I hope you're wrong about that 5-year thing. All my carts except one are either older than that or M U C H older than that As to stylus retips, I've had everything from Denons to Koetsus retipped by Soundsmith and haven't been unhappy yet. YMMV of course.
Rrm, I haven't gone down the retip road yet, but I tend to agree with Dopogue. Peter Ledermann of Sound Smith (SS) is supposed to be a tech genius and extremely credible. The SS web site expressly states that before a retip job is started, the cartridge is carefully examined. The retip is done only if the cartridge is in good shape or can be repaired. In light of the SS reputation, I would not be too concerned.
..not necessarily so.... A retip is only the replacement of the "needle"....often, the suspension needs to be replaced. I believe soundsmith can do suspension repairs, however, they don't use original parts. The stylus may be of different material, and the diamond itself may be a different cut. I believe soundsmith does a fine job, the result will not be same as when it originally built. You might like the original or the soundsmith version, but they will not be the same.
agree with Stringreen....if possible I would use the original manufacturer for all the servicing....the re-tip is just that....new tip.
Unless the cartridge is very valuable, you use it a lot, it is expensive and you are relatively poor, I wouldn't even bother with retipping and rebuilding. And I would certainly insist on original everything because doing otherwise would be a big gamble. But if you buy used for a very good price, like it a lot, well maybe it's worth the risk. As for the longivety, it varies greatly, I understand.
Well 'necessarily so' because the styli wear out and nobody want to ruin his LP's. But it is also necessary to be very careful with the choice of the retip service. According to my information they buy the complete cantilever/stylus combos from their supplier and those are much easier to install than the stylus solo. By aluminum
cantilevers the styli are usualy 'pressure fitted' (see J.Carr ;MM thread 09-14-11) but it is questionable if this can be done by the retip of the stylus solo. In this case
one should probable do better to replace both. Assuming of
course that the new cantilever/stylus are so fitted. Ie this way of fitting is the primary advantage of aluminum. Or so I thought after reading J.Carr's contribution.
no, the cantilever is often stressed in the retip and the seating in the cartridge can be damaged by the heating necessary to do the retip. Starting new is the best and most cost effective way. Think about it, Shure used a completely removal cantilever assembly to great advantage.
I have had a number of cartridges repaired by Soundsmith. They provide 3 levels of cantilevers and different stylus shapes. The basic aluminum cantilever is about what you would expect to find in a $1000 MC cartridge with an elliptical stylus. the next level up is a ruby cantilever with a fine line stylus, about what you would expect in a $2000 cartridge. there is another step up that I have not tried.
The soundsmith rebuilds sound very good, but I cannot claim that they do not change the sound, since there is no way to compare.
I think Fremer was stating tha the cartridge suspension deteriorates and thats what causes him to claim only 5 years out of each cartridge. I have MC cartridges that are 40 years old that seem to work great. (GAS Sleeping Beauty) Of course, I dont remember what they sounded like 40 years ago in the equipment I had at the time. Perhaps in dry areas, or areas where the house is heated, the suspension deteriorates faster than my humid Florida climate. I have never had a cartridge suspension fail and have purchased many used, older MC cartridges
Buconero117, Your answer is not very clear to me. May I assume that your advice is to replace the whole cantilever/stylus in case of aluminum catilever? If so then we obviously agree. Why then 'no',etc?
All the Soundsmith retips noted above do replace the cantilever. Under certain circumstances Peter will replace just the diamond, but my understanding is that this costs MORE, not less.
Dopoque, This is the the same information I got from an
Dutch retip service. Already imply in my first post. But
there is no condition to my knowledge like 'under certain
circumstances'. There are persons who insist on replacemt
of the stylus only. So one should be good informed in advance.
You might be better off getting a new one depending on the cost. I bought a $200 Clearaudio and broke it during set up (Doh!). Its $175 to replace. I would rather spend another few bucks and get a new one, which i did. Orotofon Blue, and it sounds much better than the Clearaudio Concept MM I busted.
Tbromgard, You are obviously talking about MM carts. In this case you buy a new stylus. With an MC cart of,say, $2500 this relationship is $250 for the retip or $2500 for the new one.