Sumiko Blackbird Cartridge


I have a Sumiko Blackbird cartridge that is not working. This happened after a routine stylus cleaning. The repair shop says it is dead. I am out quite a bit of money on this and want to know the best way to recoup any expense possible. Do I list it here as not working, usable for trade or retip? Any advise will be appreciated.
sthinnes
maybe send it to soundsmith - they may be able to fix it (that is if your repair shop is not a cartridge specialist). they can at least confirm it is unfixable.
Would you mind telling us what cleaning procedure caused the damage? I have the same cartridge too!
I recently had a catastrophic accident with mine (duh -- I dropped a record on the tonearm). I took it to a nearby Sumiko dealer, who arranged to have it sent in to them for repair. Instead they just replaced it, for hundreds less than the cost of a new one.
"The repair shop says it is dead."

What on earth does that mean? Snapped cantilever? Broken coils? Fungi growing inside?

Have it evaluated by someone who understands and can work on phono cartridges (like Sumiko themselves or Soundsmith, as mentioned above).

If you just list it for sale as "Dead - don't know exactly why", I think you can guess how many bids you'll get.
Soundsmith are a class act all the way. They not only make excellent cartridges, but they are very professional in the way they do business. I would not hesitate to send it them for evaluation.
Here's what happened. I always use a magnifying visor to do any detail work. I was looking at the stylus as I carefully
cleaned it and noticed what looked like a small hair clinging to the cartridge body. I used some tweezers to touch it and possibly remove it. Immediately, both channels went out. That's all it took! I did a forum search and read several similar accounts of others having the exact same kind of experience. It wasn't a "hair" or any other foreign body. It was a wire that appeared after a couple of year's use. So, whatever you do, if something appears that looks as if it needs to be removed, LEAVE IT ALONE!!! Other than cleaning the stylus, don't unnecessarily touch any other part of the cartridge. Also, you can't replace a stylus on a Blackbird so be very careful with that as well.
First of all, Sumiko does not do repairs on cartridges. Once the warranty is up, the best they can do is give a discount on a new one. My current cost would be $900.00 and return my old cartridge. I am not going to spend another dime on a cartridge that is so vulnerable with it's "open body" style. A retip with Soundsmith would cost over $300.00 and quite frankly, this cartridge is not worth further investment; and "What on Earth does that mean?" Well Doug, since you asked so nicely...
I didn't feel the need to go into great detail but here's what what happened. I always use a magnifying visor to do any detail work. I was looking at the stylus as I carefully
cleaned it and noticed what looked like a small hair clinging to the cartridge body. I used some tweezers to touch it and possibly remove it. Immediately, both channels went out on the cartridge. That's all it took. I did a forum search and read several similar accounts of others having the exact same kind of experience with a Blackbird. It wasn't a "hair" or any other foreign body. It was a wire that appeared after using the cartridge for a couple of years. Despite your opinion, I can be honest and list it as "not working" and still get something for it. It can possibly be retipped or used as trade for a discount on a new BB.
First of all, Sumiko does not do repairs on cartridges. Once the warranty is up, the best they can do is give a discount on a new one. My current cost would be $900.00 and return my old cartridge. I am not going to spend another dime on a cartridge that is so vulnerable with it's "open body" style. A retip with Soundsmith would cost over $300.00 and quite frankly, this cartridge is not worth further investment; and "What on Earth does that mean?" Well Doug, since you asked so nicely...
I didn't feel the need to go into great detail but here's what what happened. I always use a magnifying visor to do any detail work. I was looking at the stylus as I carefully
cleaned it and noticed what looked like a small hair clinging to the cartridge body. I used some tweezers to touch it and possibly remove it. Immediately, both channels went out on the cartridge. That's all it took. I did a forum search and read several similar accounts of others having the exact same kind of experience with a Blackbird. It wasn't a "hair" or any other foreign body. It was a wire that appeared after using the cartridge for a couple of years. Despite your opinion, I can be honest and list it as "not working" and still get something for it. It can possibly be retipped or used as trade for a discount on a new BB.
Sthinnes,

Thanks for clarifying and for the detailed warning to other Blackbird owners. You may have saved someone else the grief you're suffering. Of course it's disturbing that several owners have had a wire come loose. It seems there may be a design/build defect.

I don't think we have much difference of opinion about your chances of selling it. My suggestion was not that it wouldn't sell. It was that it probably couldn't sell (for much) unless you provided a bit more information.

You've done that. If your listing includes some of this info, potential buyers will feel more comfortable about what they're bidding on. You may get more interest... and I hope you do.

Sorry for your disaster. Most of us have been through it at one time or another. It's never fun.