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Koetsu Phono Cartridges Users & Discussion Thread


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42 minutes ago, Analogueage said:

Visually stunning, any particular sound characteristics?

Rob

 Different cartridge different flavours , like the Koetsu rosewood signature long and short body  for vocal music. Onyx silver coil for extremely dynamic music and finally Koetsu Urishi silver for h-end modern sound 🎼

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Never did have a chance to own one from the master. I only have modern ones. On different tables, they sound slightly different. The blue Azule on the AVID table & FR64S arms sound more mellow & is suited for vocals. The Blue lace on the AF3P & FR66S sounds more dynamic and is suited to more pop & rock music. Took many years to find the right arm & to understand low compliance carts need to be matched with high mass tonearms.

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1 minute ago, joeling said:

Never did have a chance to own one from the master. I only have modern ones. On different tables, they sound slightly different. The blue Azule on the AVID table & FR64S arms sound more mellow & is suited for vocals. The Blue lace on the AF3P & FR66S sounds more dynamic and is suited to more pop & rock music. Took many years to find the right arm & to understand low compliance carts need to be matched with high mass tonearms.

Very important tonearm and cartridge  matching ….. which many people purchase top qualiy cartridge but not matching arm…. Waste money.

 

You are right FR66S can matching any cartridge event MM cartridge… now Ikeda 407  reborn of FR66S play any cartridge in top performance.

 

Strongly advice need to find Koetsu rosewood signature from the master Sugano which super sweet sound for vocal… 

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For those with the experience, how do pre-Koetsu cartridges compare? Specifically, the Supex 900 Mk 4. I use this in a modified Rega RB300 (on a highly modified Thorens TD150). This combination sounds great to me, which is all that counts really, but I am curious how the Supex compares with a similar Koetsu?

 

Regards from Perth

Derek

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I used to run a Koetsu Onyx Gold back around 84/85 that I had a friend bring back for me from Hong Kong.

 

I had it retipped twice over the ensuing years of use, and then the suspension suddenly died on me [wasn't pretty]

 

A few years after I had sold it on to somebody that was prepared to pay to have it repaired, I found out that Koetsu tweaks their cartridges for use in particular countries, presumably for the respective weather conditions they will be used in, which might explain why the rubber [pretty sure it was a rubber part that died] suddenly perished on mine. 

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6 hours ago, Tweaky said:

I used to run a Koetsu Onyx Gold back around 84/85 that I had a friend bring back for me from Hong Kong.

 

I had it retipped twice over the ensuing years of use, and then the suspension suddenly died on me [wasn't pretty]

 

A few years after I had sold it on to somebody that was prepared to pay to have it repaired, I found out that Koetsu tweaks their cartridges for use in particular countries, presumably for the respective weather conditions they will be used in, which might explain why the rubber [pretty sure it was a rubber part that died] suddenly perished on mine. 

 

I played and collect Koetsu over 22 years, Koetsu cartridge weakness are suspension.

 

Vintage Koetsu Onyx mainly has the crack problem, once of mine Koetsu Onyx cracked and felt apart...

 

Onyx Koetsu silver coil super dynamic gear cartridge which opposite with tradition model rosewood and rosewood signature copper coil sound so sweet and smooth ...lovely koetsu sound legend

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15 hours ago, derekcohen said:

For those with the experience, how do pre-Koetsu cartridges compare? Specifically, the Supex 900 Mk 4. I use this in a modified Rega RB300 (on a highly modified Thorens TD150). This combination sounds great to me, which is all that counts really, but I am curious how the Supex compares with a similar Koetsu?

 

Regards from Perth

Derek

 

I have the same cart and its sublime. The downside is that when the time comes to replace it, if Im after the same flavour, its going to have to be a Koetsu!! 💰💰💰

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On 3/8/2022 at 5:26 PM, joeling said:

Never did have a chance to own one from the master. I only have modern ones. On different tables, they sound slightly different. The blue Azule on the AVID table & FR64S arms sound more mellow & is suited for vocals. The Blue lace on the AF3P & FR66S sounds more dynamic and is suited to more pop & rock music. Took many years to find the right arm & to understand low compliance carts need to be matched with high mass tonearms.

Have you tried theBlue  Azule with the 64s on the AF3P?

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2 hours ago, joeling said:

Nope. It's a pain to setup so once I get it right, I try not to fiddle with it.

I asked as......

having both the FR64S and the FR66S (and Ikeda 407) and fiddling with them with various cartridges for over 10 years now, my experience and observation is slightly different from yours hence my asking whether you had swapped the arms around. 
 

I find the 64s presentation to be more dynamic than the 66S so I am presuming that the Avid and Blue Azule create a different presentation.

 

Enjoy!

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On 03/08/2022 at 11:46 PM, derekcohen said:

For those with the experience, how do pre-Koetsu cartridges compare? Specifically, the Supex 900 Mk 4. I use this in a modified Rega RB300 (on a highly modified Thorens TD150). This combination sounds great to me, which is all that counts really, but I am curious how the Supex compares with a similar Koetsu?

 

Regards from Perth

Derek

Super one of my favourite  cartridge great value for money design by Koetsu Early day. Super can compare to koetsu cartridge simply difference level .

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 03/08/2022 at 5:06 PM, joeling said:

I am a big fan.

 

IMG_0807.jpg

 

IMG_7684.jpg

 

How do you find the Blue Lace in comparison to the Azule? 

 

I've had the opportunity to hear a relatively run in Blue Lace against a brand new Coralstone and in the context of that system and it's particulars, I thought the Blue Lace snuck out in front. 

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12 minutes ago, Be Quiet...Listen said:

How do you find the Blue Lace in comparison to the Azule? 

 

I've had the opportunity to hear a relatively run in Blue Lace against a brand new Coralstone and in the context of that system and it's particulars, I thought the Blue Lace snuck out in front. 

For me right now, The DS Audio Grandmaster for well recorded songs & Blue Azule for brighter songs are top. The Blue Lace & Tiger Eye maybe need more break-in or I have a sneaky suspicion that my FR66S is not properly setup or out of spec. Maybe I am hearing the Glanz 10" on the DS Audio I don't know. I am tempted to swap out the DS Audio to try the Blue Lace on the Glanz. Decision decisions decisions.

 

The Blue Azule is many years old and well broken in despite many years of struggle until I chanced upon the FR high mass arms in one desperate last attempt to make it sing. 7-8 years in the making & the pain to go with it.

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I have been a big fan of Koetsu's since around 1980. Prior to this was using several cartridges, DV 100D, Supex 900 Super, JVC MC1. The Supex was good, but then I bought a Koetsu MC-1 wood (as it was called then, had a long  body). It destroyed all these other cartridges in the music making and also dynamics and dimensionality. But it's all relative! I found out later as you moved up the Koetsu ranks it just got better.

The MC1 Koetsu was replaced by a Rosewood Sig (made by the original master), and this was a big improvement in every way, including resolution, but still retaining the beautiful musicality aspect.

 

A friend had an Onyx Gold and we had some shootouts using various arms (Koetsu SA1100, FR 64S, FR64FX, FR14, Goldmund T3B, SME V and it was obvious the Onyx was more dynamic and powerful as well as bigger sounding, but a little leaner in tone (no big surprise there considering Rosewood V Onyx bodies).

 

Sometime later rather than go a stone bodied Koetsu, I decided to get a Urushi Wajima made by the master too. Absolutely loved/love this cartridge...still have it and it still kicks bu....(rotating other carts allows it to have a loooong life). Since then have acquired another one that also sounds great too. And a rebuilt Onyx by Sugano (son), which is very dynamic and detailed, and some would call more neutral in tonality. I'm not really a collector of Koetsu' though, and just love the way they present music in a non hifi and believable way. I am considering one more Koetsu acquisition which may see me out.

 

I have experience with the latest Urushi Black, Urushi Vermillion, Wajima and Sky Blue. Liked all but the Sky Blue (just wasn't a fan of this model, or the sample I played with at least). Have also tried the Blue Azule Platinum and there wasn't anything to dislike with this one :) 

 

Naturally it takes effort to get these wonderful cartridges to really perform brilliantly....the usual: tonearms, turntables, phono stage, etc, as others have alluded to here. Get it right and the clarity, dimensionality, speed, dynamics and harmonic correctness is incredible. Thanks for starting a Koetsu thread!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, skies2clear said:

I have been a big fan of Koetsu's since around 1980. Prior to this was using several cartridges, DV 100D, Supex 900 Super, JVC MC1. The Supex was good, but then I bought a Koetsu MC-1 wood (as it was called then, had a long  body). It destroyed all these other cartridges in the music making and also dynamics and dimensionality. But it's all relative! I found out later as you moved up the Koetsu ranks it just got better.

The MC1 Koetsu was replaced by a Rosewood Sig (made by the original master), and this was a big improvement in every way, including resolution, but still retaining the beautiful musicality aspect.

 

A friend had an Onyx Gold and we had some shootouts using various arms (Koetsu SA1100, FR 64S, FR64FX, FR14, Goldmund T3B, SME V and it was obvious the Onyx was more dynamic and powerful as well as bigger sounding, but a little leaner in tone (no big surprise there considering Rosewood V Onyx bodies).

 

Sometime later rather than go a stone bodied Koetsu, I decided to get a Urushi Wajima made by the master too. Absolutely loved/love this cartridge...still have it and it still kicks bu....(rotating other carts allows it to have a loooong life). Since then have acquired another one that also sounds great too. And a rebuilt Onyx by Sugano (son), which is very dynamic and detailed, and some would call more neutral in tonality. I'm not really a collector of Koetsu' though, and just love the way they present music in a non hifi and believable way. I am considering one more Koetsu acquisition which may see me out.

 

I have experience with the latest Urushi Black, Urushi Vermillion, Wajima and Sky Blue. Liked all but the Sky Blue (just wasn't a fan of this model, or the sample I played with at least). Have also tried the Blue Azule Platinum and there wasn't anything to dislike with this one :) 

 

Naturally it takes effort to get these wonderful cartridges to really perform brilliantly....the usual: tonearms, turntables, phono stage, etc, as others have alluded to here. Get it right and the clarity, dimensionality, speed, dynamics and harmonic correctness is incredible. Thanks for starting a Koetsu thread!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invaluable to have contributions like this on the forum. Breath of fresh air! 👏

Thanks @skies2clear

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I forgot to mention the Koetsu Black (Goldline), a very good music maker for the money, and also regardless of cost. Too underrated imho.

Back in the day when I first attained the MC1 wood, which did have phenomenal reviews and I believe started the awareness of the brand in the western world at least, I had owned many other cartridges around that time too which I forgot to mention but imho the Koetsu was Neo 😊

These included, some of which I still have, original Garrott Bros Decca, FR mc201, Accuphase AC2, Denon 103D,  Supex SDX1000, Electro Research EK1 strain gauge (based on Panasonic cartridge and fitted with boron cantilever and parabolic stylus by the Garrott Bros, this thing was dynamic as heck), and others.

And also tried or owned a long list of others I didn’t care for which I won’t mention. But like food, we all have our own individual likes.

   I have never had one of my Koetsu’s collapse or fail, though had a couple rebuilt by Koetsu because of age. Apart from the MC1 which I bought direct from Japan, the others were all purchased from the importer here (Dynavector Systems), who sadly no longer deal with the brand. That MC1 is still working despite a lot of use and sounds good (a friend has it). Mention the word Koetsu and I come out of my deep slumber...sorry.

   The fellow here in Adelaide who introduced me to Koetsu still has 3 of them (2 x Urushi Black and a Azule Platinum), and truly state of the art sounding system. There’s a few of us here into Koetsu that rarely bother with forums.

Edited by skies2clear
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  • 4 weeks later...

I own a Coralstone and a very happy owner so far.

 

I've had the privilege of listening to quite a few Koetsus ranging from a vintage Onyx to the more modern range of Rosewood, Urushi, Blue Lace and of course the Coralstone. 

 

I joined a Koetsu comparison night at Nirvana sound and heard the Rosewood, Urushi, Blue Lace and Coralstone back to back.  The Rosewood has an emotionally engaging sound, Urushi technically stronger but less engaging to me.  The Blue Lace sounded the strongest on the night by a long way in my opinion where it was both emotionally engaging, neutrally toned and brings through the character of the instruments so clearly.  Pity the Coralstone only had 3 hours of use, because I know it was capable of so much more.

 

The carts I'm quite familiar with are the Blue Lace and the Coralstone, with the Coralstone my favourite - hence my purchase.  They each have a different character that is very hard to describe in words.  The Blue lace has a slightly more technically accurate sound representation, but comes through ever so slightly more thinly than the Coralstone. The Coralstone still has no sign of colouring, but seems to bring the tonal characteristics of strings, brass, vocals etc. a smidgen more 'naturally'.  If cost weren't an object, I'd have one of each depending on my mood on the day and what I'm listening to.

 

Hope this helps!!!!!

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Went to buy some CDs during the week from a deceased estate sale.

The son had 6 Koetsu cartridges  in boxes that his father had collected over the years.

He had no idea what they were or their value and quite frankly neither do i.

Might have to go back and make an offer.

 

I don't listen to record these days so if i get them i will move them on here on SNA.

 

 

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1 minute ago, fordute said:

Went to buy some CDs during the week from a deceased estate sale.

The son had 6 Koetsu cartridges  in boxes that his father had collected over the years.

He had no idea what they were or their value and quite frankly neither do i.

Might have to go back and make an offer.

 

I don't listen to record these days so if i get them i will move them on here on SNA.

 

 

 

Why don't you do the right thing and put him in touch with SNA or Be Quiet ...Listen so he can can get an idea of their worth?

 

rather than lowball the guy and flip on SNA?

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