Need advice for a replacement phono cartridge

So, the cleaners destroyed my phono cartridge yesterday while dusting even though I'd cautioned them against dusting my stereo. Absolutely sick about it. Anyway, I need to get a replacement cartridge so I need advice on one that is of equal quality or better. The destroyed cartridge is a Transformation Axia which is no longer made. Thanks in advance!

My system:

VPI Prime turntable, Sutherland Little Loco phono amp, Luxman L509X amp, Revel F208 speakers, two Sumiko S10 subs




I will admit I do like Swiss cheese.  Do you think that is why I like Koetsu? Or maybe it was because I used to live in Japan… or maybe it is a spectacularly good sounding cartridge. 

Thanks for all the great advice and insights.

Anyone have experience with Koetsu Urushi and VPIs JMW-10 3D Tonearm? I have an opportunity to get this cartridge at a great price. 

Should I be concerned with the low mass tonearm pairing well with the low cartridge compliance (light tonearm with stiff cantilever)? 


Try a Sound-Smith cart. I have had 3 ss carts paired with 2 different VPI tables the last several years. 2 of those carts were re-built by Peter L. (I was told by Peter Green at SS that Peter does all SS rebuilds, hence the long wait time). A couple weeks ago I purchased a Paua and traded in my previous SS carts. I simply could not wait again with a back-up cart in use. The Paua is great in my system and I am happy with my decision. I need a backup cart now and will likely buy the Othello. SS and VPI mate well.


I took my Koetsu Rosewood Sig Platinum over to a friend’s VPI HR-X with 3D Reference arm and it sounded wonderful - exactly like it should. I was wary about the effective mass too, but it didn’t matter. Note though, he had the dual pivot so that might be a good idea to get. Koetsus seem to like the stability.

If it fits your budget, Koetsu is a wonderful choice!