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?



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@mijostyn re. Invading Texas, LOL. I was going to return a quip about the fact I live in New Mexico but decided against it 😆


Sssshhhhhhhhh, don’t tell Raul 🤫

Dear @mijostyn :

Cartridge pictures Raúl (canva.com)


that blue cartridge that you refered in your emaiI to me is the Fulton RSD, only a few samples of this model exist out there and I was lucky enough to have it: a real collector cartridge.

In its time exist 3-4 Fulton models and the RSD was the top of the line and in the Audio magazine anual library was the higher price cartridge in that list: 1,200.00 even superior to the Koetsu of those time or any other cartridge out of Japan.

I have to tell that all Fulton models came with spherical stylus shape. I owned/own the RSD and the second step in the Fulton catalog and both performs really good but both came with different cartridge motor and cantilevers.

Obviously I don’t ask Joseph ( @needlestein ) for the original spherical stylus shape and was him according the cartridge cantilever who choosed that Ogura line contact that as you told me was similar to your Signature Platinum that in the MSL site says: semi-line contact stylus tip exactly as the top of the line Air Tight.

In this post I link here Joseph Long confirmed about that: semi-line contact where MSL choosed Ogura diamonds and that’s why is similar and perhaps not so polished as yours but I don’t really care because my Fulton RSD is something to listen it even with the spherical stylus tip:




Btw, I own too that Sumiko Talisman cartridge that Joseph refered in the post due that its smallest vdh stylus tip he found out, yes a great vintage LOMC cartridge. As I told you in my email there is really " nothing new " on MC cartridges, the operational cartridge motor of 40 yeras ago still function with the top today cartridges and I say this with all my respect to cartridge designers As JC that have the high merit to making changes " here and there " achieved and achive levels of performance not only as your MSL but your Lambda SL too and your MC Diamond.



The first picture is the Audio Technica AT36E that’s similar to the AT37 that came with ruby cantilever ( this 37 was only one step down the AT MC 1000 diamond cantilever on those times: this 1000 had in Japan a price tag of 200K Yens. ) and I sold it because the 36 performs better and now with line contact stylus shape I just can’t imagine what is its today qality performance.


The second picture is the LMX that was in the market thank’s to Sumiko and the thrid picture is the Fulton RSD that I already posted its " history " and that today comes with a similar stylus shape than the mijostyn MSL Signature Platinum ( Ogura line contact. ).





The investigation of the AT 36E once more shows that the knowledge is widespread, if sought out.

The Link is seven years old, about 40 Year Old Cart's.

As I am spending time looking into Cart' refurbishments using supplied images from Services willing to do this, as a result discovering that a Damper Material perishes.

It would be interesting to be informed of the Joseph Long assessment about the AT-36E Damper and what his proposal has been for it, at the time of inspection.