Koetsu

mulveling

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Jul 7, 2017
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Good to know, cheers! What is the thinking regarding gain requirements for an Urushi? My Zesto Andros phono has 67dB which seems to be fine....
67 dB is just a little on the high side for the Urushi, but honestly I find I like a little bit extra gain on tap with my Koetsus. So in my mind it should be perfect. The Andros has an amazing reputation for its sonics, and I believe it uses internal SUT too so you have the option of trying external SUT's to further improve the sound, also.
 
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jadis

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Apr 28, 2010
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For some reasons I have never had the urge to using a SUT on my Koetsus. I have set up a few for my friends and heard them. The first thing is physical, as Mulveling mentioned, added pair of ICs, and, where do I even begin? Brands, brands, brands. Hum and shielding problems. I didn't want that anymore as in the past I was using an ET2 tonearm that did not provide its own cables and the cables I chose produced hum I had to move it here and there tame the hum level. Second is psychological. I want to have a direct (shorter is better) path, and I feel adding a SUT may be removing some 'purity' from the Koetsu cart. No hard science here, just a personal feeling. And finally, finding the right impedance. A friend's Phono stage didn't have separate MM/MC inputs so that sole input needs to be adjusted with the various loading values the phono preamp provides. Not very much a techie, I just listened to the setting with the least overload effect. And I had to go lower, as there were bass distortions in the high settings. Anyway, it's a good thing my Minimax phono stage has a pair of built in SUTs, with only 2 settings, high and low. I like the low better. Gain is 58db for MC.
 
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jadis

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That’s very different! Is that a sticker on the front saying koetsu?

Ken Kessler reviewed this exact model Urushi in an April 1990 HiFi News & Record Review issue. That is the only time I saw something like that and lately this actual model, bought used, according to the owner. The sticker must have be put but a previous owner, Koetsu does not put those things.

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jadis

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Apr 28, 2010
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In the 90s, I had seen another variation of the early Urushi, with had rough surfaces, like a tree! And this was confirmed by my Singapore distributor.
 
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mulveling

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Jul 7, 2017
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And there is a Jasper stone platinum/boron (modern era) Koetsu currently up on Audiogon, that I had never seen nor heard of before! It is beautiful, with pink hues. So much mystery and history with Koetsu!
 
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Nemal1

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Dec 9, 2018
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There are probably lots of unique models perhaps individually constructed for friends etc maybe they’ll come to light one day?. koetsu deserves a book writing about them....
 
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jadis

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There are probably lots of unique models perhaps individually constructed for friends etc maybe they’ll come to light one day?. koetsu deserves a book writing about them....

Well, I almost 'facilitated' such a 'unique' model. And here is another Koetsu 'lore'. A few months ago, I got a private message from a Koetsu User Group member to request Sugano-san to make him a special model from his Pink Rose Granite stone which he got from an Obelisk while working in Egypt. Cost no object he said, as the stone really has a special meaning to him.

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I told him I would seek the opinion of my regional distributor about it. The initial response was gloomy. He has asked for a special stone to be made as well, years ago, and the answer was negative. He said Koetsu finds it very difficult to do a one time custom-made job as it takes a lot of time to determine if a type of stone will work well. Some stones are prone to micro fractures when they are machined too finely. Many prototypes will need to be created to ensure the cartridge body is robust (and sonically musical), acc to him. He was told granite was not as musical sounding as the jade or onyx stones, in fact, granite tend to sound cold and edgy. But he will forward the request to Sugano-san. After a few days, the reply came, and it was a big Negative. With a tone of slight reprimand as to why the issue was still being brought up despite being turned down years ago for a custom made Koetsu. The fellow was saddened by the news as he said he was prepared to fly to Japan in case his request was approved. We continued to have some chat regarding our love for Koetsu and he showed me a picture of the late Yoshiaki Sugano with a fellow who turned him on to Koetsu. Date mark from what I can read is 1999, Sugano san passed away in January 2002, a couple months shy of his 95th birthday.

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jadis

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A friend has an overzealous cleaning lady, cantilever got ripped by her cleaning cloth. One of the greatest horror stories in the analog world. :(

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After 6 weeks of waiting, good as new. Complete rebuild by Koetsu Japan, retaining only the Rosewood Body, with a certificate from Sugano san.

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Helped him set it up again, music playing, and cleaning lady banned from entering the room. :D

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Fineito

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Nov 23, 2013
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Jadis, the exact same thing happened to me with our cleaning team a couple of years ago! I had Koetsu repair my damaged Azule; pricey, but good as new. My wife says I handled things well. It took self-discipline, for sure. I looked at my lot in life (blessed, for sure) vs. the cleaning team's, and that put things quickly in perspective.
 

mulveling

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Jul 7, 2017
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This same kind of story with $2K+ cartridges gets posted at least every few months on the hifi boards. Instructions to the cleaning crew, no matter how clear you think you're being, will eventually fail. Physically lock off access to the audio room, or at least be in there while she's cleaning. At least the Koetsu is good as new again, but I hope this doesn't happen again!
 
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jadis

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Apr 28, 2010
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Manila, Philippines
This same kind of story with $2K+ cartridges gets posted at least every few months on the hifi boards. Instructions to the cleaning crew, no matter how clear you think you're being, will eventually fail. Physically lock off access to the audio room, or at least be in there while she's cleaning. At least the Koetsu is good as new again, but I hope this doesn't happen again!

One of the biggest disaster stories I know was not even caused by a cleaning party. By some hardline habit of using a metal outer ring which a specific tone arm had some physical constraints in terms of space at the end cut or dead wax area, one part of arm hit the ring and caused the arm to literally dribble and bounce on the vinyl. Result was a missing stylus, and it was a Diamond cantilever Tiger Eye. When I asked for a rebuild quote from my regional distributor, his first words was OMG !!!
 
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