Re-tip Ortofon Cadenza Bronze

I got a good deal on a new Ortofon Cadenza Bronze cart., ($1500), and went for it. It sounded great! But now I’m thinking about the time when I’ll have to get it re-tipped. Ortofon wants $950. I’m not rich, especially lately, so this would be pretty painful.

I used to get my last cart re-tipped by Soundsmith, and they always did a lovely job. They’re also significantly cheaper. What I’m wondering is, whether I can, or should, send a cart like this to Soundsmith? Have any of you ever sent a “higher end” cart to Soundsmith for re-tipping? What was your experience? 


Apparently, Soundsmith can do actual re-tipping, (as opposed to a rebuild), using the same cantilever. Surely that would be the way to go?


There are multiple re tipping companies who consistently get great reviews here so I don't think you'll have a problem with any of them. Good luck.

You should also consider turnaround time for 3rd party retipping versus Ortofon’s rebuild. And I believe SS’s retip-only service is more expensive because of the care required to preserve original cantilever - so the price difference may not be as much as you think! Ortofon’s rebuild service, at ~40% MSRP for basically a new cartridge (save for some wear on the body), is an excellent deal IMO. It’s a big advantage of the upper Ortofon MC lines. And that would be my preference, personally. Certainly, that tapered aluminum cantilever is very key to the Cadenza Bronze’s warm, musical sound - so definitely keep it!

I would be wary of a re-tip on the tapered Al cantilever. The mount Ortofon does is very clean. Are you certain a 3rd party re-tip won't come back with an extra blob of glue (i.e. higher tip mass)?

Fortunately since your Bronze is near new, you shouldn’t have to worry about this for a while. Just enjoy, and maybe start a swear jar for the eventual retip/rebuild?

Sound Smith only re-tips boron cantilevers, so it would have to be a rebuild no matter what. Still, at $650, it would’ve been $300 cheaper than Ortofon.

I could get the boron cantilever from Sound Smith for $450. That’s $500 I’d save over Ortofon, which would be a huge help. I might even prefer a faster, more compliant, stylus. The Cadenza Black has a boron cantilever. 

Are there any reasons to think this would be a bad idea? $950 is just a lot of money for me right now. I was out of work with an injury for some months.