I bought a Clear audio Signature cartridge off of a used site to send to a new retipper that became available. When the cartridge get there, the inspection revealed a damaged coil wire, and a fractured end on the boron cantilever. Apparently the cartridge took a hard blow of some sort.
So I sent the cartridge off to another retipper that is widely used in the US. But he inspected and refused to do the repair, saying it just wasn't possible. So I got it back, and put it up for sale for it's trade in value. Did not get any takers, so I was in for a penny and in for a pound.
I decided to send it back to the first person "Phono Cartridge and Repair" in Bellevue, WA. He was willing to make the attempt, although he cautioned me that the percentages of repair were low. When he got it, he told me that there might be some modifications to the body to make this attempt, which I was OK with.
Well he made the repair! Without modifying the body. The repaired coil has 1.2 ohms more resistance, 59.2 ohms vs 58 ohms. But in the course of listening, it is nothing that i can hear. No body modifications were needed, and the stock cantilever was saved. I looked at the tip with magnification, and there is a dallop of adhesive that might be a bit larger than expected. but it certainly is no more than what I see on the pictures of the JICO SAS stylus.
I have mounted it up on my Thorens 124 MK I, and have no issues with attraction to the platter. I just wanted to give it a trial spin and see what things looked like. Actually this cartridge sounds damn good. I had intended it to be a beater cartridge for me to spin Blondie, Tears For Fears, and Dire Straits on. But it is better than that, and might even be in the same league as my ZYX. I find the sound to be more immediate and engaging, where as the ZYX on the Serac is more evenly balanced and refined refined sounding. Yes I know different tables and different arms, but this is just an initial impression.
What it means is that I need to consider some upgrades for the Thorens, for this cartridge deserves it. The ADC LMF 2 really isn't the right arm for this table, so I am going to start there. I also am considering the Applied Fidelity Delrin mat to replace the knackered aluminium top plate on the Thorens. I may even consider having Jim do his bearing upgrade to this table.
So what did the cartridge repair cost? Well $350 for all of it, coil repair and line contact stylus.
Very reasonable in my opinion.