Matching Koetsu Stone Body Platinum Cartridge


I'm considering upgrading from my Lyra Delos to a Koetsu Jade or Onyx Platinum. I really like a silky smooth sound, but listen to a lot of rock and want solid bass.

From what I've been able to read, it sounds like the Koetsu stone body carts would be a great fit. I may even spring for the diamond upgrade given the (mostly) great things I've read.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to audition this cart, so I'm relying primarily on reputation and what I've read. Not ideal, but I'm ok with the risk. I just wanna make sure these carts are a good match for the rest of my rig.

Here's what I'm running:

Brinkmann Oasis with Graham Phantom Supreme II
Shindo Vosne Romanee pre-amp
A23 SUT
Shindo Lafon gm70 monoblocks
Shindo 604 Altec speakers

Obviously I'm most concerned with matching the table, arm, cart and SUT. Any insight on whether this would be a bad, good, great or stupendous match?

A few more questions...

Is the diamond upgrade is worth the extra cost?

What are the sonic differences, if any, between the jade and onyx differences?

Finally, what is a realistic turnaround time these days from order to delivery for someone in the US?
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The Onyx and Jade Platinums sound very, very similar. So much so, that I think the minor differences I hear in my system are just as likely due to unit-to-unit variations that the actual stone material (e.g. some Koetsu cantilevers are angled to ride lower than others). The Jade is slightly airier and the Onyx is slightly warmer and smoother, for what it's worth -- but again, this is only a slight flavor difference, as these 2 carts sound VERY much alike. My preference between the 2 has changed, and continues to change over time.

I used to run these on a Fidelity Research FR64fx, and these carts match equally well (that is to say, very well) with my Supreme II.

I've used them with a Lundal SUT, Cinemag 1131 SUT, and active JFET gain (Sonic Frontiers Phono 1) -- the Koetsus match excellently with any of these (50-100 ohms load if active gain).

If you really dig the look of the Jade then go for it -- but it is a "special order" stone, whereas Onyx is supposedly stocked. I have no experience with the diamond cantilever.
Thanks @Mulveling. On my way to hear an Onyx now. I really wish there was an opportunity to hear it in my system. It's a high priced cart to kinda have to buy on faith. :)
Why not go all the way :-)

Koetsu Blue Lace

Good listening

Peter
@Peter - Nice, but I'm hesitant to buy any cartridge used. I wonder if Koetsu would still service a used cart. I suspect so, but would I just have to go thru the distributor?
Get the Jade and drop the diamond cantilever option. I know a dealer who has tried a coralstone with diamond and found it a bit too sizzily/sibilant on top. I use both a coralstone and Tiger Eye with boron cantilevers. These carts are a great match for Graham arms and music from rock to classical. The bass is solid.
I would ask either syntax or mike lavigne - both have used most of the best cartridges out there and give very fair advice.
I have personally used the Azule and Tiger Eye, along with the Rosewood Signature Platinum. My favorite is the Azule. Having also listened to several of the rosewood signature platinum cartriges, I find each one to sound slightly different. So I wonder if the difference I hear between the Azule and Tiger Eye is just a difference in variation of the cartridge, rather than the stone itself. I find that they all sound their best with a step up ratio of 1:20.
@Bobsdevices - I'm running the A23 103 SUT. I haven't been able to track down any technical info on this. I'm sure my dealer will respond, but curious if you know if this SUT would give me the 1:20 ratio?
The Denon 103 version of the A23, I Believe, uses HAUFE T-7883 transformers which have a 1:10 step up ratio. http://www.haufe-uebertrager.de/Daten/Datenblaetter/Datenblatt%20T7883%20013120.pdf
I have a platinum rosewood with the DC. I had to buy it on spec too - and I heard a terrible bad review from a knowledgeable Koetsu expert. Even so, I went for it, because I reasoned that getting rid of one more interface (sylus / cantilever) just had to be a good thing.

Just how good is it? Rave review. Last week my wife came home from choir practice and joined me for music. She said that she could hardly tell the difference between live and recorded (and 5 minutes apart). Can you imagine a better review from someone with good ears and musical training?
Might be late but here are my comments on the Azule Platinum.

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue77/koetsu_azule.htm
Any insight on whether this would be a bad, good, great or stupendous match?

I think, it is a bad match.