass notes to the heights of inaudibility. More than ever, they are able to track the micro-dynamic ebb and flow of the music like no other cartridge. The result is a sense of musical anticipation and excitement one normally experiences only at the live event. Listening to jazz, you can almost smell the cigar smoke and single-malt whiskey in the air; a classical LP calls forth images of rich velvet curtains and wisps of fine perfume; rock and roll brings back the moisture of the grass seeping through your jeans and the smell of sweat and something sweet upon the breeze… From Hi Fi World, October 2007: " Simply among the finest cartridges I've heard at any price. The Transfiguration Axia has astonishing midrange detail and is MUSICAL. It's in the ring magnets, friends! Transfiguration's designer still maintains that his reference is live, un-amplified acoustic music...as I do....He loves opera (I don't, for the most part), and understands that the biggest test for any system is large-scale symphonic and opera music. Oh, by the way, if you want to listen to ANY type of music, Transfiguration cartridges will do THAT, too! Ultimate midrange detail and finesse, tons of information for you detail-first guys, and gobs of emotion to hook you and keep you listening! Give it a listen and you'll be hooked too!
Body: Solid aluminium, non-resonant with deeply cut away sides
Cantilever: 0.3mm Æ solid boron
Stylus: Ogura PA (3 x 30mm) solid diamond
Core/coils: High grade permalloy square core & 4N silver coils
Magnetic material: Samarium cobolt - front, Neodymium - rear.
Output voltage: 0.4mV (3.54cm/s - 1kHz)
Internal impedance: 8 ohms
Frequency response: 10Hz – 20kHz + 1.5dB 20kHz – 40kHz + 2dB
Channel separation: > 27dB (200Hz - 1kHz)
Channel balance: < 0.5dB at 1kHz
Tracking ability: >68µm at a tracking force of 1.8g at 315Hz.
Recommended loading: >7 ohms
Recommend’ tracking force: 2.0g
Break in period: 30 hours