Stylus Retipping Service (phono cartridge) - specialist from Russia, Moscow

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by rgu2002, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. blakep

    blakep Forum Resident

    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.
     
  2. James Glennon

    James Glennon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Very informative post and thank you. Just one question... How do you know the following:
    Cartridge weight
    Cartridge Output
    Cartridge compliance
    Cartridge tracking weight.

    I have two cartridges with broken cantilevers .
    Audio Technica OC9
    Supex 900SD low output version

    Are they retippable?

    JG
     
  3. James Glennon

    James Glennon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Thank you for the very informative post and for going to the bother of providing so much information. See my comment on previous post.

    JG
     
  4. blakep

    blakep Forum Resident

    Go to Vinylengine.com and search the cartridge database for info on what you have. I would think that they both could be retipped-generally, the only issue with very old cartridges that have been in storage for a long time is the possibility that the coils are messed up. But if they're good, you should be good to go.

    The Supex is the one that I would do. It seems to be very highly thought of-comments on it are almost cult-like in terms of how positive they are LOL.

    Maybe see what Roman can do for you on that one.

    If you decide you just want to sell it off as is I might be interested.
     
  5. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Cartridge weight, mV output, compliance and tracking weight do not change from a re-tip. They stay exactly the same as new, and that data can of course be found on the internet.

    The things that might change are optimum VTA setting (tonearm height), and subtle sonic changes from a simple change in the stylus tip shape. If done correctly, even these will not change. In my case, with the cartridge Roman re-tipped, the optimum VTA stayed exactly the same (because he did it right) and of-course the sound changed (for the better) because I supplied him with a lower-mass cantilever and more advanced stylus shape.

    Yes, the OC9 and 900SD can be re-tipped, and I am sure that Roman is as capable as anyone to do it right. Plus, I really appreciated that he returned it via EMS, which is the fastest and safest way of shipping from or to countries in the East.

    By the way, these two cartridges were/are among the best sounding carts ever manufactured, so I have no doubt they will sound better (after re-tip) than modern carts selling for well-over a thousand dollars.
     
  6. rgu2002

    rgu2002 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Moscow
    Thanks everybody for keeping this thread alive and your interesting discussions!
    Special thanks to Warren for the kind words about my work!
    I'm glad that you finally tested this cartridge and like the way it sounds!
    Really appreciate it guys!
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
    jrmitchell72 and Warren Jarrett like this.
  7. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    Are there any photos of styli tips before and after where you can see the repair?
     
  8. Rein

    Rein New Member

    Location:
    Estonia
    Hi Roman
    How to contact you ?
     
  9. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    Very interesting thread.......Glad to know that there is another option for retipping or replacing cantilevers.

    I do question Warren, suspension can also get too "worn out" or "broken in". We have all seen carts that are riding too low, and is probably due to either a blown suspension or simply a worn out cartridge. My experience has been that once a suspension has been broken in, you should back off the VTF to the lighter side of the mfg suggested range, or you risk reducing the suspensions lifetime.
    Suspension has affect on compliance, the cantilever should flow thru the grooves nice and easy reading as much info as possible from the groove walls. If suspension is too lose or tight, you really risk the stylus bouncing around too much or riding so low and heavy that it does not move very much in the groove.

    Maybe this is more of a topic of a full cartridge rebuild, but suspensions can wear out.

    Thanks for this thread........Very good work Roman!
     
  10. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    I agree, suspensions can wear out, I have seen it. But it has never happened to one of my cartridges. I don't know what Roman does about this. Please ask him in the thread.
     
  11. Tartifless

    Tartifless Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Hello, i have a goldring legacy to retip.
    What would be the best fit options and what budget would that be (shipping cost back to France included) ?
     
  12. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Goldring dealers, who can arrange a factory re-tip, are only located in the UK. Please contact one of them for a factory estimate.

    OR, contact Roman here for a re-tip that will be less expensive, and can use any stylus and cantilever imaginable. This is what I like, an upgrade to boron cantilever and exotic diamond shape, so I recommend Roman's work.
     
  13. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    I too have never had a suspension wear out on me
     
    Warren Jarrett likes this.
  14. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Andy Kim is the other cartridge repair-man I was thinking about besides Roman (in Russia), Soundsmith and Van Den Hul. But keep in mind that all of these guys (except Roman) get both good and bad reviews. So far, Roman is 100% positive.

    Andy Kim - Needle Clinic | Audiogon Discussion Forum
     
  15. Tartifless

    Tartifless Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    I already contacted Goldring, cost of retipping is 790€, which is the price of some ebay sellers for a brand new cart !
    This is why i am contacting Roman here.
     
  16. rgu2002

    rgu2002 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Moscow
    Thanks a lot!
    And your explanation about suspension is 100% correct!
    Sometimes it's possible to "tighten" moving parts of phono cartridge when suspension become a little bit weak.
    It could be done by compliance adjustement screw.
    On MM or MC models, no matter.
    Also it's not so difficult to replace weak suspension on MM cartridges and almost impossible to do this on MC cartridges without damaging coil wires.
    So, tightening could work for MC.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. rgu2002

    rgu2002 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Moscow
    Thanks a lot Warren!
    Yes, Goldring one of the few companies that officially offers rebuilding service (not re-tipping).
    And usually it costs about %70-80 off retail price of cartridge.
    They just doing replacement of all internal parts (for except of magnets maybe) to your cartridge body.
    And you have to pay for shipping and insurance.
    So, it will cost like if you buy a new cartridge for the same price as rebuilding!
    No sense at all...
     
  18. rgu2002

    rgu2002 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Moscow
    Also I know few other well known companies:

    www.northwestanalogue.com/cartridge-repairs.html - UK
    www.schallplattennadeln.de - Germany (*this guy finished to deal with re-tipping, become too old and passed his business to Franz-Josef Schulte)
    www.tonabnehmerservice.de - Germany (Franz-Josef Schulte)

    ^^^ this companies got a reputation around the web.

    But here is some other companies I never heard before:

    UK
    www.78tours.com/Expert_Stylus_Company.html
    www.thecartridgeman.com

    Germany
    www.nadelspezialist.de/index1a.htm
    www.phonophono.de/phono/ersatznadeln/retip-service.html

    Italy
    www.torlai.it/news.php

    Australia
    www.torlai.it/news.php

    France
    Cartridge retipping & repairs Archives | Ana Mighty Sound

    Ukraine
    www.hi-fidelity-forum.com/forum/thread-122040.html

    *Russia, Siberia (well-known in narrow circles man)
    www.lseng.org

    ---------

    So, this is an exhaustive list of all companies around the world who can do re-tipping!!!

    ---------

    I've heard that it takes too long to get a retipping from SoundSmith - few month's.

    And heard that Van Den Hul is finished with re-tipping too, due to his ages.
    But anyway, his work is so terrible, expensive and it takes too long to get a re-tipping from him.

    VDH re-tipping of Technics replacement.
    My own old pictures.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    SoundSmith re-tipping
    [​IMG]

    I don't have anything against all of them guys, just my own observation :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  19. rgu2002

    rgu2002 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Moscow
    Already replied to you in a private messages :)
    And 790€ is too much!
     
  20. rgu2002

    rgu2002 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Moscow
    Few more pics of VDH work...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  21. rgu2002

    rgu2002 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Moscow
    Hello everybody!
    It's been a long time I didn't post in this thread... I have been busy a lot with re-tipping.
    And still got a lot of orders.

    I did some job for forum members (Dynavector - Karat 17D2 MKII, Audio-Technica - ART9 - 2pcs)

    Here is my new works...

    Goldring - Eroica LX
    Stylus - ATN-95E
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Ortofon - MC30
    Stylus - Original stylus
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  22. rgu2002

    rgu2002 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Moscow
    Dynavector - Karat 17D2 MKII
    Stylus - ATN-440MLX
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Sony - XL55
    Stylus - Original stylus
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  23. rgu2002

    rgu2002 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Moscow
    Sumiko - Blue Pount special Evo III
    Stylus - ATN-95E
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Technics - EPC-P205C MK4
    Stylus - ATN-440MLX
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  24. rgu2002

    rgu2002 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Moscow
    Ortofon - Cadenza Red
    Stylus - Nagaoka JN-P200
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Denon - DL-A100
    Stylus - Original stylus
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  25. rgu2002

    rgu2002 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Moscow
    EMT - TSD 15 N
    Stylus - Original stylus
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Denon - DL-103
    Stylus - ATN-155LC
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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