Retip for zyx

I have an airy3 that is about 5 years old. Zyx does not have a retip, you get a new cartridge for a discount. Has anyone had a zyx retipped and how did you make out?
9a60a5ef 3aa5 4cc9 9a46 9fa2541ff75ctruemaineiac
If you do get a retip on it, it will not any more be an Airy3
you can get it retipped both in US (soundsmith) as in Europe(van den Hul, Goldring) to name a few.

changing only the diamond tip will not change that much the initial character as changing the entire cantilever/ tip assembly, especially if you pick a similar profile.

but if you get a good discount on a new one it would be a better option
Agree with Stringreen. The ZYX stylus is unique and not available from anyone else that I know of. If you use a different stylus the basic character of the sound will change. You may like the change or not, but FWIW it will no longer be a ZYX.
But on the other side of things, retips are FAR less expensive. You are still getting the advantages of the coils, cantilever and other aspects of the design. Is it strictly an Airy 3? Are you saving a lot of money by getting it retipped? Yes. Personally, I'd try the retip before trading in for a discount. And I'd love it if you recorded a before and after file of this cart. That way you and others could hear the impact of the new retip. It is not entirely clear how much the retip will change the sound, and this would be a great way to determine this.
I understand that it will not be exactly a ZYX but I am curious if others have tried a soundsmith or other re-tip and what they experienced.
If I crashed my Porsche, I would only have Porsche fix it.
Except in this case Porsche will not fix it. . .he has to buy a new Porsche.
Also keep in mind that, if you use a retipper rather an ZYX, the dimensions of the stylus block as well as how the stylus block is affixed to the cantilever will differ, along with the shape and dimensions of the stylus sections that contact the LP groove.

In the ZYX cantilevers and stylii (made by Namiki), the end of the cantilever rod is planed down to an acute angle (less than 30 degrees), creating a flat surface which is what the stylus block is bonded to. The stylus block can be both small and short, and therefore of very low mass.

In the Ogura-made cantilevers and stylii, a longitudinal, vertical slot is cut through the end of the cantilever rod, and the stylus block is inserted into that slot and bonded in place. In recent years, some manufacturers have added a thin metal plate to the slot to reinforce the bond. In this type of design, the stylus block is longer than the Namikis (since it has to reach through the cantilever), but the stylus block width is generally a small fraction of the cantilever diameter (less than 1/2), so the stylus block mass can be of fairly low mass.

In many recent cantilevers and stylii of European origin, the end of the cantilever rod is chopped off at a right angle, leaving a flat round surface to which the stylus is bonded. In these designs, the stylus block is long (since it has to reach through the cantilever), and it is also as wide as the cantilever rod, so the mass of the stylus will be higher than with either the Namiki or Ogura designs.

To retip a cartridge that was originally equipped with a stylus made by one manufacturer with one made by a different manufacturer is like rebuilding a Porsche engine with Jaguar pistons and crankshaft - the components used for rebuilding may be of high quality, but the design philosophy is rather different from the original.

Still, as one poster wrote above, changing only the stylus will alter the sound less than if the cantilever material is changed. When a cartridge is designed, the designer will consider the moving mass (sum of the stylus, cantilever and coils), the resonant character of the cantilever, and the (sonic) propagation velocity of the cantilever (affected by the cantilever's mass and rigidity), then choose the suspension and dampers accordingly. If you change the cantilever material, you are effectively throwing the original designer's calculations away.

There is much more (far more than what I have written above) to rebuilding a cartridge than affixing a new stylus or altering the cantilever. In over 30 years of involvement in the phono cartridge industry, I have not seen one retipper who has presented the entire story, who has effectively said "Here are the all of the considerations. Here are the cons as well as the pros. Make a wise choice that is best for you".

BTW, when ZYX replaces the Airy 3, there is a reasonable chance that they will incorporate any improvements and refinements which they have learned over the past 5 years. You may want to inquire about that.

kind regards
To retip a cartridge that was originally equipped with a stylus made by one manufacturer with one made by a different manufacturer is like rebuilding a Porsche engine with Jaguar pistons and crankshaft - the components used for rebuilding may be of high quality, but the design philosophy is rather different from the original.

Yes, that's the way it is.
But the example is from a Porsche Engine, how about a Porsche price Tag for a Ford Engine? Most audiophiles go for something they like (obviously, no one buys something he hates...but this is also worth an own discussion), so we can also think about tuning a Ford Engine with Porsche Parts... at the end of the day an original Zyx is an original Zyx (same for Lyra, Benz and all others) next is, most audiophiles want something different after some years, so they buy a different Model or they get something different with a retip. And it is normal, that someone likes the "new" better because he spent more money for it. In the audiophile world is no technical standard for "better". The reality shows us every day that you will find for every unit a super technical description, abilities and so on but it still sounds bad or is not worth the price. But even here it is based on the buyer's Preference. It is an individual decision. I would go for original when I KNOW the cartridge can do something others can't but I also heard retipped cartridges which are better than before.
As far as I know the so called 'retips' consists of the whole cantilever/stylus combo deliverd by Namiki, Ogura or Gyger to the retippers as well as to the producers. The original cantilever is removed from the aluminum tube behind the cantilever and the new combo is glued in the tube instead. The real retip by which only the stylus is glued in the original cantilever is rather an exception than a rule. Axel Schurholz in Germany (cart repair service)is a friend of my and that is how I know this. Besides the stylus only substitution is more expensive because more difficult to do. There are no myths by the cart retips except when one likes to believe in them.

Hi Nandric: Namiki, Ogura or Gyger can and will build completed cantilever assemblies. But regarding the designs of the cantilever assemblies that can be delivered, although these can be straight out of the catalogs (in which case retippers can buy the same item as the cartridge builder), there is a good chance that the designs may be unique, in which case no cartridge builder nor retipper is able to obtain the item other than the original designer.

In the case of a Titan, for example, I design the stylus shape and specify the block dimensions and angles, I make the drawings for how the stylus should be affixed to the cantilever (including the adhesive specifications), and I make the drawings for every other bit of the cantilever assembly, too. I supply various components and raw materials to Ogura (cantilever itself, coil former, suspension wire etc.), and have Ogura build the cantilever assembly using my materials and my drawings.

Since neither the design nor many of the subcomponents and materials are Ogura's, Ogura cannot deliver this cantilever assembly (nor the individual bits and pieces) to anyone other than us.

>There are no myths by the cart retips except when one likes to believe in them.

And yet I see no retipper pointing out that the included angle of the stylus affects the life expectancy, that ruby or sapphire has close to double the mass of boron, or other such considerations. We used to build cartridges with ceramic whisker-reinforced duraluminum cantilevers (with much closer mass compared to boron than sapphire's mass is to boron), and when we changed our cartridges over to boron cantilevers, we redesigned the entire damper and suspension system - materials, shapes, number of dampers, everything.

In my experience, to take an aluminum or boron-cantilevered cartridge and change the cantilever to sapphire or ruby is heavy-handed in the extreme (grin).

kind regards
Dear Carr, The skills involved are more a question of experience and 'mastership' then of,say, 'the rocket science'.
Van den Hul,Peter Ledermann, Allaerts , Lukatschek and Axel Schurholz are all involved in this 'art' for more than 30 years. I do believe that they all know what is ivolved by a retip as well how to execute them.

Kind regards,
Dear Jcarr: ++++ " Since neither the design nor many of the subcomponents and materials are Ogura's, Ogura cannot deliver this cantilever assembly (nor the individual bits and pieces) to anyone other than us. " ++++

there are persons that or don't read what you posted or just can't understand it.

I fully agree with you on why preserve a Lyra mor VDH: a Lyra or VDH, especially with the top of the line cartridges.

I can agree to re-tip by re-tippers other than the cartridge manufacturer only with lower/lesser models in the cartridge line.

I don't know where the Airy3 is but seems to me that could be a cartridge for a re-tipper if the re-tip price is way lower that a change it for the Universe. I'm only saying because I'm not aware on the ZYX cartridge lines and how are positioned in between and in the other side perhaps the Truemaineiac audio system can't honor the Universe quality performance level.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R, the basic economic options are $3K for new ZYX Airy3, so trade-in is $2100 (retail x 70%), $300 re-tip ZYX see how it plays, or discount on universe from $5K or so. It would seem worth the risk to spend $300 to see how the re-tip might sound recognizing the aforementioned inconsistencies that will be introduced. I think my system is up for the universe but maybe not the wallet right now. One other idea is to get the ZYX re-tipped and then get something else (Koetsu?) for the sake of variety.
Dear Truemaineiac: Koetsu is way different and maybe for the kind of music you like could not match very well, there are several options like Lyra or Van Den Hul: both great performers. Other alternative is Transfiguration Phoenix.

Yes, 300.00 for the re-tip is very tempt.

Regards and enjoy the music,
@roscoeiii ,I too am interested in hearing from people that have farmed out the rebuild or retip from an outside source and their impressions of the results. To get started I will list my take on the few I have done. All of these have been Soundsmith 2nd or 3rd level saphire/ruby rebuilds. She!ter 501, level 2, sounded slightly better than stock, Koetsu Goldline Black, level 2, sounded lot better than stock, Lyra Helkon, level 2, WOW, Shelter 901, level 3, another WOW, Dynavector DRT XV1s, level 3, this was a lateral move at best, when I do the DRT XV1s that I run now in another arm wand I will still use Soundsmith but use a retip instead. Am just waiting on my ZYX Universe to show distress and will be sending it to Soundsmith for a retip which I will consult with the owner. Will report back here after done and broken in.
Soundsmith did a great job on my Transfiguration Spirit.  I recall that when I replaced the Spirit with an Orpheus, I remembered a big step up in sound quality.  When I installed the Spirit after it came back, I was expecting a big downgrade, but it wasn't.  Sounded absolutely fine, even compared to the Orpehus.  Could be that the Spirit was worn when I upgraded, so an improvement is easily heard, or just that Soundsmith actually improved the sound of the original.  I don't know and I don't really care why.  I just know I'm happy with the cartridge and I paid $500, not $5000, so it's cool.  Enjoy. 
@chayro, yea the $ spent versus the quality of sound that you receive from the retip/rebuild is so wide that I would never be able to afford replacing the carts that I have now, just need to be informed if possible on the right way to go, as in my DRT XV1s it was still the second best cart I had owned at the time with the rebuid and that was compared to itself in stock form. I hope to have as much success with the Universe, it is such a special cart.