Etsuro Urushi Gold Cartridge - The New "Gold" Standard

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
1,786
1,277
390
the Upper Midwest
#41
I am pleased to announce that Believe High Fidelity will be taking delivery of the 1st Etsuro Urushi Gold Cartridge ever produced. This baby is a dream come true and we can't wait to play some music on it.

The Cantilever is diamond
The Stylus tip is diamond
The Plate is Sapphire
The Housing is A7075 Extra Super Duralumin
The Terminal is 24K Gold
The Housing is 24K Kinpaku Gold leaf
The Box is Walnut
...
Would you (or perhaps an owner) please say the compliance for the Etsuro Urushi Gold.
TIA
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
735
713
185
Cologne, Germany
#44
@Believe High Fidelity why is this cartridge $21k in the US and $14k EUR (including ~20% VAT) in Europe? I also see the Yen price in Japan is comparable to the European retail price minus the VAT.
"the world is flat"

Buy the product, where ever you like :)
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
735
713
185
Cologne, Germany
#46
Just don't look for grey market service. :)
Fully agree !

But buying from an official dealer/distributor abroad is not a bad way to have full service.


A cartridge is easy to ship and has (mostly) no market specific technical differences.
 

djsina2

Active Member
May 31, 2019
415
181
43
49
#47
"the world is flat"

Buy the product, where ever you like :)
Many (most?) legit overseas dealers will not ship to the USA if there is also distribution here. I'm mostly curious why the USA is consistently screwed on pricing compared to other countries. This is not only an Etsuro issue, although an $8500 premium on the Gold is about as blatant as I've seen on a cartridge. TechDAS arm boards are one of the biggest scams for us here. USA has some of the lowest import duties so that's not it. I guess we are easy prey.
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
735
713
185
Cologne, Germany
#48
Many (most?) legit overseas dealers will not ship to the USA if there is also distribution here. I'm mostly curious why the USA is consistently screwed on pricing compared to other countries. This is not only an Etsuro issue, although an $8500 premium on the Gold is about as blatant as I've seen on a cartridge. TechDAS arm boards are one of the biggest scams for us here. USA has some of the lowest import duties so that's not it. I guess we are easy prey.

We are in the world of WBF with many international members, willing to help a Forum friend :)
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
735
713
185
Cologne, Germany
#50
Yes, thanks again! ;) My curiosity remains though. Maybe we need a dealer pricing thread. That’d be fun.
Good prices need to have some confidentiality,
such a thread would be contra productive and might increase pricers for WBF members :)
 

defride

VIP/Donor
Mar 28, 2013
169
36
340
#51
@Believe High Fidelity why is this cartridge $21k in the US and $14k EUR (including ~20% VAT) in Europe? I also see the Yen price in Japan isands costs comparable to the European retail price minus the VAT.
It's pretty straightforward

Japan sells directly in to a dealer distributor in a country in Europe at their regular price, said dealer distributor adds costs and sells on, similar prices to Japan + tax. Usually small scale so the manufacturer in Japan can handle the logistics. In a market like the US there's more likely a distributor and dealer network even for high end. Distributor buys from Japan at regular price, adds tax and their margin (they stock/advertise/warranty and will have a sales team of some description for their dealer network) then the dealers add their margin = price way more than the territories without a distributor and dealer network.

There are ways around it but it takes motivation by the manufacturer

That said it can leave room for profiteering

(1st post in a while, had an account here but haven't posted in a long time and looks like that account is gone or I mis-remember the details - defride - will start afresh with this assuming mods are okay with it)
 

djsina2

Active Member
May 31, 2019
415
181
43
49
#52
It's pretty straightforward

Japan sells directly in to a dealer distributor in a country in Europe at their regular price, said dealer distributor adds costs and sells on, similar prices to Japan + tax. Usually small scale so the manufacturer in Japan can handle the logistics. In a market like the US there's more likely a distributor and dealer network even for high end. Distributor buys from Japan at regular price, adds tax and their margin (they stock/advertise/warranty and will have a sales team of some description for their dealer network) then the dealers add their margin = price way more than the territories without a distributor and dealer network.

There are ways around it but it takes motivation by the manufacturer

That said it can leave room for profiteering
You have direct proof or knowledge that Japanese companies sell their products to international distributors and dealers at Japanese retail prices? Even if that were true, in this case Believe High Fidelity is the only listed distributor for Etsuro in the USA/Canada. So using your example this means BHF is paying say $12.5k USD retail from the manufacturer and then adding $8500! That's insane.

My guess is the Japanese companies have no knowledge of what international dealers and distributors do with the pricing.
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
735
713
185
Cologne, Germany
#53
It's pretty straightforward

Japan sells directly in to a dealer distributor in a country in Europe at their regular price, said dealer distributor adds costs and sells on, similar prices to Japan + tax. Usually small scale so the manufacturer in Japan can handle the logistics. In a market like the US there's more likely a distributor and dealer network even for high end. Distributor buys from Japan at regular price, adds tax and their margin (they stock/advertise/warranty and will have a sales team of some description for their dealer network) then the dealers add their margin = price way more than the territories without a distributor and dealer network.

There are ways around it but it takes motivation by the manufacturer

That said it can leave room for profiteering

(1st post in a while, had an account here but haven't posted in a long time and looks like that account is gone or I mis-remember the details - defride - will start afresh with this assuming mods are okay with it)

Germany has also a 3step distribution system, manufacturer (Japan), national importer, independent dealer.
Very much the same to US, still big difference in recommended retail price.
But Germany is very robust in retail pricing, very often only 3 to5% off the recommended retail.
in other markets 20 to 40% discount is expected, so recommended retail must be higher to make profits possible.
 

defride

VIP/Donor
Mar 28, 2013
169
36
340
#54
You have direct proof or knowledge that Japanese companies sell their products to international distributors and dealers at Japanese retail prices? Even if that were true, in this case Believe High Fidelity is the only listed distributor for Etsuro in the USA/Canada. So using your example this means BHF is paying say $12.5k USD retail from the manufacturer and then adding $8500! That's insane.

My guess is the Japanese companies have no knowledge of what international dealers and distributors do with the pricing.
No, the Japanese companies are likely selling to international distributors and dealers at Japanese trade prices. Sorry if my post wasn't clear. Trade + costs (taxes and shipping and the like) then the dealer margin. Hence the mention earlier in the thread about same as Japan prices + tax in some European markets. Add in your distributor margin and you then get a big increase, up to the distributor to decide what they think that should be.

Guess in this case BHF feel the market can bare a hefty margin or maybe they're taking on some significant cost like actually stocking the units in quantity rather than ordering with long leads from Japan. That said profiteering is not uncommon.

As for Germany, that's interesting. Shakti, you may be right or perhaps they're shifting enough units and have a strong relationship where it's in both the distributor and manufacturers interest to forego some margin so there's some measure of price parity. Not the case for example with Audio Technica in Europe and they ultimately own their European distributor! Not having a go at AT they offer great service in my experience in Europe but they are more expensive than in Japan
 
#55
Interesting too is that in the EU, there is I believe a VAT of nearly 20%. I have customers from the EU who purchase my products but of course I have to warn them wrt landed costs which will include VAT. Is why US audio products normally show a price increase going into the EU.
 
Nov 19, 2015
1,537
175
180
Hutto TX
ibelieveinhifi.com
#56
Would this cartridge be a good match on an AMG “turbo” tonearm with effective mass of 13.9 grams?
Yes it would
 
Nov 19, 2015
1,537
175
180
Hutto TX
ibelieveinhifi.com
#57
Apologies for the delayed communication, all of the responses were routed to my junk folder and I don't frequent WBF as much as I would like to. Always best to email me for a quick answer.

Regarding pricing, there is nothing mysterious or sinister about it. In all of the world the number of hifi dealers is a tiny fraction of what it used to be and in most of the world that means the distributor is also the dealer and sell direct. In the USA and Canada there is still a number of good dealers left and they will only work with you as a means to be profitable enough to pay for their facilities and expenses for a specified rate. In the cases where there isn't a dealer we do not charge them that dealer margin since there would not be a dealer to support it and they would take the ownership of the responsibility to provide their own support and setup. This only applies to the brands we sell through the dealer network.

Hope that clears it up.
 
Nov 19, 2015
1,537
175
180
Hutto TX
ibelieveinhifi.com
#58
Would you (or perhaps an owner) please say the compliance for the Etsuro Urushi Gold.
TIA
Compliance is not published and it secret unfortunately. You can view this as a high compliance cartridge category.
 
Likes: tima

djsina2

Active Member
May 31, 2019
415
181
43
49
#59
Apologies for the delayed communication, all of the responses were routed to my junk folder and I don't frequent WBF as much as I would like to. Always best to email me for a quick answer.

Regarding pricing, there is nothing mysterious or sinister about it. In all of the world the number of hifi dealers is a tiny fraction of what it used to be and in most of the world that means the distributor is also the dealer and sell direct. In the USA and Canada there is still a number of good dealers left and they will only work with you as a means to be profitable enough to pay for their facilities and expenses for a specified rate. In the cases where there isn't a dealer we do not charge them that dealer margin since there would not be a dealer to support it and they would take the ownership of the responsibility to provide their own support and setup. This only applies to the brands we sell through the dealer network.

Hope that clears it up.
Doesn’t clear anything up. $8500 margin? What possible value could any distributor or dealer add for this amount of money? It’s completely absurd.

As a USA distributor do you order these from the manufacturer at Japan retail pricing or at the same price a Japanese distributor/dealer would pay?
 

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