View Full Version : Expert stylus


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Carl Nyqvist
06-05-08, 05:20 PM
How does a retipped or fully renovated Troika compare to the original? Any other options than Expert Stylus?

Thanks

Carl

scolarest
07-05-08, 12:51 AM
Superb company, superb results when they retipped my Troika.

Benz use them to retip their cartridges.

Both Wynham and Paul are as the company says expert.

M

colasblue
07-05-08, 01:12 AM
You could use somebody else but you'd be mad to.

I most recently had my troika retipped by Esco and its superb. The previous official Linn job was done by Goldring and was never in the same league as the ESCO job.

Wouldn't hesitate to go there again.

tof
07-05-08, 01:28 AM
Hi Carl, How are you!

Can't say for a Troika, but had a Klyde retipped a few years ago, and the result was superb, better than the original IMO (they used a different shaped diamond, which may explain the difference). In additioon, Paul is very helpful!
you can go for them, Carl!

Jean-Christophe

Stevie A
07-05-08, 02:52 AM
I have heard/owned many of their wares and have yet to hear one that didn't better the original.

DSJR
07-05-08, 03:52 AM
Twenty years ago, I had an accident when tightening up a brand new Troika and bent the cantilever at its telescopic point (where it mates with the coil assembly.

I sent the Troika to Expert Pickups asking if the brand new diamond could be used on a replacement cantilever. it came back looking like new.

The re-furbished Troika sounded a little brighter (more neutral in balance) than a typical original, which is slightly dull, but it retained all the qualities so beloved of this model and lasted at least as well too.

Unless I'm mistaken - correction, apparently I am, Linn themselves used this firm for a while when offering exchanges on Karms and Troikas, sending "traded in" ones to Expert Pickups for refurbishment and tip replacements.

If you're really attached to your Karma or Troika and don't want to try a more modern design with better tracking ability, I can't recommend this outfit highly enough. I understand they work wonders on Denon DL103's too, fitting "proper" modern tips to them.

colasblue
07-05-08, 04:34 AM
Twenty years ago, I had an accident when tightening
Unless I'm mistaken, Linn themselves used this firm for a while when offering exchanges on Karms and Troikas, sending "traded in" ones to Expert Pickups for refurbishment and tip replacements.

You are mistaken - Linn have only ever offered this service through Goldring and the write up of it is to say the least "mixed".

Goldring also make the current crop of cartridges so it would be in Linn's & Goldring's interests to ensure the retips were not as good as a new cartridge.

In terms of the retip's tracking abilities it seems far better than ever the original was and mine doesn't get into trouble on too many "difficult" passages though I suspect it could be bettered if you listen to a lot of classical material.

neiljadman
07-05-08, 08:34 AM
Van den Huul does a bang up job too. They did my Kiseki PHS with superb results.

There was also another thread which you may find relevant: http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showthread.php?t=46553&highlight=cartridge+rebuild

Martin D
07-05-08, 09:04 AM
Any contact info for ES?, I have an aging but brilliant nick Troika, had one done a while ago by The Cartridge Man

Jonathan Ribee
07-05-08, 09:10 AM
Expert Stylus Company
PO Box 3
Ashtead
Surrey
KT21 2QD

Tel: 01372 276 604
Fax: 01372 276 147

I think they only do phone and copperplate.

A complete overhaul and re-tip was £165+vat in 2002

Herr Mustermann
07-05-08, 11:16 AM
I also sent a Troika to Expert and although it looked great upon return I just couldn't get on with it. I replaced it with a DV20L which was so much better in every respect. Saying that, the guy who bought my Troika absolutely loved it!!

One last thing though, they take absolutely ages. My Troika took months and mean literally months!!!

Peter

Covkxw
07-05-08, 11:53 AM
Expert Stylus Company
PO Box 3
Ashtead
Surrey
KT21 2QD

Tel: 01372 276 604
Fax: 01372 276 147

I think they only do phone and copperplate.

A complete overhaul and re-tip was £165+vat in 2002
Today, you can treble that price. But, why!?

colasblue
07-05-08, 12:01 PM
It only cost me about £230 for a re tip a year or so back

If its trebled then don't bother buy a DV or ZYX or Benz or some such, and then buy a benchmark ADC to digitise your LP collection so you never get stiffed for current MC prices again!

starbuck
08-05-08, 03:40 AM
I spoke to them about 10 days ago and was advised that, whilst their charges were going up at the beginning of May, a likely cost was around £265.00. Hardly trebled, by any means.

scolarest
08-05-08, 07:49 AM
Covkxw

You really ought to check facts before commenting!
The cost of my retip last year was, as Starbuck posted, around £265 and turn round was just over a week which is at odds with Peter (Mr Mustermann)?

M

Carl Nyqvist
13-05-08, 03:06 AM
Thank you guys and sorry for delayed response

My Troika is 15-20 years old and been dead for at least 10 years (one channel dead, cantilever bent).

I am tempted by the idea to get it renovated and would be surprised if anything but the body can be reused.

So how does this work, ES have access to identical copies of the Troika stylus, cantilever, coils etc or will they build a completely different cartridge in the Troika body?

Any ideas on what they charge for a complete renovation (as opposed to just retipping)

Regards
Carl

PS. Hi JC, I am good thanks, how are you, still using those wimpy amps? ;)

tof
13-05-08, 03:32 AM
Hi Carl,
Not sure what you are refering to when you talk about "wimpy amps" ;-)
after several changes, I am now running a 52/supercap2/250, not exactly what I'd call wimpy.. May be a klimax owner would do?

regarding your questions, you should give a call to Experts, they would exactly describe what they do.

BR

JC

Harry1212
13-05-08, 03:34 AM
Find out first hand. 'Phone them, they're both helpful and friendly.

My Troika has had three new stylii and a new cantilever from them and sounds better than ever.

Do it !!

Carl Nyqvist
13-05-08, 04:13 AM
Ah OK thanks JC - perhaps my memory fails me - I thought you were using some obscure little amp last time we emailed.

Yea I'll call them just curious to know if someone here knows what parts ES use for their Troika rebuilds.

Cheers
Carl
Hi Carl,
Not sure what you are refering to when you talk about "wimpy amps" ;-)
after several changes, I am now running a 52/supercap2/250, not exactly what I'd call wimpy.. May be a klimax owner would do?

regarding your questions, you should give a call to Experts, they would exactly describe what they do.

BR

JC

anubisgrau
30-10-09, 05:14 AM
Anyone has an email contact for ESC?

Thanks

lencotweaker
30-10-09, 05:25 AM
they can only be contacted by phone apparently.

SteveB
30-10-09, 05:26 AM
Anyone has an email contact for ESC?

Thanks

They don't do email or internet. Phone and letters only. You'll have a wonderful conversation with them though.

eguth
30-10-09, 05:30 AM
"They don't do email"

Yes they do. I have sent and received emails to and from them. But it seems that this is not their prefered method of communication, and they would not thank me for putting their email address here.

anubisgrau
30-10-09, 11:00 AM
I found it and already exchanged a few emails. They are OK with it I think...

david ellwood
30-10-09, 11:23 AM
experience of ESC retips is patchy at best.

a recently returned Arkiv came back sounding no better than a P77.


Not a cheap alternative to a new cartridge.


(many owners of ESC retipped cartridges will contend this i am sure)

lindsayt
30-10-09, 11:31 AM
David,

So what happened when you brought this to ESC's attention and sent your Arkiv back to them?

sq225917
30-10-09, 12:26 PM
Witrhout ba doubt ask to send it back and have it re-tested, they measure everything, so it's likely a damage in transit. They take customer support seriously.

Chris
30-10-09, 01:01 PM
I´ve never heard an original Troika ´cos I bought mine sans cantilever but I find it hard to believe it could have sounded better than it now does after having the once-over by Esco. Different maybe, but better ???? The mind boggles.

LesW
30-10-09, 01:10 PM
Having dealt with the Hodgson family for over 30 years, they have my unconditional support.

JD12
30-10-09, 04:11 PM
David,
They had so many favourable reports during all these years. So I hope it's an accident.

Jacques

John
30-10-09, 04:17 PM
David,
They had so many favourable reports during all these years. So I hope it's an accident.

Jacques
David has shown a history on this forum to making negative comments about gear that many folks praise so take his comments with that in mind.

I have been very happy with the work Expert Stylus has provided in rebuilding my Klyde and Troika for the last several years. I think if you do a search of their company on this forum you will find many satisfied customers.

neiljadman
30-10-09, 04:42 PM
experience of ESC retips is patchy at best.

David, You seem to be the only "patch" I have never heard anything but praise - and they will be getting my Troika to rebuild just as soon as I and arrange it.

YNWOAN
30-10-09, 05:11 PM
I agree, I've not heard any mention of this 'patchy quality' (it's just the type of gossip certain reps used to like to whisper to me though). However, I do love this idea that a cartridge could be transformed into a P77 by a 'dodgy re-tip' - very creative :).

Jack Barriere
01-11-09, 07:12 AM
Superb company, superb results when they retipped my Troika.

Benz use them to retip their cartridges.

Both Wynham and Paul are as the company says expert.

M

Correct me if I'm wrong. Retipping is just a cut off cataliver re-glued with a new one and the motor assembly stays the same or do they do what Linn used to do save the body and put a new motor stylus assembly. Seems to me once your stylus is pooched, after so many hours of play, those rubber thing-a-ma-jiggies must need replacement too. Can you ever torque down a Troika though.

Chris
01-11-09, 07:40 AM
Mine didn´t have a cantilever so thay can, if needed, rebuild completely from the coils up.

YNWOAN
01-11-09, 07:44 AM
Jack, not exactly, they only cut the cantilever if it is bent or broken - otherwise only the stylus is replaced.

As for the 'thing-a-ma-jiggies' you mention - it depends on the cartridge

flatpopely
01-11-09, 07:55 AM
a recently returned Arkiv came back sounding no better than a P77.




MC to MM, thats a FULL rebuild!

John
01-11-09, 08:12 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong. Retipping is just a cut off cataliver re-glued with a new one and the motor assembly stays the same or do they do what Linn used to do save the body and put a new motor stylus assembly. Seems to me once your stylus is pooched, after so many hours of play, those rubber thing-a-ma-jiggies must need replacement too. Can you ever torque down a Troika though.

Expert Stylus performs a detailed examination of your cartridge:
Coils, Suspension, Cantilever and Diamond and returns a recommendation.

If everything looks good other than the diamond they carry out a complete overhaul to include examination of coils, suspension, remove magnetic particles about the coil former, fit new latex coil protection cover, re tip cantilever with low mass paratrace profile diamond and audition.

I don't believe they cut cantilevers, if it's bent they replace the cantilever with a new one. I've had the same Linn Klyde rebuilt by ES five times and they've only had to replace the diamond. They remove the old one and glue a new one in place.

per flemming
01-11-09, 09:51 AM
ES = true gentlemen, extremely service minded and helpfull.

I have had my Expert stylus rebuild Linn Asaka a couple of years now
Have been very satisfied so far.

I owned a Dynavector 19AII (allmost identical to 17DII except needle arm here are alu made)
This cartridge were slightly more open and detailed however the ES Asaka have slightly better timbre, flow and coherence. Not bad for an old Linn cartridge. I sold on the DV but could happy live with either.

Definately worth the cost if you have an old Linn MC lying around.

sq225917
01-11-09, 12:21 PM
john, they will cut canti's if that is the best option...

lencotweaker
01-11-09, 03:29 PM
Well I managed to knock the cantilever clean off my Benz glider last night. Looks like another one to be queued up for some special attention. Got a Benz ruby 2 and a clearaudio accurate to go too. Gonna be costly but I think worth it given the testimonials I've had from people I know and trust.

John
01-11-09, 03:30 PM
john, they will cut canti's if that is the best option...

No idea.

anubisgrau
01-11-09, 04:01 PM
Well I managed to knock the cantilever clean off my Benz glider last night. Looks like another one to be queued up for some special attention. Got a Benz ruby 2 and a clearaudio accurate to go too. Gonna be costly but I think worth it given the testimonials I've had from people I know and trust.

benz micro is very reasonable with their retipping scheme. i wouldn't send them elsewhere.

uncl_nigel
02-04-10, 11:12 AM
Anyone got up-to-date address and/or website for expert sylus?
Got two in need of new stylus (and cantilever for one thanks to the cleaning lady).
Nigel

sq225917
02-04-10, 11:16 AM
There is no website, just call them.

PO BOX 3 ASHTEAD SURREY KT21 2QD ENGLAND

tel. : 0372276604
fax : 0372276147

zener
02-04-10, 11:19 AM
01372276604 , without the 1 you'll not get through:)

krenzler
02-04-10, 11:37 AM
http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x238/krenzler/esc.jpg

Rockhopper
02-04-10, 01:35 PM
When I joined the Denon busters club ES aligned and securely fitted bare103R cartridge into Midas body. Fitted Sapphire cantilever and Paratrace diamond.
Total cost including postage £ 180.00

It sounds amazing.

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh229/ZYXlover/IMG_6323.jpg

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh229/ZYXlover/IMG_6320_2.jpg

R.

YNWOAN
02-04-10, 02:19 PM
Looks cool :).

Midlandaudiox
02-04-10, 02:30 PM
see that Mr Hodgson is up to his old tricks
sawing the existing cantilever and then inserting one of his own
I just dont get it?

Rockhopper
02-04-10, 02:46 PM
see that Mr Hodgson is up to his old tricks
sawing the existing cantilever and then inserting one of his own
I just dont get it?


The cartridge I supplied had no stylus or cantilever after I dropped it whilst changing headshells.
What I got back was a real upgrade over the standard spec.

R.

stevec67
02-04-10, 02:48 PM
Are his cantis not as good then?

sq225917
02-04-10, 04:45 PM
I just dont get it?

That much is obvious.

John
02-04-10, 08:25 PM
I just don't get it?

Revenue from cartridge sales?

uncl_nigel
03-04-10, 02:13 AM
http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x238/krenzler/esc.jpg

The works !
Thanks

uncl_nigel
03-04-10, 02:16 AM
Are his cantis not as good then?

Only cantilever ever broken by the cleaning lady in this house (and I have never had a stylus guard for the Troikas... if anyone has a spare...)

YNWOAN
03-04-10, 02:20 AM
I think the point is more that one cantilever is grafted to another - they don't do this unless the previous cantilever is damaged. My Troika still has the original cantilever (in one piece).

Covkxw
03-04-10, 02:33 AM
I think the point is more that one cantilever is grafted to another - they don't do this unless the previous cantilever is damaged. My Troika still has the original cantilever (in one piece).

What are the various ways a replacement (new) cantilever can be installed? Is there a best way?

darrylfunk
03-04-10, 06:46 AM
it seems to work for grado , don't they have telescopic cantilevers ?
that denon remix looks very slick.

Martyn Miles
03-04-10, 10:08 AM
Expert? Brilliant... Back in the '80s I sent my Entre MC for examination. Wyndam Hogdson 'phoned me and said, " I've noticed the output for a little down on one channel. When I have a Friday afternoon I'll rewind (!) the coil for you." He did too... What 'experts' they are. I even have a humble Shure M75ED with an Expert stylus,. Sounds lovely on my AR XA.

YNWOAN
03-04-10, 10:21 AM
What are the various ways a replacement (new) cantilever can be installed? Is there a best way?

I'm not criticising - there isn't really another option if the cantilever is bent or broken.

krenzler
03-04-10, 10:29 AM
Hi-Fi News 1994 - The Diamond Cutter.

http://www.vinylengine.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=15646

You need to be registered and logged-in at VE to view the content.

stevec67
03-04-10, 11:31 AM
What are the various ways a replacement (new) cantilever can be installed? Is there a best way?

I'm not a stylus expert but I suspect that this question is a bit like asking what is the best way of repairing a car engine. The answer is that there will be a range of designs, maybe some needing different methods, most responding to standard techniques out of the toolkit, and it's down to the skill of the repair technician to select the best method for the item in question.

Mike Reed
04-04-10, 05:07 AM
E.S.Co are really making a name for themselves, with seemingly the ability to restore ANY cartridge.

I recently came across two affidavits that Koetsus refurbished by Van den Hul some years back tended to sound more like VdH cartridges afterwards.

Are there any satisfied ESCoed Koetsu owners out there? The only other route I know is a very long turnover time in Japan with a commensurately gigantic restoration charge.

__mark__
04-04-10, 05:17 AM
I have had a few conversation with the guys at E.S.Co, they are always very friendly and happy to discuss any question I asked regarding stylus.

stevec67
04-04-10, 05:52 AM
Are there any satisfied ESCoed Koetsu owners out there?

Yes there are. A friend of mine who posts on PFM has one, it's great, he loves it. He may well be along soon, he can tell you the tale at frst hand.

Jonathan Ribee
04-04-10, 09:26 AM
Yes there are. A friend of mine who posts on PFM has one, it's great, he loves it. He may well be along soon, he can tell you the tale at frst hand.

That would be me.

I bought an s/h old Rosewood that had been re-tipped by ESCo. I trashed it setting it up, by slamming it into the record and ripping the tip off. ESCo then re-tipped it again. Sounds very good.

What I can't comment on is how good it sounds to before. Because there was no before.

Fox has had some re-done, but by whom I'm not certain. He may well be along soon...

zener
04-04-10, 09:31 AM
Had a Troika done , some time ago , sounded great after they'd done their work. Anyone who thinks otherwise , has either been unlucky (should have returned it) or has a vested interest in selling cartridges.

John
04-04-10, 09:42 AM
Anyone who thinks otherwise , has either been unlucky (should have returned it) or has a vested interest in selling cartridges.

Yep!

Mark Packer
04-04-10, 11:45 AM
I have a Rosewood Red that has been retipped by ESCO with a fine line diamond and it sounds superb!

I also have an Supex 900 Mk2 ESCO retipped with one of their Paratrace diamonds which also sounds superb.

On the basis of my experience of their work I'd have no hesitation in talking to them and sending a cartridge to them if I was happy with the quotation. They'll do a survey and assessment of your cartridge for £25 which is then deductible if you have more work done.

From a recent conversation I understand they can and will work on anything as long as the cartridge has full connectivity i.e. there are no broken internal wires. Obviously you should confirm this by speaking to them.

JD12
04-04-10, 02:10 PM
I have a Rosewood Red that has been retipped by ESCO with a fine line diamond and it sounds superb!

I also have an Supex 900 Mk2 ESCO retipped with one of their Paratrace diamonds which also sounds superb.

..........

Very interesting Mark. Have you done some comparaison between these two classics and what kind of differences have you found (for sure they are not in the same league but......).

Regards

Jacques (Supex addict)

Mark Packer
04-04-10, 02:21 PM
Hi Jacques,

No, not yet. Here are the needle drops (http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showpost.php?p=904536&postcount=184) I have posted already. I still need to complete the sequence with the Koetsu but I hope to do that sometime this week.

Fox
05-04-10, 04:28 AM
From a recent conversation I understand they can and will work on anything as long as the cartridge has full connectivity i.e. there are no broken internal wires. Obviously you should confirm this by speaking to them.

I was under the impression they can re-wind defective coils as well.

uncl_nigel
05-04-10, 02:14 PM
Be trying to phone them later this week then

Mark Packer
08-04-10, 03:17 AM
I have enormous respect for ESCo and their work. This post is a question NOT a complaint. I'm interested in the principle not the parties so please comment on the principle rather than ESCo.

Recently I bought an ESCo re-tipped Koetsu Red. The buyer estimated 50 hours since the re-tip - and I believe them. The cart has an ESCo extended contact profile diamond.

Yesterday, I rang ESCo about something else and thought I'd ask about stylus tip life. I'm running the cartridge at c. 1.9g. I was both amazed and a bit shocked to be told that I could expect a *safe* useful life of c. 350-400 hours at between 1.8-2g VTF because this gives a stylus tip pressure of c. 2 tonnes (tons) per square inch. I was expecting something nearer 1000-1200 hours!

All my vinyl is in good excellent+ to NM condition. 2/3rds has been cleaned on my Okki Nokki and I take great care of the stylus with an Onzow Zerodust, a soft brush and a AT cleaner. The arm is a Zeta.

What would you think is a reasonable life for new tip like this at that VTF?

yawg
08-04-10, 01:59 PM
Hi,

I just listened in. My DV XX-2 Mk II is 2 years old (just broken in, no joke) and apparently the thread that holds the cantilever in place is broken, the cantilever now moves freely but the tip and lever are OK.

Does ESCO do that sort of repair too? Maybe cheaper than a retip with cantilever replacement? After all, they are still OK ...

Jörg from The Netherlands.

TOFFEEMAN1878
08-04-10, 03:35 PM
They don't do email or internet. Phone and letters only. You'll have a wonderful conversation with them though.

Email I received today from Expert Stylus.

We thank you for your enquiry and I am not sure who advised you we are not happy about receiving email enquiries, but it is totally wrong. All companies rely on computer aided information in the present environment.

We are very familiar with the Lyra range of cartridges and the Lydian Beta is a model we see regularly. Assuming the cartridge is in need of a complete overhaul to include re-tipping with our ultra low mass Paratrace profile diamond our charges will be GBP £285.00. We are assuming you are a UK resident.

We are currently unable to accept new orders until the end of May due to the number of orders we have to hand.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,
Expert Stylus & Cartridge Co.,

Wyndham Hodgson

jaspert
08-04-10, 10:58 PM
I have communicated with ESC by emails only so far and Wyndham has usually responded within 1-2 days. Just got an update on my Midas Denon 103r and SPU synergy update a day after my inquiry. And i was told not to send any more cart till the end of May too.

krenzler
10-04-10, 07:39 AM
It's true that ESC generally estimates about 350 hours for a stylus. If you look at Jico's website they estimate max. 500 hours for their SAS stylus.

I believe it's a matter of WHEN the stylus is subtly degraded enough so that it no longer performs optimally. The low hours surprised me too but I'm pretty sure that ESC & Mr. Wyndham has done extensive research over the decades and seen most anything.

You COULD use your cartridge for 1000's of hours but is that optimal for your precious vinyl? I don't know.

krenzler
10-04-10, 07:43 AM
Does ESCO do that sort of repair too? Maybe cheaper than a retip with cantilever replacement? After all, they are still OK ...

My uneducated GUESS is that they would be able to fix it. A cartridge of that caliber is certainly worth some spending to keep it going.

But why don't you mail them and ask?

sq225917
10-04-10, 09:24 AM
Yeh they do 'tie wires..'

Sauron
11-04-10, 12:52 AM
I've made excellent experiences with Stylus Expert in refurbishing Decca cartridges.

In fact: I've sent a bundle of Deccas to Mr Hodgson and one Decca was totally destroyed. He repaired it. Ok, the first attempt repairing of this Decca was not perfect and some distortion were audible. No problem. I sent it back and after its return there was no difference in sound quality in comparison to the other 4 Deccas.

Highly recommended!

Martyn Miles
11-03-12, 11:51 AM
Expert Stylus Company
PO Box 3
Ashtead
Surrey
KT21 2QD

Tel: 01372 276 604
Fax: 01372 276 147

I think they only do phone and copperplate.

A complete overhaul and re-tip was £165+vat in 2002

I understood Expert had an email address. I was told it was info@expertpickups.co.uk No joy with that. Anyone know of a new address ? It is some time since I contacted them ! Thanks MGM.

Interzone
11-03-12, 12:21 PM
I understood Expert had an email address. I was told it was info@expertpickups.co.uk No joy with that. Anyone know of a new address ? It is some time since I contacted them ! Thanks MGM.

http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x238/krenzler/esc.jpg

From earlier in the thread. Dunno if it's still correct.

Engels
11-03-12, 12:26 PM
Try w.hodgson@btclick.com

krenzler
11-03-12, 12:52 PM
This is still correct.

http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x238/krenzler/esc.jpg

Nic Robinson
11-03-12, 01:52 PM
Confirmed. I've recently communicated with this (info@expertstylus.co.uk) address.

Martyn Miles
12-03-12, 01:15 AM
Confirmed. I've recently communicated with this (info@expertstylus.co.uk) address.

Thank you. I obviously had the incorrect email address. MGM.

paskinn
12-03-12, 01:25 AM
This sort of thread still puzzles me because it so obviously lacks balance.It is one thing to say that a retipping firm does a good job, which is no doubt the case; it is quite another to assume that it is better than the original cartridge.....or sounds the same, or even similar. I have heard several re tipped Koetsus and they sound distinctly different to the original. This may matter to you, or may not....but you do not get the same cartridge back. They appear not to use the same parts, or same stylus shapes, or even cantilever materials.
If I go to the great expense of buying a top cartridge it is because I want that sound and performance. An 'aftermarket' retip is no doubt cost effective....but it ain't the cartridge you originally paid for. Or, from another perspective, would you put a Ford engine (fine as it is) in a Ferrari because it is cheaper? The market pays a lot less for these retipped cartridges...when sellers are honest about it...because they are not so desirable. You pays your money, and you makes your choice.

Audioelec
12-03-12, 01:54 AM
This sort of thread still puzzles me because it so obviously lacks balance.It is one thing to say that a retipping firm does a good job, which is no doubt the case; it is quite another to assume that it is better than the original cartridge.....or sounds the same, or even similar. I have heard several re tipped Koetsus and they sound distinctly different to the original. This may matter to you, or may not....but you do not get the same cartridge back. They appear not to use the same parts, or same stylus shapes, or even cantilever materials.
If I go to the great expense of buying a top cartridge it is because I want that sound and performance. An 'aftermarket' retip is no doubt cost effective....but it ain't the cartridge you originally paid for. Or, from another perspective, would you put a Ford engine (fine as it is) in a Ferrari because it is cheaper? The market pays a lot less for these retipped cartridges...when sellers are honest about it...because they are not so desirable. You pays your money, and you makes your choice.

Or put it another way

I had my transfiguration re tipped and I am very happy with it,

Or I could have replaced it with a cost of around £2000 as you say "you makes your choice"

I believe ther booked till may maybe it's the economic climate !

Nic Robinson
12-03-12, 07:19 AM
This sort of thread still puzzles me because it so obviously lacks balance.It is one thing to say that a retipping firm does a good job, which is no doubt the case; it is quite another to assume that it is better than the original cartridge.....or sounds the same, or even similar. I have heard several re tipped Koetsus and they sound distinctly different to the original. This may matter to you, or may not....but you do not get the same cartridge back. They appear not to use the same parts, or same stylus shapes, or even cantilever materials.
If I go to the great expense of buying a top cartridge it is because I want that sound and performance. An 'aftermarket' retip is no doubt cost effective....but it ain't the cartridge you originally paid for. Or, from another perspective, would you put a Ford engine (fine as it is) in a Ferrari because it is cheaper? The market pays a lot less for these retipped cartridges...when sellers are honest about it...because they are not so desirable. You pays your money, and you makes your choice.

Here you go again (albeit on another thread). ESCo make some of the best styluses available to the market and these are used by a number of top cart manufacturers and end up costing ££££. Your Ferrari/Ford analogy is so far off the mark as to be laughable.

A top end cart with the ESCo treatment will be different (obviously) but no less good. A cheaper cart (e.g. DL-103) will be enhanced beyond the owner's dreams. Mine was.

If you must slag off people who do a re-tipping service, find another target.

sq225917
12-03-12, 07:38 AM
If you want to get your cartridge re-tipped by the manufacturer or send it in for a refurb where they replace the internals, then do so. There's no reason not to do that, spend your money and enjoy your choice.

But there's no reason to assume that Expert Stylus, as one of the two or three remaining diamond polishing houses in the world, aren't capable of producing better tips that some models used in some carts by some manufacturers. Might it sound different, yes. Might the owner prefer the change from the worn tip they had to a brand new line contact stylus, yes they might. Might they be underwhelmed, yes they might. But at £300 for a retip they will sell it on and hand lost absolutely SFA.

You are assuming people use Expert because they are cheap, I would suggest most people use them because they are the best and because the results are as good as a refurb. And let's be honest, there's more chance of a re-tip sounding closer to the original cart than there is a refurb. One part swapped vs all the parts?

LesW
12-03-12, 07:47 AM
This sort of thread still puzzles me because it so obviously lacks balance.It is one thing to say that a retipping firm does a good job, which is no doubt the case; it is quite another to assume that it is better than the original cartridge.....or sounds the same, or even similar. I have heard several re tipped Koetsus and they sound distinctly different to the original. This may matter to you, or may not....but you do not get the same cartridge back. They appear not to use the same parts, or same stylus shapes, or even cantilever materials.
If I go to the great expense of buying a top cartridge it is because I want that sound and performance. An 'aftermarket' retip is no doubt cost effective....but it ain't the cartridge you originally paid for. Or, from another perspective, would you put a Ford engine (fine as it is) in a Ferrari because it is cheaper? The market pays a lot less for these retipped cartridges...when sellers are honest about it...because they are not so desirable. You pays your money, and you makes your choice.

The emergence of prejudiced posts such as this where an anomymous poster has no experience of the service offered by people who have been trading successfully for many years, has shown an increase in recent years.

It seems to me that there are an increasing number of keyboard warriors, keen to prove that their opinion, biased as it usually is, should have the consideration of the many thereby raising the importance of these characters.

Such drivel deters myself and others from making any potentially hazardous comments on what used to be the most pleasurable forum on the 'net. No longer constructive I fear as the antics of the 'vested interest' brigade, make forums a minefield should one care to make a contribution (Listening Tony.?)

After using them for some 30 years, I can confidently assure the polite men among us that the services of Esco may be unreservedly recommended.

Audioelec
12-03-12, 09:52 AM
The emergence of prejudiced posts such as this where an anomymous poster has no experience of the service offered by people who have been trading successfully for many years, has shown an increase in recent years.

It seems to me that there are an increasing number of keyboard warriors, keen to prove that their opinion, biased as it usually is, should have the consideration of the many thereby raising the importance of these characters.

Such drivel deters myself and others from making any potentially hazardous comments on what used to be the most pleasurable forum on the 'net. No longer constructive I fear as the antics of the 'vested interest' brigade, make forums a minefield should one care to make a contribution (Listening Tony.?)

After using them for some 30 years, I can confidently assure the polite men among us that the services of Esco may be unreservedly recommended.


Nice one :)

sq225917
12-03-12, 10:21 AM
No argument there Les. One does wonder if people who criticize them have something to do with competing services, or indeed just like talking out of their arses.

mmaatt
12-03-12, 11:12 AM
Personally I don't see any problem with Paskinn's post :confused: Where was he slagging off Esco in that quote?

Of course the best solution may equally be a rebuild by the original manufacturer, that is what I would always do - it depends on the cartridge, to generalize is a waste of time.

mat

JADISMAN
12-03-12, 11:25 AM
Personally I don't see any problem with Paskinn's post :confused: Where was he slagging off Esco in that quote?

mat

I didn't think he was slagging of ESCo either.

If I'd paid over £7,000 for a new Koetsu Jade I dont think I'd send it to a third party for re-tipping, no matter how good they were.

On the other hand I was more than happy to get ESCo to fix my nearly new AT33PTG after I'd knocked the tip off. I have a better sounding cartridge for less than half the price of a new one.

krenzler
12-03-12, 11:26 AM
No matter how you look at it their Paratrace tip* is indeed very good. It can also be found on the London Decca Reference cartridge (and also on the MusicMaker III I think but am not sure).

ESCo used to do the re-tipping service for Benz and I'm also pretty sure they've done work for Ortofon?

Hi-Fi News article from '94 on ESCo's work (you need to be logged in at VE to see it:

http://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_forum/viewtopic.php?f=68&t=15646


*the only 6 radii tip in production (whatever that means).

Rockhopper
12-03-12, 12:06 PM
Great article Krenzler,
I have used ESCO a few times starting with standard Denon DL103 then a R version.
These had ruby cantilever and paratrace stylus. The later one mounted in a Midas body and on a SME3012R not only sailed through the complete Hi Fi news test disk but tracked the complete Telarc 1812 ovature without a miss. I recently received Denon DL103FL with white sapphire cantilever and paratrace stylus.
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh229/ZYXlover/20111224_0476.jpg
I am so confident in their work that they have serviced and retipped for me an original Sagano San 1980's Koetsu black, Decca SC4E, Shelter mono and a ZYX 4D.

R.

Audioelec
12-03-12, 12:16 PM
Put it in a nutshell

I have just had my first cartridge retipped and it won't be the last I have retipped !

There service is top class and would have no hesitation in recommending them.

oceanobsession
12-03-12, 12:23 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong. Retipping is just a cut off cataliver re-glued with a new one and the motor assembly stays the same or do they do what Linn used to do save the body and put a new motor stylus assembly. Seems to me once your stylus is pooched, after so many hours of play, those rubber thing-a-ma-jiggies must need replacement too. Can you ever torque down a Troika though.

Ive thought about this myself gluing in a new cantilever, but its mounting the
diamond on the cantilever thats the hard bit, and i think only esco can do this in the uk, anyone else offering this service is buying mounted diamons
and cantilever from japan.

dan m
12-03-12, 12:32 PM
I've just removed a Denon 103r from my LP12. I replaced it with a regular 103, thinking the better r version could be sent off to ESCo for a retip and new body. Has anyone done this lately? It would be good to know what the cost was and turnaround time.

- Dan

Nic Robinson
12-03-12, 01:24 PM
Dan,

My one was a new stock 103 which they did the service to. IIRC they could have done it to my existing cart but I would have had to do without. Anyway from my order to delivery was about 3-4 months. They won't do a new body (don't believe in them) but there are a few out there if you fancy one. Just be careful if you nude it after the ESCo treatment!

The cost of mine (bearing in mind it was a brand new cart) was £350. I assume the re-tip would be approximately that minus the cost of a new 103.

Cheers,

Nic.

LesW
12-03-12, 03:00 PM
Just slightly off topic here but it seems that we're wrong to assume that even the most carefully set stylus is perpendicular to the top of the cartridge body.

During developing the tonearm I designed years ago, we subjected the output to scrutiny using a downloaded programme with some trick speccy analysis and discovered that
even a new Audi Technica AT33EV had to have azimuth adjustment of some 13 degrees from a visually 'correct' level before the inter-channel phasing synchronised.

The sound quality improved at once which quite surprised us as the azimuth appeared totally out of kilter.

sq225917
12-03-12, 03:01 PM
Rumour has it Goldring still re-tip in the UK

Mr Magoo
12-03-12, 05:34 PM
I'm another very happy ESC customer having had my Troika re-tipped a couple of years ago. For a shade over £250 I have a very fine cartridge with a good few years left before I have to consider re-tipping and/or replacing.

It's true that the retipping required some planning by the customer to minimise time without a cartridge (requires booking in advance hence the comments about waiting several months, when in fact the cartridge was with ESC for 3 weeks).

Was it better that the Troika I sent in for re-tipping. Yes, of course it was. That one had a worn stylus on it. Is it better than the original. Quite possibly, but I can't honestly remember how good the Troika sounded in comparison as that was 20 years ago!! Not many original Troikas around these days for obvious reasons.

Highly recommended and superb value BTW.

Pete

dan m
12-03-12, 07:05 PM
Thanks Nic for the reply - kind of surprised they don't do 103 bodies considering the good press of the Zu, etc.

Mike Reed
13-03-12, 01:31 AM
There are plenty of satisfied owners of Linn, Denon and other lowish level cart. retips, plus a couple of either previously knackered or decrepit/old Koetsus, but I wonder if anybody's had a high end cart. retipped or refurbished by ESCO (or any other ). Cart's like Urushi, Platinum and stone-bodied Ks, DV X1V S & T, Miyabi, ZYX, upper Lyras, Shelter, Transfiguration, upper Benz, etcetera.

Audioelec
13-03-12, 01:54 AM
There are plenty of satisfied owners of Linn, Denon and other lowish level cart. retips, plus a couple of either previously knackered or decrepit/old Koetsus, but I wonder if anybody's had a high end cart. retipped or refurbished by ESCO (or any other ). Cart's like Urushi, Platinum and stone-bodied Ks, DV X1V S & T, Miyabi, ZYX, upper Lyras, Shelter, Transfiguration, upper Benz, etcetera.

Hi Mike
Just had a transfiguration temper re tipped very pleased with the results!

The only downside I can see with expert is the time scale to have it repaired,it's at least a few months.

sq225917
13-03-12, 02:31 AM
Swapping a new tip on a less expensive cart should be little different to doing it on an expensive one. Regardless of how fancy the generator /mounting assembly is on the cart in question, replacing the stylus still remains as being exactly the same task. All that matters is if the new stylus is as good as the one it replaces- that's a matter of taste. There are only a handful Of great line contact stylus designs in existence. Ortofon, gyger, expert paratrace, and one other that escapes me- the other brands all buy from these sources. There are literally only half a dozen companies worldwide that make stylus.

JADISMAN
13-03-12, 02:42 AM
Swapping a new tip on a less expensive cart should be little different to doing it on an expensive one. Regardless of how fancy the generator /mounting assembly is on the cart in question, replacing the stylus still remains as being exactly the same task. All that matters is if the new stylus is as good as the one it replaces- that's a matter of taste. There are only a handful Of great line contact stylus designs in existence. Ortofon, gyger, expert paratrace, and one other that escapes me- the other brands all buy from these sources. There are literally only half a dozen companies worldwide that make stylus.

It would be interesting to know where Koetsu get their styli from or if they make their own.

Nic Robinson
13-03-12, 03:14 AM
Thanks Nic for the reply - kind of surprised they don't do 103 bodies considering the good press of the Zu, etc.

I have had a couple of interesting conversations with Wyndham on that subject. Let's just say that he's satisfied that the new cantilever/stylus makes (at least) the vast majority of the improvement when combined with a new body!

Out of interest, what exactly is the Zu mod? I know they select donor carts carefully and re-body. What else?

Cheers,

Nic.

Groover
13-03-12, 03:39 AM
....

Out of interest, what exactly is the Zu mod? I know they select donor carts carefully and re-body. What else?

Cheers,

Nic.

That's pretty much it apart from potting the innards with a clear epoxy but they are quite rigorous when it comes to selection. Apparently they reject 2 out of 3 donor carts which goes some way to explain the cost of the Zu carts.

nealg
13-03-12, 03:39 AM
There are plenty of satisfied owners of Linn, Denon and other lowish level cart. retips, plus a couple of either previously knackered or decrepit/old Koetsus, but I wonder if anybody's had a high end cart. retipped or refurbished by ESCO (or any other ). Cart's like Urushi, Platinum and stone-bodied Ks, DV X1V S & T, Miyabi, ZYX, upper Lyras, Shelter, Transfiguration, upper Benz, etcetera.

I had a Kontra B refilled by them. As far as I can recall it's every bit as good as it was before it wore out. Certainly I've no complaints about it....

eguth
13-03-12, 03:59 AM
There are plenty of satisfied owners of Linn, Denon and other lowish level cart. retips, plus a couple of either previously knackered or decrepit/old Koetsus, but I wonder if anybody's had a high end cart. retipped or refurbished by ESCO (or any other ). Cart's like Urushi, Platinum and stone-bodied Ks, DV X1V S & T, Miyabi, ZYX, upper Lyras, Shelter, Transfiguration, upper Benz, etcetera.

Mike

I had my Zyx Airy 1000-s reworked when the micro ridge stylus sheared after only 200 hours use.

Mr. Hodgson recommended that the cantilever be lapped and that his paratrace diamond be cemented directly to the cantilever after relapping.

He completed the job, auditioned it and pronounced that it was most satisfactory. He was delighted with the resulting sound.

I auditioned the cartridge and found that it sounded notably different from the original. There was less detailed retrieval and other changes. This I attributed to the larger radius of the paratrace diamond compared to the original micro ridge. I cannot say I share his enthusiasm for the changes.

The reworked cartridge was and is excellent, but not in my opinion such that I could recommend this particular reworking. That said, the cost was much less than sending it back to Zyx would have been. They replace just about everything.

Just in case anyone gets the wrong idea from the above, I am a very satisfied Esco customer, having used them for upwards of 25 years.

Mike Reed
13-03-12, 05:28 AM
It would be interesting to know where Koetsu get their styli from or if they make their own.

Yes indeed; likewise Lyra and other esteemed Japanese cart's.

A year or two back, I read of retipped stylii coming adrft after small knocks or otherwise 'routine' use. I then read that ESCO used glue only; no crimping or whatever.

I'm happy to be shot down in flames here, but I believe most, if not all, higher level (i.e. >£1K) cart's have their tips affixed using more than glue.

I've never lost a stylus yet, despite previously using alcohol and brush (also AT637 where applicable/solid cantilever) on a regular basis, despite reading many exhortations of apocalyptic nemesis.Therefore have never availed myself of a retipping service.

Martyn Miles
13-03-12, 06:05 AM
I contacted Expert this morning ( by telephone ) and they said the cartridge could not be examined until July. A £35 fee is charged for examination. They said I could send it now, if I wished to, so I did. I will fit my trusty Shure M75ED until 'The Return of the Entre'. MGM.

Chris
13-03-12, 06:30 AM
I would have thought that under the forces involved crimping can never be as good as bonding - that´s my impression anyway. But what do I know.
My Paratraced Troika is into its 2nd year and all is well, fingers crossed. I´ll certainly be going back for more when and if.

John
13-03-12, 06:35 AM
Yes indeed; likewise Lyra and other esteemed Japanese cart's.

A year or two back, I read of retipped stylii coming adrft after small knocks or otherwise 'routine' use. I then read that ESCO used glue only; no crimping or whatever.

I'm happy to be shot down in flames here, but I believe most, if not all, higher level (i.e. >£1K) cart's have their tips affixed using more than glue.

I've never lost a stylus yet, despite previously using alcohol and brush (also AT637 where applicable/solid cantilever) on a regular basis, despite reading many exhortations of apocalyptic nemesis.Therefore have never availed myself of a retipping service.

ES provides a compound to clean its stylus. They specifically say to not use solvents, vibrating stylus cleaners or the green sandpaper on their rebuilds. I've stuck to using their compound for the last ten years or so and have had no problems with the several ES rebuilds I've had. Highly recommend their work!

sq225917
13-03-12, 07:23 AM
Crimping is just done to provide the flat surface to attach the stylus onto, it's done before the stylus is fitted.

Stylus are either bonded nude, ie glued to the flattened cantilever end. Bonded with their mounting plate, a tiny little metal plate to which they are fastened for shaping. Or they are shanked through a laser cut, or similar, hole and then glued.

Mike Reed
13-03-12, 10:00 AM
ES provides a compound to clean its stylus. They specifically say to not use solvents, vibrating stylus cleaners or the green sandpaper on their rebuilds. I've stuck to using their compound for the last ten years or so and have had no problems with the several ES rebuilds I've had. Highly recommend their work!

Didn't know that, but it doesn't fill me with confidence; rather reinforces those reports I've read over the years.

Horses for courses, but if the ESCO glue is vulnerable to alcohol and (some, many) original cart's are not, there obviously seems to be a difference in security of affixation, as SQ has alluded to in his note on methods used .

trio leo
13-03-12, 10:20 AM
I have used LAST stylus treatment regularly for years and every now and then I use the AT637 vibrating cleaner, so far with no ill effects on any of my cartridges re-tipped or not.
So whilst it appears ESCo are very good at their job, I am now a bit concerned about the bonding method used.

regards Al

sq225917
13-03-12, 10:22 AM
While Expert may advise against, liquid and mechanical cleaners, has anyone hear actually lost a tip form an Expert retipped cart? (That's a rhetorical question)

Bob McC
13-03-12, 10:55 AM
Surely all cart manufacturers advise against liquid cleaners.
I know my Lyra leaflet does.

nealg
13-03-12, 11:06 AM
ES provides a compound to clean its stylus. They specifically say to not use solvents, vibrating stylus cleaners or the green sandpaper on their rebuilds. I've stuck to using their compound for the last ten years or so and have had no problems with the several ES rebuilds I've had. Highly recommend their work!

That compound is watchmakers 'Rodico' from Bergeon.

Its used for picking up lint, oil, muck etc from watch movements and also for holding small parts. I'd be cautious about using it on a stylus as it has a habit of leaving bits of itself stuck to the surface....although it should work OK if the stylus is lowered and raised vertically into it.

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/DSCF4440.jpg

nealg
13-03-12, 11:17 AM
Oh forgot this:

A paratrace styli on my Kontra B

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/Paratrace_ESC_2.jpg

Mike Reed
13-03-12, 12:57 PM
Surely all cart manufacturers advise against liquid cleaners.
I know my Lyra leaflet does.

I've a strong feeling that Lyra market a liquid cleaner. Regardless, SOME form of solvent/cleaning liquid is necessary for built-in crud. Can't think of an alternative, to be honest.

mmaatt
13-03-12, 06:11 PM
I've a strong feeling that Lyra market a liquid cleaner. Regardless, SOME form of solvent/cleaning liquid is necessary for built-in crud. Can't think of an alternative, to be honest.

This is my conclusion after years of not using any liquid; you will end up with a caked stylus. I have always used a vibrating brush also with no ill consequences, so would avoid any cartridge whose manufacturer told that their stylus fixing was too delicate to use one.

mat

John James
13-03-12, 08:10 PM
That compound is watchmakers 'Rodico' from Bergeon.

Its used for picking up lint, oil, muck etc from watch movements and also for holding small parts. I'd be cautious about using it on a stylus as it has a habit of leaving bits of itself stuck to the surface....although it should work OK if the stylus is lowered and raised vertically into it.

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/DSCF4440.jpg

Surely if this is going to leave bits behind, a watchmaker would run a few hundred miles!

I use this, works perfectly - so far anyway!

nealg
14-03-12, 02:00 AM
Well no as if you are aware of it you can deal with it especially if using a stereoscope or loupe. If cleaning a stylus you wouldn't see it unless you habitually clean whilst looking through a loupe. Lowering and raising the stylus vertically should be OK IE: using the arm lift with no lateral movement.

sonddek
14-03-12, 02:44 AM
ESCo retired my Arkiv Boron and it seemed to be a good job.

I use green abrasive and the ESCo green stuff. No problems so far. Green abrasive probably obviates solvents.

andrewhockley
14-03-12, 02:59 AM
While Expert may advise against, liquid and mechanical cleaners, has anyone hear actually lost a tip form an Expert retipped cart? (That's a rhetorical question)

Expert Stylus told me the problem with liquid cleaners was as much to do with solvents tracking up the cantilever and damaging the suspension rubber. This seem plausible, especially with a hollow cantilever.

Any glued on stylus is going to be susceptible to detachment if you find the right solvent, so I can see why Expert would want to play it safe and recommend they be avoided.

Mike Reed
14-03-12, 03:15 AM
ESCo retired my Arkiv Boron .....

Green abrasive probably obviates solvents.


That's age discrimination, surely.:D


Really can't see how glorified sandpaper can substitute for IPA or other alcohol in cleaning off 'baked in' crud.

Mike Reed
14-03-12, 03:27 AM
Expert Stylus told me the problem with liquid cleaners was as much to do with solvents tracking up the cantilever and damaging the suspension rubber. This seem plausible, especially with a hollow cantilever.

Any glued on stylus is going to be susceptible to detachment if you find the right solvent, so I can see why Expert would want to play it safe and recommend they be avoided.

Yes, I can see the rationale in that, and I suppose they need to make this disclaimer.

However, solid boron (or other) cantilevers are MUCH less susceptible to spirit creeping up to the innards. Even with hollow ones, gentle wet brushing is hardly going to induce this effect. Mind you, an electronic cleaner in conjunction with alcohol presents a much greater likelihood, though it's never bothered me on the rare occasion it's become necessary, but I am frugal.

In 40 years of cleaning stylii, I've used surgical spirit (from local chemists), one or two others I've forgotten, through to virtually pure IPA which I currently use. I have avoided ethanol, white spirit, turps sub, petrol and gin, though.:)

zarniwoop
14-03-12, 07:53 AM
Surely all cart manufacturers advise against liquid cleaners.
I know my Lyra leaflet does.

What about Lyra SPT?

sonddek
14-03-12, 09:03 AM
ESCo retired my Arkiv Boron and it seemed to be a good job.

I did of course mean re-tipped, not "retired". Time to switch off predictive text.

sonddek
14-03-12, 09:15 AM
Really can't see how glorified sandpaper can substitute for IPA or other alcohol in cleaning off 'baked in' crud.

I really can't see how a gentle and superficial wipe with alcohol is going to do much. The stuff which affects the play area of the stylus gets almost welded on under high pressure, possibly with semi molten PVC and oomska. You might well need to apply a wide range of solvents, and even then that won't achieve what an abrasive can do in a couple of scrubs. I suspect that reluctance to use abrasive paper arises from misunderstandings about what 'hardness' means. Diamonds don't scratch or wear easily. Any damage to a stylus shaft from abrasive paper is likely to take the form of a shear fracture, which would be highly audible immediately. I've been using green abrasive after each side for 20 years, and no stylus has shewn rapid or unusual wear, nor sheared off. I don't believe solvents or brushes, vibrating or not, come close to the safety and reliability of green abrasive. Just my instinct and experience, of course.

Mike Reed
14-03-12, 10:29 AM
I really can't see how a gentle and superficial wipe with alcohol is going to do much. The stuff which affects the play area of the stylus gets almost welded on under high pressure, possibly with semi molten PVC and oomska. You might well need to apply a wide range of solvents, and even then that won't achieve what an abrasive can do in a couple of scrubs. I suspect that reluctance to use abrasive paper arises from misunderstandings about what 'hardness' means. Diamonds don't scratch or wear easily. Any damage to a stylus shaft from abrasive paper is likely to take the form of a shear fracture, which would be highly audible immediately. I've been using green abrasive after each side for 20 years, and no stylus has shewn rapid or unusual wear, nor sheared off. I don't believe solvents or brushes, vibrating or not, come close to the safety and reliability of green abrasive. Just my instinct and experience, of course.

I can't refute that, not having used the green stuff, but I can assure you that gentle brushing with alcohol does thoroughly clean a stylus. The downside is that..... (a) it's much easier to do it off the arm with a loupe (or whatever), and .......(b) You need a steady hand and a bit of patience.

Martyn Miles
14-03-12, 10:53 AM
I can't refute that, not having used the green stuff, but I can assure you that gentle brushing with alcohol does thoroughly clean a stylus. The downside is that..... (a) it's much easier to do it off the arm with a loupe (or whatever), and .......(b) You need a steady hand and a bit of patience.

I have always applied Isopropyl Alcohol, using a squirrel hair brush. I used to work in the Oxford University's Chemistry Department, so I had access to a small amount when I required it. I have always used it to clean the stylus on my Entre MC. cartridge. Expert Pickups never commented on any deterioration when they examined the cartridge in the past. MGM .

YNWOAN
14-03-12, 11:50 AM
You can buy Isopropyl Alcohol from any decent chemists (I bought some a few eeks ago from my local Loyds).

Mike Reed
14-03-12, 02:31 PM
You can buy Isopropyl Alcohol from any decent chemists (I bought some a few eeks ago from my local Loyds).

At a price if my experience holds; nor is it likely to be that pure. Ebay is where I get a litre of 99.999 (or whatever) percent pure IPA posted for around £5 to £6. Place called Shiny Hardware.

Stevie A
14-03-12, 02:37 PM
E.S.Co are really making a name for themselves, with seemingly the ability to restore ANY cartridge.

I recently came across two affidavits that Koetsus refurbished by Van den Hul some years back tended to sound more like VdH cartridges afterwards.

Are there any satisfied ESCoed Koetsu owners out there? The only other route I know is a very long turnover time in Japan with a commensurately gigantic restoration charge.

myself and many satisfied,customers and colleagues have had great success with virtually ALL Koetsu's wares,from the humble black upwards,indeed i think one of the few omissions is an old favourite of mine the legendary "Urushi"-no doubt Wndham will have had experience of one or two of these though!!!!!

lostintheozone
12-04-12, 03:54 AM
I am puzzled by why people get cartridges retipped by ESCo and then imediately sell them - I am reminded of this by some ads in the classified section 'zero hours of use since a re-tip and full service/check up by Expert Stylus recently'. I see this also on eBay and other audio sites. Is there just a simple explanation like they got tired of waiting and so bought a replacement and then the retipped cartridge is surplus to requirements?

At the moment I am in dithering about sending a Decca to them for a retip or just selling it anyway because it will be 'too good' for me when it returns.

Guy

paskinn
12-04-12, 07:13 AM
myself and many satisfied,customers and colleagues have had great success with virtually ALL Koetsu's wares,from the humble black upwards,indeed i think one of the few omissions is an old favourite of mine the legendary "Urushi"-no doubt Wndham will have had experience of one or two of these though!!!!!

Come, get real. A koetsu is a very specific, hand-made Japanese cartridge.A Koetsu 'retipped' by anyone else is no longer a Koetsu..just as a Porsche 'expertly' fitted with a Ford engine is no longer a genuine Porsche. Both the retipped Koetsu, and the Ford-engined Porsche, may be excellent units, and satisfy their owners.
But genuine and original they most certainly are not. Whether that matters to you is another question entirely.
Me? I want the real thing, and prefer to save up , so that when my Urushi is finally knackered, I can afford a proper replacement.

wylton
12-04-12, 07:32 AM
...why people get cartridges retipped by ESCo and then imediately sell them...(with) zero hours of use since a re-tip and full service/check up by Expert Stylus

Well, I guess I’m one of those people, as I have a couple of Troikas, one of which is unused since the ESCO re-tip. In my case, I had a Troika from new, and had it re-tipped. During a turntable service, one of the lead-out wires became detached, so I sent it to ESCO along with my other Troika that I had been holding as a spare. I asked them to repair and service the original Troika, and check the stylus at the same time. This, ESCO said, had 25% of its life left. The other needed a new tip, so that one had the full works. In the meantime, my dealer advised a new cartridge (no surprise there really; dealers in general don’t support re-tips, because there’s no money in it for them), so after an audition I purchased a Dynavector XXII Mk 2. So there you have it, I now have two Troikas sitting in my spares drawer, one unused since the re-tip, and the other serviced with 25% life left; no conspiracy really.

ESCO turn around time isn’t too bad these days, because once you contact them, they tell you when to send your cartridge, so you know up front how long they will have it.

Some people will advise against re-tips, because they say the cartridge is never the same as the original. That’s all very well, but if you are running a cartridge that is obsolete, then you only have two choices, either you buy a new (and hence different) one, or you get your cartridge serviced re-tipped.

Of course, Northwest Analogue also provide a similar service, though I haven’t used them at this point.

PS if anyone wants to buy a Troika…

Martyn Miles
12-04-12, 10:04 AM
I have always applied Isopropyl Alcohol, using a squirrel hair brush. I used to work in the Oxford University's Chemistry Department, so I had access to a small amount when I required it. I have always used it to clean the stylus on my Entre MC. cartridge. Expert Pickups never commented on any deterioration when they examined the cartridge in the past. MGM .

I have had a report from Expert re. my Entre. It requires a new stylus, but the suspension & cantilever are all OK. Not bad for a cartridge I bought in 1978. New stylus to be fitted in August. I can wait... MGM .

andrewhockley
12-04-12, 10:38 AM
Come, get real. A koetsu is a very specific, hand-made Japanese cartridge.A Koetsu 'retipped' by anyone else is no longer a Koetsu..just as a Porsche 'expertly' fitted with a Ford engine is no longer a genuine Porsche. Both the retipped Koetsu, and the Ford-engined Porsche, may be excellent units, and satisfy their owners.
But genuine and original they most certainly are not. Whether that matters to you is another question entirely.
Me? I want the real thing, and prefer to save up , so that when my Urushi is finally knackered, I can afford a proper replacement.
So what does one do with an early original Koetsu with good suspension but worn out tip then? Put it in a glass case and admire the woodwork? Whether or not a retip is as good as the original is not the point. A retip preserves the originality of the cartridge as far as is possible, so it's the least worst option. It's not a question of saving money, but of doing all you can to preserve an important part of audio history.

Mike Reed
12-04-12, 11:01 AM
When all's said and done, one has to be pragmatic; that usually means choosing the most cost effective solution.

As mentioned above, a non current cart. (the Entre, I think, was mentioned) might as well be retipped. Even a Sugano San cart. won't come back from Japan as the 'same' cart., as all the gubbins are replaced. You'll presumably get a 'Sugano son' version.

sq225917
12-04-12, 02:15 PM
Come, get real. A koetsu is a very specific, hand-made Japanese cartridge.A Koetsu 'retipped' by anyone else is no longer a Koetsu..just as a Porsche 'expertly' fitted with a Ford engine is no longer a genuine Porsche. Both the retipped Koetsu, and the Ford-engined Porsche, may be excellent units, and satisfy their owners.
But genuine and original they most certainly are not. Whether that matters to you is another question entirely.
Me? I want the real thing, and prefer to save up , so that when my Urushi is finally knackered, I can afford a proper replacement.

Lol, you are funny. If you send a Sugano San Koetsu back for service, then what you get back is exactly a Porsche with a Ford engine in it. All that remains is pretty much just the cartridge shell. However retipping it would be akin to putting different tyres on, as all the moving parts, original suspension and coils remain intact.

If you have a new Koetsu cart, post Sugano San, than frankly all you have is a Ford anyway, so why worry. ;-)

Mike Reed
12-04-12, 02:42 PM
Lol, you are funny. If you send a Sugano San Koetsu back for service, then what you get back is exactly a Porsche with a Ford engine in it. All that remains is pretty much just the cartridge shell. However retipping it would be akin to putting different tyres on, as all the moving parts, original suspension and coils remain intact.

If you have a new Koetsu cart, post Sugano San, than frankly all you have is a Ford anyway, so why worry. ;-)

Don't agree on your last point. Sugano son stuff is still very much Koetsu but with dynamics; lush is out ! It's only reactionary diehard Sugano San aficionados who hold on to their cherished belief that change had to be negative.

S.S.'s son has brought Koetsu cart's into the modern world, to compete with the remarkable offerings emanating from the likes of Benz, Lyra, Transfiguration et al. They're still Koetsus (with unfortunate Koetsu price-tags), but much more twenty-first century in dynamics.

Nic Robinson
12-04-12, 03:41 PM
Come, get real. A koetsu is a very specific, hand-made Japanese cartridge.A Koetsu 'retipped' by anyone else is no longer a Koetsu..just as a Porsche 'expertly' fitted with a Ford engine is no longer a genuine Porsche. Both the retipped Koetsu, and the Ford-engined Porsche, may be excellent units, and satisfy their owners.
But genuine and original they most certainly are not. Whether that matters to you is another question entirely.
Me? I want the real thing, and prefer to save up , so that when my Urushi is finally knackered, I can afford a proper replacement.

I think you need a retip. You keep repeating the same points like a broken record.

Mike Reed
12-04-12, 03:54 PM
I think you need a retip. You keep repeating the same points like a broken record.

Guess it'll have to be a parrot trace tip from ESCO !:D (I'll get my coat.....)

Martyn Miles
13-04-12, 02:12 AM
I have had a report from Expert re. my Entre. It requires a new stylus, but the suspension & cantilever are all OK. Not bad for a cartridge I bought in 1978. New stylus to be fitted in August. I can wait... MGM .

I had looked at changing to a new MC when Expert's quote came in, but for £210 what would I buy ? The Entre was a top model at the time I purchased it. At close to £100, that was a lot of money in 1978 ! Has cartridge manufacture, styli profiling, etc. changed much over 30 + years ? My combination of an LP12, Mission 774 arm & the Entre has sounded just right for me. Auditioning cartridges these days would be difficult. Westwoods of Oxford were a brilliant shop. Sadly now no more... MGM. PS I'm using a Shure M75ED with an Expert stylus until the 'Return of the Entre'. Sounds quite good, actually...

paskinn
13-04-12, 03:18 AM
I think you need a retip. You keep repeating the same points like a broken record.

I repeat the point because it needs repeating.These re-tip threads are packed with people trying to convince themselves,and others, that you can have a free lunch.
It just isn't so...and endles 'boosting' of esc doesn't make it so.

Joe
13-04-12, 03:25 AM
I repeat the point because it needs repeating.These re-tip threads are packed with people trying to convince themselves,and others, that you can have a free lunch.
It just isn't so...and endles 'boosting' of esc doesn't make it so.

In your opinion..... others on here have expressed their ( differing ) opinion.

you repeating yours doesn't 'make it so' surely?

Covkxw
13-04-12, 03:40 AM
paskinn may be a dissenter for no other reason than he truely believes what he says. He may also be old enough to remember when Expert Sylus had a reputation, during the 1970/80's, for below par replacement stylii, which may be colouring his view.

Surely, we need all views in order to provide a proper balance to any topic?

Mango
13-04-12, 04:07 AM
[QUOTE=Covkxw;1656786]paskinn may be a dissenter for no other reason than he truely believes what he says. He may also be old enough to remember when Expert Sylus had a reputation, during the 1970/80's, for below par replacement stylii, which may be colouring his view.

Good point, however some have more recent experience and surely this is what we are evaluating, contemporary not distant historical experience.

I can only comment from empirical knowledge based upon having a large collection of Koetsu Rosewood Signature/Platinums etc, most of the Lyra range, Linn Arkiv B etc and many others. Now I have had at least 7 of my cartridges re-tipped and that means rebuilt and suspension/coils tested etc.

I have been more than pleased with the results and had I not then I would have been the first to complain. The re-tip and rebuild on the 7 cartridges which did include 2x Rosewood Signature models (long body and short) both dating from 1995 period so Sugano San built, I feel that nothing was really lost at all. If anything, the sound was improved in my experience.

I have another 3 catridges being inspected by Expert Stylus at the moment one of which is a third Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum and I have the utmost confidence in Expert Stylus and I am not connected with them in any other way but as a customer. Sure I can afford to buy a brand new Koetsu or whatever cartridge I want but just do not see the logic if Expert Stylus delivers the goods/service at a fraction of the cost.

I do too believe what I say, say what I mean and vote with my wallet, I don't think you can get much fairer than that.

Mango
13-04-12, 04:54 AM
From what I understand, ESCO do not replace the voice coils or innards as such but do adjust the aged suspension. It appears that very little is replaced from the original unless the inspection report highlights it.

I have heard that a Sugano San built cartridge, if sent to Koetsu Japan will be modified in that the voice coils may be replaced with modern versions and not sure what else. So if the the body of the cartridge remains the only original component then I would prefer to send my Koetsu to ESCO as they at least would endeavor to only re-tip and not change anything else unless absolutely necessary but only after you agree.

I love my Koetsu cartridges and yes they do vary in sound and were not mass produced so accepting the individual character of each hand built cartridge is part of the charm. I find some a bit warmer and slightly more mellow whereas others in my collection have a little more detail and depth or soundstage etc, all good stuff and yes they are works of art.

Audioelec
13-04-12, 05:55 AM
I repeat the point because it needs repeating.These re-tip threads are packed with people trying to convince themselves,and others, that you can have a free lunch.
It just isn't so...and endles 'boosting' of esc doesn't make it so.


Classed as a wind up merchant!

Mike Reed
13-04-12, 07:51 AM
FOX and MANGO. I broadly agree with your sentiments. If older Koetsus were able to be replicated when being refurbished in Japan, young Paskinn would have a valid point. As it is, ESCO is a more convenient , cheaper and probably 'truer to the original' approach than sending back to Japan. This is only apposite where Koetsus are concerned, I guess.

However, I wasn't aware of any change in output. In fact, after doing a 'degree course' on Google and researching older mag's and Absolute Sounds' brochures a few years back I cannot now recall any change in specifications between cart's produced by S.San (up to about 2001 and his son (from about 2004). One exception may be the Urushi Vermilion, which currently has a marginally lower output that the other Urushis (coil diiferences, I think). Mind you, Urushi flavours come and go, but the other models seem to be consistent over time.

mole0937
13-04-12, 07:55 AM
I had Koetsu Black for many years,had it retipped by "Expert" never the same again.
My nephew had a koetsu Red retipped by "Expert" ,again never the the same ,as recommended save the extra pennies and have it done by manufacturer it is so worth it.

Mike Reed
13-04-12, 09:18 AM
A vintage 1980's Urushi Wajima is very different from current Urushi (not even comparable in fact as the casework is Alloy long body not Wood as with the current models) and output varies by as much as .2mV......

I have had multiple retips and all have been fine apart from a Black Goldline that went back for a re-retip soon after and then was fine. I've had Onyxes and Reds all fine. It amazes me people can hear the difference between a retip after a substantial wait of several weeks (at best, usually months) and the sound of the brand new cart when they fitted it years earlier when human memory can accurately recall a sound no later than 30 seconds after silence. Audiophiles and their golden ears have a curse there.


As current Urushis (apart from the Vermilion) have a +/- 4mV output (at 5cms/sec), the original Longbody must have had either 0.2mV (REALLY low !) or 0.6mV (= to current Goldline and Rosewoods). Wonder which.

You make a salient point in casting aspersions on people's audio memory. Considering the intervening years, the run-in times and other ancillary changes which may have taken place (new deck, arm, location, etc.) I think you'd need a computer rather than a brain to accurately equate old with new.:)

Nic Robinson
13-04-12, 09:49 AM
I had Koetsu Black for many years,had it retipped by "Expert" never the same again.
My nephew had a koetsu Red retipped by "Expert" ,again never the the same ,as recommended save the extra pennies and have it done by manufacturer it is so worth it.

Silly post imo. Of course it wouldn't be the same. But do you expect it would on return from Japan?

mole0937
13-04-12, 10:23 AM
Silly post imo. Of course it wouldn't be the same. But do you expect it would on return from Japan?

When the company says back to manufacturers spec,yes I would expect it to be the same,and as far as getting the cartridge back from Japan intact/back up to spec,yes I would expect it, on return. IMO Not a silly post.

sq225917
13-04-12, 10:41 AM
Fox makes an excellent point and I agree with him,owners of early Koetsu's are in charge of works of art. So surely Paskinn would re-tip his rather than have it destroyed via rebuild...

The logic seems so obvious.

Martyn Miles
13-04-12, 10:48 AM
Fox makes an excellent point and I agree with him, owners of early Koetsu's are in charge of works of art. So surely Paskinn would re-tip his rather than have it destroyed via rebuild...

The logic seems so obvious.

By the way, it's 'Koetsus', not as you've written...

JADISMAN
13-04-12, 02:03 PM
Does anyone know which cartridge manufacturers make their own diamond tips, and who makes them for those who don't?

Purite Audio
13-04-12, 02:05 PM
I suspect they are al bought in, from a manufacturer such as Geiger.
Keith.

JADISMAN
13-04-12, 02:39 PM
I suspect they are al bought in, from a manufacturer such as Geiger.
Keith.

I'm sure some do. So do you think Koetsu buy theirs in?

Nic Robinson
13-04-12, 02:44 PM
I suspect they are al bought in, from a manufacturer such as Geiger.
Keith.

Or, Ahem, ESCo.

Nic Robinson
13-04-12, 02:45 PM
When the company says back to manufacturers spec,yes I would expect it to be the same,and as far as getting the cartridge back from Japan intact/back up to spec,yes I would expect it, on return. IMO Not a silly post.

Well the world does contain some naive people. If you read some of the above posts you will receive an explanation as to why your aspiration isn't realistic.

mole0937
13-04-12, 03:26 PM
Does anyone know which cartridge manufacturers make their own diamond tips, and who makes them for those who don't?
I am 90% sure Van Den Hul do on both counts.
Who is this streetwise chap Nic Robinson ,all his glasses are half empty.:rolleyes:

Mike Reed
13-04-12, 03:36 PM
By the way, it's 'Koetsus', not as you've written...

Que? You're not referring to the greengrocer's apostrophe, by any chance?

I have long given up wondering how anybody can confuse punctuation (the apostrophe, in this case) with plurals; they are grammatically completely separate entities. However, it now seems endemic, and I'm too old to educate..:)

sq225917
13-04-12, 05:25 PM
By the way, it's 'Koetsus', not as you've written...

No, I think you managed to spell pedantic, internet twat just right.

Audioelec
14-04-12, 12:11 AM
This thread is going no were!

Joe
14-04-12, 12:32 AM
This thread is going no were!

Words fail me! .. its "know were" you fule.

Audioelec
14-04-12, 12:35 AM
Sorry !

JADISMAN
14-04-12, 01:38 AM
This thread is going no were!

Come on koi, stop carping!;)

Nic Robinson
14-04-12, 01:45 AM
I am 90% sure Van Den Hul do on both counts.
Who is this streetwise chap Nic Robinson ,all his glasses are half empty.:rolleyes:

Could you explain that odd post, please.

mole0937
14-04-12, 02:58 AM
Could you explain that odd post, please.
Bored now.Bye:p

Nic Robinson
14-04-12, 03:06 AM
Bored now.Bye:p

So now I'll have to live the rest of my life with a mystery.

mole0937
14-04-12, 03:38 AM
So now I'll have to live the rest of my life with a mystery.
:):)

Mike Reed
14-04-12, 07:22 AM
Words fail me! .. its "know were" you fule.


Tch. tch ! Naughty ! :D

Audioelec
14-04-12, 08:55 AM
Had a transfiguration cartridge retipped by expert about a month ago cost around £290

new replacement around £ 2000

Sounds better than ever


I would use expert again without hesitation

krenzler
14-04-12, 09:04 AM
Exactly - that's the point and why it makes good sense.

Martyn Miles
20-09-12, 02:52 AM
I had looked at changing to a new MC when Expert's quote came in, but for £210 what would I buy ? The Entre was a top model at the time I purchased it. At close to £100, that was a lot of money in 1978 ! Has cartridge manufacture, styli profiling, etc. changed much over 30 + years ? My combination of an LP12, Mission 774 arm & the Entre has sounded just right for me. Auditioning cartridges these days would be difficult. Westwoods of Oxford were a brilliant shop. Sadly now no more... MGM. PS I'm using a Shure M75ED with an Expert stylus until the 'Return of the Entre'. Sounds quite good, actually...

The Entre has returned. It sounds fantastic. I am so impressed by Expert's expertise. (!) I even had a 'phone call from Wyndam Hodgson giving me the details of the work they had carried out. I recall WH telling me ( back in the mid. '80s) it was one of his favourite cartridges. Evidentally, he hasn't changed his mind...

Bertw
27-11-12, 04:18 AM
I had my Troika re-tipped/new cantilever by Expert Stylus (ESC) approx. a year ago, and a Klyde (which I use in a second system) completely rebuilt with virtually everything replaced with brand new by Goldring very recently.

Expert Stylus took three months, Goldring took three weeks.

Expert Stylus cost £330, Goldring £250.

Expert Stylus rebuild is good, Goldring rebuild is superb.

Sound wise it took a while before the Troika sounded good, but it still doesn't sound as I was expecting/hoping it would. The rebuilt Klyde sounded superb from the very start and tracks excellently (mis-tracking being a complaint some people have made about even brand new Klydes).

Personally I will use Goldring in future because the outcome for me has been that having the Troika complete rebuild with new parts at Goldring will cost about 25% less than having just a new cantilever and stylus from ESC, and it will be returned to me much much sooner.

I realise that some may think I'm a heretic for my comments here, all I can say is that these are my honest opinions and I am so impressed with the re-built Klyde that I have just bought another (knackered) one that I'll be sending off to Goldring at some point.

How does a retipped or fully renovated Troika compare to the original? Any other options than Expert Stylus?

Thanks

Carl

paulski
27-11-12, 05:31 AM
I had a Troika rebuilt by Goldring many years ago, it was returned with a channel imbalance of about 6dB or so. The worst thing about that was that the dealer claimed he couldn't hear any problem and only grudgingly returned it to Goldring. They then tested it and were very apologetic after they measured and quantified the aformentioned imbalance. Made me wonder what testing they did originally.

It went back and that was remedied but it never sounded right to me, seemed to lack vitality.

This was about 10 years ago so of course Goldring may be doing things differently now but I've not seen too many (any?) reports of them doing a better job than ESCO.

Covkxw
27-11-12, 05:40 AM
Hello Bert, thanks for the info on the Goldring repair service. A good turn-round time and price for sure. Iinterested to know what type/shape stylus (eg. Vital, Gyger I/II etc.) they provided for the price? Cheers, Keith.

flatpopely
27-11-12, 05:57 AM
I may just give Goldring a try with a dead ASAKA I am about to get.

I've used ESC lots and the service and quality has always been impeccable but I hanker after trying someone new.

Spike
27-11-12, 06:23 AM
Hi Andrew,

Get in touch with David Giffin at Goldring, he does an excellent job for £250:

Replace the cantilever with a new Ogura fine line diamond, rewind the coil/armature with copper wire, replace the tie-wire assembly/suspension with new, clean & run full operating tests.

No cut and shunt.

It's suprising who he does work for!

Graham

Spike
27-11-12, 06:25 AM
Hi covkxw

It's an Ogura fine line diamond.

YNWOAN
27-11-12, 06:31 AM
Hmm.. "Replace the cantilever with a new Ogura fine line diamond" that doesn't really make sense, the cantilever and stylus are entirely separate things (though that is also the email I received).

Also, what if you don't want the coils rewound or the tie-wire replaced (as I don't); can't you just get the stylus replaced?

GforceMI69
27-11-12, 06:34 AM
I may just give Goldring a try with a dead ASAKA I am about to get.

I've used ESC lots and the service and quality has always been impeccable but I hanker after trying someone new.

I will be interested to hear how that works out, I just got one from the same person and will at some point be sending mine out for an overhaul.

I currently use an Arkiv retipped be Expert, my Troika also has a paratrace tip, and I still haven't tried my Karma since it came back after a full rebuild by them, so I am interested in how good a Goldring rebuild works out for you.

Edit: and if anyone is interested, full internal replacement (coils, suspension, cantilever and tip, the fully monty) on the Karma cost me £360 from Expert back in May/June.

Spike
27-11-12, 06:43 AM
"Hmm.. "Replace the cantilever with a new Ogura fine line diamond" that doesn't really make sense, the cantilever and stylus are entirely separate things (though that is also the email I received)."

The stylus is attached to the cantilever so makes sense to me especially if you have no cantilever or stylus. They are reluctant to cut and shunt or glue a stylus on. I've had one rebuilt cartridge and the stylus was almost invisible with all the glue.

"Also, what if you don't want the coils rewound or the tie-wire replaced (as I don't); can't you just get the stylus replaced?"

Then don't go to Goldring.

muzzer
27-11-12, 07:08 AM
I may just give Goldring a try with a dead ASAKA I am about to get.

I've used ESC lots and the service and quality has always been impeccable but I hanker after trying someone new.
How about giving Dominic at Northwest Analogue a try?
http://northwestanalogue.weebly.com/cartridge-repairs.html

YNWOAN
27-11-12, 07:12 AM
The stylus is attached to the cantilever so makes sense to me especially if you have no cantilever or stylus. They are reluctant to cut and shunt or glue a stylus on. I've had one rebuilt cartridge and the stylus was almost invisible with all the glue.

Well, that doesn't make sense to me! obviously the stylus is attached to the cantilever but they can be seperated - what is 'cut and shunt' (as you put it) is to cut the cantilever and glue another on (particularly if there is nothing wrong with the existing cantilever). One can buy in stylus' already attached to cantilevers so, presumably, that is the actual reason. By far the least intrusive answer is to simply bond on a new stylus to the existing cantilever (without a ton of glue).

"Also, what if you don't want the coils rewound or the tie-wire replaced (as I don't); can't you just get the stylus replaced?"

Then don't go to Goldring.

Well, that is the conclusion I am arriving at. However, I don't see why they would insist on doing this work if it doesn't need doing - very few cartridges will need to have the coils rewound.

paulski
27-11-12, 07:17 AM
How about giving Dominic at Northwest Analogue a try?
http://northwestanalogue.weebly.com/cartridge-repairs.html

Does anyone here have experience of his work?

Spike
27-11-12, 07:24 AM
I guess "cartridge rebuild" is the clue. How much do Expert charge just to "cut the cantilever and glue another on."? I think it's significantly more than a Goldring rebuild. At £250 an old Troika I have will be sent to them for this rebuild. Does it need it? I honestly don't know, but at close to 30 years as most Troikas will be I feel it's worth it.

Covkxw
27-11-12, 07:45 AM
Hi covkxw

It's an Ogura fine line diamond.

Thanks Spike: the same fine line as the 'Vital' sylus of the Goldring Legacy Series, I presume?

sq225917
27-11-12, 08:07 AM
Why would you let Goldring strip your cart and rewind it with all new parts- it wouldn't be anything like the same spec as the cart you sent in. If you don't want it to be 'Linn', then fair enough, but it does seem more like a new cart than simply a back to spec Linn.

Spike
27-11-12, 08:22 AM
Yet for many years Linn got them to rebuild the Troika as they do now?

Covkxw
27-11-12, 08:51 AM
I concur with Spike: a very old cartridge would probably be better off for having a full rebuild. Also, for vintage Linn and most other 30+ years old cartridges, the alum-alloy cantilever/Vital sylus used by Goldring would likely to be a pretty-close match spec. wise and, thus, a potentially better option than those (more exotic ones) provided by alternatives sources.

sq225917
27-11-12, 09:06 AM
Yet for many years Linn got them to rebuild the Troika as they do now?

Yeh but anyone rebuilding a cart other than the original manufacturer is going to make it different, even with the same armatures and wire source the precision will be different. I'd take a re-tip over a rebuild by a 3rd party, of course YMMV.

What i wouldn't be interested in though is a re-tip with more glue than stylus on it.

regprescott
27-11-12, 09:12 AM
I thought Goldring originally made many cartridges for Linn

Nic Robinson
27-11-12, 09:13 AM
I realise that some may think I'm a heretic for my comments here, all I can say is that these are my honest opinions and I am so impressed with the re-built Klyde that I have just bought another (knackered) one that I'll be sending off to Goldring at some point.

Why would anyone think so? I think it's fantastic if there are alternatives out there and ESCo certainly don't need extra work; they seem to be snowed under. I've also recently taken the opportunity of purchasing an old damaged Linn cart so I now have a Karma which once done I'll rotate with my ESCo DL-103. I'm tempted to use Goldring for the work if their lead time is so short and it might give me analternative sound. I'm looking forward to reports from other Goldring users, particularly if AP goes for it as I value his opinion.

Cheers,

Nic.

Nic Robinson
27-11-12, 09:15 AM
a potentially better option than those (more exotic ones) provided by alternatives sources.

Unless of course the cart could be improved as in the case of the DL-103 (not that the high end Linn MCs are in the same situation).

Spike
27-11-12, 09:27 AM
sq,

The point is, Linn sent Troikas to Goldring for rebuilding. I'm well aware that Goldring did not originally manufacture the Troika. However, Linn certainly trusted them to rebuild them. It was David Giffin at Goldring who did all the work. As a conclusion I think I can trust both Goldring and David. Will it be an original Troika, no. Is an ESCO an original Troika, no. QED.

Covkxw
27-11-12, 09:34 AM
Unless of course the cart could be improved as in the case of the DL-103 (not that the high end Linn MCs are in the same situation).

Agreed about the DL-103, Nic. But wouldn't most people be having a repair done because they very much like sound of their cartridge already and it likely be of quite high quality with a high initial purchase cost?

Nic Robinson
27-11-12, 09:37 AM
Agreed about the DL-103, Nic. But wouldn't most people be having a repair done because they very much like sound of their cartridge already and it likely be of quite high quality with a high initial purchase cost?

Yes you're right. And if Spike is right in saying David Griffin is the actual guy who did the re-builds for Linn in the day he sounds like an interesting option to say the very least.

Bertw
16-01-13, 05:32 AM
Hello Bert, thanks for the info on the Goldring repair service. A good turn-round time and price for sure. Iinterested to know what type/shape stylus (eg. Vital, Gyger I/II etc.) they provided for the price? Cheers, Keith.

When I had Goldring re-build my Klyde I asked what work was done and was told that they had removed virtually all of the insides of the cartridge and replace with brand new i.e. not simply a re-tip. So, I presume, the stylus type/shape would be the same as when the cartridge itself was brand new.

I am still very happy indeed with the Kylde, the more I play it the better it sounds in my RB300/Manticore Mantra (TT in 2nd system).

sq225917
16-01-13, 06:08 AM
sq,

The point is, Linn sent Troikas to Goldring for rebuilding. I'm well aware that Goldring did not originally manufacture the Troika. However, Linn certainly trusted them to rebuild them. It was David Giffin at Goldring who did all the work. As a conclusion I think I can trust both Goldring and David. Will it be an original Troika, no. Is an ESCO an original Troika, no. QED.

If they are just swapping the guts over with NOS Linn assemblies then it's a Linn cart for sure.

oldius
16-01-13, 06:20 AM
Does anyone here have experience of his work?

I have had an Audio Technica retipped with a Fritz Geiger II tip by him.

I also had a Goldring G99 turntable serviced and a 401 serviced and replinthed by him. Excellent guy to deal with and I've been delighted with the results of every job he has done for me.

paul auster
16-01-13, 06:33 AM
Benz use them to retip their cartridges. M

I'm not saying the above is not correct , however when I asked Benz {Jan 2012] who to send my Ace to , they gave me the name of German bloke ?

Bertw
16-01-13, 07:35 AM
How does a retipped or fully renovated Troika compare to the original? Any other options than Expert Stylus?

Thanks

Carl

Carl,

I posted the following, which may be of interest, on here (http://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/showthread.php?t=47782&page=13) a little while ago...

I had my Troika re-tipped/new cantilever by Expert Stylus (ESC) approx. a year ago, and a Klyde (which I use in a second system) completely rebuilt with virtually everything replaced with brand new by Goldring very recently.

Expert Stylus took three months, Goldring took three weeks.

Expert Stylus cost £330, Goldring £250.

Expert Stylus rebuild is good, Goldring rebuild is superb.

Sound wise it took a while before the Troika sounded good, but it still doesn't sound as I was expecting/hoping it would. The rebuilt Klyde sounded superb from the very start and tracks excellently (mis-tracking being a complaint some people have made about even brand new Klydes).

Personally I will use Goldring in future because the outcome for me has been that having the Troika complete rebuild with new parts at Goldring will cost about 25% less than having just a new cantilever and stylus from ESC, and it will be returned to me much much sooner.

I realise that some may think I'm a heretic for my comments here, all I can say is that these are my honest opinions and I am so impressed with the re-built Klyde that I have just bought another (knackered) one that I'll be sending off to Goldring at some point.

sq225917
16-01-13, 08:52 AM
I'm not saying the above is not correct , however when I asked Benz {Jan 2012] who to send my Ace to , they gave me the name of German bloke ?

ESCO no longer do all the re-tip work for Benz.

Bertw
16-01-13, 09:06 AM
If they are just swapping the guts over with NOS Linn assemblies then it's a Linn cart for sure.

I have read on lists (and possibly also in a hi-fi mag a long time ago) and have been told by a man in the trade that Goldring build the Klyde for Linn.

paul auster
16-01-13, 09:08 AM
It may or may not be germane , but I live in England and the person they referred me to lived in Germany .

Martyn Miles
16-01-13, 09:47 AM
Seeing a new post prompted me. I have previuosly mentioned my Entre MC, which has been re-tipped four times ( I think...) by Expert. I've had it back since last August and it still sounds sublime. What a fantastic job they did, considering I bought it in 1978 ! Wyndam Hodgson told me on the 'phone it is still one of his favourite cartridges. I wrote a letter to WH to thank him for all he has done over the years to keep the Entre running.

sq225917
16-01-13, 01:12 PM
I have read on lists (and possibly also in a hi-fi mag a long time ago) and have been told by a man in the trade that Goldring build the Klyde for Linn.

That could be true it's not from the same pen as the troika or Karma

vicdiaz
16-01-13, 04:08 PM
IIRC:

Basik, K9, K18 and K18-II were made by Audio-Tecnica to Linn specs
Trak, Asak, Asak-A, Karma and Troika were made by Supex to Linn specs
Adikt and Klyde are made by Goldring to Linn specs
Arkiv and Arkiv-B were made by Scan-Tech(Lyra) to Linn specs
Akiva is made by Scan-Tech (Lyra) to Linn specs

The FlatEarther
16-01-13, 04:38 PM
I had my original Troika retipped last August. I sent it to them as the latex shroud was perishing and attracting crap. It still sounded great. I only wanted them to clean it up and replace the latex. After inspection they reccomended a complete clean out and a retip as the vital stylus was worn. They didn't say how much wear it had. They quoted £265 for the work with a Paratrace.

It came back looking immaculate. But it was not the same cartridge. The Paratrace picked up loads of detail but the original sound of the Troika was diminished and lacked the original lustre and life. It still sounds very musical. It also was worse on surface noise and took quite a few sides before being run in.

I now regret the retip. I have since resigned it to my HiFi drawer and upgraded to an Akiva. The difference is astonishing.

Some facts. The Paratrace is actually a copied Van dan Hul design and is virtually an exact copy of the original 1978 VDH. VDH now use a much different stylus shape similar to the Ogura advanced line contact.

Expert can and will rebuild, virtually anything and can replace any part. They cannot however replace with original parts. Their work is immaculate and I have seen a few they have done. But in my case, I was disappointed with the overall sound following the retip. But the Troika is quite usable.

The Fritz Geiger II is a unique shape and nothing like a Paratrace and usually comes from Geiger on a Ruby cantilever.

No else has made Linn cartridges other than: Supex, Audio Technica, Goldring and Lyra.

Goldring do make the Klyde and the Adikt.

Linn rebuilds were done by Goldring only.

Sugano was quoted in a Japanese magazine, as saying he built the cantilever and diamond as one unit and each pair was unique and that one of the reasons he left Supex was because he wanted to build the highest possible retrieval tool and the reason they were so expensive was the time he took to match all the components in harmony and that to achieve that goal, many parts were rejected to the waste bin. He said he could not retip but started fresh with everyone he received back.

Lyra reccomend their liquid stylus cleaner to clean the stylus of their cartridges..

I have used this to great effect on diamonds that looked not only black but oven caked on with cack. It works wonders.

In summary if you have a dying or dead cartridge then a retip/rebuild makes sense if you cannot afford a replacement. However retiping is not a consistent art and results are bound to vary, as in my case. If you are in this position ESCo do a good job. I took a chance as I could afford it and ironically the Troika is worth more now than before.so I can easily recover my outlay. I am contemplating sending it to Dom at Northwest Analogue to have the suspension replaced and the whole cantilever removed from the former and replaced with a ruby Geiger II combo. Dom reckons it transforms the Troika into a wonder cartridge comparable to the very best of today's offerings. He also told me that the rebuild is quite straight forward. But what really takes the time is the fine tuning of the assembly to perfect azimuth and generator alignment. He says it is here that most cartridges lack. Sounds very Sugano'ish.
Flat

paskinn
16-01-13, 05:19 PM
Round and round we go. The simple truth is that people get 'outsider' retips because it is cheaper. End of story.

darkmatter
24-06-14, 05:00 PM
Who would you ask to re-tip a Dynavector 17D3
Goldring or ESCo?
Thanks
Simon :)

divedeepdog
24-06-14, 05:46 PM
Who would you ask to re-tip a Dynavector 17D3
Goldring or ESCo?
Thanks
Simon :)


When the tip fell off my DV17D2, the distributer recommended trade in rather than 3rd party retip.
Its the suspension inside as-well as the tip/cantilever that they can't replace.

Trade in or use an AT like I do, they seem more robust and I actually prefer the AT33:cool:

John James
24-06-14, 06:27 PM
North West Analogue did a stunning job on my XX2 MK 2 after the cantilever was dusted off.

Vital
25-06-14, 12:34 AM
When the tip fell off my DV17D2, the distributer recommended trade in rather than 3rd party retip.
Its the suspension inside as-well as the tip/cantilever that they can't replace.

Trade in or use an AT like I do, they seem more robust and I actually prefer the AT33:cool:

North West Analogue did a stunning job on my XX2 MK 2 after the cantilever was dusted off.

I'm awaiting the imminent return of my Troika from NWA. It's having a new cantilever as well as tip. Cost is £500. I can't remember exactly, but I think the tip alone would be just under £300.

Dom and Natalie are lovely (but don't get Natalie started on England in the World Cup!). I very much get the impression that it's a business for sure, but they are both vinyl nuts and care about you as a customer. Being cynical one might say that any small business that relies on word of forum would be stupid not to look after you, but sometimes you just get a good feeling about folk.

Anyway, it should be back by early next week, so I'll post once I've had a chance to listen for a few days.

andrewhockley
25-06-14, 01:42 AM
Round and round we go. The simple truth is that people get 'outsider' retips because it is cheaper. End of story.
Not always true. If you have an interesting old cartridge, sometimes the only option is a 3rd party overhaul; some manufacturers simply give you new cartridge rather than overhauling, which may or may not be what you want. Very old Koetsus a case in point.

I've been pleased with ESCo results in the past on Koetsu and Supex. I also had an Asak done at VdH years ago. I didn't like that one much when it came back - loads of detail but a very anaemic version of the original cartridge.

The truth is that with both manufacturer overhaul and 3rd party overhaul, you're never 100% sure of what you will get back.

YNWOAN
25-06-14, 04:36 AM
I'm awaiting the imminent return of my Troika from NWA. It's having a new cantilever as well as tip. Cost is £500. I can't remember exactly, but I think the tip alone would be just under £300..

£500 seems a lot as, until quite recently, NWA were asking £350 for fitting a Geiger S stylus and ruby cantilever (which is exactly what Goldring charged me for doing the same thing). Just replacing the tip was £250 (from both parties).

Daniel Quinn
25-06-14, 04:42 AM
NWA offer various types of cantilever/stylus combinations .

As for your quoted price [ £350] , I am not at all sure you are correct , I was quoted £375 from Dom for a boron and fg 2 on the 2/6/13 .

Blzebub
25-06-14, 10:36 AM
Round and round we go. The simple truth is that people get 'outsider' retips because it is cheaper. End of story.

The simple truth is in fact that Wyndham is a consultant to many cartridge manufacturers, and his styluses are usually better than the diamonds originally fitted to any given cartridge, giving improved performance. End of story.

sq225917
25-06-14, 12:42 PM
I'd agree they are better than most run of the mill tips, but 'better' than a VDH or FG2, nah, different, sure, but better...... nah. At this elevated level it's a matter of taste.

In most cases the simple fact that a tip is an original fit, (usually shank fit, Nude) means more than tiny differences in line contact profile.

Blzebub
25-06-14, 12:47 PM
"Better nah"?

Very good.

In most cases they are better.

Alex S
25-06-14, 12:58 PM
Different, in my case.

colasblue
25-06-14, 03:14 PM
Just got a "new" Esco'ed cartridge. It's an Ortofon MC20. Not too shabby, kontrapunkt b No2 likely to be taking premature retirement I think despite having only a few hours on it!

New and expensive isn't necessarily better!

John James
25-06-14, 04:28 PM
£500 seems a lot as, until quite recently, NWA were asking £350 for fitting a Geiger II stylus and ruby cantilever (which is exactly what Goldring charged me for doing the same thing). Just replacing the tip was £250 (from both parties).

I paid £425 for a Boron cantilever and Geiger S tip plus postage.

The service was excellent, a bit slow but I think they are very busy. I had emails from Natalie late evening offering for me to call them, I didn't as it didn't seem fair but they were working at that time of day.

I spoke to both of them a couple of times, they did seem genuine enthusiasts and at the end of the day I was very pleased with the results. Difficult to compare with the original as it relies on a perfect recall memory, and I struggle to remember what happened a few minutes ago :) but I am a happy customer.

colasblue
25-06-14, 04:43 PM
No doubt about it they are certainly enthusiasts. I first came across them yonks ago just after the internet had been invented when they were the sole source of replacement styli for A&R cartridges.

I didn't actually buy a stylus at that point (don't tell anyone but I thought my A&R E77 was total crap) but it was nice to know replacement styli were available and I'm sure that helped me sell it on eBay. I upgraded to an AT95e! Yes really!!

The enthusiasm they had was absolutely undoubttable. Perhaps an Esco E77 is an unknown treasure. Doubt it though, I think they've moved on to decent stuff.

The thing I still remember is that I must have had at least a 10 minute conversation with Wyndham on the various differences in the styli in the old A&R range and how proud he was that he could still service them. As I recall he had factory styli for E77s & 77's but only canti and styli for the cheaper C77 so you needed to provide a dead body of a stylus to get a C77 fixed. At the time it was a £30 mm cart!

paskinn
26-06-14, 01:50 AM
In fairness, given the praise on this thread, it should be pointed-out that some PFM guys have had serious issues with the work of NWA. I helped one furious guy get his money back.. I wouldn't normally use re tippers, but for general check-ups and honest, professional, work, I'd use Goldring every time. Vdh is also extremely good, both firms are fair with prices.

sq225917
26-06-14, 02:37 AM
"Better nah"?

Very good.

In most cases they are better.

If 'most cases' includes the entire scope of available stylus tips, then yes we are in agreement. If it just includes the best Gyger and VDH have to offer then i respectfuly suggest you need a greater sample size to get a better opinion. I've heard back to backs with original tips, ESCO, VDH and Gyger tips on carts from Benz, DV and Linn and there's nothing to call them apart.

The biggest difference came from playing old records with a new stylus profile that avoided previous areas of playing wear, they suddenly sounded much improved. With new vinyl there was nothing in it. One really needs to avoid all the confounding variables.

YNWOAN
26-06-14, 03:51 AM
I've used Expert Stylus a number of times but decided to look elsewhere as the lead times were becoming enormous (three or four months) and I felt the Paratrace was wearing out rather too quickly. After much thought (and investigation) I decided to go with Goldring (who is actually just one, very experienced, bloke but working for them) and I couldn't be happier with the quality and speed of service. I went for a Gyger II* tip (I was offered a number of choices) and was surprised to find it was quite a bit kinder to surface noise than the Paratrace.

* I've since checked and it was a Gyger S and not a II that I had fitted.

Vital
03-07-14, 12:23 PM
My NWA Geiger S re tipped with new cantilever is back.

Well, £500 is a lot I guess, but it sounds damn good to me.

Currently playing the 2012 re-release of The Colour of Spring. This appears to be a superb piece of vinyl BTW. Absolute silence on the run in, and a delicately detailed sound. Sorry, I'm poor at sonic descriptions, but I like what I'm hearing a lot.

As long as it lasts I'll be happy.

Alex S
03-07-14, 02:37 PM
Do you have the original release? - I always thought that was pretty good.

darkmatter
03-07-14, 03:00 PM
I've used Expert Stylus a number of times but decided to look elsewhere as the lead times were becoming enormous (three or four months) and I felt the Paratrace was wearing out rather too quickly. After much thought (and investigation) I decided to go with Goldring (who is actually just one, very experienced, bloke but working for them) and I couldn't be happier with the quality and speed of service. I went for a Gyger II tip (I was offered a number of choices) and was surprised to find it was quite a bit kinder to surface noise than the Paratrace.

Hello,

I am considering getting my Dynavector 17 D3 Karat retipped by Goldring.

Have you any views or anyone else with them re-tipping Dynavector Carts?

Q/ for YNWOAN, What options of tip were you offered?

Thanks

Simon :)

divedeepdog
03-07-14, 03:06 PM
I've got a DV17 D2 without a cantilever, the problem is the very short diamond rod is a bit of a novelty. As far as I'm aware, no-one (not even DV ) will replace, the best offer is trade in?

Vital
03-07-14, 03:21 PM
Do you have the original release? - I always thought that was pretty good.

Yes. It's a second hand record shop copy, in pretty good nick, but the 2012 is as least as good a mix/mastering and a very very good pressing.

YNWOAN
03-07-14, 03:50 PM
I think you would be best to email or call them for your options. When I had a Ruby the stylus was pegged into a hole in the cantilever.

darkmatter
03-07-14, 04:11 PM
Found their website and have sent an enquiry off.

Theo
21-07-14, 08:53 AM
I've used Expert Stylus a number of times but decided to look elsewhere as the lead times were becoming enormous (three or four months) and I felt the Paratrace was wearing out rather too quickly. After much thought (and investigation) I decided to go with Goldring (who is actually just one, very experienced, bloke but working for them) and I couldn't be happier with the quality and speed of service. I went for a Gyger II tip (I was offered a number of choices) and was surprised to find it was quite a bit kinder to surface noise than the Paratrace.

Hi Mark
Having just knocked the ESCo-fitted Paratrace off my Ortofon Cadenza (Sapphire cantilever) for the 2nd time, I'm looking for other avenues, before I give up completely on it and buy a new cartridge. What profiles were you offered?
Cheers, Theo

YNWOAN
21-07-14, 09:15 AM
I can't honestly remember now Theo - the Gyger II (I have now checked and it was a Gyger S, not the II) I went for, another fine line and an elliptical I think. Send them an email and I'm sure they will respond quickly (my emails were very quickly dealt with and the overal service was genuinely beyond reproach). I'm still delighted with the tip they fitted to my black Troika.

Theo
21-07-14, 09:22 AM
Thanks Mark - I've sent them a message.