3000.00 grado vs 1800.00 koetsu black

i dont see anything specifically addressing these 2. i an lp12 with the ittok arm. i could buy a used grado for around 1600.00 or a new black. my equipment is all tube (amps, pre, etc..) the grado sonata is what i presently have.. i like it but there is sometime some distortion on the upper freq.. i have set the table up with the geo disc.. but not sure if this is accurate enough.. i would really like some of your help.. my phono will handle either cart..

Koetshu Black has excellent midrange, but not much extension on both ends. If you have an all-tube system, the midrange might get overly pronounced combining with Koetsu Black.

Just some thoughts based on my limitd experience with Koetsu blacks (Have several friends compared their Koetsu Blacks to my Shelter 901)

Bluebottle, are you talking about the Grado "The Statement"? ($2,500, btw)

It is a fantastic cart, but not many people can honestly say the have EVER ACTUALLY HEARD IT. Many will try to guestimate it's performance from Grado carts lower down the food chain, but almost none will be speaking from first knowledge and experience - which means their input is worthless.

I own "The Statement", it is great. It has that Grado midrange, but much more refined. It has terrific highs. It has great bass. It has what the other, less expensive, carts lack.

Like everything in vinyl, it is matter of finding great synergy with a tonearm and the rest of system.

Unfortunately, I cannot help you with the Grado vs. Koetsu comparison because I have never heard Koetsu in my system.
In regards to Koetsu, I've heard several models like Rosewood, Urushi, and others. Similar to Darkmoebius' experience, as you go up the line, the sound becomes more refined, more detailed, and you get more extension on both ends.

Well, I have actually owned both, in fact, I own both now, but the Black needs a retipping.

I have the previous version of the Statement (the 2.5k one not the 3k one) and I will say that it actually sounds in the same realm as the Koetsu house sound, it is closer to that house sound than lower Grados. The Koetsu, being an MC, has a lovely midrange but its highs are sometimes etched out, not as natural as they should be (higher models of Koetsus improve this as well as providing more extension).

The Grado has a sublime midrange and a top end that is never harsh, but is extended. The bass is generous and tight, never out of proportion with the other frequencies.

I don't have much experience with carts, but from what I have heard the Grado is the best. It is also the most expensive I've had in my setup, 1k more than the Black.

Price isn't everything but if I were to have 1600 and I could buy the Statement or the Black, I would go Statement.
I tried a koetsu black on a pre-cirkus LP12 with ittok arm and didn't find the results very good . The koetsu seemed to expose the LP12s lack of neutrality and sounded quite harsh compared to the same arm and cartridge on a gyrodec . I think some of these issues were sorted out with the cirkus modification but otherwise I would go for one of linn's own cartridges which seem to suppress the midrange harshness or at least audition the koetsu on your turntable before purchase .