Koetsu

mountainjoe

Industry Expert
Mar 25, 2015
86
0
6
Bay Area, California
eigenaudio.com
#81
Dear Joe,

Thank you very much for posting here!

Would you please give us an analysis of the sound of the RSP versus the Blue Lace?

How should one decide between these two cartridges?

Have you ever thrown a Coralstone into the mix?

Is the FR-66S your very favorite tonearm for Koetsu cartridges? What is your favourite current production tonearm for Koetsu cartridges?

Thank you!
Hi Ron - unfortunately my RSP has been out at Soundsmith for re-tipping as I accidentally broke off the tip when unmounting the cartridge. In fact, that was my excuse for acquiring the Blue Lace :eek:

And I’ve only had the FR66s a short time so never got the chance to try the RSP with this arm.

My 14 weeks is almost up so I can report back after I get the RSP back.

Cheers, Joe
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,052
29
48
Beverly Hills, CA
#82
Great! Thank you, Joe.
 

UEM

New Member
Dec 26, 2017
17
0
1
Horgen, Switzerland
#83
Dear KOETSU Connoisseurs,

Due to some fancy "Analogous Fate " I currently own two KOETSU Platinum cartridges : a Rosewood Signature Platinum, which plays exceedingly nice in my setup, and since a few days an ONYX Platinum.
While the RSP was a real “step-change" in all aspects of sound & presentation, I’m only partly happy with the ONYX: Mind you, it plays very nice , BUT it’s just not this "additional quantum leap” over the RSP that I expected…but it does have a somewhat tighter bass, but lacks this "KOETSU Magic" in the midrange and heights. Voices I prefer with the RSP.
Are my expectation simply too much – or this there a mismatch in my system ?

TT: Thorens TD 520 + SME 3012R; Air Tight SUT, Audio Note Tube phono-Pre
(Please note: the RSP sounds just marvelous – hence the mismatch would simply be: the ONYX won’t fit…)

Question One: Are the two "generators" identical in electrical +mechanical terms ? That is, do the two cartridges differ only in the body material - wood vs. stone ? My guess is YES, because the specs in the manual are the same. Despite searching at various KOETSU sites I did not find anything more specific.

Question Two : Currently I am running the RSP on a Thomas Schick Graphite Headshell - I like it very much; the ONYX does not play so convincingly on the "graphite"; I'm looking for an improvement.
I've got this funny feeling that "stone used twice" is not ideal; a mix of wood & stone may be better ?? :confused:

Which headshells do you guys use ? Who knows any good + proven - that means personally tested !! - alternatives ?
(I'm aware, in some forums the JELCO Rosewood (identical to the KOETSU model) and a TITAN headshell are highly praised for the ONYX)


Thanks for your reply &

Regards

Urs

PS: More infos are in my profile
 

jadis

Active Member
Apr 28, 2010
6,207
0
36
Manila, Philippines
#84
Dear KOETSU Connoisseurs,

Due to some fancy "Analogous Fate " I currently own two KOETSU Platinum cartridges : a Rosewood Signature Platinum, which plays exceedingly nice in my setup, and since a few days an ONYX Platinum.
While the RSP was a real “step-change" in all aspects of sound & presentation, I’m only partly happy with the ONYX: Mind you, it plays very nice , BUT it’s just not this "additional quantum leap” over the RSP that I expected…but it does have a somewhat tighter bass, but lacks this "KOETSU Magic" in the midrange and heights. Voices I prefer with the RSP.
Are my expectation simply too much – or this there a mismatch in my system ?
I personally would expect that kind of difference between the 2 platinum models. I feel that the 'wood' would have more of the classic Koetsu midrange magic (specially on voices that you mentioned) than the stones although the stones will have the frequency extension on both ends.
 

jadis

Active Member
Apr 28, 2010
6,207
0
36
Manila, Philippines
#85
Question One: Are the two "generators" identical in electrical +mechanical terms ? That is, do the two cartridges differ only in the body material - wood vs. stone ? My guess is YES, because the specs in the manual are the same. Despite searching at various KOETSU sites I did not find anything more specific.
As far as I know, they are the same inside.
 
Jul 7, 2017
51
0
6
#86
Man, not my experience at all. For me the Onyx gives up nothing in midrange to the Rosewood, and has better bass. Is this a new (or newly rebuilt) Onyx? It really needs 30-40 hours to settle in. I've gotten the same amazing Koetsu midrange from Onyx on both a Graham Phantom Supreme and Fidelity Research FR64fx (various headshells: FR aluminum, Ortofon urushi wood, old Koetsu wood/metal/??? hybrid). Maybe my RSP isn't the norm -- it's an early 2000s build.
 

UEM

New Member
Dec 26, 2017
17
0
1
Horgen, Switzerland
#87
Thank you guys

It looks indeed like finding the “right environment” for the ONYX, such as the most suitable headshell.
As I assume that the electrical parts are identical, my SUT etc. should be OK for the ONYX – they certainly are for the Rosewood !

I did read Shakti’s extensive testing with headshells, hence I’m working also along these lines.
I just found in my array of “HiFi goodies” - guess what ! ;) - This JELCO Rosewood HS that reportedly is similar to the KOETSU headshell; furthermore I’m working to get a “snip” of the Dereneville headshell mat. (BTW: Horrible price of 80.- Euros for 2 cm of very thin material – must be the most expensive HIFI gadget in Euro per kg..!! :()

Furthermore I found Infos of this “TechDAS Headshell TDHS-01TI”; since I could NOT find a price, I guess it’s equally prohibitively expensive…but to properly mount a “jewel” like an Onyx ?? :cool::cool:
(The Yamamoto HS seem to have only mounting holes, rather than slots)

Well, the “chase is on”..!!:D

Regards

Urs
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
8,850
44
48
London
#88
Man, not my experience at all. For me the Onyx gives up nothing in midrange to the Rosewood, and has better bass. Is this a new (or newly rebuilt) Onyx? It really needs 30-40 hours to settle in. I've gotten the same amazing Koetsu midrange from Onyx on both a Graham Phantom Supreme and Fidelity Research FR64fx (various headshells: FR aluminum, Ortofon urushi wood, old Koetsu wood/metal/??? hybrid). Maybe my RSP isn't the norm -- it's an early 2000s build.
Hi, what's the difference with koetsu on Graham vs FR?
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
8,850
44
48
London
#89
Thank you guys

It looks indeed like finding the “right environment” for the ONYX, such as the most suitable headshell.
As I assume that the electrical parts are identical, my SUT etc. should be OK for the ONYX – they certainly are for the Rosewood !

I did read Shakti’s extensive testing with headshells, hence I’m working also along these lines.
I just found in my array of “HiFi goodies” - guess what ! ;) - This JELCO Rosewood HS that reportedly is similar to the KOETSU headshell; furthermore I’m working to get a “snip” of the Dereneville headshell mat. (BTW: Horrible price of 80.- Euros for 2 cm of very thin material – must be the most expensive HIFI gadget in Euro per kg..!! :()

Furthermore I found Infos of this “TechDAS Headshell TDHS-01TI”; since I could NOT find a price, I guess it’s equally prohibitively expensive…but to properly mount a “jewel” like an Onyx ?? :cool::cool:
(The Yamamoto HS seem to have only mounting holes, rather than slots)

Well, the “chase is on”..!!:D

Regards

Urs
Shakti said the techdas headshell is around 2500 dollars
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,052
29
48
Beverly Hills, CA
#91

Uk Paul

Member Sponsor
Sep 27, 2012
281
0
16
UK
#92
Some really good info on here, thanks for taking the time to share gents..

Question to the Koetsu congniscenti, how do the sonics alter as you from Black (alu) through Urushi to Onyx stone etc? Considering the vast gap in price, do the bodies justify it?

Btw, here is a friend original long body Onyx built by Mr Sugano himself, probably early 1980's. It sounds really good to me, and preferable, again to me, over his Kondo IO, giving a better rendition of Elvis's voice, the Kondo to me wasnt quite as 'right'. Low hours have preserved the diamond which we checked when setting up the Melco recently. Headshell here is Sony carbon clad al. FR66-s. Beautiful combination!

nef7608.jpg
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
8,850
44
48
London
#93
At Shakti's we found the Black to be close or as good as his more expensive urushi, with onyx being better, and I read some other comments on urushi not being good value for money, but then I think in a more recent update Shakti did find one of the Urushi's sounding good... Think it was vermilion.
 
Jul 7, 2017
51
0
6
#94
I wish I could be more help on this. My FR is still on my (now under-utilized) SOTA Star and the Graham came on my CA Innovation (now Master Innovation); I don't have arm boards to mix/match and so no chance for a fair comparison yet. When I upgraded to the CA/Graham I got the same beautiful Koetsu sound I had been used to on the SOTA/FR, and the nuances amongst the various Koetsu models remained consistent across both platforms. The Koetsus have by now all migrated over to Graham arm wands, and I am loath to re-install/align more than necessary. I really enjoy the fine adjustability of the Graham. I really want to get a CA arm board for the FR, though -- with the cumulative upgrades to my analog rig (especially my CMS rack), I'd love to see what a Koetsu/FR can do there.

I tried my Jade on the CA Universal arm, and it was no good -- way too dead sounding. The Universal works great with a Shelter Harmony, which in turn was too lively sounding on the Graham!
 

Syntax

New Member
Feb 26, 2012
162
0
0
At The Dark Side
#95
The FR Arms with Koetsu stones deliver much more Headroom, a more stable Image, a better articulation of notes and a better musical flow compared to Graham. Overall, simply closer to the real thing ...
The stones are bad with Triplanar and awful with any carbon Armtubes btw....demanding units ...has to do with energy transfer
 
Jul 7, 2017
51
0
6
#96
The FR Arms with Koetsu stones deliver much more Headroom, a more stable Image, a better articulation of notes and a better musical flow compared to Graham. Overall, simply closer to the real thing ...
The stones are bad with Triplanar and awful with any carbon Armtubes btw....demanding units ...has to do with energy transfer
Hi Syntax,
Unfortunately I only have a 64fx, and not a 64S or 66S (which I know have the better reputation) - do you think I would still find advantage with the Koetsu/64fx over my Graham?
 

Syntax

New Member
Feb 26, 2012
162
0
0
At The Dark Side
#97
Yes, but pay attention to the headshell leads. Most are cheap, low quality wire/pins which degrade the subtle signal.
Go for silver wire (Aggelos or similar)
 
Last edited:
Jul 7, 2017
51
0
6
#98
Yes, but pay attention to the headshell leads. Most are cheap, low quality wire/pins which degrade the subtle signal.
Go for silver wire (Aggelos or similar)
Thanks!
Aggelos look nice. I use the Ortofon/Japan silver leads with my FR head shells. Unfortunately my 64fx does not have the silver internal wiring. But it looks like I need to order an FR64 arm board for my CA.
 

Uk Paul

Member Sponsor
Sep 27, 2012
281
0
16
UK
#99
At Shakti's we found the Black to be close or as good as his more expensive urushi, with onyx being better, and I read some other comments on urushi not being good value for money, but then I think in a more recent update Shakti did find one of the Urushi's sounding good... Think it was vermilion.
I remeber you liking the Black, it altered your Koetsu perception which is great as it is the entry level..
 

BruceD

VIP/Donor
Dec 13, 2013
897
0
16
Hi Syntax,
Unfortunately I only have a 64fx, and not a 64S or 66S (which I know have the better reputation) - do you think I would still find advantage with the Koetsu/64fx over my Graham?
I've had wood/stone bodied Koetsu's in various arms since the late 70's on-- I would definitely mount any K MC on any of the mentioned FR's (the 64s and 66ss being the pinnacle versions )

over the average sounding Grahams--they just don't deliver in my book.

YVMV

BruceD
 

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