Audio-Technica ART 7

Good day A,goners :)

I was in love with the AT OC9 III sound until I damaged it accidentally !!!!!!!!!! The needle broke off completely of the cartridge. I am looking for a replacement. 

I am wanting to stay with Audio-Technica, and looking into ART 9 and ART 7. I read the threads here and some other forums in regards to the ART 9 cart. Most likely will go for the ART 9. However, I am curious about the ART 7.

How many of you here are /were ACTUALLY using ART 7? With what phono stage and gain setting? What are the strength and limitation if you are using / used the ART 7?

I will be using it on a Project RMP 9 table with the 9cc Project arm, Simaudio Moon 310Lp phono, XLR cables (6dB additional gain) to BAT pre-amp.  

Thanks a lot for your inputs :)

40522de4 8bc0 4b56 ba22 a41f136162e7confuse_upgraditis
Never tried the ART-7, but my old ART-2000 was amazing cartridge. 
Dear @chakster : You have no idea why the ART 7 is way better than the 2000 ( I owned too. ). Your contributions always are better when you are not trying to sale one of your items.

@confuse_upgraditis you can contact @dgarretson on the ART 7.

ART7 and ART9 are some of the best MC cartridges on the current market. Get which ever one and enjoy it! 
@rauliruegas the OP said "I was in love with the AT OC9 III sound..." and the ART-2000 is next one what comes to mind, i believe the ART-7 could be better, but the ART-2000 was in fact an amazing all-rounder cartridge, but the MM was better, so you are welcome to share my love to AT-ML170   
Again, have no idea between the 170 and the newest ART. Never mind.

I own an ART7 that I bought last year while visiting our son in Tokyo. (The cost in Tokyo is really no different from typical mail order prices in the USA, by the way.)  I only recently installed it in a Dynavector DV505 on a modified Lenco, feeding a Manley Steelhead set at 65db gain via one of the two MC inputs.  Loading at 400 ohms, because that's as high as one can go with the Manley which uses autoformers to step up voltage on its MC inputs.  The Manley is driving the built-in direct-drive amplifiers of a pair of Beveridge 2SW speakers augmented with my own home-built transmission line woofers driven by a Threshold amp. (The 2SW requires woofers for frequencies below 100 Hz.)  The low pass filter is via a Dahlquist DQLP1 and the high pass filter is built in to the Bevs.  (Both are 18db/octave, so far as I know.) My ART7 now has maybe 20 hours on it and I don't consider it to be broken in.  This cartridge has tremendous energy and excellent low bass definition.  Like many MCs, it emphasizes the leading edge of transients.  This quality was at first a bit annoying after 1-2 hours of a listening session, but lately it seems to be less so, perhaps indicating the effect of break-in.  I also think I detect an increase in the ability to convey inner musical lines, making the sound more like real. Highs are also superb with plenty of bloom and sense of reality.  In my other system, I am running a ZYX UNIverse which I think I like a little better, but it is much more expensive and is already broken in and is driving an entirely different system.  I'd really have to run them side by side in order to choose. All in all, I am very pleased with the ART7, would recommend it to anyone who does not want to spend more than $5K for a cartridge (even though you can buy one for less than $1K), and it probably competes with some cartridges that retail for more than $5K.  Of course, you need sufficient phono gain to get the most out of it.
Thanks to everyone for your valuable comments and sharing your experience. I will be contacting some members who have been using the ART 7. 

I'm sorry.  Did you read my post?  I've been using the ART7.
@lewm - yes, I read it. Thanks a lot for sharing the details. Greatly appreciate. I look forward to reading more about the cart from your posts as it breaks in :)

If I may ask a couple more questions ..... 1) how is the surface noise with the ART 7? I am worried that the high amount of gain will also amplify surface noise and/or clicks and pops? Or does the line contact stylus go deeper into the grooves thereby avoids some surface noise? 2) Did you buy it from 2juki? Thanks again.
#2.  I bought it in Tokyo.  There is no advantage to buying in Tokyo; price was about the same as eBay. 2juki has a good reputation; I would not hesitate to buy from him.

#1. I don't believe that the audibility of "surface noise" is merely a function of the gain required to amplify the music signal.  Stylus shape and phono stage (because what we hear as surface noise is in part also due to phono stage noise) have a lot to do with it. However, the ART7 is dead quiet, if the LP is of good quality.  Same goes for any of my other cartridges on any of my other turntables and tonearms. I don't hang on to scratched or worn out LPs or LPs that have imbedded dirt that cannot be removed by a good RCM.
the only problem that 2juki sells a grey market products and all the official distributors hates him, some of the manufacturers also have no idea where he's got his cartridges from and there is NO warranty on the grey market units from him, the guy also manipulates with serial numbers. I know it for sure as we discussed the issue with some well known distributor and manufacturer. People who are looking for official warranty should never buy anything from 2juki. If it's Audio-Technica products then you can't send it to AT or AT's distributors for service, they can easily check by serial numbers. 
My experience purchasing an ART7 from 2juki was positive. That was several years ago. Since then I have seen the occasional photo on Audio Asylum of ART-series cartridges with skewed cantilevers and diamonds. You might ask 2juki if he will guarantee straightness and perpendicularity. I can’t imagine other defects that might require exercise of warranty.  BTW, I have two early-production ART7s, both of which are straight and perpendicular.
Dave, where in the U.S. can one purchase the ART-9? I have tried the Needle Doctor and LP Gear and they do not show it.

Problem with buying the ART7 (not the ART9) in the US or elsewhere outside of Japan, if you don’t want to buy from one of the eBay sellers like 2juki, is where do you find it for sale? I just checked the LP Gear website; if you do a search for "ART7", you are taken to the ART9 page.  Can you still buy ART7 in the US?

In case one is traveling to Japan, I can say that I purchased from a highly reputable dealer in the Akihabara section of Tokyo (the electronics mecca maybe of the whole world), and the warranty is honored. They replaced a defective Koetsu Urushi for me at no cost, about 7-8 years ago.  As regards the centering of the cantilever in the cartridge body, I only wish all my other cartridges were as perfect in this regard as is my ART7.  I wouldn't think that would be a problem with main stream, high output, old line companies like AT, Denon, etc.
There is a listing for a AT50ANV Moving Coil cart in LP Gear website. The specs are very close to the ART 7 cart. Interesting!  Some A'goners might have used this one as well.

The vendor also sells through Amazon. Currently listed in Amazon as well.
ART7 is about half the price and about as good, from what I've read about the ANV50 but others may know more about it.
@lewm ... you are absolutely right sire.

Too bad the ART 7 is not readily available in the US.

I can’t imagine other defects that might require exercise of warranty.

Grey market cartridges with fake serial numbers are not supported by the manufacturers when it comes to retip, refurbishing. The manufacturer support their official distributors. 

William Thakker in Europe is an alternative source for the ART7.  I'm guessing that he is an authorized AT dealer.  You pay a bit more than with 2juki-- about 1K euro after deducting the VAT.

@chakster At the $1K price level I don't worry about a retip. By then there will likely be an ART10.

IIRC, the ART7 improves upon the Anniversary version with a stiffer and lighter liquid polymer coil former. 

@dgarretson i don’t mind buying even used, but the purists should know that official retip or any support is impossible if the manufacturer detect grey market product.

You sound like a broken record.

I purchased my Art-9 from 2juki and it is perfect. So too was the Shelter I bought years before. Dozens of audiophiles posting on multiple sites have reported the same over the years. Juki has a 100% positive feedback. Should something be wrong with a cartridge upon arrival, it can be returned--typically if it arrives in bad shape the seller will pay return shipping, notwithstanding the listing. If it comes in good condition it will have a long life and not be in need of any "support." Before you accuse a seller of manipulating serial numbers, which is to say fraud, you should offer proof which you have not!. Retips commonly cost about as much as a new cartridge from Juki. The only correct thing you have written is that the official (high mark-up) distributors don’t like grey marketers. I would not hesitate to buy from Juki again.

I have also read very positive comments about Thakker.
I think Dave has it right; the ART7 is actually improved over the ANV50, even though the latter cartridge cost or costs more (depending upon whether either or both are still available).  The introduction of the ANV50 preceded that of the ART7.  Maybe the hypothetical "ART10" will incorporate the technology of the current high-priced ART1000, where the coil is located just above the stylus tip.  I'd love to hear that one, but not own one for $5,000.  We're going to Japan next month, and I will look around for the local price of the ART1000. I doubt it will be cheap enough to justify my taking the plunge.

For what it's worth, I have read the comparisons of the ART7 vs the ART9, where reviewers AND Audio Technica say that the ART7 is not so good for jazz and rock compared to the ART9.  In my experience on my Beveridge system, that's a bunch of hooey. The ART7 is very dynamic.  That is one of its greatest strengths.  The dynamic aspect of its sound is related to what I wrote above about emphasizing the leading edges of transients.  At the beginning (first few hours), this quality was bordering on fatiguing, but at this point the cartridge has gotten a lot smoother, bringing out the instrumental details better than it did at first.

Is it really true that 2juki products are "gray market"?  What does that mean, in this context?  The phrase arose back in the 80s, when certain foreign cars could not be imported into the US, because they did not meet our then new requirements for emissions and etc.  Some privateers imported such cars and converted them within the US to meet spec or as near to it as they could get away with.  The parent companies would not honor the warranty on such cars, because they couldn't vouch for the longevity of components in cars that were modified.  Nothing like that is going on here.
Based upon my own experience with the ART-9 playing classical music I agree with lewm that the distinctions made by AT between the two cartridges and the music they can play well are a lot of PR BS.  Which is not to deny that they may be different.

When comparing the two cartridges a potential user should consider that the fair comparison is between the ART-9 and the ART-7 + an extra stage of amplification whether it might come from a SS stage or an SUT, each of which will intrude with its own colorations.
s it really true that 2juki products are "gray market"? What does that mean, in this context? The phrase arose back in the 80s, when certain foreign cars could not be imported into the US, because they did not meet our then new requirements for emissions and etc. Some privateers imported such cars and converted them within the US to meet spec or as near to it as they could get away with. The parent companies would not honor the warranty on such cars, because they couldn’t vouch for the longevity of components in cars that were modified. Nothing like that is going on here.
As someone into watches, I can tell you that "grey market" applies to all kinds of commodities that are sold otherwise than through authorized dealers. Some manufacturers are very strict about not doing warranty work on their goods unless it is first established that the good was sold through an authorized dealer. Recently (last five years), Omega has really stepped up their efforts to thwart any unauthorized dealers from selling their watches. With watches, it was common for grey market items to be sold with the serial numbers scratched out. The dealers would sell the watches at far below msrp (which is typically 40-60% above the cost to the retailer) but with notice to the customer that the serial number was removed and that any warranty work would be with the dealer and not with the manufacturer. Authorized dealers are told to sell at MSRP and that their dealership will be revoked if they sell out of their territory or at less than MSRP. I have first-hand experience that ARC and DeVore do the very same thing.
So 2juki is not an authorized AT dealer, or so I gather.  Where then would he source his product?  Does he obliterate serial numbers?
The source of gray market products is easy.  As lewm has written, " I bought it in Tokyo. There is no advantage to buying in Tokyo; price was about the same as eBay. 2juki has a good reputation; I would not hesitate to buy from him."

So a dealer in Japan gets them at a low wholesale price and sells at low retail price.  The US distributor buys at the low wholesale price and marks it up considerably and sells at a high retail price.  He can get the high retail price because he provides service of various kinds and some people feel that is of value.

The Japanese retailer can also buy extra quantity at a low wholesale price and sell it through his gray market distributor friend to US consumers, like through ebay, for a low retail price.  Simple.

So 2juki is not an authorized AT dealer, or so I gather. Where then would he source his product? Does he obliterate serial numbers?

He’s not an authorized dealer of anything, his prices are lower than recommended prices and nearly all his stock is a grey market produsts. Fake serian numbers, no support from the manufacturer. I’ve been told by a very well known US distributor, i have checked a serial number of my cartridge, i didn’t tell the distributor where i’ve bought my cartridge, but he noticed fake serial number and suggested it’s from 2juki, he was right. Some manufacturers are mad on him!  

It’s not necessary means that his stuff is defective, many buyers are happy, but not the manufacturers and distributors. The trade off of his low price is no warranty, no support, no service, nothing which every buyer can get from official distributor and manufacturer.
Has anyone had warranty issues with 2juki?  My guess is that if you bought from him, had a problem within the warranty period, and then sent it back to AT/Japan (perhaps through 2juki), the warranty would be honored by AT/Japan. Whereas, the same warranty would likely not be honored locally (in this case referring to the US distributor).  This does not mean that 2juki is shady or that he is selling defective or subpar merchandise that he sells with any attempt to deceive.  The irony is that the US distributor almost certainly sends returned items back to the very same place in Japan for repair or replacement. (A lot of this is conjecture on my part. If someone actually has had the experience of being told that his cartridge is not warranteed by AT at all, because of purchase from 2juki or other foreign vendor, I stand corrected.)

For example, my defective Koetsu Urushi, purchased from an authorized dealer in Tokyo, was replaced by Koetsu in Tokyo, after I sent it back to the dealer with evidence of the warranty.  The difference may be that my dealer was also a bricks and mortar store, in Akihabara.
You might also look into the AT-33PTG/II MC cartridge I have it on a VPI prime with the JMW 10 3D tonearm through a Parasound JC3+ preamp to an Anthem MRX520 connected to an Anthem P2 amp into Paradigm monitor 11V7 speakers, the bass response is smooth and the mids and high frequency is clear and uncluttered, I play mostly rock and classical, flutes come out so clear you can hear each breath and the low bass notes are steady and clear no muffled drones.

2juki is from Hong Kong, not from Japan as your trustworthy seller/shop in Akihabara. First thing the manufacturer will check is the serial number of the product, what is the reason for them to support grey market ebay dealers and cartridges with fake serial numbers if they have official distributors to support in each country?

Official distributors suffering from the low ball offers on ebay for grey market cartridges. 

Every problem can be solved via paypal claim or ebay. At least broken items will be returned for full refund (a golden rule of ebay/paypal policy).

Chakster, You educated me by stating that 2juki changes or obliterates the serial number.  If true, that alone would void any warranty of any kind.  I certainly would not argue with that logic. A case of caveat emptor.

So what about William Thakker?  I purchased a few MM cartridges from him a few years ago, when the MM thread was so active.  They arrived in factory packaging with what appear to be unaltered serial numbers, and of course the condition was as new.

The irony is that many of the cartridges sold NOS on eBay are attractive, because you simply cannot find them at all here in the US, which brings us back to the ART7.  Thakker also sells some cartridges that are no longer available here.

Have bought several items form Juki, all have been pristine. 

Good Listening


Dear @lewm : I bougth several items from 2juki and as @pbnaudio always a clear and transparent deals.

Even when I bougth my big MS TT he solved a problem that appeared in the unit.

2juki, grey market?. No, I dfon't thuink so and there is no rpove about not even from chakster because he said some one told him.

We have to remember that chakster is an audio seller and 2juki is a hard competition for him.

Anyway, if I need something in the future from 2juki I will do it with out any doubt.


To sell as "New" on ebay a product must be:

"A brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging (where packaging is applicable). Packaging should be the same as what is found in a retail store."

My cartridge purchases from 2juki have been delivered in factory sealed boxes with no signs at all of tampering.  And yes, for these prices I do not expect factory service. If delivered undamaged it will not need any. If delivered damaged I expect a refund or replacement.  

I have never read any criticism of 2juki service from an actual buyer.

I don't understand where this badmouthing BS comes from.  IMO we need the 2jukis of this world to make this expensive hobby of ours just a bit more affordable.

I finally am interested in having multiple and different cartridges available. So, yes to lower the price of some cartridges would be welcomed.

How do you contact / communicate with 2jukis?
@nkonor  Go to eBay I just bought the new Jelco TK tonearm from him he has several listed - if you looking for the Art7 only Takker has it listed

Good Listening


2juki, grey market?. No, I dfon’t thuink so and there is no rpove about not even from chakster because he said some one told him.

Anyone can do the same, if you bought something from 2juki then send your serial number to the manufacturer or to the distributor and ask, i bought my $3500 cartridge from him, so i know what i’m talking about. Fake serial numbers, grey market item not recognized even by the manufacturer who produced the item, the source is unknown, but everybody knows how it works. "Someone who told me " is one of the most respected distributor in the USA, but i won’t tell everything in public, it’s confidential. You should know that grey marked dealers are not supported by the manufacturers, a cartridge designer will not touch the item with fake serial number purchased from the "grey market dealer" for the price which is lower than official distibutor’s price. Those grey dealers kills the distribution at some point.

We have to remember that chakster is an audio seller and 2juki is a hard competition for him.

Raul, you’d better stop this bullshit!
As a "seller" i have only 6 feedbacks on ukaudiomart and about 25 feedbacks on ebay for years! I do sell my personal items or spares that i’ve been using myself like everyone in community. 90% of my ebay feedbacks is for the item i’ve bought (not for what i sold). I don’t have hidden accounts. There is no "competition" for me with the professional sellers.

So please don’t mix together me and a professional grey market ebay seller with various accounts as 2juki (11182 feedbacks), 2juki-cartridge (1618 feedbacks) who’s selling thousands of new unopened items.

I’m telling the truth here, the most expensive japanese cartridges from him comes with fake serial numbers to make it impossible to track down where it comes from even for the manufacturer.

I wonder that you support grey market dealers and not the manufacturers and their official distributors.

I would rather buy a used original cartridge from a fellow audiophiles who’s bought them from the official distributor (when it comes to today’s cartridges). In this case a seller can tell me where he’s got it from and maybe the distributor still can service this original cartridge for me. But the fake serial number is a red flag for the distributor and manufacturer, they will kick you off back to your grey market seller to service your cartridge, they will never touch it! It’s reasonable in my opinion. It’s a small world!

@melm @tooblue

I don’t understand where this badmouthing BS comes from. IMO we need the 2jukis of this world to make this expensive hobby of ours just a bit more affordable.

You don’t understand? Any good distributor can do much more for the buyer than grey market dealer, you should learn it somehow. Make a good relationships with the official distributor, high-end is hard to sell nowadays, you can get discounts from the distributors instead of the grey market dealers. The manufacturer will always be on the distributor’s side. This is how it works. I don’t think you will buy a stolen products just because it’s cheaper? It’s not exacly the same, but the principle is very similar, do you think grey market makes your life better?

What would you do with grey market cartridge when you need a re-tip or re-furbishing? Ending up with aftermarket service to get the cart back with a different specs, different materials, nothing like the original?

Or do you want to sell it to somebody else before it dies?

Or maybe you prefer the service from the cartridge designer who originally made and voiced this cartridge? The last option is impossible for the grey market products. If you have a truly high-end cartridge you need this option after 2000 hrs of paytime. Your choice. 
Guys, Just to be clear, I have no axe to grind with 2juki.  I tend to agree with Raul and Peter (PBN).  I bought my Technics tonearm from him, and it was exactly as described, but that is a used item not subject to any factory warranty.  As others have mentioned, eBay has fairly stringent requirements for professional sellers who use their website, which also ought to make buyers feel more comfortable.  I fear that I have diverted the thread from its main purpose, which is a discussion of the ART7. I was listening to mine again last night.  As time goes on, it's getting better, as one would expect.  Compared to very fine MM and MI cartridges that I more typically have run on the Bev system, the ART7 is quite lively, bordering on aggressive.  Bass definition may be superior to any cartridge I own, but I'd have to run them all on the DV505 into the Bevs in order to compare fairly.

While we are discussing sellers, some of us have also had problems with LP Gear, in the past, for example as regards how they represent their replacement styli (aftermarket vs factory original), etc. 
Dear @confuse_upgraditis: 2juki is a trusty seller. Till today everywhere in the internet exist no single claim against 2juki been part of a " grey market " as chakster posted with out any single prove that can confirm his posts.

He make a really serious acussation on a gentleman with out proves.

I like other gentlemans that already dealing with 2juki can recomend it and as @melm @tooblue said it makes some audio items more affordable.
The same happens with VDH cartridges that today those sellers makes an affordable cartridge.

That's not something wrong or that any one with out proves came or comes here to: forbidden.

Which could be the main reasons behind that chakster attitude? certainly not help any one of us.

@lewm How is your ART-7 competes with Ortofon MC2000 ?

For decades Raul was so enthusiastic about high compliance Ortofon MC2000 LOMC here on audiogon, it was probably long time before he sold his soul to digital.

As the renegade of your ex belowed Moving Magnets, how would you rate MC2000 today compared to the AT ART series @rauliruegas ?

... certainly not help any one of us.

2juki will not help you either

I’m sure you’re completey missed my point, as i said i bought very expensive cartridge from 2juki myself based on his 100% positive feedbacks on ebay, but the problem comes much later, nor when you leave a feedback for a cartridge (everything was as described), but a year or more later on when you have to re-tip the cartridge or, in worst case, to re-furbish it.

And in this case the manufacturer or his distributor will check the serial number at the end of the day to find out it’s a grey market unit, not the original serial number, or the serial number that belongs to a very old and completely different model. Then you understand what is a trade off - your very best expensive high-end cartridge is not supported by the designed (manufacturer) and the distributor. Because they are teamed up together against a grey market sellers. If you’re fine with it - then go and buy from 2juki.

If you want forever warranty and amazing service then ALWAYS buy from the official distributors. I can not speak about all cartridges, but i’m talking about very best LOMC.

Also everyone should understand, and i believe they do understand, that 2juki just sell you cartridge once (you can send it back only once, if it’s not as described), but support and service is not his business, he’s just a grey market seller with lowered price for quick sale - that’s it.

The distributor of the same cartridge in your country, luckily i’ve got in tough with very nice distributor (not even in my country), will do the best to treat you right. Trade-in or upgrade is always better. Sometime the distributors offers something that you can’t expect, the discount is also possible. The difference is price is not that much, but you’re dealing with official distributors, not a cheaters.

Grey market dealers are not cheating you directly, they are cheating the manufacturers and distributors, they are in fact manipulates with serial numbers, but people support the cheaters buyin from them. You can discuss 2juki case with any distributor of the products he’s selling. It’s all about sales morality !!!

P.S. Maybe it’s not important for people who don’t mind to send any cartridge to SoundSmith for re-tip or even to install completely different cantilever to make their original cartridge way different (they always think it’s only getting better for some reason).

If your cartridge is not supported by the original manufacturer it’s very bad (imo)
Even used carts are supported by the manufacturer if they are from the valid source, so what’s the point to buy new from gray market if you can’t use the manufacturer/designed once you’ve bought grey market unit? Where is the logic ? Even lightly used cart from the distributor (they do trade in, so they can offer used with huge discount) is better than new from grey market dealer if you think a bit about future.

2juki also sells vintage gear - no problem with that, this is honest business.

Chakster, It seems other guys here, who perhaps live in different countries, are saying they receive unopened factory containers when they order from 2juki, suggesting there was no possibility that 2juki tampered with serial numbers, let alone added a serial number from a different product.  I suppose it's possible that he acts differently for products sold to your country, compared to the US, for example.  In any case, others don't seem to agree about the SN tampering.  That said, it's still possible that the manufacturer might not honor the warranty if the serial number suggests it was not sold through one of their dealers.  I dunno.
I doubt 2juki actually alters serial numbers - what would be his purpose in doing this?
More likely is the local distributor keeps track of serials coming through his distribution chain and can therefore identify serials from other sources. In both cases the item is genuine, but I can see why a local distributor would refuse warranty service. I think most people buying grey market product realize this and weigh it against the often considerably cheaper price.
FWIW I’ve bought from 2juki several times and have always had prompt service and no issues.
When I got my ART9 2juki was closed for the new year and I bought from Thakker - also without issue - and saved $500 on the local price.
violin118 posts04-23-2018 11:06amDave, where in the U.S. can one purchase the ART-9? I have tried the Needle Doctor and LP Gear and they do not show it.

I bought my ART9 from Needle Doctor about a month ago.  They are an authorized dealer.  If it's not on the site, call them.  I went in the shop and had Ken mount mine... so no doubt they are a dealer and they have the ART9 in stock.  I don't know about ART7, but I think so.

As for the ART9, I can tell you that my system has never sounded better. I am not an audio reviewer.  But, to me, it's smooth, the frequency response is very even from top to bottom, and I think it just sound effortless.  Somehow, it seems like the music just flows from this cartridge.  No background noise, the groove is quiet.  Between it and my new Manley Chinook, the system really has never sounded better.  I stepped up to the ART9 after my Dyna 10x5 suffered a bent cantilever.

I have to believe that the ART7 is equally as good, especially with the types of music they say it works best with... Classical and Jazz, I think.

Chakster, It seems other guys here, who perhaps live in different countries, are saying they receive unopened factory containers when they order from 2juki, suggesting there was no possibility that 2juki tampered with serial numbers, let alone added a serial number from a different product.

I don't care what they said, any box can be opened and then sealed with plastic again, look at your ZYX cartridge! The way the serial number stamped on it and the way the serial stated in the manual. Everything can be opened and sealed again when it comes to $3-5k cartridges.

Unfortunately the manufacturer of the very high priced high-end products (cartridges) doesn't care too much about prints, boxes, sealing materials. Everything can be printed, sealed by anyone at home. He's not making cartridges at his garage for sure (they are original), but his grey market product is masked to hide his source. The manufacturer will close the distributor who's selling overstock to grey marked dealers. 

Averyone have to read the message on Robyn Wayatt's site: below is a quote: 

""Any Miyajima products purchased from EBay from Hong Kong carry NO USA warranty, or support. Any type of repair or re-tip will not be honored by Robyatt Audio, or Miyajima-Labs.

If you purchase a grey market Miyajima Labs product, if and when it fails, its junk- NO repair."" 

The manufacturers and distributors are worried about it, do you think they have no reason for that ? Then why the biggest distributors of Ortofon, Miyajima, ZYX ... in USA are so concerned that even the cartridge designers themselfs will refuse the grey market cartridges?

Some cheaters selling overstock to grey market dealer to get rid of them for very low price, all they need is to hide the real serial numbers! And thast's what they do. 

At the same time some people prefer to buy from cheaters on grey market ignoring the fact that manufacturers of those carts are not happy about the situation and simply do not service them! 

We have people like Robyn Wayatt in USA who can give any buyer his Miyajima on trial for full refund! It's absolutely amazing offer. We have Mehran at RosaSound who's the greatest dealer and very nice person, he always announce discounts on his site, special offers for trade-in stuff etc. I could mention great dealers in Europe as well. If someone will buy anything from them they will get full support forever. I have no bias, i'm not in USA and i have no busines relation with any of them. As a buyer i have spoken with various dealers, customer support by the dealer and service by the manufacturer are two reason why we want to buy from official distributors (instead of grey market dealers). 


Having bought from an authorized US dealer, do you know what the re-tipping charge is from Audio Technica?  Is that done in the US?
@melm Sorry, I don't know.  I didn't ask that question.  But, IME with NeedleDoctor, you can get a 20% discount toward a new one if you trade in the old one.  That is why when I wrecked my 10x5, I decided to trade up rather than just replace it.  So I paid more, but kept the 10x5.  ND did offer a discount anyway on the ART, considering I had bought the Dynavector from him a couple years ago, and I think he sympathized with my mistake.

Eventually I will send the 10x5 to Soundsmith for a new cantilever.  That will be cheaper than going with a new Dyna, and probably as good or better.

You can give Ken a call at ND and he can tell you about retip options.  They are great to deal with!

There is no Factory retip.  From the ART7 manual:

"When the stylus is to be replaced, replace the entire cartridge. Take the used cartridge to your dealer: This cartridge and other MC cartridges sold by AT are available at the stylus replacement price.  If this cartridge is no longer being produced, one of the MC cartridges currently being produced will be available at the stylus replacement price."

Which is still confusing, as there is no stylus replacement available at any price.