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Thread: Expert stylus - any good?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Dec 2015

    Location: Alicante. Spain.

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    I'm Adrian.

    Default Expert stylus - any good?

    I'm looking at a stone bodied koetsu which has been retipped by Expert Stylus - are they a decent outfit?
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  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Sheffield - UK

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    I'm Mark.

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    yes, they are very well known. However, there is a very high likelihood that they have fitted their own 'Paratrace' stylus profile and that is different to the one the Koetsu originally came with. I do know that ESCo re-tip a lot of Koetsu's.

    100% Analogue

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jun 2010

    Location: Liverpool

    Posts: 777
    I'm Geoff.

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    They're very good though their 'traditional' communication methods can be frustrating! One step above carrier pigeon!
    Main system: Sony TTS8000; SME IV; Audio Technica Art1; The Lentek integrated amplifier; SBT; Technics sh-x1000 DAC; Yamaha NS1000M.
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  4. #4
    Join Date: May 2012

    Location: Dagenham Essex

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    I'm I'mteachingmarcotheartofpishanto.

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    Yes a decent company ,
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  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Norwich

    Posts: 783
    I'm Mike.

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    There have been many threads on this subject and this company on forums over the years. Lots of Koetsus (but mainly lower echelon ones) have had the Paratrace stylus treatment. Despite many happy owners and a few unhappy ones, one aspect seems constant. The Paratrace is not a long-lasting tip. Original Ks are quite the opposite; probably the longest lasting.

    ESCo have a good rep. (and a long wait) but there are others; Goldring, N.W.A.and (I think) a Dutch one; plus others, I'm sure. VdH murdered a Urushi I was acquainted with years ago, but they stopped doing O.E.M. repairs, I believe.

    Sugano San's cart's are not the same as his son's, (from about '04). Each to his own, but the earlier ones tended to be more lush, whereas the more recent cart's, more dynamic. I have/have had two of Sugano Son's but no personal experience on my deck of the earlier ones.

    Of course, it depends if it's had a complete refurb. or just the stylus and/or cantilever replaced. Can't say I'd send my Vermillion to ESCo, but that's just cautious me. Trouble is, the genuine alternative is horrendously expensive.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: souf east for work

    Posts: 988
    I'm paul.

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    I would like a £1 for every retipped koetsu I've seen for sale after recently having the retip. They obviously don't sound the same afterwards.

    Not a comment on expert stylus btw
    Last edited by paulf-2007; 22-02-2018 at 19:25.
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  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 4,170
    I'm Justin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulf-2007 View Post
    I would like a £1 for every retipped koetsu I've seen for sale after recently having the retip. They obviously don't sound the same afterwards.

    Not a comment on expert stylus btw
    Nah they're just old Ks kept going because no one can afford new ones. Some will have had multiple re-tips and other work.

    No one is going to bin a K if they can avoid it.

    I had my Transfiguration Orpheus re-tipped by ESCo (I trashed it when it was still very "young") and it came back OK.
    "And it's lend me £10 and I'll buy you a drink. And mother wake me early in the morning."

  8. #8
    Join Date: Aug 2013

    Location: Isle of Wight, UK

    Posts: 41
    I'm David.

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    In response to Paulf's comment above and as a person who put a Sugano San Koetsu up for sale after having it retipped by Expert Stylus I would like to say that in my case the decision to sell came before the retip and was absolutely nothing to do with the sound afterwards. I was just of the opinion, perhaps incorrect, that the cartridge was essentially unsaleable at a reasonable price without the retip, so it was just a question of where to get it done. Given the cost of a Koetsu rebuild, which I was unwilling to pay on the off chance that I might get some of it back on sale, and having had good experiences with them previously I decided to get it done at Expert Stylus.

    David Whistance

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Norwich

    Posts: 783
    I'm Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulf-2007 View Post
    I would like a £1 for every retipped koetsu I've seen for sale after recently having the retip. They obviously don't sound the same afterwards.
    Well, yes; I'd go along with that, but only by received wisdom in my case. After all, If you've got a £4 to 8K cart., the brand of which has assumed cult status over the decades, are you really going to bring it back to original life with a 3 to 400 pound refurb? There are a number of cheaper and/or older cart's (Troika being one) which do seem to manage to the satisfaction of owners.

    The other thing is, that the higher up the cart. ladder you go, generally speaking, the more refined the stylus is going to be. Not easily replicated by a relatively low-cost Paratrace, methinks.

    I could well be wrong here, but I feel that Ks of any period will be saleable in any state, more or less, simply because it's a K (esp. stone bodied). Whether it's beneficial to sell in repaired but useable condition, ostensibly losing the 'pure collector', is a moot point. Far eastern K fans have much cheaper access to genuine refurbishment (where they only use the body).

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 4,170
    I'm Justin.

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    To Mike - I think my ESCo re-tip was fractionally worse than the Immutable original so yes you have a point but for the money I was happy.

    I'd bought the cartridge when it was 4 months old with receipt to prove it for £1250 so it was a massive bargain in the first place. Retail at the time was £3K and an Immutable re-tip was more than I had paid for it
    "And it's lend me £10 and I'll buy you a drink. And mother wake me early in the morning."

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