Andy Kim - Needle Clinic

I wanted to put this post out there about Andy Kim of Needle Clinic, located in Bellevue, Washington. As many may know, Andy is a cartridge re-tipper. I tried to find some older posts to add my comments but couldn't find them. So I'll start another OP. I just got my Lyra Kleos back from Andy today. Here's my comments.

My Kleos sounded a little off lately, so I thought it should be checked out. I sent it to Andy Kim. It turns out all that was needed was the stylus required a cleaning and polishing. Andy reported back that the stylus only has about 10 percent wear; IOW plenty of life left.

So I remounted the Kleos today and have been playing all types of music: rock and roll, classical, and so forth. The Kleos sounds wonderful; just great. Kudos to Andy Kim.

Fyi -- some may ask why I didn't send it to Peter Ledermann at Sound-Smith. I seem to recall reading somewhere that he's been unusually busy lately -- and with good reason -- and turn around might be a bit delayed. Also, I'm not sure Peter uses replacement cantilever/stylus assemblies that match (or at least come close to) the original. Andy does.
Anyway, that is a bridge I don't have to cross today.

Bottom line: Andy turned my cartridge within a week of receipt and I am pleased.
Current spec for gfs on Clearaudio site states stylus as Gyger S. Previous spec was micro HD iirc. You just need to know which you have and ask them directly!
thanks solypsa.   Wasnt aware there were different Stylus versions on the GFS.

My GFS was bought new in 2016.  Was the Gyger S in production then?

I will ask CA if you don't know. 
You will have to ask CA. Gyger S is not newer per se, so unless I am mis-remembering the bit about Micro HD, it would just be a supplier change for whatever reasons...
After speaking with Soundsmith, it doesnt matter what CA put on my GF, as CA won't make it available to any other third parties for repair.  

Soundsmith designed their own Boron cantilever to match as closely as possible to CA and other top end Boron Cantilever cartridges.

As most probably know, CA won't repair themselves, but simply give you  $6k credit towards a $15k retail price.   

  Th $9k cost for trade in is out of my budget, so I'm going with the $450 Soundsmith Boron option.
It was the best explanation what is a third party re-tip and what's going on then you put a different cantilever instead of the original: 

  When a Lyra cartridge that doesn't play or sound right is returned to us, and it can be brought back to appropriate performance levels without replacing components (other than the washi paper dust cover), we typically don't charge anything.

This includes suspension readjustments, trackabiity adjustments, low-rider adjustments, replacement of the washi paper, stylus / cantilever / magnet cleaning, etc.

Such work is a routine occurance, and I believe that this would have covered Bruce's Kleos, had he returned it to us.

OTOH, Lyra does not retip its phono cartridges - we only do rebuilds (and adjustments as mentioned in the first paragraph). If a Lyra cartridge is worn to an extensive degree and/or damaged, it will be fully rebuilt to the latest (most advanced) production specification for that particular model, or replaced with a brand-new cartridge.

Regarding Sound-Smith, the styli that they use are several times larger (heavier) than what Lyra uses, and Sound-Smith's preferred ruby/sapphire cantilevers also have nearly two times the mass of the boron that Lyra uses, also Sound-Smith uses a different, simpler bonding method to secure the stylus to the cantilever (that requires the cantilever to be prepared differently).

To provide some numbers that you can compare to, the Kleos uses a diamond stylus that measures 0.08w x 0.12l x 0.5h (mm), with the playing surface comprised of a minor radius of 3um and a major radius of 70um. The Delos stylus is smaller (shorter), but has similarly-dimensioned playing surfaces (2.5um x 75um).

hth, jonathan carr