James: I have been living with retipped cartridges for about 6-7 years now and have done 5 of them: 3 Denon 103R's in aftermarket bodies and a couple of Ortofon MC 20 Supers. The bang for buck is/can be serious with some off the radar cartridges like the Denon and Ortofons I have in use here which have very good generators and can be retipped for (relatively-when looking at the price of good new MC's) pretty reasonable prices. For example, the MC 20 Super I have in use currently: I paid about $50 for the body (coils were good) as it needed to be retipped and then had Andy Kim put a sapphire cantilever with a laser drilled/mounted microridge stylus on it for $450. For $500, I would say that it would be competitive well into the current Cadenza lineup, or with cartridges costing at least 2, quite possibly 3X as much. I have another MC 20 Super here with a boron/microridge on it that is also excellent. A little less money in that one as it was done a few years ago for about $350 if I remember correctly. Once you get into retipping more expensive cartridges like your 17D3 it can become a more difficult proposition to justify IMO. Once you get into the megabuck cartridges IMO you are generally looking at very good cartridges but with subjectively different presentations. More often than not it is a question of where those cartridges "place" the listener (ie. in the front row vs. the middle or the back of the hall) and whether they are tilted a bit more toward detail retrieval as opposed to a more big picture presentation. With the retips I have done, there has been no question in my mind that they have been a pretty major improvement on the stock cartridge, mainly because of an improvement with cantilever material with the Ortofons, and with the Denons because the conical was replaced with a much more sophisticated line contact stylus as well as an improved cantilever. With something like your D3, it's a more difficult proposition. Especially the D3 as it has a diamond cantilever and you are not going to be able to replace the cantilever with another diamond one with an aftermarket re-tipper, at least to my knowledge. That doesn't prevent you from doing stylus only, which is a bit more expensive, and that may be the way to go if it is cost effective vs. doing a rebuild/replacement with Dynavector and the cartridge should retain almost all of its character. If you replaced that diamond cantilever with boron or sapphire, though, the character may very well change and at that point it is a $450 experiment that you may or may not be happy with. You could like your "new" 17D3 even more, or you might really dislike it. There is also the fact that (at least IMO) really high end pricey cartridges that have been done by an aftermarket retipper seem to have much lower resale value. It's understandable. I wouldn't be willing to pay a big price for a cartridge like that; I'd rather buy it steeply discounted in need of a retip so that I could choose the cantilever and stylus option I wanted and still have a lot less in the cartridge when done. So for cartridge flippers or users that tend to go through multiple cartridges relatively quickly it may not make a lot of sense financially. Better to just run the cartridge into medium hours and then dump it, much like selling a lower mileage used car while it still is holding a big chunk of its value. So I think it's a bit of a complex issue. I know where I stand on it-I'd rather bottom feed the expensive MC cartridge market looking for broken cantilever, missing styli, etc. but it's not for everyone. I'm very happy running what I have currently (and would be quite happy to do so forever really) and that makes it easier to be patient as well.