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
    how do you make sure that the rear end drop tube lines up dead center with the tonearm pivot? seems like an eyeball call that can throw of the position of the alignment marks on the platter. just curious.
     
  2. mreeter

    mreeter Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest, USA
    In my case I have a VPI Table with the Uni-Pivot arm, I remove the arm and drop the pin (drop tube) dead center to the pivot point.

    I would think that with any other table with a fixed tonearm, you would want the arm as level as possible and also on the same plane as it would be on an LP. That's my guess anyway:)

    I can see where eyeballing the center of the pivot on a "normal" tonearm could be challenging.
     
  3. 500Homeruns

    500Homeruns Peaceful Punk

    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    How is Soundsmith retip on a Grado Reference Sonata? I may look into this when it's time.
     
  4. thesisinbold

    thesisinbold Forum Resident

    Location:
    Camarillo, Ca, USA
    I picked up a used Lyra Delos and sent it in. I told him to make it as good as possible. I believe all it needed was a new diamond tip.


    I am very happy with it.
     
  5. Reese

    Reese Forum Resident

    Do you happen to recall how much the retip cost?
     
  6. thesisinbold

    thesisinbold Forum Resident

    Location:
    Camarillo, Ca, USA
    450
     
    Reese likes this.
  7. jerico

    jerico Forum Resident

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I've had 3 carts retipped by SS, and they have all come back sounding better than in their stock form. Peter does awesome work.
     
    Rickchick and avanti1960 like this.
  8. rgu2002

    rgu2002 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Moscow
    Hello everybody!
    My name is Roman, I'm from Moscow (Russia) and I specialize in re-tipping too.
    There is not so many specialists or companies around the world who can do this...
    I know only "SoundSmith", Alex (from Germany) and Van Den Hul.
    Also there is another one old man from Eastern Siberia of Russia.
    For the last years I have re-tipped a lot of cartridges and my clients was satisfied.
    It was low cost cartridges (Denon 103 for example) and high cost cartridges (Van Den Hul, Linn, Koetsu etc.).
    Is it permissible to show my works in this thread?
    Anybody wants to see?
     
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  9. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Sure roman, i wants to see!
     
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  10. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Still occasionally running my retip threadstarter cartridge and it is still hard to beat!
    In fact one killer cartridge for the money would be to buy a used Dynavector DV20X2L (est $400) and have the $300 retip.
    Sounds as good as a $1500 cartridge. The only downside is the wait.
     
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  11. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Ruby cantilever?
     
  12. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    yes sir .
     
    Benzion likes this.
  13. needlestein

    needlestein Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    Add:

    Andy Kim in Seattle
    Expert Stylus Co.
     
  14. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    There's a Korean guy in DC I've heard of, don't have the details, but can probably find out.
     
  15. rgu2002

    rgu2002 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Moscow
    Oh, thaks for additional information about other specialists!
    I think there is much more specialists around the world.
    Never heard before about Andy Kim.
    And I just checked his web-site - looks very nice and simple. I like it!
    But there is a one thing... I have never seen "before and after" (broken cartridge without stylus and repaired with a new stylus) pictures of retipping works on a web-sites of retipping specialists!
    I'm a doing "before and after" pictures every time, so my next possible clients can judge about my works at least from the pictures.
    Today I will try to upload my works in my thread:
    Stylus Retipping Service (phono cartridge) - specialist from Russia, Moscow
     
  16. rgu2002

    rgu2002 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Moscow
  17. PerryC

    PerryC Member

    Location:
    Reseda, CA
    I have a Denon 103 and a Grace F9. I can oly afford to have one retipped and planning on the sapphire canti.
    Im using a Forte Audio FP1 phone pre and can use it for MM and MC.
    Cant decide which one to use. HELP!
     
  18. needlestein

    needlestein Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    If it were me, I'd do the Grace. Even without your donor, sapphire-stylus DL-103s are relatively commonly available and I don't think the price is going to be much different if you just buy one outright or send in your worn out one to be retipped. There's no rush to that decision.

    There is no such commonly available Grace that I can think of. For the price, you might want to look into a new Nagaoka, which I'm pretty sure is the Grace's unofficial moving permalloy cousin. In any case, the Grace sounds awesome, easily as good or better than the DL-103 and you don't need additional amplification, so noise floor should also be quieter.

    Of course, this advice depends on your arm. If you have a lighter arm that needs to be massed up in order to work best with the DL-103, you won't need to worry about that with the Grace, which could mean quicker reaction time and better tracking. If you've got a medium mass arm that might work better with the DL-103 after being mildly massed up, then maybe the DL-103 is the better choice since the Grace works best with a light arm. But, many people report the Grace working great with plenty of arms, so, again, if you've got a light to medium light arm I'd go straight to the Grace. Fewer compromises, cleaner signal, proven sound ...
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  19. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Grace, Deodato!
     
  20. creativepart

    creativepart Forum Resident

    If it's not too late to revive this Soundsmith praise-fest I'd like to add my experience to the database. Over a year ago our house keeper in an effort to do a thorough job decided to clean my office/music room while I was at lunch. Uh oh. Yep, she dusted my turntable. In the process snapped the cantilever on my DV-20x2 low cartridge.

    Oh well, stuff happens. I put it in a box and installed an older Denon DL103D - the one with an elliptical stylus - and went on. All the while missing the Dyna.

    I discovered the Soundsmith retipping service last fall and sent the cart off. I went with the $299 Sapphire with laser drilled mounted low Mass Contact line stylus retip. It took about 8 to 9 weeks but I had already gone the better part of a year without the cartridge. So, it was like there was no wait at all. We were on a month-long RV trip when it was ready so I asked them to hold it and they not only did so but shipped it on the exact day I had requested.

    Well, it's installed now on my VPI Classic 1 with the 10.5 unipivot aluminum tonearm - back home you could say. But it sounds even better. I'm going to have to thank the cleaning lady. I never would have done this had it not been for the accident - so worthwhile. Highly recommended. If you have a old favorite cart that's tired and seen better days send it to Soundsmith and get ready for excellence.
     
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  21. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Wonder if anybody ever compared a stock cart with a Soundsmith retip directly.
     
  22. gakerty

    gakerty Well-Known Member

    Location:
    California
    I wish I could. I severely bent the cantilever of a brand new Lyra Delos last year. Sent it in to Soundmith, they did a perfect job. It's a lovely cart, but I'm definitely curious how it compares to the original Delos.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  23. PoeRaider

    PoeRaider Forum Resident

    I had a Maestro V2 retipped by Soundsmith with their boron/LC assembly. The original cantilever was boron and I wanted to keep the original sound intact. I was very pleased with the rebuild, it came back with it's sonic signature intact, plus the mid bass had a touch more slam. Possibly because the SS cantilever is a bit thicker than the original. Still tracks beautifully.

    Quality work.
     
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  24. 56GoldTop

    56GoldTop Unapologetic Music Ho

    I've done it many times, on the same cartridge: most recently a Stanton 681EEE. Since it's a moving iron, I can easily swap the stock stylus with one retipped to a SoundSmith ruby/NCL. The SoundSmith retip very much ups the ante in definition and tonality. Some will say that effectively "revoiced" the cartridge. I say it brought about the cartridges full potential.
     
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  25. Bigbudukks

    Bigbudukks Older, but no wiser.

    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD
    I can't vouch for the Soundsmith retip but I'm buying a Van Den Hul retip of a Koetsu Rosewood Urushi and the seller said he has a Koetsu Rosewood Vermillion that has not been retipped. He said the sound and fidelity are identical to his ears. I'm eager to hear it.

    One thing I have never read is anyone saying anything bad about a Soundsmith retip, regardless of who it was or what forum. I would have no hesitation in sending any cartridge I own to someone who engenders that kind of praise in so wide an audience in this day of rampant internet nasty anonimity.
     

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