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  • Soundsmith Retipping - Any experience?

    I have an Airtight PC1 that needs re-tipping. Considering using Sound-smith re-tipping service. Anyone have any experience with them on this, good, bad, or indifferent?


    thx
    Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

  • #2
    Hey Allen

    I've used SoundSmith and they do a good job , I have tended to follow Peter's recommendations on stylus / diamond suggestions. You might also want to investigate getting Airtight/MSL to factory re-tip. No matter how good a job SoundSmith does , the value drops like a stone on a 3rd-party retip.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thx, Shodhan. I know a re-tip by AT would be the way to go, but was hoping to avoid the long and expensive round trip to/from Japan. I guess I should just to be safe.
      Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

      Comment


      • Rob
        Rob commented
        Editing a comment
        I recently used Andy at the needleclinic to retip a Koetsu Rosewood. he overhauled it with a new boron cantilever/line contact styli. It sounds as good as new, its new owner is just a delighted.

      • Analog21
        Analog21 commented
        Editing a comment
        Rob, if you don't mind me asking, what did needle clinic charge for the overhaul of your Koetsu? Good to know there are good options out there if and when my cartridge breaks down.

    • #4
      Had my Lyra DC retipped by Soundsmith several years ago. No issues so far. Sounds pretty good. Relatively inexpensive compared to factory retips. Turn-around can be an issue but I hear it's better now.
      Turntable: - 1. Fairchild 750/OMA slate plinth
      2. Analog Engineering AE-2008 MinusK support.
      Tonearm: 1. Schroder Custom
      2. Schick 12"
      3. Abis SA-1
      Cartridge: Miyajima Kansui and Premium BE Mono
      PhonoPre: AprilSound LR, EMIA Strain Gauge, EMIA silver SUT
      CD: Wadia 860x
      Server: Innuos Zen Mini Mk3
      DAC: Computer Audio Design 1543 Mk2
      Preamp: Bent Audio TAP-X w silver autoformers
      Amplifier: AprilSound SET50 monoblocks
      Speaker: Pioneer PAX-30C

      Comment


      • allenh
        allenh commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, Beaur!

    • #5
      I read somewhere that when you get a retip, they actually replace the cantilever too with something different from the original which might affect the sound. Is this true?
      Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mono) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

      Comment


      • #6
        Originally posted by JCOConnell View Post
        I read somewhere that when you get a retip, they actually replace the cantilever too with something different from the original which might affect the sound. Is this true?
        It's easier for them to replace both than just do the tip. That said, if not needed it's best to just do the tip.
        allenh, I've had 2 cartridges done by SS with great results both times. I had just the tip done on both of them. The price is right and the turnaround time was in the time frame they gave me both times (8 weeks) Both were done quicker than Dynavector and Benz quoted me for rebuilds.
        SOURCE: VINYL - EAT C-Sharp with, EAT LPS power supply, My Sonic Lab Signature Gold
        DIGITAL - Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC. Roon Nucleus w/EAT Lps power supply. Auralic Aires G1
        PHONOSTAGE: AudioNet PAM G2 with AudioNet EPX power supply.
        PREAMP: Audionet PRE G2.
        AMPLIFIER: Audionet MAX monoblocks.
        SPEAKERS: YG Acoustics Anat III Signatures (upgraded to Sonja 1.2) JL Audio F112 V2 (x2)
        CABLES: Kubala-Sosna, Kubala Sosna Xpander.....Audio Desk Systeme RCM, Adona Rack, GIK & Acoustimac room treatment, Isoacoustics

        Comment


        • #7
          Now, it all depends on what the issue is - if the suspension is fine and the retip is because of hours and usage , it's likely that a retip will suffice. If on the other hand , a cartridge has had an "accident" (Say it ain't so !!), then the entire suspension might need a look-see/repair. If you intend to keep the cartridge forever or don't care about resale value, by all means , I can recommend Peter highly . Best is to send it in to him for evaluation and recommended course of action. One proviso - for certain carts and particular kinds of rebuilds, Peter is quite upfront about saying there's a small chance a tricky rebuild could destroy the cart. If this was a factory rebuild , you don't care...it's their responsibility to replace the cart. With SoundSmith, it's toast.

          Comment


          • #8
            Shodhan, thanks for your commentary again. It was an accident where the cantilever is no longer straight relative to the body. Some internal damage could have happened as well. Best to flip back to AT and get it done right.


            But thanks for all of the other recommendations. Good to know there are some recommended alternatives.
            Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

            Comment


            • #9
              This is what sucks about phono cartridges, they are so delicate and fragile, especially the good ones.
              Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mono) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

              Comment


              • #10
                and expensive. I mean, people bitch about a 4k dollar RCM, but a top tier cartridge- double that, or so. And limited life. But, how glorious the good ones are. I have an old Airtight that is still fine, but I think it ran its useful life, so I would consider having it redone at some point, maybe as a mono? Not too high on my priority list right now, though. I know Peter, he's a good guy, but can't comment on the results or the turnaround (I gather he had some issues that took him away from the work, but is now back pedal to metal). He is almost up the road from me in NY.

                Comment


                • #11
                  I wish Peter would finish his cartridge alignment device!!! It's been promised for what two years now?!?!
                  Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                  Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                  ________________________________________

                  -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                  -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                  -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                  -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 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 Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                  -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                  -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
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                  Comment


                  • Rob
                    Rob commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I think he's got too much on his plate, Peter is also manufacturing a new arm for Frank Schroder.

                  • MylesBAstor
                    MylesBAstor commented
                    Editing a comment
                    So I heard.

                    JTinn was supposedly working on something similar. Jonathan?

                  • Beaur
                    Beaur commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I spoke to him in Munich. He's still working on it!
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