I've gotten the best performance (ever) with the new Black Diamond linear track arm. Unfortunately that is available only on the Walker turntable.
Before moving to the Walker I ran three different Koetsu cartridges in a Triplanar, a Graham 1.5, 2.0 and 2.2, plus the Versa Dynamics (arm and TT combo) and I had good results with each.
Word is, the new Graham Phantom is another world above the older models I had, but unfortunately I have not been able to hear one.
There is a Walker availble for $20k. Still too much for me. But there is hope for the regular guy. That's about the same or less than say a Redpoint, Triplanar, ZYX Universe.
Let's face it, the bottom will drop out of the tt market sooner or later.
I am quite pleased with a Koetsu Rosewood Signature on a Graham Phantom arm. I didn't try the Koetsu with other arms, so I can make no comparisons. However, I wanted this cartridge because it's a little on the lush side, like the fabled Koetsu's of old, and the arm is transparent and neutral, avoiding any undesirable interaction with the cartridge and letting the Koetsu sound through. It's a good combination.
Is there anywhere that describes the characteristics of the various Koetsu cartridges James? You indicate lush for the Rosewood Signature - I saw the write-up on the Black (but that's not what I'd go for).
I'm also thinking Graham Phantom arm as a possiblity.
All the best.
I don't know of any one place that describes each of the Koetsu line. I have read reviews of single Koetsu cartridges in magazines over many years. Manufacturer's/distributors' literature typically praises every product in a way that obscures differences. A cursory Google search turned up the following review of three Koetsu's:
Of course, listening to them yourself would be best, but hard to do.
I have the Koetsu Urushi mounted on an SME IV.vi. Works for me. I don't have any experience with other high end arms but had always heard that SME & Koetsu was a nice match so I went with that.
i use an onyx koetsu on a graham phantom
and i love it!
I have owned the Koetsu Urushi & now a Jade. I have owned or own a SME V, a mass loaded SME V, Schroder SQ, Ikeda 407 and have tried a few other arms. IME, the Koetsu loves mass. This means a very high mass arm which lends to the Ikeda. The Bass gets much better & dynamics appear once the Koetsu is in a well controlled arm. Most people who find the Koetsu too soft have only used it in a medium or low mass arm. I don't agree with people who advocate some arms without having tried a high mass design. That is not what the Koetsu is about. Other cartridges might be a different story but not this one. Just use any arm you have & load it w. blue tak to hear the difference mass will make.
I have just ordered the Jade Platinum and when I receive it, will mount it on my Vector 3/ Basis 2500. I had posted a thread on this, and received a bit of helpfull advice. I went to relocate the thread to update it, but could not bring it up. I don't know if this helps, as the Jade is
quite a bit heavier than the wood body Koetsu's. I have not
heard any feedback from or since my thread that gave me
any confidence that my Vector is a good match for the
13.1 gram Jade. It can't hurt to try it, so that is what I
plan to do. I am considering the Phantom, and have heard
the Dynavector arm may be a good match as well. As far as
the wood bodies, I think the choice will be easier. The handfull of arms I would consider would be Basis Vector,
Phantom, Triplanar Vii. Unfortunately, my job may prove
a little more difficult.
Thanks folks. All this is very helpful.
I used a Koetsu on a Morch UP4 (blue dot armwand) for a while. Worked very well.
I used the combo on three different turntables (HW19, Progressive, Oracle Delphi) and it seemed equally at home on all three.
Fellow enthusiasts;I have found that the Koetsu Black Urushi delivers superb performance in a Goldmund T3b on a Goldmund Studio( meticulously set up). Likewise another Koetsu Black Urushi performs superbly in a Origin Live Conqueror mk3c mounted on a MICHELL Orbe turntable, full plinth version. TF set at 1.92gr in my Goldmund arm/ TF set at 1.94gr in Conqueror arm; preamp CAT Legend. Please note that KOETSU quote a figure of 5 by10-6cm/dyne compliance, presumably a static measurement. Several reviews of Koetsu Urushi cartridges have indicated compliance figures much higher, both horizontal and vertical. You neither want a arm/cartridge resonance at the low frequency end of the audio spectrum either too low or too high, both situations are detrimental to high quality sound reproduction.Arm effective mass is only one factor in achieving compatibility with a particular phono cartridge, in achieving a desired result.
Soundbuff, By all reports that I have ever read, the Urushi acts as if it does have a very low compliance in that it "likes" tonearms with high effective mass. For example, many have written in these forums that the Fidelity Research FR64S and especially the FR66S are "made in heaven" for the Koetsu cartridges. Can you quote your sources to the effect that the vertical compliance is higher than the manufacturer's published data? Also, can you say what is the effective mass of the T3b and the Original Live, respectively?
I own an Urushi and have only so far used it in a Triplanar, which is "medium mass" as tonearms go. I plan to try it in a FR64S soon.
Hi Lewm Hi FI News and Record Review. I have owned a FR64s &FR64FX & FR66s many years ago. I used a KOETSU Rosewood in the FR64s many years ago and it certainly performed well in this arm.I would not consider the FR66s ideal for a KOETSU URUSHI or the stone bodied KOETSU's. The Triplanar is a superb tonearm but some users have reported variable results with KOETSU cartridges. As I have stated arm effective mass is only one aspect of compatibility. The Origin Live site has the specs of their arms and other info. Mass loading at the headshell if done carefully is an excellent way of fine tuning if needed. The Koetsu Urushi just loves the Goldmund T3b.Setting up of this arm my specialty. I collated info from Martin Colloms, David Wilson and info from a Goldmund Tech by phone many years ago re set up. The Koetsu also worked beautifully in the LUSTRE GTS801 Arm when properly set up.
I have Koetsu Urushi Blue on Graham Phantom Supreme II 10" arm, and it is beautiful. Very quiet, tracks great and the sound is sublime.
(it is on the new Hanss T-60 TT)
Very nice TT, that Hanss.
Hanss is a very good table, especially for the price
Very solid and musical performer
Hi Lewm;HFN&RR July 2013 vol58 No07 Review of Koetsu Urushi Sky Blue. Evaluated by Ken Kessler in a SME Series 5 and compared with a Koetsu Blue Onyx & Gold Onyx. The compliance measured 13/13 vertical/lateral; mechanism very symmetrically balanced and ideally suited to medium/heavy tonearms. I have noted Maril555 entry where he uses a Graham Phantom Supreme 11 10" arm with a Urushi blue and he is very pleased with the performance of this combo on his turntable. The turntable/arm interface is very important. A review of the EAT E-Go 12" arm in HFN&RR April 2013, based on the current Phantom 11 Supreme has a measured effective mass of 13g both vertical/lateral; cartridge weight range 5-20g/ compliance range 8-20cu. Measurements by Paul Miller.
Fellow enthusiasts; Re: Koetsu Urushi compliance spec 5x 10-6cm/dyne;this is relative to 100hz; the compliance spec as quoted by a Koetsu Dealer in USA is 10x10-6cm/dyne relative to 10hz.Clearly low compliance. This is a dynamic spec of compliance, definitely not static compliance which is much higher.This latter compliance spec is what should be used when calculating arm/cartridge resonance figures from the available tables. The SME& ORTOFON sites provide excellent info on the relationship of cartridge compliance/arm effective mass and other important factors which relate to performance. The Koetsu Urushi Black cartridge( I have 2) in both my rigs (refer to my entry 07-26-15 for details) DEFINITELY do not sound soft; superb solid, well defined bass, no muddle and excellent differentiation ;wide open midband, excellent depth perspective, beautifully clear detailed trebles,excellent tracking and very dynamic and yes the midrange magic. The Koetsu Urushi is a superb cartridge when properly set up in a well designed med mass or higher mass arm mounted on an appropriate turntable interface.