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Thread: Expert stylus - any good?

  1. #11
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

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    I'm Justin.

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    I see no reason why a Paratrace stylus would last any less time than an original. They are made out of diamond and are obviously very proficient.

    When I say my ESCo rebuild was fractionally worse I mean it was barely detectable and right at the limits of audio memory. I just had a hunch it wasn't quite what it was but TBH it is hard to be sure.

    What was obvious was the Paratrace was physically bigger than the original diamond. More diamond for your money LOL.

  2. #12
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Gravesend and France

    Posts: 1,275
    I'm paul.

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    Quote Originally Posted by User211 View Post
    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.
    Not when they are well regarded and as said a 400 retip will see it sold on in working order. I have actually heard people say that they never sounded the same as before and yes would get more money for a working cart. Maybe someone including the op will get a nice cart for the money, but not as good as a rebuild by koetsu. Personally they do nothing for me.
    Sony STR 6055 Denon DP80 Stax UA-70 Shure Ultra 500 in a Martin Bastin body with jico stylus Lii audio crystal 10 tqwt speakers

    Office system, DIY CSS fullrange speakers with aurum cantus G2 ribbons Najda dsp as dac Akai AM-U02 Jvc QL-A51 direct drive turntable
    SAE1000LT leema sub. JVC Z4S cart is in the house

    Garage system another Sony receiver, cassette deck and Zu omen for sale


    System components are subject to change without warning and at the discretion of the owner.

  3. #13
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Berkshire, UK

    Posts: 4,161
    I'm Tom.

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    From what I've heard ESCO's reputation is a wee bit out of date ... not least that some (no idea what proportion) of their work is now outsourced to China.

    Not necessarily a bad thing if the work is done well, but people may not exactly be getting what they used to be getting.

    I've had a few bits and pieces done at ESCO and my experience has been variable, from excellent to so-so. I'm not a fan of the paratrace (the 103 I had paratrace tipped, I got rid of fairly quickly, as I took an instant dislike to it). These days I use other providers.

    Happy to recognise that others' experience may be different but I'd be keen to hear from people with experience of re-tips who have used them recently, and not from people simply nodding that so and so company has a solid reputation based on ancient hearsay.

    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
    Astute observation in my view. A good retip can equal or even improve on the original, but not all retips are good (patently) or this phenomenon would not be so widespread.
    Main: Speakers 'RFC' Tannoy Canterburys / custom crossovers with Tannoy ST50 supertweeters; Amp - Silvercore 833C monoblocks; preamp TBA watch this space; Vinyl: Schopper'd Thorens TD124 MkII + Ikeda IT345-CR1 9 inch and Ikeda IT-407 12 inch tonearms; Cartridges Stereo - Miyajima Madake, Miyajima Takumi, Ikeda 9TT, vintage Ortofon SPU GM and SPU Gold; Mono - Miyajimas - Zero 0.7, Premium 1.0, Miyajima/Edison '78' 4.0 conical, and Shure M44 strapped for mono with several Expert Stylus conicals for different eras of 78s; Phono stage Allnic H7000V used with Miyajima ETR-Mono and ETR-Stereo SUTs; Digital: Audio Note CDT2/II transport, heavily enhanced AN DAC based on kit but aspiring to DAC5 spec.

    Study: Speakers - Tannoy DC6; Amp: Marantz PM-4; Digital: CDP Sony CDP-X3000ES & Arcam rBlink; Vinyl: Garrard 401 with AT 1503 MkI broadcast arm, Ortofon SPU Classic GM, Ortofon 2-15k SUT and Puresound Tenuto platter mat

  4. #14
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Norwich

    Posts: 982
    I'm Mike.

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    [QUOTE=User211;950]

    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 .../QUOTE]

    No idea when this was, but guess it might be (or have been) a Red K Sig, or possibly a Urushi. If quite a few years ago, then the latter, and if so, which one?

    Apropos your post above, there be diamonds and diamonds. After that comes the cutting, then the polishing, not to mention the positioning on the cantilever, which usually is boron in the upper echelons (Miyajima excepted).

  5. #15
    Join Date: Dec 2016

    Location: Kent TN8

    Posts: 135
    I'm Graham.

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    When my Red needed a retip,I was told the cost of sending it back to Koetsu was going to cost me 200 more than I paid for it when new.I tried to contact ESCO but had no reply,Goldring said they couldn't do the job so sent it to Dom at NWA.

    Whilst being the wrong side of 60,my aural memory isn't what it was and obviously the cartridge must have declined somewhat before I realized the fact it was worn.Turnaround was 3-4 weeks.

    Whilst any change in SQ would be subjective,I can console myself with the fact that I would have maybe had to pay quite a bit more than the cost of a retip for a new comparable cartridge.
    Analogue. Basis signature 2200,Basis Vector 4.Koetsu Red,Koetsu SUT,NVO SPA 11.
    Digital. Denon 2900,Jolida FX 11
    Amp. Pathos Logos,Minidsp dirac 22A.
    Speakers. Amphion Xenon.
    Airlink CBS 2000 bps

  6. #16
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 6,054
    I'm Justin.

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    [QUOTE=Mike Reed;950737]
    Quote Originally Posted by User211 View Post

    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 .../QUOTE]

    No idea when this was, but guess it might be (or have been) a Red K Sig, or possibly a Urushi. If quite a few years ago, then the latter, and if so, which one?

    Apropos your post above, there be diamonds and diamonds. After that comes the cutting, then the polishing, not to mention the positioning on the cantilever, which usually is boron in the upper echelons (Miyajima excepted).
    See post #7. Check all my posts again for coherence!

    It was quite a few years ago now. Considerably more than 5 but less than 10.

  7. #17
    Join Date: Aug 2013

    Location: London

    Posts: 121
    I'm Ked.

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    I have been regularly able to compare the expert stylus para trace urushi vermilion with a koetsu jade with a diamond cantilever (the latter is from koetsu and over 10k). Both the owner and I prefer the expert stylus urushi. I also prefer his to his Decca London reference and various SPUs.

    All compares are done on FR 66s with Arche headshell on a brinkmann balance, Allnic H3000 phono, Allnic power amp and Avalon compass diamond in a fantastic 30x14 room using quality classical recordings.

    The jade is a typical koetsu that's coloured. With the diamond cantilever it is more dynamic and detailed but makes all LPs sound the same. The urushi I have heard without ESCO retip in other systems and not liked at all.

    FRs are the only arms I have liked koetsus on, and normally I don't prefer koetsu. But I love this urushi para trace from ESCO

    Now here's the thing... It started sounding extremely good, and better than others in his system, after he replaced his Allnic L5000 preamp with a Soulution 710. The resolution in his system went up bonkers and with the other valves, it is amazingly musical and balanced

  8. #18
    Join Date: Mar 2010

    Location: Sheffield

    Posts: 2,921
    I'm Simon.

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    That doesn't surprise me, I've never heard an alnic amp I liked.


    Who mentioned that esco outsource to China. I'd love to track that rumour down, probably to absolute sounds front door.

  9. #19
    Join Date: Aug 2013

    Location: London

    Posts: 121
    I'm Ked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sq225917 View Post
    That doesn't surprise me, I've never heard an alnic amp I liked.


    Who mentioned that esco outsource to China. I'd love to track that rumour down, probably to absolute sounds front door.
    The Allnic phono is fantastic, but you need to roll the recti. The amp A5000 is good but depends on the speakers. It does have a color. We compared it to Vitus, edge, and a 200w KR. The KR was the best but too expensive. Once the Soulution pre was put in, it gave the downstream amp more drive, separation, clarity, space. Now the system sounds excellent.

    And yes, the ESCO urushi does not sound like a koetsu which is why I prefer it

  10. #20
    Join Date: May 2014

    Location: Solihull

    Posts: 579
    I'm Martin.

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    ESCO did a Troika I bought from new for me sometime ago and I remember it sounding pretty damn good when it came back.

    If you are still thinking about the Koetsu???.....if the price is right..................
    Personally I would go for a wood bodied one.
    Dom at NWA is highly spoken about
    Tangerine LP12,Naim Aro, Benz Wood
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