Soundsmith Cartridge Retip- Highly Recommended!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by avanti1960, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Recently received my order from Soundsmith for putting a new cantilever and stylus on my Dynavector cartridge.
    The process took ~ 9 weeks. In the mean time I have been using an Ortofon 2m Black which sounds excellent and slightly better than the stock Dynavector DV20X2L.
    The stock DV beat the Ortofon on dyamics, bass and a more polished, refined sound. The Ortofon delivered better clarity, transparency and detail. They were each equally excellent at tracking and low surface noise.
    Yesterday I setup the repaired DV and it sounded good, but I was not blown away.
    After about (5) hours of play, now I am blown away!
    The dynamics are even stronger than the stock DV cart, which was no slouch. The detail, especially in the midrange and treble, beats even the 2M black. The bass has returned as well, but much more defined than the stock DV. Man I missed that Dynavector bass and it was the main reason I decided on the retip.
    Surface noise is even better than the DV or the 2M.
    The price for a new DV cartridge exchange with trade in of the old one is about twice as high as the price of the retip. Since the retip sounds so much better than the original- it becomes an absolute no-brainer deal, as long as you can wait for it.
    Absolutely stunning and despite the positive accounts from people who had this done, it exceeded my high expectations. Well done Soundsmith!

    [​IMG]
     
    Mr Bass, Rickchick, KOWHeigel and 6 others like this.
  2. FJosh

    FJosh Well-Known Member

    Is that the $350 or $400 option? Pretty safe to say I'd get the same improvements on a 20X2H when the time comes?
     
  3. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    Soundsmith does an amazing job with retipping.
     
    Rickchick likes this.
  4. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I had my Goldring Eroica H MC cart retipped with the Soundsmith's mid-priced option and was very pleased. I'll soon send it off again for another retipped after having had some 1200+ hours of play. It was still sounding fine before I removed it, but didn't want to take any chances. I've been using a Denon 301 mkIII For a while now and it's a very nice cart, especially great was it cost me just $200 slightly used here on the Forum.
     
  5. thegage

    thegage Forum Currency Nerd

    I've had, I think, four cartridges done by Soundsmith. Nary a hiccup on one. For the last, my XX-2 MKII, after inspection and quoting the job they found that the original cantilever was cracked, so they installed a new boron one for free. Can't beat their service, or sound.

    John K.
     
  6. nitsuj

    nitsuj Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest
    Had essentially the same outcome with my Dyna 10x5 and their mid level ruby. Another happy Soundsmith customer.
     
    Rickchick likes this.
  7. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    How much did the service cost?
     
  8. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Cost was 299.99 plus shipping (<10.00). On the Soundsmith site this price is for the sapphire cantilever / laser drilled mounted stylus which is different than the one I received.
    Mine appears to be the $350 option which is the Ruby cantilever bonded stylus.
    They have my business for life after that act of random kindness!

    Options for Cantilever and Stylus Shapes | Soundsmith ยป
     
    Rickchick, IanL and Dennis0675 like this.
  9. Bigbudukks

    Bigbudukks dbster

    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD
    I've yet to hear or read any negative comments on Soundsmiths' retips. They seem to be very reliable and consistent. What more can you want?
     
  10. mreeter

    mreeter Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Columbia, MO. USA
    I recently received back an original SoundSmith VPI Zephyr that I sent in for a re-tip. The cartridge was rebuilt to current specs and it sounds better than when it was new.

    I could'nt be happier with the service or the cartridge.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  11. 56GoldTop

    56GoldTop Forum Resident

    2 out of 3 carts for me (ruby/NCL)

    The 3rd cart I had done, I didn't really like; however, I believe the fault is with the original stylus suspension. The Stanton(s), of course, have removeable styli; so, I will try again with a different stylus body. I'm looking forward to trying both sapphire and boron cantilevers. Excellent service. Worth the wait. Peter is a standout.
     
  12. ripping corpse

    ripping corpse Active Member

    Location:
    IN
    This is great news to me I have been using my DV-20x2 low for a bit over years 3 years now and will definitely send it to Soundsmith when the time comes. THANKS!
     
  13. 66dellwood

    66dellwood New Member

    Location:
    NY, NY
    the housecleaner's dusting rag snapped the cantilever off my Lyra Argo. Can I expect good results with a rebuild of this cartridge?
     
  14. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    The rebuild on my Delos was better than original.
     
    Reese likes this.
  15. 66dellwood

    66dellwood New Member

    Location:
    NY, NY
    thanks and good to hear. the Delos and the Argo are similar so I'm optimistic. Assume I would have to spend 3 to4x the cost of the rebuild to get a better performing cartridge.
     
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  16. 66dellwood

    66dellwood New Member

    Location:
    NY, NY
    which tip/stylus and cantilever options did you go with?
     
  17. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    I've done this on a couple carts (ruby cantilever option with line contact stylus used to run $250). Both a denon dl-1o3R and an ortofon kontrapunkt turned out well. It won't transform the sound signature, but can be more than a subtle improvement (depending on what the original cantilever/stylus assembly was of course). Definitely improved tracking on the denon.

    a little off topic, to the OP or anyone. I have a stock Dynavector DV-20XL (predecessor to the X2L I think), which I have never used that much because I always felt it was a kind of flat cartridge. Clean and accurate but just sounds tame compared to others I have. If you get better results with your dynas, what phono stage / vtf/ loading options are you using? You think maybe a soundsmith job on it would improve it? I don't want to invest too much though, if it is just a dynavector house sound that I don't like or something. I guess I can start a different thread on this if it warrants.
     
  18. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    I had Soundsmith re-tip my B&O MMC20EN with a ruby cantilever and line contact stylus, and I couldn't be happier. Great job!
     
  19. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Soundsmith wrote the book (and started out) as B & O repair specialists.
     
    MLutthans likes this.
  20. ellingtonic

    ellingtonic Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Atlanta
    I had them retip a Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood a few years ago. Several friends and I thought it sounded better after the retip.
     
  21. John Schofield

    John Schofield Member

    Location:
    OH
    Thinking of having SoundSmith retip my VPI Zephyr. What were some of the sonic degradations you noticed in your setup that lead you to re tipping yours? I am using on a VPI Scout.
     
  22. mreeter

    mreeter Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Columbia, MO. USA
    Hey John, I don't know for sure how many hours I had logged on the original, but it had to be well over 1000. The overall sound was becoming "dull" or less lively, kinda like the "blanket or veil over your speakers" analogy you've heard of.

    The rebuild takes some time, but well worth the wait and the very reasonable cost.
     
  23. Upinsmoke

    Upinsmoke Forum Resident

    Location:
    SE PA
    Your limited on what you can change depending on the zephyr 1 or 2. Two you can go for higher packages one is stuck with an aluminum cantilever .

    I know when my dynavector wears out that's where I'm sending it .
     
  24. John Schofield

    John Schofield Member

    Location:
    OH
    Thanks for the feedback. Still trying to figure out if what I'm hearing is a set up issue as, I don't have that many hours on my cartridge.
     
  25. mreeter

    mreeter Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Columbia, MO. USA
    Had trouble getting mine dialed in as well, until I purchased a Feickert Protactor. This made setting up sooo much easier and accurate.
     

Share This Page