Ouch. As the dealer did their job well, mentioning them by name would add legitimacy to the compliant.
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There seems to be a disturbing incidence of Kiseki issue reports over the last few years. Not a LOT in absolute number to be sure (countered by the fact these must be very low volume sales numbers), but seemingly more than the other major cartridge brands have faced. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a complaint about Hana quality control. Glad you've gotten to a happy place, OP!
Every product, brand, can have their moments.
I went thru 2 Kiseki Blue. 1st one stylus came off cantilever. 2nd which covered the 1st- right channel goes futzy JUST after the one year warranty.
I Had that one looked at by a legit third party retipper, who concluded it left the factory with issue. S.O.L.
What am I using now? A 3rd Kiseki Blue! Both acquired way south of MSRP, thankfully.
Nice sounding cart otherwise. Not worth the MSRP, though. Plenty of fine sounding carts for less.
It's sort of ironic to consider that Kiseki was originally set up by the Dutch importer of Koetsu in the late 70's in response to Sugano's erratic product supply and apparent lack of quality control.
This is not the first time I hear about such complaints with their current product, so the resurrected Kiseki brand now seems to suffer from the kind of issues Koetsu has resolved years ago.
Glad you were able to resolve your issues with the Kiseki cartridge. I owned a Purple Heart for a year and while it seemed to have no obvious fault it was painfully bright and steely - not at all aligned with the reviews. No amount of tinkering with VTA/alignment/Antiskate could resolve it. Have just ditched it for a Grado Aeon which works wonderfully on my SME V. Rich tone, with outstanding detail and dynamics.
I know they were mentioned but the service from your dealer, HI FI sound in Minneapolis, MN, was beyond exception. Without them, this would have been a rant post. Congrats to them. I hope you continue to use and purchase from them. I am far from Minneapolis but wish I had such a relationship in my area that I could foster.
eBay as reference. One can read philosophical disputes ''on
referring'' but what we all expect is that a name should name
someone. When I noticed ''to many Van den Hul's'' on , say,
second hand market in combination with the fact that Mr.
Van den Hul spend much time in Ukraine where he sells his
cables I pronounced my own ''Heureka'' : Van den Hul's are not
(all) Van den Hul's. Aka: ''the misleiding reference''. The same
was the case with ''repair service '' by Soundsmith in the sense
of ''who deed the repair'' but I was nearly killed by Peter lovers
for such ''insulting assumption''. The ''inventor'' of Kiseki Van den
Dungen deed not only invented ''Kiseki name'' but also the
person who made Kiseki cartrdiges and even polished the
style with human hair. His name was Mr. Fukadu. An curious
name without an bearer because nobody know who this Mr.
was. TILL TODAY. Even more curious is the fact that ''THOSE
Kiseki's made in the 80 is sound much better than the new one.
Should we then conclude with ,uh, Shakespeare ''what is in
a name''? Well there are Ikedas, Takedas, Allaerts and some
''one man persons'' with the right reference. It is not the name
of the cartridge that counts but the name of the the real person
who made it.
“Bad batch of Purplehearts”. Don’t you mean bad batch of Blackhearts?
Either way, I’ve read about quality control issues re: Kiseki and sympathize with buyers who’ve experienced defective cartridges. I’ve had mine for 5 years or so and have had nothing but good luck. My only issue with long body cartridges like the Kiseki and Koetsu products is they are intolerant of warped records. Shorter carts like the Ortofons are better designed to handle warps. My Purpleheart sounds fabulous. Sounds like your dealer was a great advocate for you, which is how it should be.
My understanding is that the Purplehearts that are now on sale are a batch of cartridges made long ago that have been "discovered." I don't know if the same is true with Blackhearts. I know someone who bought a Purpleheart that was bad right out of the box; the suspension on it had failed, probably from aging in the box.
I had a Kiseki Purpleheart. Three of them actually. The first two had bent (out of parallel cantilevers). Then I used it for about two years and I was happy with the sound except that I had to lower the back end quite a bit to get the sonic balance to my liking. Then I found out about Soundsmith and the more I learned, the more I was impressed. I have a Sussurro MK 2 ES, which bests the Kiseki in tracking and finesse. Now, I would never even consider another MC cartridge. Plus, Soundsmith’s are cheap to retip. I hope to own the Hyperion some day.
Quality control relates to possible defects. But sound quality
relates to the ''master'' who make the cartridge. Van den
Dungen obviously deed not find the ''right master'' as (alias)
Mr. Fukadu who made all ''old Kisekie's'' which were in high
esteem. This explains so many new Kisekie's offered second
hand. Try to find ''old'' Black heart , Gold spot or ''stone kinds''
as Agaat and Lapis Lazuli. Those who own them are not
willing to part from them.
I firend of mine has the original Kiseki Blue Silver Spot and the original Kiseki Agate Ruby - both of these were superb cartridges - the energy of the Koetsu range but very precise in their sound.
Of the current Kiseki range I have only heard the Purple Heart Sapphire and it had less detail and transparency than an aging Ortofon Rohmann on the same TT/system. It was vague and lifeless, nothing even remoteluy comparable to the originals.
Needless to say the owners current VDH Colibri and Kuzma CAR50 are in another universe. Given the price of the new Kisekis they seem extremely poor value in my view.
First post - I have a vdh Crimson and broke the cantilever and sent back to AJ for repair last week. I didn’t want to go too long without a good cart to I bought a Hana Red. Wow - it sounds very (!) similar to the Crimson which is to say it sounds phenomenal- even with only 12 hours or so on it. That said, I’m a bit of a newbie and probably don’t have the discerning ear many of you have.
It will be a tough decision which cart to run full time. I’ll probably buy another matching tonearm and just swap them out from time to time.
Dear dover, You of course know that M. Levinson discovered
Takeda san. I am not sure about ''Krell'' in the sense of ''before''
or ''later''. However Krell mentioned Takeda on the back side
of his metal box while Levinson pretended that those were his
own. My guess because Van den Dungen and Kondo san were
good friends is that this misterious ''Fukuda'' may be advised
to Van Dungen by Kondo san. Van den Dungen was not familiar
with Japan but shared ''obsession '' with tubes with Kondo san.
This explains their friendship as well the fact that Kondo san
designed 3 SUT's for Kiseki. BTW this ''secret'' may result in
''bargain Kondo '' if one can find ''the silver Kiseki SUT''.
I own the whole Blue series with Gold spot as latest design.
In addition the (stone) Agaat and Black heart. The latest
Kiseki meant as ''poor man Lapis Lazuli''. I like Agaat the