Retip for zyx

I have an airy3 that is about 5 years old. Zyx does not have a retip, you get a new cartridge for a discount. Has anyone had a zyx retipped and how did you make out?
you can get it retipped both in US (soundsmith) as in Europe(van den Hul, Goldring) to name a few.

changing only the diamond tip will not change that much the initial character as changing the entire cantilever/ tip assembly, especially if you pick a similar profile.

but if you get a good discount on a new one it would be a better option
Agree with Stringreen. The ZYX stylus is unique and not available from anyone else that I know of. If you use a different stylus the basic character of the sound will change. You may like the change or not, but FWIW it will no longer be a ZYX.
But on the other side of things, retips are FAR less expensive. You are still getting the advantages of the coils, cantilever and other aspects of the design. Is it strictly an Airy 3? Are you saving a lot of money by getting it retipped? Yes. Personally, I'd try the retip before trading in for a discount. And I'd love it if you recorded a before and after file of this cart. That way you and others could hear the impact of the new retip. It is not entirely clear how much the retip will change the sound, and this would be a great way to determine this.
I understand that it will not be exactly a ZYX but I am curious if others have tried a soundsmith or other re-tip and what they experienced.
Also keep in mind that, if you use a retipper rather an ZYX, the dimensions of the stylus block as well as how the stylus block is affixed to the cantilever will differ, along with the shape and dimensions of the stylus sections that contact the LP groove.

In the ZYX cantilevers and stylii (made by Namiki), the end of the cantilever rod is planed down to an acute angle (less than 30 degrees), creating a flat surface which is what the stylus block is bonded to. The stylus block can be both small and short, and therefore of very low mass.

In the Ogura-made cantilevers and stylii, a longitudinal, vertical slot is cut through the end of the cantilever rod, and the stylus block is inserted into that slot and bonded in place. In recent years, some manufacturers have added a thin metal plate to the slot to reinforce the bond. In this type of design, the stylus block is longer than the Namikis (since it has to reach through the cantilever), but the stylus block width is generally a small fraction of the cantilever diameter (less than 1/2), so the stylus block mass can be of fairly low mass.

In many recent cantilevers and stylii of European origin, the end of the cantilever rod is chopped off at a right angle, leaving a flat round surface to which the stylus is bonded. In these designs, the stylus block is long (since it has to reach through the cantilever), and it is also as wide as the cantilever rod, so the mass of the stylus will be higher than with either the Namiki or Ogura designs.

To retip a cartridge that was originally equipped with a stylus made by one manufacturer with one made by a different manufacturer is like rebuilding a Porsche engine with Jaguar pistons and crankshaft - the components used for rebuilding may be of high quality, but the design philosophy is rather different from the original.

Still, as one poster wrote above, changing only the stylus will alter the sound less than if the cantilever material is changed. When a cartridge is designed, the designer will consider the moving mass (sum of the stylus, cantilever and coils), the resonant character of the cantilever, and the (sonic) propagation velocity of the cantilever (affected by the cantilever's mass and rigidity), then choose the suspension and dampers accordingly. If you change the cantilever material, you are effectively throwing the original designer's calculations away.

There is much more (far more than what I have written above) to rebuilding a cartridge than affixing a new stylus or altering the cantilever. In over 30 years of involvement in the phono cartridge industry, I have not seen one retipper who has presented the entire story, who has effectively said "Here are the all of the considerations. Here are the cons as well as the pros. Make a wise choice that is best for you".

BTW, when ZYX replaces the Airy 3, there is a reasonable chance that they will incorporate any improvements and refinements which they have learned over the past 5 years. You may want to inquire about that.

kind regards
To retip a cartridge that was originally equipped with a stylus made by one manufacturer with one made by a different manufacturer is like rebuilding a Porsche engine with Jaguar pistons and crankshaft - the components used for rebuilding may be of high quality, but the design philosophy is rather different from the original.

Yes, that's the way it is.
But the example is from a Porsche Engine, how about a Porsche price Tag for a Ford Engine? Most audiophiles go for something they like (obviously, no one buys something he hates...but this is also worth an own discussion), so we can also think about tuning a Ford Engine with Porsche Parts... at the end of the day an original Zyx is an original Zyx (same for Lyra, Benz and all others) next is, most audiophiles want something different after some years, so they buy a different Model or they get something different with a retip. And it is normal, that someone likes the "new" better because he spent more money for it. In the audiophile world is no technical standard for "better". The reality shows us every day that you will find for every unit a super technical description, abilities and so on but it still sounds bad or is not worth the price. But even here it is based on the buyer's Preference. It is an individual decision. I would go for original when I KNOW the cartridge can do something others can't but I also heard retipped cartridges which are better than before.
As far as I know the so called 'retips' consists of the whole cantilever/stylus combo deliverd by Namiki, Ogura or Gyger to the retippers as well as to the producers. The original cantilever is removed from the aluminum tube behind the cantilever and the new combo is glued in the tube instead. The real retip by which only the stylus is glued in the original cantilever is rather an exception than a rule. Axel Schurholz in Germany (cart repair service)is a friend of my and that is how I know this. Besides the stylus only substitution is more expensive because more difficult to do. There are no myths by the cart retips except when one likes to believe in them.

Hi Nandric: Namiki, Ogura or Gyger can and will build completed cantilever assemblies. But regarding the designs of the cantilever assemblies that can be delivered, although these can be straight out of the catalogs (in which case retippers can buy the same item as the cartridge builder), there is a good chance that the designs may be unique, in which case no cartridge builder nor retipper is able to obtain the item other than the original designer.

In the case of a Titan, for example, I design the stylus shape and specify the block dimensions and angles, I make the drawings for how the stylus should be affixed to the cantilever (including the adhesive specifications), and I make the drawings for every other bit of the cantilever assembly, too. I supply various components and raw materials to Ogura (cantilever itself, coil former, suspension wire etc.), and have Ogura build the cantilever assembly using my materials and my drawings.

Since neither the design nor many of the subcomponents and materials are Ogura's, Ogura cannot deliver this cantilever assembly (nor the individual bits and pieces) to anyone other than us.

>There are no myths by the cart retips except when one likes to believe in them.

And yet I see no retipper pointing out that the included angle of the stylus affects the life expectancy, that ruby or sapphire has close to double the mass of boron, or other such considerations. We used to build cartridges with ceramic whisker-reinforced duraluminum cantilevers (with much closer mass compared to boron than sapphire's mass is to boron), and when we changed our cartridges over to boron cantilevers, we redesigned the entire damper and suspension system - materials, shapes, number of dampers, everything.

In my experience, to take an aluminum or boron-cantilevered cartridge and change the cantilever to sapphire or ruby is heavy-handed in the extreme (grin).

kind regards
Dear Carr, The skills involved are more a question of experience and 'mastership' then of,say, 'the rocket science'.
Van den Hul,Peter Ledermann, Allaerts , Lukatschek and Axel Schurholz are all involved in this 'art' for more than 30 years. I do believe that they all know what is ivolved by a retip as well how to execute them.

Kind regards,
Dear Jcarr: ++++ " Since neither the design nor many of the subcomponents and materials are Ogura's, Ogura cannot deliver this cantilever assembly (nor the individual bits and pieces) to anyone other than us. " ++++

there are persons that or don't read what you posted or just can't understand it.

I fully agree with you on why preserve a Lyra mor VDH: a Lyra or VDH, especially with the top of the line cartridges.

I can agree to re-tip by re-tippers other than the cartridge manufacturer only with lower/lesser models in the cartridge line.

I don't know where the Airy3 is but seems to me that could be a cartridge for a re-tipper if the re-tip price is way lower that a change it for the Universe. I'm only saying because I'm not aware on the ZYX cartridge lines and how are positioned in between and in the other side perhaps the Truemaineiac audio system can't honor the Universe quality performance level.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R, the basic economic options are $3K for new ZYX Airy3, so trade-in is $2100 (retail x 70%), $300 re-tip ZYX see how it plays, or discount on universe from $5K or so. It would seem worth the risk to spend $300 to see how the re-tip might sound recognizing the aforementioned inconsistencies that will be introduced. I think my system is up for the universe but maybe not the wallet right now. One other idea is to get the ZYX re-tipped and then get something else (Koetsu?) for the sake of variety.
Dear Truemaineiac: Koetsu is way different and maybe for the kind of music you like could not match very well, there are several options like Lyra or Van Den Hul: both great performers. Other alternative is Transfiguration Phoenix.

Yes, 300.00 for the re-tip is very tempt.

Regards and enjoy the music,
@roscoeiii ,I too am interested in hearing from people that have farmed out the rebuild or retip from an outside source and their impressions of the results. To get started I will list my take on the few I have done. All of these have been Soundsmith 2nd or 3rd level saphire/ruby rebuilds. She!ter 501, level 2, sounded slightly better than stock, Koetsu Goldline Black, level 2, sounded lot better than stock, Lyra Helkon, level 2, WOW, Shelter 901, level 3, another WOW, Dynavector DRT XV1s, level 3, this was a lateral move at best, when I do the DRT XV1s that I run now in another arm wand I will still use Soundsmith but use a retip instead. Am just waiting on my ZYX Universe to show distress and will be sending it to Soundsmith for a retip which I will consult with the owner. Will report back here after done and broken in.
Soundsmith did a great job on my Transfiguration Spirit.  I recall that when I replaced the Spirit with an Orpheus, I remembered a big step up in sound quality.  When I installed the Spirit after it came back, I was expecting a big downgrade, but it wasn't.  Sounded absolutely fine, even compared to the Orpehus.  Could be that the Spirit was worn when I upgraded, so an improvement is easily heard, or just that Soundsmith actually improved the sound of the original.  I don't know and I don't really care why.  I just know I'm happy with the cartridge and I paid $500, not $5000, so it's cool.  Enjoy. 
@chayro, yea the $ spent versus the quality of sound that you receive from the retip/rebuild is so wide that I would never be able to afford replacing the carts that I have now, just need to be informed if possible on the right way to go, as in my DRT XV1s it was still the second best cart I had owned at the time with the rebuid and that was compared to itself in stock form. I hope to have as much success with the Universe, it is such a special cart.
FWIW, I just received notice from Soundsmith that they have completed the work on my ZYX Universe and it is on its way back to me, sent in for a retip but Peter said the original cantilever would not allow for the pressing of a new stylus through it so he replaced with his boron cantilever with the OLC stylus to best mimic the original parts. Will post impressions as I get the cart settled in for those who might be curious. Can't wait to get it up and running and after putting over 2200 hours on it before the work done I should be able to detect any differences to the sound character of the newly rebuilt Universe.

This is an old thread so my post was based on experience with

Axel Schurholz but without any experience with ZYX kinds.

I now own ZYX Airy and, say, know what I am talking about.

The cantilever/stylus construction by ZYX is different in

comparison with all other carts. On the ''nose'' of the (boron)

cantilever one can see an small tube in which the stylus is

fastened. There is obviously no hole in the cantilever in which

a new stylus can be fitted. So the only option is to exchange

the whole cantilever/stylus combo. This retip kind will cost about

$500. The stylus (alone) retip about $200 (180 GBP by Expert

stylus UK). As is mentioned elsewhere stylus alone retip is

the least problematic. But, according to me, not possible by ZYX.

This is original ZYX cantilever with original MicroRidge stylus tip. 
No one can do the same, re-tipped or re-cantilevered ZYX is no longer ZYX cartridge, but some sort of hybrid with different sound. 

Dear chakstr, As we usually say : ''it depends..''. In present

case it depends from what you mean by ''No one can do the

same''? Identity relation is pretty complex. ''Relation'' imply

at least two objects. But Wittgenstein stated:  '' for two objects

to state that they are identical make no sense and to say that

every object is identical with itself says nothing''. One can

actually state that two ZYX carts are not identical but, hopeful

''equal''. Something like two eggs. I have no idea how two eggs

sound but two ZYX Airy should sound ''equal''. Shame that

postage to Russian Federation is so expensive. Otherwise I

would post my ZYX , retipped by Axel,  to you so you could do

the comaprison. Apriori statements like this may impress

Kantians but not Fregean kinds of persons (grin).

@nandric "the same" is what on the picture, "the hybrid" is what you have from Axel. I believe you have not even tried the original ZYX (did you?), what you have is not a ZYX, but no doubt that it’s still an MC cartridge that you can use, maybe you like it, but i know it’s not your favorite cartridge anyway.

I don’t use ZYX cartridges anymore for practical reason, i just don’t want to buy new ZYX cartridge almost for 60-70% of full price each time the stylus is expired. I have better cartridges than my ex Zyx Airy III and Zyx Premium 4D (but 5 times cheaper rare vintage MM and some MC).

What i know for sure is that my re-cantilevered (by Axel) cartridges are not equal to the original cartridges (same model). I’ve had at least 4 carts refurbished by Axel long time ago for previous owner, they were OK only until i’ve managed to buy an original. Then i realized the original is superior, completely different sound. It was Technics top of the line carts.

Why do i have to believe that refurbished ZYX with different cantilever, different stylus is equal to the original ZYX made by Nakatsuka-San?

For me it’s obvious that they are not equal, especially after i’ve tried and compared 4 samples of Axel work to the original Technics. So i don’t like the idea at all, but it’s just me (i am using only original cartridges so far).

Dear chakster, Comparing retips of MM carts with MC carts is

like comparing apples with pears. By MC carts the cantilever/stylus

combo is glued in the called ''joint pipe'' . Usually aluminum tube.

The joint pipe can be also called the moving part of the MC cart.

This part consist of cantilever /stylus and coils and is connected

with the generator by tension wire. The ''rubber ring'' or the

suspension is fastened on the generator . Aka behind the moving

part. There is not much difference between boron cantilevers and

all those variations (copies) of shibata stylus shape. Because of

the patent issues those have different names. In my metaphoric

description they look as one egg to the other. One can hardly

see any difference . Considering the fact that those cantilever/

styli combos are provided by the same producer(s) to the

retippers as well the (cart) producers it is not reasonable to

assume different ''animals''. I retipped just one of my MM

carts. When I have seen how this is done I have never again

retipped any of my MM carts. The new cantilever is glued on

the restant or cut off old cantilever. Besides those MM carts

with tension wire can't be fixed by any retipper. Not to mention

the suspension by such carts. I have had many disputes with

you about those ''details''. I think that I have more experience

then you in this ,uh, ''field''.

I have a zyx airy 3. The problem is the exchange price for all these cartridge. If you have a van den hull cartridge, it cost peanuts to get it retipped , very honest.
I am glad this thread got resurrected, because I was interested to re-read JCarr's comments from 2013.  For me, the take home lesson is that if you choose to economize by engaging the services of an after-market re-tipper for a "boutique" LOMC cartridge, the best course of action is to choose a cantilever material and stylus shape that most closely matches those of the original.  In other words, if you love love love the cartridge and want to preserve its SQ, it is not a good idea to switch from aluminum to sapphire/ruby for the cantilever or from elliptical to OCL for the stylus, even though both sound more "sexy".  (This should seem obvious.) However, if the cartridge in question is not an object of affection, and if you are a gambler, then go ahead and shoot for the moon.  You might re-invent the wheel.

It is my 40+ year habit as a scientist to boil things down to a few easily cathected bits of information.

@gilles130 , As you can see in my post I don't believe that by

ZYX only the stylus can be retiped. Well the whole cantilever/

stylus combo. There are only few producers of cantilevers and

styli in the world. From this follows that retipper as well as the

cart producers have the same supplier. Gluing such cantilever/

stylus combo in the ''joint pipe'' is no big deal. This job can be

done by any retipper.

@nandric that's fine, i just don't want to re-tip of rebuild any of my cartridges until i will find the one which i want to keep forever. There are always a cartridges i want to try, so i think it will never happen. Also i have some carts that i have not tested yet, so i have plenty of time. 

Do you think retipping MM cartridges hype is over ? I remember when it was very popular on audiogon, even the mexican term "refresh of suspension", but i still have no idea what does that mean.  

My advice for those who can't afford ZYX exchange service - don't buy this cartridge, find something that can be factory re-tipped by the original designer himself for reasonable price. Or prepare to pay 60% each time you want to change worn ZYX to a new ZYX and do not complain. 

-SoundSmith cartridges are very cheap in service.

-Miyajima cartridges in the beginning were also relatively cheap in service by its designer (now much more expensive).

Personally i would buy another vintage cartridge in NOS condition when it's time to retip an old one, just because i want to hear an original sound, not a hybrid of old and new components compiled together by some third-party vendor. I know that i can trust the original, always.  

@chakster,@nandric, you two guys never get tired of saying the same thing over and over again, for what it is worth, I got it as everyone else probably has got it as well, point made, now let's move on. I have had several cartridges rebuilt by SS with their Ruby/Optimum Line Contact diamond and they definitely sounded better than stock, these were a Shelter 901, Shelter 90X, Shelter 501, Lyra Helikon and a Lyra Helikin SL so I feel quite good about taking a chance that has saved me $5,000.00 in one attemp. And to @charter I will spend my money any way I see fit and you can spend yours anyway you see fit.
Chakster, To say you want to hear the "original" sound of a vintage cartridge is almost an oxymoron.  If we define "vintage" as "older than 30 years", then you are buying a 30-or more year old suspension.  We have no way of knowing how such an old cartridge sounded when it was "original", which implies "new", because of unavoidable changes in the suspension due to aging.  Once we accept this fact, I totally agree that there are some gems among vintage cartridges, especially MM and MI types. (I have yet to unearth a NOS or used vintage LOMC that made me want to celebrate.  Some are good though.)

Also, so far as I know, ZYX is not alone among the manufacturers who charge quite a large fraction of the original value to do "renewal" at the factory.  Most do.  Miyajima seem to be an exception to the rule.  Maybe also van den Hul.

tooblue, JCarr has not been around this forum for quite some time, but I am sure he would refute your contention that any of his Lyra cartridges should benefit from the installation of a ruby cantilever.  He specifically mentions why in his posts to be found in this thread, which all date back to 2013.  This is not to say that you cannot like what you hear.
 I had a Lyra  Delos retipped and it sounded pretty much the same as the original as far as I could remember.   The price I was quoted by the American distributor to rebuild was the same as I could buy a brand new one with a small discount.    Basically highway robbery 
@lewm, anyone can refute anything they want, in my system on my arm the two Lyras in question sounded better to my ears and that is not debateable, I have even gone as far as sending SS a Shelter 901 with plenty of life left to have it rebuilt to achieve the instant upgrade. Now with all this said I have had a Dynavector DRT XV1s rebuilt with the same ruby cantilever and OLC stylus and it was not as good as the original so when I wear out the DRT XV1s I have now in stock form I will have it retipped and hope for the best, it is a gamble but one I feel is worth trying.

@chakster,@nandric, you two guys never get tired of saying the same thing over and over again, for what it is worth, I got it as everyone else probably has got it as well, point made, now let's move on.

right, i wish we could stop 

 I have had several cartridges rebuilt by SS with their Ruby/Optimum Line Contact diamond and they definitely sounded better than stock, these were a Shelter 901, Shelter 90X, Shelter 501, Lyra Helikon and a Lyra Helikin SL so I feel quite good about taking a chance that has saved me $5,000.00 in one attemp.

ohh, you're so in love with one type of third-party cantilever on all your carts and you don't have SoundSmith cartridge yet ? 

I also like Ruby cantilevers, but the original Ruby made by Grace, Dynavector, Klipsch for their cartridges. They are all different by the way. 

There is no universal cantilver/stylus for all cartridges, so personally i don't believe SoundSmith Ruby/Optim LineContact is better than the original design (just a common sense). No probs if it worked for you and all your cartridges.  

@chakster, the picture of the cantilever/stylus assembly you posted is for which ZYX? Thanks for posting that, a picture is worth a 1,000 words.

Lew: I think your post above (and Jonathan Carr's similar advice from 2013) in retipping with "like for like" is very important. 

I've retipped 5 different cartridges with two different retippers in the past 6-7 years with 3 different cantilever materials (ruby, sapphire and boron) and 3 different stylus profiles. But all of the stylus profiles were line contact or microridge. 

Only anecdotal based on my experience but I think that if you are switching from one pretty exotic stylus profile to another (FG, various line contact or microridge, shibata, etc.) as opposed to switching from a conical to the more extreme profiles (ie. retipping something like a Denon 103R with a line contact stylus is a pretty major improvment IMO), that a change in cantilever material will probably have more of an effect in changing the personality of the cartridge.

I think this is where some run into problems with retips as the personality can change dramatically and one might be disappointed; on the other hand due to subjective listening preferences another listener may in fact prefer that exact same "personality change" and prefer the retipped version and feel the cartridge is improved. It's just the nature of our hobby.  

I tend to share my preference for boron cantilevers with JCarr, so while I feel one might get a performance boost moving from an aluminum cantilever to either ruby/sapphire, I'd be reluctant to replace any boron cantilever with something other than boron. But I can fully understand how someone might actually prefer the other options. 

At this stage I'm partial to boron/microridge in terms of what it brings to the table and can see myself sticking with that option in the future even if the cartridge was originally voiced with something else. That may not meet with a "purist" point of view but at least my decision on that is grounded in some experience and my own subjective preferences.

the picture of the cantilever/stylus assembly you posted is for which ZYX? Thanks for posting that, a picture is worth a 1,000 words.  

That was a picture of my ZYX Airy III, but you will find same cantilever construction even on their top of the line Ultimate Dynamic and down to the lower model Yatra etc. 
Before I got crazy with turntables, tonearms, and cartridges, which must have been about 10 years ago and definitely coincides with my finding these various fora for discussion,  I owned only one turntable, one tonearm, and one cartridge at a time, for the previous 30 years of audiophilia.  That last single cartridge was/is a Koetsu Urushi, which I purchased new in Tokyo, thanks to the language skills of our son.  In the pre-crazy days, it rode only in my Triplanar on my Notts Hyperspace. I still have the Urushi and the TP but not the Notts.  The Urushi sat in its wooden box for the last at least 6-7 years while I happily fiddled around with many other cartridges, most of them MM or MI types. 

I very grossly estimate that the Urushi has a few hundred hours on it, and I was thinking of selling it after first having it inspected by SS, so I could make an honest statement of its condition.  I recently learned that SS can now do boron cantilevers, which I believe is a match to the Koetsu material, or at least its the same metal, and I was lately also thinking about a re-tip at SS.  I could probably get it re-tipped by Koetsu via the dealer in Tokyo from whom I purchased it, but that would entail a lot of footwork for my son Dan, and he is a busy guy.  Anyway, I only recently decided to give it a whirl, before spending any money. I mounted it on my Kenwood L07D with aftermarket copper platter mat and riding on the L07J tonearm in an 18g Ortofon L9000 headshell that I bought in Tokyo.  (I always wondered whether the effective mass of the TP was sufficiently high to get the most out of the Urushi, which has low compliance.)  Wow!  I am pleasantly surprised.  After some burn-in using the Cardas test LP and after a few more hours of playing music, the Urushi is sounding great and is no longer a candidate for dismissal just yet.  It's probably still a bit short of my very favorite MI and the ZYX Universe, but I don't remember it ever sounding this good on my Notts/TP.  (But on the other hand, my system is also better now than it was then.) The one criticism so far is bass articulation, compared to the Universe, the AT ART7, and the Acutex LPM320.  However, the midrange and treble are really delicious. I guess the next step, following JCarr's advice, would be to do the Boron cantilever/OCL from SS.
Lew: If you only have a few hundred hours on that Koetsu I wouldn’t even think of retipping it until you hit 1500-1800 hours. As long as it’s sounding good and the suspension is good just let it do its thing and enjoy it. My guess is that the bass is just a bit rounder on the Koetsu compared to your other cartridges and a retip will not likely change that. If it only has 200-300 hours on it I think you’d be throwing good money away.

A bit of a run on the Cardas LP (I think everyone should have that record-every new or retipped cartridge I buy gets about an hour or two on that record before playing any music and I’d say that is the equivalent of playing 50 hours of music and suffering through the break in process ) probably loosened it up nicely after being in storage and, as you say, it will probably get better quickly now after playing a bit more music. And you may well be hearing a more sympathetic match of cartridge/tonearm as you say.

It is great that Peter has a boron option now. When I was retipping cartridges with him about 5-6 years ago he did not-ruby (apart from the entry level aluminum/eliptical he did) was the only option.

Interestingly, there was talk of boron cantilevers being in short supply and possibly even disappearing about 2-3 years ago but that seems to have passed now.

Warren Jarrett over at the Steve Hoffman forum very graciously organized a group buy of Namiki boron cantilevers with microridge styli earlier this year and I picked up two at that time and then bought another from a member there who sent a cartridge to Soundsmith that could not be repaired. I’ve used one in a retip I did recently, so have the other two, but wish at this time that I’d bought at least one more and possibly two.

Just to clarify, I do not believe that Soundsmith’s OCL (optimized contact line) stylus is on the boron cantilever that Soundsmith has. Pretty sure that it is a more traditional line contact or microridge but that could be confirmed with Peter. I believe the OCL (which I had on a retip that I had Peter do a number of years back-I also had his standard line contact on ruby so am familiar with both of those) is only on the ruby cantilevers that he supplies.

I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with that OCL, which supposedly closely resembles both the cutter head and Ortofon’s Replicant stylus (which I have not had). I found it to be a bit of a detail champ, but it was without doubt the most difficult stylus that I have ever set up. It was extremely finicky and very small changes in VTF/SRA and azimuth would really throw it out of wack and result in it sounding rather poor.

The more standard microridge styli (still very good) that I’ve been using the past few years are much easier to set up and much less sensitive to very small changes in setup with maybe a very, very slight loss of detail.
@lewm, if you are interested and since I believe you have the same Universe I do, original copper X model, I would be willing to send you mine after a brief break in to compare to your stock model. I value your thoughts on this matter and would be very interested in your take on the results. What say you?
Tooblue. I am not sure what you are offering. I do own the low output, copper coil, X version of the Universe, but if you have the same, what is there to gain?
@lewm,I have the same cart on its way back from Sound smith with their boron cantilevered Line Contact diamond rebuild applied, I thought you could compare it to your stock cart and directly compare the two after I get a few hours on it.
Post removed 
tooblue, When you say "the same cartridge", do you refer to the Grace Ruby, or which other?  If the Grace Ruby, you evidently chose to put a boron cantilever on it.  Now it's a Grace Boron.  Neither cartridge is now "stock", but I do own a second Grace Ruby that has still got its OEM cantilever and stylus.  IMO, it sounds a bit different from the SS re-tipped one.  Maybe more top to bottom "continuous" (in HPs terminology) but less exciting and less "you are there".
@lewm he is talking about refurbished ZYX Universe copper coil cartridge i believe
Chakster is exactly right, the cartridge I am offering to send you, after a brief breakin, is an original ZYX Universe with copper coils .24 output with the silver base that is on its way to me from Sound smith with a new Boron canti!ever and Line Contact stylus installed. This would give you the opportunity to directly compare a stock one to a soundsmith rebuilt one and report your findings to the masses.
Good idea, if you will break it this one can be retipped once again :)
Don't let him get you down tooblue LOL. 

I commend you for offering it up. Would be interesting to hear someone's impression of both; that is for sure.