A Story about a Defective Signature Platinum

Last week I was listening to music at a healthy volume while sitting at my computer. I have an auto lifter (Little Fwend) and after the arm lifted I noticed a static noise with occasional popping coming out of the left channel about 40 dB down. At first I thought it was a bad tube but it disappeared when I turned the volume down. It is in front of the Preamp. None of the other sources had the noise. Swapping tonearm cables did not seem to change the sound but then I noticed that the sound was also in the right channel just farther down. Disconnecting the tonearm stopped the noise. I change over to an MC Diamond, no noise. Same with the Atlas, no noise. Swapped back to the MSL, noise is back.

The cartridge is exactly one year old but it rotates with two other cartridges and might have 75 hours on it. I called the dealer who told me to contact MoFi distribution, the US agent for MSL. Turns out the cartridge only has a 90 day warranty and I was told I would have to send it in for a rebuild for $6000! Can't they just fix the problem for maybe $500, No. Can't I just send it in for evaluation?  The stylus and cantilever are brand new. No, a rebuild is the only option and you have to do that through the dealer, click!  Most very expensive cartridges have a 2 year warranty on them not to mention that most companies would cover such a defect even off warranty as in the absence of physical damage it is obviously a manufacturing defect, a bad solder joint or maybe just two wires rubbing together. This is very disappointing and as far as customer service goes Home Depot is better than MoFi, Sears is better than MoFi! MoFI is right up there with Anthem Blue Cross! The service rep could have offered to look into it. Maybe communicate with MSL and get their opinion. I am sure if MSL knew about it they would gladly fix it and actually be embarrassed. The Japanese are like that. There is no way I can find to get directly in touch with MSL.   

$6000 is not an option. I am not going to throw good money after bad. I am also not going to off a defective cartridge on someone else. I am going to take the cartridge apart and reflow the solder joints and make sure the wires are separated. If that doesn't fix it, it goes in the trash.

Mistakes and defects happen, it is what you do about them that counts. MoFi failed dismally in this regard. MSL makes a fine cartridge but I would only get another one if they changed agents and increased their warranty. Obviously, I will avoid buying any other MoFi products myself and warn others about their customer service. I have no further use for the dealer who did nothing to help. I have had superb service from Musical Surroundings, Soundsmith, B+H Photo and the Cable Company. All handled issues with ease. Has anyone else had trouble with MoFi? What companies have provided you with excellent service when the sh-t hit the fan?





I really was no paying any attention to the One Step thing as I do not buy them. The Hi Res digital downloads are superior most of the time and MUCH cheaper. Thanx for your support! Funny, I do not think it was the warranty that bothered me most, but the curt manner I was dealt with.

I just re-read your OP. The “dealer” is Music Direct, and the distributor is MoFi. Correct? Those are two big operations in audio world. Did you try taking your problem further up their chains of command? I would guess that one of those two entities set the length of the warranty period, not MSL. You’re right; in Japan you’d have a replacement cartridge , no questions asked. That’s based on an actual experience with Koetsu and on many other interactions over there with the smal companies that make these exotic devices. MD and MoFi are probably bigger than MSL in terms of gross income. Anyway, let us know the outcome.


Sorry to hear about your abysmal treatment.  I can't think of a worse case of customer service, they should be ashamed of themselves.

The Cart’ has approx’ 75 Hours usage and has developed a fault.

It does seem to suggest something catastrophic has occurred, a mutual friend once had a faulty Cart’ inspected by a Third Party Technician. The outcome of the inspection was quite unusual in description to many, but to those who inspect and thoroughly clean Carts, not too uncommon a condition was witnessed.

Metal Particle was found as contamination on the Cart’s inners.

In this case the Metal Particle had lodged in the Coil Wire and at some point of it stay, had shorted the coil.

It will be of interest to hear what is the description offered by VAS for this Cart’.

VAS NY Inc, has repaired a few Proteus Models with a lost channel, I aided a Proteus owner in getting their one repaired by VAS, and the Cart’s owner was extremely happy with the end product.


MoFi is the distributor, Music Direct is the parent company. Yup, I went as far as I could go. Sorry the warranty is only three months. We would be happy to rebuild it for $6000.