Has anything changed with Grado cartridge re-tipping? No more Needle Doctor....

Hi everyone.....

I think I am starting to get a little inner-groove distortion on my Statement Sonata2. After some listening today I'll confirm. If so, I will want to re-tip/replace to a Sonata3 but maybe more likely a Master3.

I loved Needle Doctor that would send your new cartridge and give you one-two weeks to send back your old cartridge. It allowed for a faster, easier swap being able to instantly replace......minimal readjusting....or worse if you substitute in a different cartridge in the time it takes to get a replacement back!

Grado and Needle Doctor even allowed you to upgrade or downgrade in the line as your budget allowed.

So, Needle Doctor closed up their business....and an online search doesn't even bring up re-tip prices or mentions. I looked through Music Direct, Elusive Disc, Upscale Audio and other websites and finding no information on price or procedure for re-tip.

I will probably call Grado tomorrow....but does anyone have any recent experience?

Anyone know a dealer that does what Needle Doctor used to?

I have a local Grado dealer in Cincinnati that I would love to support, but last time they did a Grado re-tip for me (admittedly 15+ years ago)...they took 2-3 months (!) to get my cartridge back....which even back then should have been no more than a couple weeks tops.

Meantime, you probably don’t really “need” to service or upgrade your present Grado. But we all know how that goes.
No I have not. I use the older Grados ( TLZ , MCZ) and I replace the stylus every few years! BTW, some other cartridge manufactures like Dynavector have the same kind of deal!
When My inner track on albums starts to get inner groove distortion (distorted on peaks or sounding a bit hazy/compressed), I know I am about due.

I had some 30+ years ago waited too long in recognizing and replacing stylus/cartridges and damaged some records......

This is part of why I love Grado’s trade up plan......it can be moderately affordable and quick enough to get a replacement when noticed....rather than my own tendency to milk it for another 2-6 months.
I had an MCZ years ago....replaced with TLZ before the wood cartridges. Wish I had kept the TLZ for spare or comparison. I also saw while looking for retip info that it is easier to get a MCZ/TLZ/XTZ stylus now!

Turns out some 8 years ago I started picking up a couple Harman Kardon auto lift (no worry if busy/out of the room) turntables (T45/T60) for my living room and my attic and ended up back with a Silver and a Black in those anyway.

Tried an Ortofon OM10 in the HKs and have an Ortofon Bronze for a spare for main VPI for change of sound, but they sound too mechanical...even through my warmest el-34 tube amp (which gets too warm with the Sonata).

I do have a Dynavector 20x2M (just wasn’t ready to swap that in yet....it prefers my Counterpoint SA-3000 preamp to the Counterpoint SA-2000/SimAudio LP110 I just set up about 30 days ago....and want to play with for a while.

I do wonder if Dynavector can swap retip (they should be able to at least retip) the somewhat rare Medium Output version I have without forcing me to choose the H or L.

My friend just traded in his Dynavector for a new one. I don't know the model but it was a $2000.00 cartridge and was done at a dealer. The new one was $500.00 off the price with trade in. These manufactures do not retip they just replace and probably throw the old cartridge away. The markup on cartridges is a lot more than you and me might know!