Grado Signature Model 8 worth re-tip?

I have a couple of cartridges that I have had for many years that I never used and would like to send them for an inspection/re-tip if worthwhile?

One of them is a ’Joseph Grado Signature Model 8’

I have used SoundSmith before, but would like other suggestions for re-tippers.

Looking forward to reading your posts!

Ag insider logo xs@2xrich121
I replace the stylus on my older Grado cartridges. The 8mz would be a good replacement foe the Signature 8!
Post removed 
Here ya go!
Product Info


The Grado 8MZ stylus for the highly regarded Joseph Grado Signature 8MZ phono cartridge is a brand new production by Grado for LP Gear. It fits all previous Signature and Prestige models and can be used to improve their performance.

The current Signature replacement styli are identified by the model inscribed on the top of the plastic housing. The stylus is packaged in Grado's small plastic box with MCZ handwritten on the back.

Original Grado 8MZ Stylus Specifications
- Output: 3.5mV @ 3.5 CMV (45 degrees)
- Controlled frequency response: 10Hz-50kHz
- Channel separation: Average 25dB, 10Hz-50kHz
- Stylus: Diamond, twin tip
- Input load: 47k Hz
- Inductance: 45 mH
- Resistance: 475 ohms
- Tracking force: 1.5 g
- Pick-up weight: 5.5 g
- Capacitance: Non-sensitive to capacitive load

Good advice to go to LP Gear; but if you have never used it, it should not need replacing or inspection. Just set it up and go!
With Grado cartridge you have to contact GRADO , those are MI cartridges with press-fit nude diamonds on special cantilevers.

If you want to buy genuine Grado products look for dealers on their site:

If your Grado is 8MZ then your stylus is user replaceable, forget about re-tippers!
Buy genuine stylus from Grado.

I messaged Grado just before posting this thread.
I'm very impressed, they got right back to me just a couple hours later!
The current replacement stylus for my 8 MR is the Grado 8MZ that yogiboy posted.

I have never listened to this cartridge before, as it was included in a turntable purchase many many years ago.  Is it worth $175.00 for the replacement cartridge?
What can I compare this cartridge to?

Thanks for the posts everyone!

I have Grado XTZ and it’s great, top of the line MI from Joe Grado. Do not buy from LP gear if it’s not an authorized Grado dealer, check on Grado website, buy genuine stylus from Grado direct or from their authorized dealers.

You can use XTZ stylus on your cartridge too, but it’s more expensive than 8MZ.

I have the XTZ stylus (from LP gear) on my signature 8 & it sounds great. Much better than it did with the stock stylus
Prices are quite a bit different.

8MZ is $175.00
XTZ is $475.00

Is their $300.00 difference in sound improvement, or just as important, is my Signature Model 8 worthy?

Just trying to put cost and end performance in perspective.

Really appreciate the posts and information!


Rich, for whatever it may be worth, I owned and used every all the mentioned Grados including the XTZ back in the day. I loved their full bodied, bold and lush sound. 
Is the 8MZ stylus worth it at $175? Without a doubt! Look at it this way: what else can you get of comparable sound for $175? I can’t think of anything. Also keep in mind its user friendly high output and good tracking ability. Is the XTZ stylus worth the extra $300? Probably, but I would put it this way:

The XTZ stylus is a substantial improvement over the 8MZ stylus. However, keep in mind that putting the XTZ stylus on an Sig 8 body does not make it an XTZ cartridge. As Chackter says, the XTZ is a great cartridge; substantially better than a Sig 8, but while the XTZ stylus works in the Sig 8 body, the XTZ has different electrical characteristics and much lower output than the Sig 8.

Good luck.
Regarding stylus compatibility you can ask Grado direct.

Many of the LP Gear styli are NOT the originals, my advice is to stay away from their products if you don’t know exactly what you are buying.

Grago styli available from authorized Grado dealers, those are originals for sure.
LP Gear is an an authorized Grado dealer. I have bought replacements from them many times!
Really appreciate all the help and advice!

I got to looking around at some other carts I have collected but not tried over the years and would appreciate your thoughts about these 2:

Stanton 881S w/D81S II stylus
ADC XLM MK II Improved

LP Gear sells replacement stylus for both, the best of which are Shibita style.

Again, appreciate your posts!

Rick, forget about LP Gear when you’re looking for styli for vintage cartridges, their replacement is only a compromise (only if you can’t find the original, they are different).

My advice is to try your Stanton 881s mkII, it must be a great cartridge, if you’re so afraid send it for stylus inspection. Use the original if all is good. It;a a great cartridge, there are at least 3 better models from Stanton, but the 881s was Doug Sax’s monitoring cartridge at his mastering Lab.

Pickering styli are compatible with Stanton, I have genuine D4000 Stereohedron stylus in original box if needed.

I’m currently using Pickering XLZ/7500 and XSV/5000 on one of my tonearms.

ADC XLM is garbage in my opinion, sorry.


I appreciate your advice.  I didn't know anything about LP Gear, just read that some people were getting replacement stylus there, thank you for the heads up.
I will try to find something NOS for the 881S and will keep my eye out for the 981HZ this is one of the best Stantons, right?

Stanton 981 and CS100 WOS are the best, I prefer CS-100 W.O.S. (It was Walter O. Stanton signature model, collectors series 100).

Walter O. Stanton was Norman C. Pickering’s plant manager. Mr. Stanton invented the interchangeable needle grips Pickering used and later purchased Pickering & Company. A sister brand to Stanton.

Look for Pickering XSV/5000 or 7500 if you want equal quality to the best Stanton models.

Equal model to Stanton 881s is Pickering XSV/3000. Pickering XSV/4000 is better and 4500,5000,7500 are ultimate.