Ortofon 309 arm: original vs made in Japan?

Do they perform the same?
One of my friends has Thorens TD124 with an original Ortofon 309 arm (dynamic balancing). According to him, the one made in Japan is much inferior. I did not ask why, but I wonder whether he is biased.
Any opinion?
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While I do not have the "original" one I do have the one thats made for Ortofon by Jelco and it is a very fine tonearm - made in Japan - normally means very well made and this one is no exception.


I would never buy the latest one.
why not buy the latest and greatest?