Newbie needs some cart advice for a SME V/Dyn P75

I have just recently taken the leap into vinyl. I scoured the forums for a good solid intro phono pre to get my feet wet, and I chose the Dynavector P-75 as my starter phono. I purchased a Gyrodec with the Orbe platter upgrade, a SME V arm and it did come with a Koetsu Black which I believe is in need of retip/rebuild.

I am looking at the possibility of using the Koetsu as a trade-in and I was thinking about Shelter 501 MK II, or a Dynavector Karat 17D2. What would be some other solid performers in the under 1k category?

I like my music with PRaT, tight snappy bass, warm side of neutral. I will take a hit in uber detail for the above characteristics. I detest sizzling highs. Otherwise, I'm willing to experiment!

I listen mainly to jazz and electronica (trance, house, ambient, drone).

Thanks in advance!
Dear Zanth: You can't be better than with the Sumiko Celebration ( around 1K in the second hand market or 1.5K at retail price ) ), this is a top performer cartridge ( the bargain's century ) that in the SME V ( the perfect match ) outperforms not only your two choices but many cartridges in the 3k price range.

Btw, the " voicing " during the design/tests process for the manufacturer of the Celebration was using the: SME V, you can't ask for more.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Thanks a lot Raul, I love your posts and your solid advice. I will look into this Sumiko Celebration and see if I can find one at a good price.
I use the 501 with the P-75 in "current mode".I was surprised at the performance,seeing that I have had in-house,cartridges and phono sections costing over 10K.I may even be able to help on pricing. Tom
Zanth - the SME arm is quite dry and analytical and often benefits from a warmer cartridge like the Koetsu.

The Koetsu Black is a classic - I've owned one for the last 20 years and I would recommend that you get it checked out and re-tipped if necessary and then live with it.

Some say the Koetsu is slightly bass light, however allied to a SME I would expect it to sound great.

Some refer to the Shelter 501 as a poor man's Koetsu so I wouldn't view that as an upgrade. The Koetsu gives warm side of neutral. You'll struggle to get tight snappy bass with a SME whatever cart you use - it's been described as "plummy"

I think the Dyna carts are a good fit with the SME arm - the 17D2 has stunning responsiveness and in the SME will sound quite tight in the bass.

Cutting to the chase, try the Koetsu Black re-tipped (if you don't like it it's worth far more re-tipped than in need of re-tipping), if that doesn't float your boat try the 17D2 (they're available really cheap off-shore).

I can give you a great contact in Switzerland who re-tips Koetsus at affordable rates - contact me off list if you want the contact.

Disclaimer - no connection other than as satisfied customer.
Dear Flyingred: +++++ " the SME arm is quite dry and analytical .." +++++

That depends on many factors: cartridge, cartridge load impedance, TT, VTA/SRA, phono preamp, etc, etc, .....

I respect your point of view but I think that those characteristics don't belong to the V " per se ".

About the Koetsu cartridges: for many years I try many models of this cartridges: Black, Onyx Gold, Rosewood, Rosewood Signature, Urushi and today the KRSP. All the Koetsu's are severe faulty at the frecuency extremes reproduction ( are really innacurate to the music ) it does not matters with which tonearm be matched, the RSP and the OP are a little better on that. I know that many people ( like you ) are in love with the Koetsu colorations but for me the Koetsu cartridges are a really " mediocre " cartridge performer except the RSP/OP models ( I never heard the Jade ones ).

Dear Zanth: stay away from that Black. Its sound is like its color/model.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Zanth,

I own a Koetsu Urushi. The Koetsu midrange is colored as Raul says. The coloration bothers some people. For other people, the coloration results in a to-die-for midrange. You really need to listen to a Koetsu and decide for yourself.

If it were me, I would retip the Black, listen to it and sell it if the coloration bothered me. If it does not, then you may have a cartridge you will love for life. You will never know which camp you fall into until you listen.
Thanks to everyone who has replied. I really appreciate all the advice. I have some good news I guess. I had a friend of mine who is also a professional at setting up turn tables come by last night and properly setup my rig. After a few hours he had the setup sounding wonderful. He suspects that the Koetsu has about 200 hours left on it. Perhaps more perhaps less but at least in the ball park of the time that I require to burn in the P-75. That said, what I will do is use the Koetsu until it is done. Then, if after having listened to it over this time, I have come to enjoy it, then I will retip, perhaps from the Cartridge Man in the UK, or perhaps this fine fellow in Switzerland. Otherwise, I will look to a Dynavector 17D2 or as has been suggested, the Sumiko Celebration (if I can find one cheap enough).

Since the Gyro is a fairly neutral table that some say lack PRaT and the arm that is quite neutral, what cart would be preferable to bring out the life of the music with a concetration on PRaT? I am planning on upgrading to the HR PSU very shortly which is said to greatly improve the PRaT of the table. Also, I suppose my phono could be a problem as well, not sure yet. I am looking into an Ear 834p to tinker with and A/B against the ss P-75.

Thanks again for all the input.
My take on the Koetsu house sound is very similar to Raul's, but perhaps even more critical. Personally I find even the RSP annoying. I haven't heard a Jade or Onyx either, and if my money's involved I'm not likely to! ;-) It's an acquired taste perhaps, but one that bears little resemblance to live music.

IME some people who like or think they might like Koetsu warmth are coming from CD's. If you're just moving from CD to vinyl it's understandable that you'd seek a warmed over midrange and gladly sacrifice clear and extended highs. Not musically right of course, but understandable. The upper mids and highs of most CD's and CDP's are so intolerable that most of us would do anything to escape the glare and grain.

What kind of sound Zanth will end up wanting from his vinyl rig is anyone's guess. For the moment, another cartrdige choice might be a Benz, which IME has exactly the character he asked for but without the syrupy coloration of a Koetsu. Raul would know better than me which Benz's mate well with an SME V.
Raul, I respect your point of view and experience of many, many arms and cartridges, however the current SME arms are neutral with a slight tendency to emphasise bass (in many combinations). Because the Koetsu is bass light (agreed!) it works better with an SME than many other arms (Naim Aro, etc.).

My intention was to encourage Zanth (who says he is new to vinyl) to try the Black out before letting it go cheaply.

My affection for the Koetsu Black is probably nostalgic - when I first heard one 20 years ago it blew me away - one of those "I've got to have one" moments. I've nurtured my KB ever since, swapping it out with a more workaday cart on my FR64s for special listening sessions.

I also like detail and absence of coloration - I'm expecting a Dynavector XX-2 to arrive early next week, which should be quite a contrast.

Zanth I'm pleased you've got your table running well and have the opportunity to appreciate the Koetsu.
fwiw, i am currently using a sumiko celebration with the p-75, on my vpi scoutmaster and the match has been terrific. beyond the beautiful music this combo produces, i find the celebration to be the least fussy/sensitive cartridge i have ever used. in other words, get a good middle ground setting for vta/vtf you're good to go. also very easy to align.

that being said, my understanding is that the 17d2/p75 combo is a match made in heaven for obvious reasons. so if you can't find a used celebration(or just don't want a used cart) i don't think you can go wrong with the all dyna set up. and don't give up on the p75 before you've put at least 100-200 hours on it. and make sure to leave it on 24/7 for best performance. and with the koetsu, or any low output mc, it's best performance will be in "enhanced" mode. it really is a very underrated performer, especially with lo mc's.

good luck.
Dear Flyingred: Tks, now I understand. Good luck with your XX-2 a very good cartridge indeed and yes that will be a " contrast ".

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Zanth: Doug is right, Benz Micro is a good alternative especially the Ruby 2.
Unfortunatelly is out of your budget.

Regards and enjoy the music.