Shakti's walk throughout the exciting Koetsu experience :-)

jackelsson

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Hi Swen, can you please write some notes on the pre amp compares?

Hi Ked,

Well, to be honest the preamp comparison has only been a side show for me, being completey overshadowed by the analogue gear. Let me put it this way: the Einstein was an older model and did very, very well for the money one has to pay for it on the second hand market. The Ayre KX-R didn't impress me at all and I'm still wondering what kind of setup would be needed to make this preamp a good match. And as for the BAT and the Thöress: well, I would see them on a similar level with slightly different strengths so this is not 'better' or 'worse' but instead a question of careful system matching and personal preference.

...on top I must admit that I have a very big soft spot for the looks of the Thöress and do not really like the industrial design of the BAT. So that alone would sort it out for me.
 

Ron Resnick

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. . . I liked the Koetsu Urushi Wajima and that I preferred it over the stone bodies was quite fascinating. . . .

Whoa, whoa, whoa . . . please tell us in detail about this conclusion. Do you think this is a relatively general conclusion for you or do you consider this view to be anomalous and confined to the facts of this particular audition system?

Where do you place the Rosewood Signature Platinum in this analysis?
 

shakti

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my Koetsu Urushi Wajima Gold is anvery good example and outperformed my other Urushi by a length. The Onyx Platinum stone body was in comparison playing a different charaktet, more defined and more structured, but with mess magic moments.

I know the difference between Onyx and Onyx Platinum and I can understand, that some people prefer the older non platinum magnet. So preferring the Wajima Gold is not only a commitment to a wood body with heavy urushi laquer ( the wajima gold is nearly 2,5g more than a sky blue) but also a commitment to the non platinum magnet.

For me personal, the Koetsu coralstone platinum is tonal between the Wajima gold and the Onyx platinum.

But the best output of the workshop was, that everybody of the nearly 40 visitors over the weekend found his favorite Koetsu.
We had votes for the Vermillion, for the Black Gold Line, at least every Koetsu of the comparison found someone who loved it.

Very much driven from the different music too. Therese Juel with Tiden Bar a Gar was a song, done for the wajima or the Coralstone, IGORRR was done for Black Goldline and Onyx Platinum and so on.

Finally it is not too bad, to have more than one Koetsu :)

juergen
 

jackelsson

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Hi Ron, I think Shakti hit the nail with his comments. The Koetsus are real personalities, and like with real personalities not everybody matches with everyone. Don't get me wrong, I definitely liked the Onyx and the Coralstone and they clearly added another little bit of resolution and realism to what the Wajima did. But there was simply something special that the Wajima did for me. Well, at least in Shaktis room and system. Here at home thinks might look differently again, who knows.
 

jackelsson

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Very much driven from the different music too. Therese Juel with Tiden Bar a Gar was a song, done for the wajima or the Coralstone, IGORRR was done for Black Goldline and Onyx Platinum and so on.
Well, didn't we actually even hear Igorrr with the Onyx...?

I must admit that this album was quite a discovery for me, especially at these live concert volume levels that were possible at Jürgen's. A bit challenging to listen to more than say two tracks in one go. Still, first thing I did when I came home was ordering the LP. Truely special... :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS7X5nuvjHo
 

shakti

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Igorrr is quite special, but they do rock the classic opera houses in Europe (mainly France), we heard Igorrr with the Onyx Platinum,
but I like the Black Gold Line a lot with Igorrr too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEuMAqfuCrI
 

spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Sorry to go OT.
But what are these Zingali horns like?
 

jackelsson

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I found the Zingalis surprisingly good. I‘m not usually a horn fan. I‘ve heard quite a few horn based systems over the years and while I can definitely appreciate their strong points there was regularly something missing for me. Especially in terms of imaging and soundstaging, two points that are very important for me, even the most expensive hors couldn‘t match what a really good normal loudspeaker can do. And that‘s now where the Zingalis were a pleasant surprise. A good cone speaker might still be better (hard to say by hearing a speaker in an unknown system) but on top of their usual horn merits the Zingali managed to draw a surprisingly good three-dimensional image in Shakti‘s rather large listening room. Having said that, even if these were the best loudspeakers in the world their rather challenging looks would never make me think about buying them.
 

shakti

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Since my last deep dive to Koetsu 4 years are gone and a lot of changes to my gear has happened,
so I decided to spend some more hours with their carts.

I already have a latest generation Koetsu Black in use, as a kind of day to day cart, doing many hours, even,
while I am doing stuff @home office.

Someone told me, that Koetsu had recently some minor changes on the corpus design of their Rosewood carts,
also the Urushi color schemes in use for Wajima and Tsugaru seems to go to the next iteration.

The choice of stone body designs is becoming smaller, Coralstone, white Jade and Rhodonite is not longer available for different reasons.

Platinum versions and the Diamond cantilever is now available for every type of Koetsu above the black, so still a wide choice of carts.

Regarding the diamond cantilever I am a little bit puzzled. Using a Koetsu means for me,
that I want to hear the Koetsu way to view into the music, to understand the musicians their way....

The Koetsu diamond cantilever, at least the one time I had the chance to listen to one, is moving the cart away from the pure Koetsu way to a more universal cartridge. I am at the moment not sure, if I want to go that direction. I have a lot of other carts, if I want to listen to a more universal sound, I can use one of them (like the Ortofon Anna for example).
So for the time being I decided to stay with the classic Koetsu Boron cantilever.

As my personal 2022 scheme, I will give some different Koetsu carts of the current production a try,
some are already ordered, some are on my wish list.

Looking forward to make 2022 to become my next Koetsu year :)
 

Ron Resnick

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That's interesting about Coralstone. For some reason I thought Coralstone was a pretty popular one, kind of balancing Blue Lace versus Jade (or something like that).

Why was Coralstone discontinued?
 

shakti

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Why was Coralstone discontinued?
there was no raw Coralstone available any longer, the sale of this material is now banned to safe the nature
 
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Ron Resnick

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Regarding the diamond cantilever I am a little bit puzzled. Using a Koetsu means for me,
that I want to hear the Koetsu way to view into the music, to understand the musicians their way....

The Koetsu diamond cantilever, at least the one time I had the chance to listen to one, is moving the cart away from the pure Koetsu way to a more universal cartridge. I am at the moment not sure, if I want to go that direction. I have a lot of other carts, if I want to listen to a more universal sound, I can use one of them (like the Ortofon Anna for example)
So for the time being I decided to stay with the classic Koetsu Boron cantilever.

This makes total sense to me. I would do the same thing (staying with boron cantilever).*

This is consistent with my general feeling about diamond cantilevers, even though I did not have enough personal data points to prove it to Kedar's satisfaction.

*PS: But I have to say it would be very interesting to compare a stone body boron cantilever cartridge to a Rosewood Signature Platinum diamond cartridge! Maybe this would be the best of both worlds, combining the warmth and resonance of the wood body with the transparency and speed of the diamond cantilever?
 
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mulveling

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Jul 7, 2017
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@shakti
No more Rhodenite?? :(

Very interesting on the Platinum & Diamond upgrades now available for Rosewood and Urushi models. I still haven't heard an Urushi or Black, but given my time with various stones & RSP, the magnet change of Samarium Cobalt vs. Platinum will have a much bigger sonic impact than body materials.

As for Diamond cantilever - I have become uncertain of that myself. I got my Blue Lace new with the Diamond Cantilever installed, and it's always been my favorite Koetsu. Just so dynamic and lively, and more detailed, without seemingly sacrificing any of the midrange beauty or musicality of traditional Koetsu sound. I haven't heard a Blue Lace boron. I did have my Coralstone boron later upgraded to a Diamond. That Coralstone has been my most "hot or cold" Koetsu - even going back to the time of its original boron cantilever. Right now it is more "cold". It came back rebuilt with the Diamond cantilever sounding a tad bit TOO warm and smooth. The opposite of the effect I expected. Maybe I just need to burn it in more, or readjust VTA - I've been playing the crap out of the Blue Lace, and don't feel like optimizing the FR64S for anything else - but the Blue Lace Diamond also sounded stunning right from hour #1. If I had to guess, perhaps there is some leeway for suspension tightening/adjustment in the Koetsu factory, and there is simply unit to unit variation that happens. So anyways - do I like the Blue Lace Diamond so much because it is Blue Lace? Or because it is Diamond? Or just because it happened to be a "stellar" motor off the line? I really don't know yet. Anyways, yes - I am starting to feel like perhaps boron is the better value anyways. I think I liked my Coralstone better with boron :(

The more "standard" RSP and Onyx Platinum have had a very even-handed sound. Very smooth, creamy and refined, while managing to keep from being TOO overly warm and smooth. Lovely long-session, all-genre cartridges. However the Blue Lace certainly serves a bit more excitement.

The non-Platinum Onyx I have is an oddball. Alnico? Samarium Cobalt? I don't really know. Its output level "seems" like ~ 0.5mV, with the rest of the motor rebuilt to be same as any modern Onyx Platinum. So whatever magnets are in there are strong. It is by far the most dynamic and lively sounding of the Koetsus. More than the Blue Lace Diamond. Not bright, just ridiculously dynamic and punchy. To the point of being starting, or even fatiguing at times. But it can be exhilarating too. This one is not fully burned in yet either, and if I ever try to optimize my system around it, I think there is potential. It makes me think perhaps the Samarium Cobalt magnets sound like this, and that the Urushi lacquered wood bodies are intended to slightly tame its signature?
 
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shakti

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now I am listening to the current

Koetsu Rosewood Standard

version, using a Jelco Rosewood headshell (OEM to Koetsu) and a Ikeda IT 407cr tonearm
(Phonopre is Phasemation EA-1200)

The wood looks darker than previous, like wetted with a fluid.

Sound is more superior, compared to the Koetsu Black, which was used before on this position.

As Koetsu is part of my audiophile life since decades, I listened today to a very old audiophile record,
the famous "Antiphone Blues"


The Rosewood Standard gives the church of the recording a larger and more realistic size,
lower registers of the organ are more realistic as well.

At least, the emotional aspect of the record becomes more easy to understand, to feel with.

In Germany the price point of the two carts is not too far away from each other,
and by now, the Rosewood standard is more close to my understanding of the Koetsu sound signature.

IMG_7518.jpg IMG_7522.jpg
 

mulveling

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Lovely! For some time, pictures of the Rosewood Standard and Signature (non-Platinum) models showed a raw Rosewood finish. That new Rosewood has a finish, but not as smooth and heavily lacquered as the RSP. Still beautiful nonetheless. I'm really curious about the samarium cobalt wood & urushi models, and whether they might provide an advantage in any musical genre, or for some particular systems (other than higher output), versus the stones & RSP? No complaint about the stones, just curious - the magnet has to have a very large influence on sound.
 

shakti

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recently found, interesting read:


 
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terry9

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Ron: Maybe this would be the best of both worlds, combining the warmth and resonance of the wood body with the transparency and speed of the diamond cantilever?

That was my thinking exactly. The D/C KRSP is a delight - a touch more gold than silver, which pairs well with my ESL's and DIY SS electronics. But I can't help wondering about a stone body ...

Interestingly, a Panzerholz wand makes a significant improvement too - reasonable rigidity and great damping.
 
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shakti

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How is the new Tiger Eye Platinum sounding @shakti ?
Sorry, I have some delay in comparing the most of the new stuff, cannot start soon, as TechDAS is a little late with their tonearmbases. But a Koetsu stonebody, new in the box, will age some month with no problem
 
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