I tried a Urushi with SME 20/2 & SME IV.Vi (with damping trough). Glorious sound with classical, but still have a bit problem with sibilance on hot-cut vocals.
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I dislike the warmth of Koetsu's generally, but the stone bodies are far closer to neutral than the wood bodies. More dynamic too.
I heard a Jade and a Tiger Eye on an SME V a couple weeks ago, both were platinums I think. Not as neutral as I'd prefer, but they both sounded terrific (especially the Tiger Eye). Both sounded much more alive than the owner's previous Benz.
They might sound even better on a heavier arm, but there were no sonic problems of any kind.
Excuse my ignorance, but I did'nt think there were great differences in Wt, compliance etc, between the Koetsu's. The distinction is sound and output, basically .47mvish, against.27mvish for the platinum. The latter had more detail and neutrality across the frequency range. I am also agnostic about body composition, having heard the Onyx and using the Rosewood Signature, I can't hear great difference. If I was paying more it would be for platinum coils, not expensive body materials.
I use a Rosewood Signature Platinum on an SME V and a Oracle V. There's a big difference in frequency extension ,especially in the upper end detail with the low output Koetsu. I came away from a Helikon and Benz Ruby 2 and the harmonic "rightness" and upper end extension of the RSP is superior to my ears
I tend to agree with Raul here as I have found that matching the arm with Koetsu's is the key to performance. For many years I owned a Black which I had rebuilt by the now deceased Garrott Bros and it was a great cart in the right arm and in the wrong arm (mid -low mass) it just sounded warm and friendly, but bland. I have a soft spot for Koetsus and recently I picked up a Rosewood Sig that had been retipped by VdH but the body has about 20 years vintage. I was blown away by how solid this was in the bass and extended in the highs on a high mass damped arm -in this case a Micro-Seiki Max 282. It also sounds really good on my Triplanar. I thought I would need a RS Platinum to get that extension at the top end. I should also mention that I am getting better results on my SP 10 heavy plinth direct drive than on my belt drive Micro-Seiki RX 5000. Someone here on another post mentioned that Sugano-san voiced the carts on a Lenco idler DD deck, hmm, interesting.
Bottom line is the SME / Koetsu match will not get the best out of the wood body carts unless you are prepared to play around a lot with the damping. I cannot comment on the jade / onyx bodies, but would love to hear from those with experience of those.
I used a Urushi on an SME V. Now I am using a Jade on an Ikeda. The Urushi sounded fabulous but you did lose the last bit of bass. What I did to maximize the performance is use the spacer between the Koetsu & Headshell to be able to get the VTa negative enough. The other thing is I added mass to the SME V using Bluetak inside the headshell (but not into the armtube) and blue tak on top of the arm at the pivot. This advise I found on AA. It worked wonders. Truly increased dynamics and extension. IME Koetsu prefer high mass. SME V is medium but w. the blue tak (it didn't look bad at all) I had a high mass arm. I would suggest the RSP as probably the best of both worlds for the money.
Thanks Jonathan, my mistake re the DD. I hope to get my Lenco rebuild done in a couple of weeks, so the comparison between this idler drive and the SP10 DD in heavy plinths will be interesting. For what its worth, on both of my rebuilds have gone to some length to isolate the arm board from the possible vibrations from the motor drives and platters. On the Lenco I am building one board firmly coupled to the table mass plinth as most folks usually build and the other decoupled from the table plinth but coupled to the base plinth that the table is also coupled to, so I can compare the two.
Since I am so pleasantly surprised with my newly acquired Koetsu RS I would like to hear from those have compared that with the RSP.
I am using the Urushi with the SME 312S and would like to increase the effective weight of the arm to get a better sound. I would like to seek your advise on how much weight and where to put the Bluetak at the pivot. Do you mean to put Bluetaks at both sides of the pivot so that the weight can be balanced off? Do you suggest to use the oil provided as damping? Thanks in adance for your help.
Thank you the information. I am concern about the resonance problem with the combination of SME 312S (14g) & Urushi (9g). So, I am trying the effect of adding about 5.5g more weight to the head shell by heavier screws and a metal plate.
Need sometime to test the result. BTW, what VTF do you use? Thanks.
I used a number of sequential Koetsu Onyx carts on an SME V for more than 10 years,having moved from the temperamental Goldmund T3 to the V. I had the heavy counterweight and headshell spacers for the V. I thought it was wonderful.
Then I tried the Koetsu on a FR 64S. I cannot believe that I stifled those Koetsus for such a long time.In hindsight I was probably just so relieved to have an arm that could repeatedly make it through one side of an LP that I missed the SME V/Koetsu sonic mismatch.
The SME V is a great arm but not with Koetsus.