Anybody know anything about some of the websites that are offering
new Koetsu's at very much reduced prices. I realize there won't be the warrenty you get in the USA. Are these cartridges OK or are they "B" stock.
Anybody bought one? Any problems. I believe these are coming from the
orient. Possible fakes??
My friend bought a Koetsu Urushi from one of the gray market resellers and he never had a problem.
(Of course, had he had a problem......)
From what I can tell, people just buy them from dealers in Asia, particularly Japan and Hong Kong, at discounted prices, as they buy in bulk, and so get them for almost the dealers cost, which is about 1/3 the regular price. They then resell them for about half the regular price and make a small, but decent profit.

As far as fakes, I suppose it is possible, but I have not heard of any problems. (You should check on Audio Asylum's Shady Lane to see if you can find any problem dealers.)

I do know that Juki2, on Ebay is considered to be very reputable, and he sells Koetsus, or used to at least.

Good Luck!
FYI, the full retail prices of Koetsu, Benz Micro in the Orient are almost the same as the dealer costs in North America. Sometimes maybe lower.

Anyone can by SME V tonearms for less in Hong Kong than your local dealer pays for his stock.

The North American market prices are wither over inflated.

Fakes??? I don't think so.

The retail price for a Koetsu Rosewood Signature in Japan is 189,000yen. I live in Japan but Koetsu is not a cartridge that ever interested me until a German gentleman who bought an SME tonearm off me on eBay asked me to get a price for one which he duly bought. The price pretty much stunned me as they are $3500 in the States. That cartridge came with all the warranty papers, etc so I would see no problem if he ever had an issue with the cartridge, getting it serviced. So, the prices in Asia are not a 'hoax' or ripoff.
However, I have been told Koetsu cartridges are now made in China......The founder of Koetsu has passed away; apparently he was the artist, the son who now runs the company is by all accounts a 'businessman'.
Hope that helps.
Though I have always loved and owned Koetsus in the past,there is something suspiciously "silly" about the newer models.It seems that as of now,Koetsu has gone overboard with the "stone type" body housings,and their apparent cache in how the particular body affects the rediculous pricing."I know,I know" that they are "real pretty",but like the dumb handbag industry(see Coach and Louis Vuitton)the price for "pretty" is getting almost laughable!Talk to me about cantilever material,and design,or purity of coils,or magnetics.NOT cosmetics!!

I am still aware that these are superior designs,but my way of justifying a product is to see "definitive" design parameters,and details OTHER than some "fancy schmancy" body material.

Perplexed,stupified,and bewildered!!

-- Sirspeedy--
For Platinum model onwards, the "heart" of the cartridge for all models remains the same except for the housing material. It was claimed that these different housing materials make the final cartridges sound different to each other. If you think that slight sound difference worth for the extra amount, than just go for it. This is business!!
You can always check with Melvin Ang, the south East asia distributor if more info is required, and no Koetsu are not made in China, the late Suguno passed his know-how to his sons before he passed away....check with Melvin, he visits the Sugano household ever now and then.