Rebuild or new cartridge with my zeta tonearm

Hey all,

im refurbishing my Gyrodec with Zeta tonearm. I have a Sumiko Talisman Virtuoso B . It needs a new stylus and possible rebuild from Soundsmith. My question:

is it better to rebuild the Sumiko or get a new cart? What carts would you recommend within tonearm? 
Thanks in Advance
Hi Birdfan, The Talisman Virtuoso B is a high output MC cartridge which I think I can safely say the vast majority of us do not like. They tend to be peaky and certainly do not track as well because the effective mass of their moving system it too high. You are better of with a high quality moving magnet cartridge but with your arm you do not want a highly compliant cartridge. A Soundsmith Carmen in medium compliance would do nicely. Any of the Clearaudio MM cartridges would be fine.Any of the Grade Timbre series cartridges would also be fine. 
With any of these cartridges you will have better tracking and a significantly more dynamic sound.
Post effective mass of your tonearm first, a cartridge must be choose accordingly. Do not waste your time and money with rebuild, you can buy a better cartridge MC or MM, just tell us your budget first. If you;re willing to spend under $800 then you'd be better with MM or MI. If you want to spend more on LOMC then you can also find something better than your Sumiko.  
@chakster the mass of the Zeta is 16 grams I believe. 
@mijostyn thanks for your thoughts I’ll look into those options
I think I would like to stay under $500. That is about what it will cost to get the Sumiko overhauled..
Birdfan, 16 gms seems a little heavy for that arm but I would certainly stay away from cartridges with a compliance over 20 u/mN. If it is indeed 16 gm then you had better stick with the Clearaudio cartridges which are down around 15 u/mN. Most MM cartridges are over 20 u/m. Soundsmith has low compliance cartridges but they are all low output. I assume since you were using a high output moving coil cartridge that you do not have a high gain phono section.
I actually bought schiit’s entry level oh I.. which has all kinds of settings for a range of carts. I believe it will do LOMC. I guess I’ve never been sold on MC as they all seem so expensive.. but I do have preamp
If you were happy with the sound of your Sumiko go for the rebuild it should sound as good if not better than new.
I had my Sumiko BPS Evo 3 rebuilt and was very happy with the results
I very much doubt it will sound better than new.
It will definitely sound different.
It will definitely not sound the same.
It could sound good.
It could sound very good.

Even though I am not a huge fan of the Denon DL103, I believe it is reported to be a very good match to the Zeta arm which is built like a brick outhouse and weighs

So that is one option IF you wanted to try the lomc route.
I've just researched the heck out of MM, MI, MCHO, MCLO, SUT, MC pre-preamps.

Many think rebuilding is to save money, however you have many other important reasons to rebuild that Sumiko. If you do, find the best to do it, pay what you have to, continue to love it!

I found, the channel separation and tight channel balance of most cartridges, any type, only becomes greater/tighter in the darn expensive range.

Your Sumiko has both excellent separation 30db and tight balance 0.5db. That is excellent, so, I suggest you rebuild it, or, don't go down in specs if you move to a new cartridge.

As it happens, I just left my beloved Shure V15VxMR with new boron/SAS stylus from Jico, to my first MC using SUT into my equally beloved tube preamp MM phono. The MC I chose, AT33PTG/II has same 30 db separation and 0.5 balance specs as your Sumiko.
After a few weeks now, I am certain it makes a more solid center, and a wider image, it won, the Shure went upstairs for a new competition in my office.

Remember, there is no center signal/reproducer, it is a Phantom, created by EQUAL left and right. 

You also have the advantage of tracking 1.8g, my new AT wants 2.0 g; I prefer Shure's 1.25 tracking, however ...

If yours has enough volume now, then you skip the cost and extra device/cables/hum possibility of MCLO, 

My only concern on the existing Sumiko is that it may just be a tad light for the Zeta.
It was originally about $850 new, not sure if I would spend $500 to $600 on a rebuild.
It will likely not have the same boron cantilever on return.
Now it is entirely possible that the OP may really like the sound of the rebuilt cart but is an expensive gamble IMHO.
My only concern on the existing Sumiko is that it may just be a tad light for the Zeta.
It was originally about $850 new, not sure if I would spend $500 to $600 on a rebuild.
It will likely not have the same boron cantilever on return.
Now it is entirely possible that the OP may really like the sound of the rebuilt cart but is an expensive gamble IMHO.
tzh, the Delos is well over birdfan's budget. Birdfan, All of my cartridges save one are LOMC. I do believe, actually I know you would be better off with a MM cartridges than an inexpensive MC cartridge. The Clearaudio Performer V2 fits the bill perfectly. It is $450 and is a good match for your arm. It tracks at 80 uM which is excellent. It will be more dynamic than any LOMC in your price range. Warning, stay away from vintage MM cartridges. They are all way too compliant for your arm. The Grados and High output Soundsmiths are borderline. You could use a low output Soundsmith  but they are about your price range.
Sounds Good? Perhaps preferred by some, however, the specs of separation and balance of the Clearaudio Performer are not good, they must limit imaging compared to OP's Sumiko.
Sumiko, already rebuilt, new stylus, 30 day returns, very tight measurements

or, he can give you a price to retip yours

under his name, you can click on 'see other items', 
I'm going to agree with Chakster on this one. I would never buy one and I have never had a cartridge re tipped. There is always the desire to try something new.
Elliot if you read the specs on Ortofons they do not look particularly great but several of their cartridges are world class. I guarantee you that the transient response, tracking and dynamic impact are all superior to the Sumiko beside being within budget and meshing with his tonearm.
Because it was posted after my recommendation for a refurbished Decca, I get all my Deccas worked on by the London designer/builder himself, John Wright. So in this case, the refurbs are good as new.
Denon 301 or Sumiko BluePoint S model. I have both and they both are very fine, sweet-sounding cartridges. The Denon is a bit more laid-back
Considering the fact that Zeta belongs to heavy arms the right 
question would be ''which cart from Low compimance and low
otput kinds is preferable for this arm?  BTW excelent arm for
low compliance MC kinds with chakster argument added :
 low price. 
no retip? I understand hesitancy, but it is often done, that seller seems deep into it, and returns accepted, so I might risk it.

 just listened to this

It went from amazing to stunning with the AT33PTG/II
Hi Birdfan,

I wouldn't be too troubled concerning the combination of 16 gramms of arm-mass and the mass & compliance of the Sumiko Virtuoso, in the VE calculator a healthy 9 hz pops up. Well in the well-behaved area.
Your Sumiko is a mid-output MC, so, this so-called mistracking 'cos of excessive mass (tipwise), seems a tad too anxious.
I've run almost exclusively with HOMC's and they served me well when playing compressed recorded rock as with Killing Joke or well recorded 'all analogue' jazz as with Thelonious Monk. Mistracking has never been an issue. And some records have been with me for some 40 years (I started with a Denon 110) and , of course, show the occasional  wear & ticks/plops. But have not been worn-out!
As of late I have a Soundsmith re-cantied real life Dynavector 10x4 with a sapphire/line-contact cantilever/stylus. And music sounds good. Have a go with SS operating on that cart. I bet it will come back with a vigor. A bit different perhaps, but def. NOT worse. Don't treat listening to ersatz thrills as conserved music as a religion.

Kind Regards, StefV.

Answering question assume at least some knowledge.
Asking questions does not. But how can persons who newer
owned Zeta arm give advise about the question asked?