NOS Grace F9E question

A friend of mine gave me a Grace F9E to try on my 1200G.  He thinks it may be a good fit.  It appears to be brand new and never used.  It has a plastic protector that covers practically the entire cartridge.  I cannot get it off as it is on there very tight.  Is there any special way to get it of and not damage the cartridge?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
@lewm , everything is important when you send a cartridge to a re-tipper ( I mean the re-tipper task. ) and the suspension fine tunning and new suspension dampers makes a lot of differences for the better and I said it because the " refresh " in my cartridges was only that and always returned the cartridge as it was a " new " performer at least the experiences listen was it.

@knollbrent , very good move you will be happy about.


So, at the present moment, which Grace cartridge do you think is the very best one to own? If I am going after a rare Grace, I may as well pursue their best. Thanks.

in my opinion the very best (true winners and champions) are:
LEVEL II (LC-OFC) RB/MR (Boron Cantilever / Micro Ridge stylus)
F14 BE (LC-OFC) with Beryllium Cantilever / Line Contact stylus

None of my Grace cartridges have had any problems with suspension or any problem at all, there is nothing to fix and nothing to tune if you are buyin NOS sample. Those cartridges are very expensive from the start, made in the late 80’s and extremely rare today. Also i would prefer fully original condition and i don’t need anyone to touch it, those retippers go to hell with their prices. Sending a cartridge to re-tipper only make sense if it doesn’t work at all (or broken), but even in this situation i would wait for the original stylus to buy.

For those who are optimistic about Van den Hul service should check his prices first, installing a Boron Cantilever will cost 750 euro minimum (which is about $870) and you must apply via his distributor in your country. At the end It will be Boron Rod, but not the Boron Pipe which comes with the original Grace top models, beryllium is no longer available from anyone. Original cartridge is the best!  

@chakster — I’ve no doubt you have truly great cartridges, and if I heard them I’d agree enthusiastically and turn dark green with envy.
You softened your language, but you still give us "true winners", as if a mere "winner" is a "false winner".
Does denigrating my F9E make your F14BE sound better? Or you feel better?
Nothing wrong with your F-9e @bimasta, as i said it's a good cartridge, but in my opinion there could be only 3 winners like in sport (№1, №2, №3). Since the Grace stopped making cartridges more than 27 years ago we can recall the best models. 

Shinagawa Musen made so many cartridges under Grace brand that are clearly better than F9 series (and i already explained why). I hope you understand my point now. 

Someone could say "Ohh, Grace F8 is a winner" but it's not true, because after F8 they made F9, F12, F14, Asakura's and LEVEL II with many technical improvement for each new series. 

P.S. my favorite in F9 series was F-9F (Discrete-4)  

Raul, Neither you nor I can score points with Chakster.  But I am going to try to find one of his preferred Grace cartridges just to see for myself.  Have you heard either of those two that he likes so much?

Chak, Please read what Raul wrote about the possible benefits of re-tipping, if in the process one also upgrades the stylus shape or the cantilever material.  You have devalued elliptical styli per se, yourself.  So why wouldn't it be potentially beneficial to replace an elliptical with a line contact or some other more "modern" shape, in the process of re-tipping?