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  • Worldwide List of Phono Cartridge Retippers and Rebuilders

    This is a follow-up to Bill's post seen here: https://www.audionirvana.org/forum/t...der-cartridges

    View it as a running list, feel free to add to it. there are a few guys in Russia (Roman & Dimitri) and another guy in Hungary that are not on the list because they have no web presence, don't advertise their services, etc. When I get the green light i'll post their contact info here.


    Expert Stylus Repair (Wyndham Hodgson) are UK based and offer complete rebuilds. Contrary to what ive read the lead times aren't too lengthy, I don't think I've waited more than 45-60 days from mailing my cart to the UK and having it back in the US of A. These are the guys to send your Linn Troika to, classic Supex (Koetsu) and literally anything other cart retippers/rebuilders wont touch. No web presence, email only: nfo@expertstylus.co.uk


    Northwest Analogue are UK based and offer extensive rebuild services including rewinding coils, etc. I have not used them but heard one of their rebuilt Koetsus and it was excellent, the craftsmanship looked top-notch too.
    https://www.northwestanalogue.com/cartridge-repairs.html


    Andy Kim aka The Needle Clinic. Andy has repaired a Koetsu Rosewood (missing cantilever) and Linn Karma for me. Turnaround was quick and the price fair, both carts went on to new owners and are still running strong.
    http://www.phonocartridgeretipping.com/index.html


    Holistic is in the Netherlands and has a great rep, I don't have direct experience but another collector-friend I know has two carts done by them and loves the result.
    http://holisticaudio.nl/services.html


    Peter Ledermann, best known and recommended retipper in the US. Peter is a fountain of knowledge on all things audio, id love to someday visit his lab and soak it all in.
    https://www.sound-smith.com/services/cartridge-rebuilding-retipping


    Steve Leung of VAS NOVA fame. see Bill Harts other post and review at The Vinyl Press
    https://vasnyinc.com/repair-service/


    Garrott Bros. are Australian based and also mfr MC carts. They're well known for modifying DECCA carts back in the day. I owned one of their modded carts but not used their rebuild/retip service
    https://garrottbrothers.com/repairs-retipping
    Ken Kessler on Garrott: https://www.kenkessler.com/hi-fi/gar...cca-cartridge/


    AJ Van den Hul - his reputation precedes him, one of the best retippers. ive owned a retiped Koetsu, VdH and Benz carts that AJ did and they all performed as expected.
    https://www.vandenhul.com/product/cartridge-repair-modification-re-tipping-available-services/


    Goldring is UK based and a well known mfr of MC and MM carts. They also repair/retip other makes.
    https://www.goldring.co.uk/goldring-cartridge-repair-refurbishment


    Ana Mighty is based in France and offer repair and retipping services.
    http://anamightysound.com/cat/cartridge-retipping/


    Len Gregory aka The Cartridgeman is in the UK, they have their own bespoke line of carts and offer retipping rservies.
    http://www.thecartridgeman.com/


    John Wright aka J. Wright Audio Services, UK based DECCA cartridge guru. Perhaps the first place to look to rebuild your DECCA
    http://www.london-cartridges.co.uk/


    Roberto Torlai is in Italy and a cartridge builder as well as re-builder, I never used him but his reputation is well established.
    http://www.torlai.it/

    AudioSilente this co was brought to my attention, also based in Italy.
    http://www.audiosilente.com/riparazi...a-testine.html

    JFS Tonabnehmer German based retipper, known for B&O carts but they work on all brands.
    https://www.tonabnehmerservice.de
    Axel Schürholz (now retired) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57sDQ7eiS00

    West-tech are a US based rebuilders of vintage American carts.
    http://www.west-techservices.com/p1.htm

    Jilco and Namiki are among a few suppliers of styli and cartridge components in Japan and aren't retippers per se, however I have a cart that was purportedly retipped by Namiki. Japanese cos. tend to be mercurial and not easy to establish a relationship with. even my ex who was fluent in Japanese got the brush off when she made inquiries on my behalf.
    https://www.jico-stylus.com/
    https://www.ad-na.com/en/product/jew...ct/record.html
    Last edited by Rob; 02-11-2019, 01:29 PM. Reason: updates
    Linn Kilmax LP12 | Audio Research Ref Phono 2 SE | innous ZENMini | Kii Three

  • #2
    Originally posted by Rob View Post
    This is a follow-up to Bill's post seen here: https://www.audionirvana.org/forum/t...der-cartridges

    View it as a running list, feel free to add to it. there are a few guys in Russia (Roman & Dimitri) and another guy in Hungary that are not on the list because they have no web presence, don't advertise their services, etc. When I get the green light i'll post their contact info here.


    Expert Sylus Repair are UK based and offer complete rebuilds. Contrary to what ive read the lead times aren't too lengthy, I don't think I've waited more than 45-60 days from mailing my cart to the UK and having it back in the US of A. These are the guys to send your Linn Troika, classic Supex (Koetsu) and literally anything other cart retippers/rebuilders wont touch. No web presence, email only: nfo@expertstylus.co.uk


    Northwest Analogue are UK based and offer extensive rebuild services including rewinding coils, etc. I have not used them but heard one of their rebuilt Koetsus and it was excellent, the craftsmanship looked top-notch too.
    https://www.northwestanalogue.com/cartridge-repairs.html


    Andy Kim aka The Needle Clinic. Andy has repaired a Koetsu Rosewood (missing cantilever) and Linn Karma for me. Turnaround was quick and the price fair, both carts went on to new owners and are still running strong.
    http://www.phonocartridgeretipping.com/index.html


    Holistic is in the Netherlands and has a great rep, I don't have direct experience but another collector-friend I know has two carts done by them and loves the result.
    http://holisticaudio.nl/services.html


    Peter Ledermann, most well known and recommended retipper in the US. Peter is a fountain of knowledge on all things audio, id love to someday visit his lab and soak it all in.
    https://www.sound-smith.com/services/cartridge-rebuilding-retipping


    Steve Leung of VAS NOVA fame. see Bill Harts other post and review at The Vinyl Press
    https://vasnyinc.com/repair-service/


    Garrott Bros. are Australian based and also mfr MC carts. They're well know for modifying DECCA carts back in the day. I owned one of their modded carts but not used their rebuild/retip service
    https://garrottbrothers.com/repairs-retipping
    Ken Kessler on Garrott: https://www.kenkessler.com/hi-fi/gar...cca-cartridge/


    AJ Van den Hul - his reputation precedes him, one of the best retippers. ive owned a retiped Koetsu, VdH and Benz carts that AJ did and they all performed as expected.
    https://www.vandenhul.com/product/cartridge-repair-modification-re-tipping-available-services/


    Goldring is UK based and a well known mfr of MC and MM carts. They also repair/retip other makes.
    https://www.goldring.co.uk/goldring-cartridge-repair-refurbishment


    Ana Mighty is based in France and offer repair and retipping services.
    http://anamightysound.com/cat/cartridge-retipping/


    Len Gregory aka The Cartrdigeman is in the UK, they have their own bespoke line of carts and offer retipping rservies.
    http://www.thecartridgeman.com/


    John Wright aka J. Wright Audio Services, UK based DECCA cartridge guru. Perhaps the first place to look to rebuild your DECCA
    http://www.london-cartridges.co.uk/


    Roberto Torlai is in Italy and a cartridge builder as well as re-builder, I never used him but his reputation is well established.
    http://www.torlai.it/


    JFS Tonabnehmer German based retipper, known for B&O carts but they work on all brands.
    https://www.tonabnehmerservice.de

    West-tech are a US based rebuilders of vintage American carts.
    http://www.west-techservices.com/p1.htm

    Jilco and Namiki are among a few suppliers of styli and cartridge components in Japan and aren't retippers per se, however I have a cart that was purportedly retipped by Namiki. Japanese cos. tend to be mercurial and not easy to establish a relationship with. even my ex who was fluent in Japanese got the brush off when she made inquiries on my behalf.
    https://www.jico-stylus.com/
    https://www.ad-na.com/en/product/jew...ct/record.html
    Awesome!!- thank you for assembling this Rob.

    Comment


    • #3
      Very nice. Some that I was not aware of at all. This will be very helpful to many.

      Thank you Rob.

      Front end: Aesthetix Io Eclipse with 2 Power Supplies and Volume controls
      Brinkmann La Grange & RonT Tube Power supply with Kuzma 4-point ,FR64S, Brinkmann 12.1 , .Koetsu Jade Platinum,Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, Lyra Atlas, Lyra Etna SL Goldfinger Statement, KLAUDIO RCM, HRSM3X
      Amps: Wyetech Topaz, Futterman H3 Quad II,Citation II, Marantz 8b, 5 ,2
      Pre-Amps:Marantz 7, Marantz Model 1 Consolette Pair
      Speakers: Quad ESL 57, Beveridge Model 3 DD amps, REL S/2 x 2
      Otari 5050BXII, DeHavilland 222

      Comment


      • #4
        Excellent contribution, Rob!

        I'm sure many members (and readers) of AudioNirvana will find use from this post you have supplied.

        Dre
        **************************************************
        Every day is a good day to play analog.
        - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
        - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
        **************************************************
        Every day is a good day for live music.
        **************************************************

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Rob View Post
          there are a few guys in Russia (Roman & Dimitri)
          If you are referring to Roman Lebedev @ Sensitive Sound I am his distributor in N.A. I've not experienced his repair work as I've been focused on introducing his (excellent) line of new carts; but I can ask him about repairs. His website used to list this as a service; now it mentions mainly his own line....
          www.sensitivesound.com
          Regards,

          Erik
          http://solypsa.com
          North American distributor for:
          Sensitive Sound MC Cartridges
          STST Turntables + Tonearms


          Available for in home setup and calibration of fine turntable systems

          Comment


          • solypsa
            solypsa commented
            Editing a comment
            Ok. I'll ask him anyway after the weekend...

          • solypsa
            solypsa commented
            Editing a comment
            Roman says he is indeed busy with repairs in addition to building his new cartridges. He also repairs SME 30xx tonearm. He mentioned a visit from Viktor- have him post about it!

          • Rob
            Rob commented
            Editing a comment
            My Viktor lives in California but is originally from Siberia. I know he goes back and forth to Europe all the time. Ill see if he wants to join but he's a pot stirrer He's been unceremoniously trashed on forums for claiming he has 600 pieces in his collection (cartridges) he does, ive seen them with my own eyes.

        • #6
          I have used Northwest Analogue in the past. It took a long time to get the 2 cartridges back but it was well worth the wait. Top-notch quality.

          Comment


          • #7

            One of the most saddest stories in the Audio Industry is of Brian and John Garrott and their wives.

            The following excert from an Australian news paper on the internet sums it up


            Hi-fi Legends Lived For Love
            Sydney Morning Herald
            Sunday May 12, 1991

            THIS house runs on love,” said a sign on one of the walls. It certainly did.

            Love of the work that was being done there. Love of music. And family love: deep, passionate, fiercely held and proudly proclaimed.

            The world of the Garrott brothers, hi-fi heroes extraordinaire, which came to an abrupt and tragic end the other day, exhibited it all in a way that could be unsettling to the casual visitor.

            Handwritten notes, apparently scrawled and pinned up daily, plastered the walls of the houses that John and Brian Garrott shared with their Filipina wives, Teresita and Normita.

            “Darling, I love you,” read one in the hallway. “I love you, too,” answered another in the kitchen. There were more in the workrooms.

            And while Brian Garrott quietly set up microscopes and John Garrott began passionately explaining their work, Teresita, in hotpants and singlet, would drape herself across her husband’s shoulders, embracing him with a fierceness that belied her tiny size.

            “Darling, show Mr Frith what a real diamond tip looks like,” she would whisper in his ear.

            “Darling, I will,” John would say, gently disentangling himself.

            Though they were little known in their own country, the brothers Garrott were respected round the globe as the undoubted top experts on diamond styli: the fragile tips that ride through the grooves of LP records.

            Audiophiles from all over the world sent their phono cartridges to the Garrotts to be upgraded. Working with stereo microscopes and precision tools, they painstakingly removed the diamond tip and replaced it with one of their own specifications.

            “We’re not technicians here, we’re micro-surgeons,” John Garrott told the rare visitors to their house. “We’re doing hundreds of transplants a year.”

            At a cost of up to $400, they guaranteed they could make any cartridge, no matter what the cost, sound better.

            If you didn’t agree it sounded better after Garrott microsurgery, the brothers offered your money back.

            Part of the secret was in the diamond itself. Seen under the microscope set up by the passionate Teresita, the diamond tips of even the most expensive cartridges showed up as lumpy dull grey products with pitted moonscape surfaces.

            A Garrott diamond by contrast was everything you ever expected a diamond to be. Sharply cut and faceted by precision lasers in Japan and Germany to the Garrott Brothers’ specifications, its mirror-polished surfaces reflected light with dazzling brilliance. No wonder they sounded so good.

            Patiently Brian Garrott – the quiet one – would align the new diamond and fine tune each cartridge. The tiny cantilevers on which the diamonds were mounted would be replaced, rewired and realigned: micro-surgery indeed for minute items.

            The close-knit brothers knew they were the best in the world at what they did, and they could be arrogant about it.

            They never advertised; they were disdainful, contemptuous even, about marketing. Clients had to find them, which could be difficult indeed as they moved from Tasmania to Avalon, to Little Hartley in the Blue Mountains, and finally to the South Coast.

            But somehow the word spread. Every day little packages arrived from all over the world – the US, Japan, Britain, Germany, South America, Yugoslavia -as audiophiles entrusted their phono cartridges to the mail and the Garrotts’loving care.

            The brothers had begun fiddling with cartridges as a hobby while working in Britain in the mid-1960s and found to their astonishment their products out-performed some of the best-known equipment in the world.

            They returned to Australia in the early 1970s (“It’s still the best place to live despite the national disease of lack of confidence in Australian products,” said John) and in 1974 began their diamond replacement service.

            Later they also developed their own cartridge, the Garrott P77, which sold for about $200, but outperformed many imports costing more than $1,000.

            They always lived together and worked together at the same home – an arrangement that continued after they met and married Teresita and Normita.

            The marriage came relatively late in life, but it was a genuine love match, in doubles. The notes on the wall were evidence of that.

            Diamonds, they say, are forever. But human life and health and happiness are built of more fragile stuff. Sometime last year the music began to wind down for the Garrott family.

            By February this year John Garrott knew he was dying of a heart condition and unable to work. The business closed. They returned parcels unopened.

            For a while Brian thought of continuing to work alone, but then rejected this; everyone had always done everything together or not all.

            About two weeks ago they reached the final decision. Soon afterward, at the lonely farmhouse near Bega where they had finished up, one of the four connected a hose to the exhaust of the family car. One of them turned the switch.

            And that was that: terminal silence in the house that ran on love.

            All four died as they had lived: together. You can only guess at the anguish and torment that must have surrounded the wives’ decision to accompany their husbands in this final tragic journey.

            At first Brian and John would have tried to argue them out of it. But the women were fiery little ladies, intensely loyal and deep in their convictions. They would have been insistent.


            The company is still in business as I believe a “holding company” Audio Dynamics P/L bought the rights and stock Years ago. They still do retipping and have their own line of cartridges.
            SME 10, twin arms, SME IV with Lyra Kleos, SME 309 with Benz Micro Ace Mono.
            Garrard 401 with Ortofon 12" arm and Ortofon SPU Classic GM MkII
            Amp, Luxman 507u
            Speakers, Harbeth SHL5Plus

            Comment


            • EdAInWestOC
              EdAInWestOC commented
              Editing a comment
              That is heart breaking. I know that's the way they wanted to go but it is always hard to lose good people. It seems like we always lose the good ones and the a-holes stay around. I know that isn't true, but it feels that way.

              Thank you for that story.

          • #8
            Fantastic resource Rob! John Wright is the manufacturer of London Decca carts - hes a really nice guy. One day looking forward to rrying a Jubilee or a Refernce from John.

            cheers

            Andy

            Comment


            • #9
              Rob, thanks for all that info.

              A question for the group. Is the reason you have used a retipper mostly economic - cheaper than the manufacturer, or do they do a better job that the manufacturer, or are they faster, or any other reason?

              Frankly, when I moved into the world of high end (at the time) moving coil cartridges, I didn't think much (or at all) about the retipping issue. I would keep a cartridge and upgrade before the cartridge needed retipping. Then when I needed retipping of my Lyra Skala, I found out how much Lyra charged for the retipping! I talked to my dealer and he sold me a new Skala for the price of the retipping, taking the old one in trade. Only later did I learn of Peter Lederman and Soundsmith.

              Thanks, Larry
              Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0 BottleheadPhonoPre,Herron VTPH-2A
              Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
              Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
              Electronics-Herron 360Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
              Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
              Other-512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, ArtKelmGround1, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
              Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

              Comment


              • #10
                Originally posted by astrotoy View Post
                Rob, thanks for all that info.

                A question for the group. Is the reason you have used a retipper mostly economic - cheaper than the manufacturer, or do they do a better job that the manufacturer, or are they faster, or any other reason?

                Frankly, when I moved into the world of high end (at the time) moving coil cartridges, I didn't think much (or at all) about the retipping issue. I would keep a cartridge and upgrade before the cartridge needed retipping. Then when I needed retipping of my Lyra Skala, I found out how much Lyra charged for the retipping! I talked to my dealer and he sold me a new Skala for the price of the retipping, taking the old one in trade. Only later did I learn of Peter Lederman and Soundsmith.

                Thanks, Larry
                you're presupposing that most re-tips are of current models, what if its a beloved and long OOP cartridge that no mfr will touch? Unbeknownst to many there's a collector market for cartridges where enthusiasts keep and maintain various models that are decades in age.

                To answer your question, it could be economic. A 3rd party retip is almost always a fraction of the cost of a factory exchange. many retippers will realign the suspension, repair dampers etc. and restore it to specification. This is not for everyone i realize theres a segment of the hobby that looses sleep over whether their 3rd party retip is up to snuff, etc. In my experience, those expectations were met (mostly exceeded) and im fussy about these sorts of things.
                Linn Kilmax LP12 | Audio Research Ref Phono 2 SE | innous ZENMini | Kii Three

                Comment


                • #11
                  Thanks Rob for going to the trouble and time of assembling this list. A great resource for people!

                  I will make the thread a sticky so the topic is easily found.
                  Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                  Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                  ________________________________________

                  -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                  -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
                  -Merrill Audio Elemente 116 monoblock amplifiers
                  -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
                  -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                  -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                  -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                  -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                  -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                  -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
                  -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                  Comment


                  • EdAInWestOC
                    EdAInWestOC commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I agree...that is great work Rob. It is a great reference to have on hand. Many thanks.

                • #12
                  Great post. Very helpful.

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Good resource. It might be interesting to hear what people have to say about the differences they heard when they went to someone other than the manufacturer to get the retip done, since materials and stylus profiles differ. Soundsmith for example.
                    Brian Walsh
                    ttsetup.com

                    Comment

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