Re-tipped cartridges

What is the general consensus of a cartridge that has been re-tipped and rewound? I have read that some re-tipped carts are better than the original, depending on what materials were used.
Nearly no cartridge has top Parts which can't be improved. The question
here is, does your Re-tipper of choice use them?
On the other side, when you really like the sound of your cartridge and
you want exactly that again, only the manufacturer can do it.
A retip isn't a big problem, with a better diamond you normally get better
results than before, a complete re-built is something different. Only the
designer knows the specs from the rubber, the kind of voicing ... finally it
is your own decision.
I had a FR-Mk3F cartridge with the cheapest modification from
Soundsmith and it was really, really good. Later I sent it to a Master in
Japan with the order to do the maximum what can be done (he knows
these FR very well), expensive, but I needed days to believe what was
going in in the analog reproduction with that tiny little thing. A Killer
(and I don't use that description normally) cartridge now.
Another example to think about, Lyra Helikon for example, this is a very
good cartridge generally, when I remember right, J. Carr wrote some time
ago, when he ( or Lyra) gets back a Lyra cartridge and the owner has
some special ideas, they have an open ear for that. I never tried it, but JC
is in the Forum, so getting in touch isn't a big problem.
I think, every Manufacturer has his own Policy, at the end, everyone can
choose the way he prefers.
I wonder if Sound Smith can warm up a Lyra Clavis da Capo without losing its ability to dig out details, soundstage and imaging. Keep the refinement but warm it up...
A retip is actually the substitution of the existing cantilever/stylus combo with some other combo. The manufacturer produce them as a complete unit. They are than put in the tube behind the cantilever and glued.
This seems to be more easy to do then to glue the stylus
alone in the existing cantilever. In the aluminum cantilever the stylus can be 'pressure fitted' which means that the use of glue can be avoided and a better connection
between the cantilever and the stylus achieved. By the so called 'exotic cantilevers' (boron, ruby or sapphire,etc) the stylus can be only fitted with glue. As Syntax already pointed out the quality of the styli is very important.
That is to say not only the stylus shape but even more important the quality of the diamond and its manufacturing (polishing,etc.).
Raul has the most experience with retipping so I hope he will contribute to this thread.

As I understand it based on my experience with Soundsmith, a retip is the replacement of the stylus alone. When the cantilever is replaced (due to a damaged cantilever or to upgrade the sound), this is usually referred to as a rebuild.
Roscoeiii, based on your experience, what has been your experience? What cart did you send for repair? What option(s) did you select? What were the results?
I had Soundsmith rebuild a Dynavector XX-2 MkII that I bought with the cantilever broken off (seller was nice to sell it on the condition that Soundsmith confirmed that the cart was repairable). So no chance to A/B before and after. The rebuilt cart ($250 ruby cantilever with line contact stylus) was fabulous sounding. But it was my first high end cart and had nothing else comparable. Moved up from MMs like Shure M91ED with a JICO SAS (a great budget MM).
I have had 4 cartridges rebuilt by Soundsmith with new stylus. Each was as good as original, if not better.
I had a Phase Tech P-3 retipped by Soundsmith as i wanted to keep the sonics of the cartridge the same but replace a worn stylus. Retipping is just that and not replacement of the cantilever too as incorrectly stated above. The original stylus is removed and a new one bonded onto the existing cantilever.

There is no change at all in the characteristics of the cartridge from the original which is exactly what i wanted. When the retip wears out then i shall more than likely get the same thing done again.
It is difficult to fathom the degree of misinformation on fundamental things in this forum. Peter Lederman of SS will only keep the existing cantilever and bond a new stylus onto it at great additional expense, if he agrees to do it in the first place. The degree of labor and precision required to fit a new stylus onto the existing cantilever is exponential compared to taking a pre-fabbed (if you will) cantilever/stylus and mounting it, which is labor intensive enough The vast majority of retips done by Peter involve a replacement of the cantilever stylus with one of three combinations he offers. All one has to do is look at his website to see this. That said, one of my two Benz Gliders S Los that I sent to Peter to be re-tipped with his mid-level combo ($250) sounds better than it did brand new out of the box from Benz. Why that is, who knows. I have another Benz Glider that sounds fantastic and equal to the SS re-tipped one, and it is OEM out of the box. One can only presume that much of it has to do with sample to sample product variation.
I recently had my Benz LP retipped by SoundSmith, and I am very pleased with the job. Since the cartridge had not been used for several months before I sent it off, I can't say for sure that it sounds identical to the stock Benz, but I am not aware of any differences.

My Benz had Peter's "retip only" which costs more since it is more difficult to attach a new tip to the existing cantilever. However, that is what he recommended and I think the results speak for themselves. As far as I can tell, I have a brand new Benz LP that is fully equal to what I started with. Considering that Musical Surroundings says Benz is no longer offering their own factory rebuild program, SoundSmith is truly providing an essential service.
i had my lyra argo i done recently as a retip, it cost $450 compared to the $350 for the ruby cantilever, diamond tip. i wanted to hear what a lyra sounded like in my system. answer: pretty good.
I know someone who sent a Benz to be retipped. Retipper replied no wear, but diamond mounted askew ex factory. Retipper remounted the factory diamond - now sounds better than new.
Re the work involved - I cant see how it is easier to change cantilever and diamond vs the diamond only. I have seen the Garrott Bros at work - Brian could remove a diamond and replace it in about 15-20 seconds. There is no way you could do a complete cantilever/diamond in this time. The only caveat with replacing diamonds is the risk of fracturing boron/beryllium/ruby cantilevers.
The 'retip' in the past consisted in replacing the stylus only. The quality was dependant of the 'quality' of the master or his craftmanship. Since the manufacturers produce the cantilevers with styli already fitted the 'retip' become the substitution of the old cantilever/ stylus combo with the new one. This work is more easy to do and is consequently cheaper. The real question is this: how much glue is used in both alternatives? Or, to put this question otherwise, is the stylus better fitted by
the manufacturer or the cart repair service? Then the added question is which repair service can or will do this job and at what cost.
Dover's story imply that by the so called 'exotic' cantilevers the retipper need to use small diamonds and more glue in order to prevent 'fracturing' of the cantilever. But between this diamond and the cantilever there is glue and hardly direct contact between them.
As J. Carr explained in this thread the advantage of aluminum cantilever is exactly 'there'. The stylus can be pressure fitted without any glue.