Ortophon spu-gt, which rebuild ?

I have a Ortophon SPU-GT, which came to me with no information.

It appears to have a bent stylus, but still plays nicely on some disposable vinyl.

Strangely, it appears to have a s-shaped bend, almost like it was made that way.

I have heard good things about the Sound-Smith rebuilds, but don't know which level to chose.

Are there other options I should consider?

Yes, Ortofon will rebuild the cartridge.
Or you might try this gent:


a viable alternative.
I see now that it is Ortofon, now that it is too late to change it. How embarrassing.

What I am not sure of is which level rebuild to go for, ruby cantilever or aluminum, which profile diamond, that sort of thing.

Also I see now that it is the elliptical version.

Should I go for stock or an upgrade ?

What are you looking to achieve? A close replacation of original performance? Increased detail retrival at the expense of a bit more tension? Maximal detail retrival? Smoother freqency response?

All of the options are good ones, but it begs the question of what you want for your system.
Viridian, thank you for your interest.

I must tell you that I was surprised that this very early cartridge is still considered a high end contender, just because of its age, not from any personal experience.

I want to use it at its potential, not particularly interested in historical accuracy, but don't want to destroy a classic either.

I listen almost exclusively to classical, only occasionally to Rock or Jazz. Not all my records are in perfect condition.

I currently use Shure M97xe, Denon 103R. Technics 1200 TT.

As my record collection has grown, I have been considering a serious up grade in vinyl playback, but this cartridge just fell into my lap.

It is not usable in its current state, so I am all ears.


If you use a Technics 1200 stock arm, it would not be able to balance the heavy 30+ gram mass of SPU-GT on the end of it nor would it be a good match even if use a heavy custom counter weight IMO. If you do upgrade your vinyl setup and plans to use the SPU, Schick, Ortofon 309 and Fidelity Research FR-64S are all good arms for SPU.

As for rebuild, Expert Stylus & Co in UK can rebuild SPU but there is a long wait.
I see what you mean Jaspert, the Technics with the supplied aux. weight can balance up to a 13gm cartridge, and the head shell is 6gm, for a max. of 19gr vs the 32 for the SPU.

I will rephrase my question :

The various Sound Smith re-tips run $150, $350 & $450, for example.

Assuming a suitable tonearm, does it make sense to spend that much on a repair, or spend the money on a new cartridge ?

Repair, certainly repair.

My hardware store has a metal ring with a set-screw that works perfectly as an auxilliary counterweight. It comes in various sizes, have a look at your local store.
Thanks Viridian, do you have an opinion on what level of repair would bring out the best in the SPU ?

At Sound smith it seems like the choices are: aluminum cantilever, ruby cantilever and ruby cantilever with special diamond tip.

Jaspert, How does one get in touch with Expert Stylus & Co in UK ? The don't seem to have a web address or even e-mail. I could send an Owl, if I had one, I suppose.

I like the look of the Schick arm, haven't seen anything so minimal since the original AR.

What about the SME arms ?

I confess I am a bit at sea here, but this was not a planed acquisition. I bought out a estate's record collection, and at the very end, they told me to just take anything or every thing.

V, making a counter weight is not a problem, I have my own lathe.

Hi Ken,

Here is their email for contact.

The reason that they make three different levels of cantilever/stylii at Soundsmith is that different people want different things. I would get the elliptical/aluminum, because first it is closest to the original setup and second, a little less detail can be a good thing with less than pristine records. But my needs are, no doubt, different than yours.

I would have a look at the level 2 as well. Sometimes the more radical stylus cuts will ride at a place in the groove, that has less damage, and can actually sound more quiet.

How about this answer, since you are dealing with a bespoke repair, why not consult with Peter Ledermann, since he will be doing the work, and take his guidance on the most appropriate rebuild for your needs?

BTW, why can't I find these estate sales with SPU cartridges and piles of Western Electric tube gear?