Thanks for that tip David, I'll have to keep that in mind in case I am ever in a rush. I sent a Ortofon Cadenza Bronze to Soundsmith last year for repairs, and it did take about 10 weeks. Of course I had another cartridge, so I was not in any rush. In fact, though it's been back for about 3 months now, I still haven't re-mounted the Ortofon. I've been having too much fun with a Transfiguration Phoenix S.
It's always nice to have options though. Congrats on your Apheta 2!
Heck, I nuded my Denon DL-103r being super careful. Got the thing to the point all I had to do was set it down to be done - then for no particular reason at all it just fell out of my hands somehow. It fell all of two inches but that's all it took. Luckily there was no kink and I gently realigned it. Now it's in a wood body and sounds better than ever.
To my 40 years experience the highest quality retip rebuilding and recalibration is by the master himself AJ van den Hul. He is 79 and has been building cartridges for 45 years. He works on each one personally. Contact www.finestfidelity.net . Turnaround time is usally 30 days or less.
Another recommendation for Andy Kim at the Needle Clinic in Bellevue WA. I sent him my Linn Troika and while it still had some usable life left I decided to have Andy do a retipping. In less than 1 week I had the cartridge back on my turntable and sounding absolutely wonderful. Very, very pleased. Highly recommended!!
The old model Shure was 200x from what I’ve read on the internet.
This is a good article:
Probably JJ but it will be a gradual decline as it gets worse and will likely damage your records.
Here's a microscope that was recommended on audioasylum.com:
I had contacted Andy last winter about having a repair done on a Dynavector DV-20X high output. I called him and he answered right away.
I was a bit put off because he wasn't willing to give me any options for repairs. He just recommended the boron cantilever and microridge stylus.
I decided not to use him because of that.
Greetings, I would like to share my positive Retipping experience
This past July while I was unpacking my turntable the tonearm swung lose and the cantilever on my Blackbird was damaged and bent. Upon playing and testing the sound was staticky and distorted. After researching the problem I consider my options; buy a new or used cartridge or have my Blackbird retipped. I reviewed a number of comments and recommendations on the subject through various discussion boards and decided on retipping and the services of Andy Kim.
As I considered this an opportunity to upgrade the sound and performance of my Blackbird I researched the best component and material options. About a week after talking with Andy I sent him my Blackbird. The turnaround time for delivery and return was 7 days. The day I received my Blackbird I installed it and noted some problems and contacted Andy. Andy graciously agreed to reinspect my Blackbird and apologized for any inconveniences. A few days after receiving my Blackbird he provided me with his findings from the examination and would get back to me on the best solution.
On August 23, 2018 Andy contacted me with an surprising offer to COMP me for my Blackbird; which I accepted after some consideration. Please see the attached photo of the NC-1 and the specification.
Note Andy has relocated to Californian now but his email address is still the same.
Needle Clinic NC-1 limited edition moving coil cartridge
The exclusive NC-1 cartridge is a result of co-development between the Needle Clinic and one of Japans finest high end boutique cartridge manufacturer.
I highly recommend the NC-1 offered by Needle Clinic. I received one as a COMP and the cart is amazing. I set her up yesterday and I’ve been listening to some of my favorite albums and I must say compared to my Blackbird, Benz Micro Wood and my Grado Wood RP it’s sound is superior.
Please see the specs below.
Type: Low impedance moving coil (MC) cartridge
Frequency response: 10 Hz to 50 kHz
Output Voltage: 0.22mV
Channel Separation: 30dB or more (1kHz)
Channel Balance: 1dB or less (1kHz)
Stylus Tip: VDH
Load Impedance: 20-100 Ohms
Impedance: 5 Ohms
Tracking weight: 1.8 to 2.2 grams
Weight: 5 grams