Let's Say A Guy Wanted To Chose Between A Koetsu Jade and

A Blue Lace Platinum. Are there significant differences in presentation?


Blue Lace is the most dynamic Koetsu but still sweet as hell, Jade is warmer - warm even for a Koetsu. My preference has been Blue Lace from hour #1 but both are undeniably Koetsu sound.

Difference between platinum and non-platinum is probably the most important factor. There is a diversity of opinions on that.

All Jades and Blue Laces have Platinum magnets, as far as I know. Onyx is the older model that has some non-Platinum magnet versions floating out there. I have an Onyx with Platinum (early P - #P022!), and one without (Musashino Labs), both rebuilt to 2018 Koetsu spec. Yes, the difference is quite significant. There is a reason they moved to Platinum magnets (from samarium cobalt?) for their modern motors in stone bodies lol. It has more of the creamy, sweet sound you'd expect from Koetsu thanks to the platinum magnet, but better clarity, bass and dynamics from the stone body and new motor spec. 

On a more serious note, I thought the platinum option was first offered with the Jade, such that there were or are two versions of the Jade, with vs without the platinum magnets. Since Neon asked about the Jade without noting anything specific about the magnets, I assumed he’s comparing a conventional Jade to a later Blue Lace Platinum.

Dear @lewm  : Before the Jade was the Rosewood Signature Platinum that I bougth directly from Japan.


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,


You’re correct. My error in saying the Jade was the first with platinum magnets. But was the Jade offered both ways, with vs without platinum? 


I've never heard of a non-Platinum Jade, yet. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist, of course. Onyx and Rosewood are the models which have been available with different magnets over the years. The older "long body" models (Rosewood and Onyx) are alnico, because it was physically a very long magnet cylinder compared to the compact samarium-cobalt and platinum.

With the exception of Onyx, I believe all stones (Onyx was first, then Jade, then everything else) can be assumed to have platinum magnets. A top-plate serial # beginning with P (e.g. P022) always indicates the platinum magnet. I sometimes see old Onyx short bodies for sale (gold pins is the clue), where the seller clearly has no clue what they actually are but listed as "Onyx Platinum" when they're almost certainly not.

Dear @mulveling  : "  most dynamic Koetsu but still sweet " , that speaks a lot of a way cartridge signature quality level performance.


Koetsu maybe is the LOMC cartridge more over-rated in history due that from its start was surrounded by on purpose manufacturer " mistery halo ". In those times audiophiles not even know where to buy it and when finally they got it they do not knew nothing of the cartridge specs not even its cartridge VTF or output level that was " mouth to mouth " the way they finally know it. The underground magasines helped to that " halo " and almost all those reviewer (tas/STHP. ) loved in the same way they loved tubes.

I began with through Japanese Stereo in CA for 600.00 that was to way expensive for its really poor quality performance. In those times in the magasines as Audio, Stereo Review or HiFi never found out a Koetsu review and certainly never listed in their Year " bibles ". Always a mistery.


With that poor performance the cartridge still sold my dozens and price till today goes up and up and up. I owned several samples and was with the RSP the very first time that the cartridge can be listen it with a little better frequency extremes but even the Blue Lace is nothing to " die for ".


For me really poor performance with a " monstrous " price tag. Not for me any more, I learned in the hard way spending money for it. Yes, exist audiophiles that can live very happy with as you and nothing wrong with that.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,


@rauliruegas Interesting post. Do you think that today the house sound of a Koetsu is easily bettered? As they are known for ’warmth’ , perhaps this is their strength. Not appealing to some, but also maybe required depending on set-up. I do think that all of the Lyra’s that I have heard are far more resolving than the Koetsu’s I have heard ( and I have heard most of them, including the Blue Lace etc.,), but is this sound more musical??

Dear @daveyf  : Sorry, but Koetsu has no single " strength " as a top cartridges.


" more musical?? "  : well that depends the kind of audiophile first hand experiences with MUSIC/sound and his priorities.

For me musical is a " word/term " in audiophiles that normally has no real/true experiences very often with live MUSIC seated at nearfield position but " musical " could be anything in LP reproduction even for experimented audiophiles. A way to controversial " word " . I prefer to talk of what is rigth or wrong instead " musical ".



@rauliruegas  One thing, as an ex-pro musician, I can tell you with some confidence, that there are no two people who will tell you that one person's sound is 100% 'right' and another's is 100% 'wrong'...per your supposition. Just like what is musical to one is not necessarily to another, however, I think we can say that most folks will enjoy a certain musical 'experience' in the same way that most (not all) others do.

@daveyf  : Agree, I was something " extreme " about. The issue is that musical almost means different " things " to audiophiles is a to " wide " word and that's why I usually do not use it.



@mulveling  : The one Koetsu that like me ( at least the sample I listened ) was/is the Coralstone.



@rauliruegas Jade and Coralstone are both on the warm side here. I ended up preferring the more dynamic, detailed, "sparkly" Blue Lace. Onyx and RSP are in the middle. I like those too. 

Yes, in fact, this year I have been exploring and enjoying more detail-oriented and "bright" cartridges like AirTight PC-7 and Shelter 7000. But Windfeld Ti still doesn't do it for me (midrange). No need to denigrate Koetsu; in some system iterations they were the only cartridge that sounded "right"!

Dear @mulveling  : My system is not exactly a warmer one more in the alive side ( with low low distortion levels. ) and for some reason the Blue Lace did not " sparkly " here but that was the sample I listened. I think that exist little diferences between two samples same models  or maybe the Blue Lace had to many play hours on it and near to a re-tip.


No, I'm not trying to denigrate Koetsu only posting what I learned and of course I can be wrong. I respect not only Koetsu manufacturer but all audio item manufacturers.

Yes, that Windfeld is not for you but is a good cartridge.