the Empire 2000 Z had been on my wish list since 1976, but I never got myself to purchase one until available from a seller in eBay this week.
I purchased it, and it will be arriving in about a week.
From memory, it seems that the Stanton 881 S dates from the next generation of cartridges, and the Stanton may well be better. But the 2000 Z is one elite performer from that brand even considering their latter models (including the EDR.9 and the LAC models).
It would be interesting to hear how the 2000 Z would perform in comparison with other moving Iron models, such as 681 EEE, Grados, ADCs, and such. But I feel a comparison with the 881 S would be no contest
As I watched the stars in the sky I wondered where the ceiling had gone.