Koetsu

108CY

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May 4, 2013
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Yes, I heard, made of aluminum instead of wood, to cut on cost and make the price 'attractive'.

also the actual transformers are to be very different
 
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cuntigh

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Dec 20, 2014
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Koetsu never made anything else than cartridges. The arm was a modified Jelco. Do you know who will make this step up?
 
Sep 24, 2020
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I just broke my Colibri GC. While I was cleaning the dust of the table, my daughter’s dog barked loud enough to make me jump and touch the cantilever hard enough for twisting it badly.

If this costly and marvelous cart had a protection, it wouldn’t have happened.

It is now at VDH’ factory for a repair. The good news is it will cost about 450 € where another cart repair could cost half price of the cart and AJ will make the 200 hours check in the same time. The cart is 137 hours of use.
The bad news is I will have to pay 450€ and not sure it can’t happen again.

I’m thinking about selling it back when repaired. Not decided yet.
JY
That sounds like it’s going to hurt. Luckily, the repair seems reasonable.
 

cuntigh

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Dec 20, 2014
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Before I buy VgH Colibri GC, I already had 2 valuable carts (Ortofon MC Anna and SPU Century). When I read the Colibri threads, except the sound quality that looked to be in the beyond quality top carts, I also read the retip cost was priced in real price.
That’s why I decided me to try one. I’m sick of paying 60% of the new cart´s price every 1000 or 1500 or 2000 hours of use.
I can understand that in the original selling price their is more than the parts and assembly. The R&D, time for the tries, errors, testing different materials and combinations, packaging, distribution, and the sonic result vs the other brands etc have to be part of the selling price.
Ok I understand that.
But I can’t understand to charge 60% of thIs price in a retip, even if you name it a rebuild or an exchange.
VDH doesn’t do that. Another fantastic cartridge master (Tedeska, check it in the net builds one of the very best mono cart, and stereo too), also refuse to charge 60% of the original price for a retip.
 
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jadis

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Apr 28, 2010
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Before I buy VgH Colibri GC, I already had 2 valuable carts (Ortofon MC Anna and SPU Century). When I read the Colibri threads, except the sound quality that looked to be in the beyond quality top carts, I also read the retip cost was priced in real price.
That’s why I decided me to try one. I’m sick of paying 60% of the new cart´s price every 1000 or 1500 or 2000 hours of use.
I can understand that in the original selling price their is more than the parts and assembly. The R&D, time for the tries, errors, testing different materials and combinations, packaging, distribution, and the sonic result vs the other brands etc have to be part of the selling price.
Ok I understand that.
But I can’t understand to charge 60% of thIs price in a retip, even if you name it a rebuild or an exchange.
VDH doesn’t do that. Another fantastic cartridge master (Tedeska, check it in the net builds one of the very best mono cart, and stereo too), also refuse to charge 60% of the original price for a retip.
Koetsu does not charge 60% of the SRP for a rebuild. I just shipped a broken Urushi which has an SRP of $6500 for a rebuild price of $1800. The labor used in a rebuilt is actually twice (the effort and time) than making a new cartridge because they have to strip out the broken cartridge completely, clean the dirt, put the broken parts in again, realign the whole thing, and put in the body. That is the same procedure that Stig Bjorge of Lyra does, as he was an ardent 'student' of the late Sugano San. This 'style' is one of perfection. That they do not just retip a stylus since obviously only the stylus is gone. What if they just do that, and upon playing one finds some more flaws in the sound because there might be some other factors or elements inside that are flawed? Then the owner has to return the retipped item again and the cycle can happen once again.
 
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cuntigh

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So you think AJ Van den Hul and Tedeska, and a few others make it bad just because they are not expensive enough to look serious ? I don’t.
 

cuntigh

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Dec 20, 2014
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This is what Tedeska said about my question for repair, retip and how long a cart can be used before rebuilding :

It is said that after 2000 hours of playing, a stylus should be better changed. However, it is not so simple to say because great many factors could influence for this, for example, condition of the records, or how well the tonearm is adjusted and so on. In case with our customer, we normally count on more than 3000 hours of lifespan of our stylus.

However, from our labor experiences we can say that we hardly receive a cartridge for repair which is needed only a new stylus.
More important is, how long the manufacture want to repair its own product. Because, if a manufacture would rather offer exchange system than repair service, the customers must pay a higher price.

As you may know, our products are all hand-made, and we offer repair services until you do not want to use our cartridge anymore. The service is free of charge for one year and after the period is finished, you will pay for the material cost and the actual time expenditure incurred. How expensive a cartridge was, as a new, is of no importance here.

As mentioned, since we haven't had experience where a cartridge is needed only to be changed a stylus, we can not provide precise information to your question. But, the charge of an out of warranty service order starts from about 600 Euros to maximum 40% of retail prices in case of Exchange service.
 
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jadis

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Apr 28, 2010
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So you think AJ Van den Hul and Tedeska, and a few others make it bad just because they are not expensive enough to look serious ? I don’t.
I never thought that, and never said that. I am not familiar with these 2 companies or how they repair their cartridges, and it is not just about justifying the costs of Koetsu and Lyra and I had pointed out for sure, Koetsu at least does not charge 60% of the SRP for a rebuild. If some companies charge $300 for a retip, it is their prerogative. If the work makes owner happy, then that's good for him.
 
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jadis

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I had given the rebuilding style of Koetsu some thought. The rebuilding cost is 27% of SRP, for the Urushi. Suppose a broken unit was sent to Koetsu, missing just a stylus tip upon visual inspection. The ordinary user will think that it's just a simple stick in job, maybe $300 tops and a 4 minute job under a microscope. And suppose there are 10 such pending cases (some worse, missing cantilever that was yanked by an exuberant cleaning lady) from around the world sent to Japan. How would Koetsu know the real conditions of the innards? By guessing that some units might have wood or metal corrosion due to a flood? Or that there was physical and mechanical trauma that happened inside the motor assembly? Or guessing the years of use by each customer, hence the wear and tear inside, which cannot be seen unless they open it up. As I mentioned, any cartridge repair man can just stick in a stylus tip if visually that is what it seems. And if the sound is not as good as it should have been, expectancy wise, then the repairman will ask you to resend it, and open it and see what is wrong that needs to be fixed or replaced. Then he bills your for another job and so on and so forth until the customer is satisfied. As I said, if the first $300 job makes a $6000 cartridge sound like 'new', then all is good, and perfect even. Koetsu values its reputation on its sound quality more than anything, and its users know that quite well. They do not want a case of sending customers an itemized bill of repairs and parts at every repair job. They change everything inside, except for the body. I have facilitated a handful of rebuild jobs, and I can attest each Koetsu sent back has those parts as news except the body, and most of all, is sounds new as in the original day of purchase. For 27% of the SRP, I personally do not think it is that bad.
 

cuntigh

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Dec 20, 2014
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I understand what you said and agree in someway, and that’s why I find the Tedeska’s answer good and honest. Price can begin to 600€ but if needed it can grow up for the work to be done until 40% of the price new. Only if needed.
Some companies like Ortofon give you no choice. I broke the tip on an 13 months old MC Anna cart. They could have checked it and glue another one. But NO! They don’t even want to consider that possibility. (Note I didn’t ask for warranty, because it was over and the breaking was my fault, so nothing against them).

They only do rebuild. No discussion possible and I had to pay 3000€ !

What can we think about Miyajima who was normally cheap in repair in the beginning of the company and now only propose to sell you a new one for near half the price new ?
What do you think they do with your old cart ? The do their work on it and sell it to another client for the exact price as new. Maybe they change the box if scratched.
I’m not a crusader against these practices but just a bit bored of paying more than I should closing my mouth as if I believed their arguments.
I will stop here as I don’t want to troll the Koetsu thread.
 

jadis

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Apr 28, 2010
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A friend's Gold Urushi had its cantilever wiped out by an exuberant cleaning lady.

125077495_417293709275320_9012861200384711160_n.jpg

About 6 weeks later, rebuilt into like-new condition.

124646760_723031898302722_1699500747548619596_n.jpg 125009815_829812244445641_7365021799596421549_n.jpg

And certified.

124645400_1884625658345198_1048042420644486288_n.jpg

For less than 1/3 of its SRP.
 
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audioblazer

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May 14, 2010
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Hi I m looking at Koetsu Blue Lace Diamond or Coralstone Diamond . Any idea the difference between these catridges ? Noticed more people are using coralstone
 

strapper211

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Aug 6, 2013
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Hi,
I have a Coralstone platinum Diamond and I love it.
Would not trade it for any other cartridge made.
Combination of detail,speed and organic sound.

Robert
 

mulveling

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Jul 7, 2017
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Hi I m looking at Koetsu Blue Lace Diamond or Coralstone Diamond . Any idea the difference between these catridges ? Noticed more people are using coralstone
They're both wonderful. The Blue Lace Diamond was literally "100% perfect sound" from hour #1 and has never let up (500 hours in). The Coralstone Diamond was not as "on it" from hour #1, and for the first 40 hours it took a very notable backseat to the Blue Lace, lacking that last 10%-20% "spark of life" of the Blue Lace's beautifully rendered sonic images. However I've been running the Coralstone lately, giving the Blue Lace a break, and it's definitely developed in a positive way. I haven't checked back yet to see if I'd consider it even between them, now. The sonic flavor difference is subtle, with the Coralstone having a little more warmth in mids (as others have described), and the Blue Lace being very dynamic and alive sounding.

I think the burn-in on Coralstone may just be a random variance that happens with Koetsu - some seem to need burn in more than others. The Coralstone was an upgrade from the original build being boron, and honestly it came back sounding not much better than it had with boron - but it's definitely better than boron now. And to be certain, the original boron build needed some burn-in itself (but in that case it started out strong, went through a rough patch, and came back out great eventually). But I think if I have to pick one or start over, the Blue Lace Diamond is definitely my safe bet. And that's my recommendation when people ask between these two stones.
 
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audioblazer

Member Sponsor
May 14, 2010
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Thanks for the feedback
 
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mulveling

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Jul 7, 2017
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I had given the rebuilding style of Koetsu some thought. The rebuilding cost is 27% of SRP, for the Urushi. Suppose a broken unit was sent to Koetsu, missing just a stylus tip upon visual inspection. The ordinary user will think that it's just a simple stick in job, maybe $300 tops and a 4 minute job under a microscope. And suppose there are 10 such pending cases (some worse, missing cantilever that was yanked by an exuberant cleaning lady) from around the world sent to Japan. How would Koetsu know the real conditions of the innards? By guessing that some units might have wood or metal corrosion due to a flood? Or that there was physical and mechanical trauma that happened inside the motor assembly? Or guessing the years of use by each customer, hence the wear and tear inside, which cannot be seen unless they open it up. As I mentioned, any cartridge repair man can just stick in a stylus tip if visually that is what it seems. And if the sound is not as good as it should have been, expectancy wise, then the repairman will ask you to resend it, and open it and see what is wrong that needs to be fixed or replaced. Then he bills your for another job and so on and so forth until the customer is satisfied. As I said, if the first $300 job makes a $6000 cartridge sound like 'new', then all is good, and perfect even. Koetsu values its reputation on its sound quality more than anything, and its users know that quite well. They do not want a case of sending customers an itemized bill of repairs and parts at every repair job. They change everything inside, except for the body. I have facilitated a handful of rebuild jobs, and I can attest each Koetsu sent back has those parts as news except the body, and most of all, is sounds new as in the original day of purchase. For 27% of the SRP, I personally do not think it is that bad.
~27% of SRP for a full genuine Koetsu rebuild is an exceptional deal, and makes Koetsu cartridges an excellent investment IMO! Unfortunately some distributors/dealers will take much more margin (around 50% SRP) for the privilege of routing a 200 grams package -- I suppose they are much more interested in selling another new cartridge! But certainly, at around 27% SRP, there is no excuse for not going with Koetsu and using a 3rd party retipper.
 
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jadis

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Apr 28, 2010
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~27% of SRP for a full genuine Koetsu rebuild is an exceptional deal, and makes Koetsu cartridges an excellent investment IMO! Unfortunately some distributors/dealers will take much more margin (around 50% SRP) for the privilege of routing a 200 grams package -- I suppose they are much more interested in selling another new cartridge! But certainly, at around 27% SRP, there is no excuse for not going with Koetsu and using a 3rd party retipper.
My thoughts exactly. I've helped on 5 rebuilding jobs over the last 15 years. Most from accidents.
 
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