Teach me about cartridge 'retipping'

Thought I would throw this out there for comment by long time vinyl aficionados...

We all have cartridges we love, some are pricey treasures... but they wear out eventually even with much care and diligence in use.

There are still some good folks with excellent reputations doing retip services of various makes - Peter at SS, Andy Kim in WA, Steve Leung in NJ etc etc... not to mention some of the manufacturers of course, who still do them. It would seem to me these old craftsmen may or may not be passing along these valuable skills to younger apprentices.

I have bought a couple Grace F9 retips from Peter Ledermann - they work wonderfully. No longer having a fresh factory F9L I will never know whether they sound different.  But they sound great.

Curious to hear comments about how these retips are done, and whether they can reliably reproduce the original sound signature of the cartridge. I wonder, for instance, about how the cantilever is removed and reinstalled, relative to the suspension of the original cartridge, etc etc.  Is the suspension replaced?  What is a suspension comprised of, for example, in a typical higher end MC cart like a Dynavector a Lyra a VDH...

Of course, as time passes, the original cartridges age and I can imagine suspensions in them eventually get compromised as well...
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Speakers can be upgraded with different parts. Amplifiers, CD players, phono stages, turntables, tone arms- even speaker cables, power cords and interconnects can be upgraded in the aftermarket. Only phono cartridges cannot. 

I do have one question though: is ANYTHING the answer to all questions?
I just had my Benz Micro Wood M2 cartridge serviced by Steve Leung at VAS. It was very dirty and rusty after 8 years of no use... For $350, Steve did a great job servicing the damper, suspension and lightly polished the stylus diamond to spec as well. I did that not thoroughly researching enough as I likely would have been better off getting the cartridge rebuilt. It does sound great though..
But, I’m glad I didn’t as I changed lanes and wound up buying a Benz Micro LP-S a few days ago and will sell my Wood M2 along with my
Basis 2001 t.t./Rega RB900 arm since I upgraded to a Vertere Acoustics MG-1/SG-1.

But if you intend on keeping your cartridge, I agree, get it rebuilt.
I apologize if this is a bit off topic, but how many of you remember Needlestein (Joseph) on AudioKarma. He put up so many amazing posts and threads on AK regarding cartridges, styli, detailed pics of needle shapes/profiles, etc. over a period of years. It was extremely useful and excellent information. He unfortunately got kicked off of AK for breaking some kinda rule regarding his retipping carts for people on AK, which he of course charged for. I had him retip a few of my carts, and he always did a fantastic job. He now offers his services on eBay. 

The most terrible thing is when he was removed from AK, so we’re ALL of his amazing words of wisdom, his informative posts, and even the phenomenal  pics of different stylus shapes and profiles taken with a digital microscope. Just, POOF! Gone! It sucked. 
@technick, I remember him well and he was a wealth of information. I understand why he was kicked off AK and he was warned repeatedly about selling his services in the TT forum. But to delete all of his post was a terrible thing to do.

Speakers can be upgraded with different parts. Amplifiers, CD players, phono stages, turntables, tone arms- even speaker cables, power cords and interconnects can be upgraded in the aftermarket. Only phono cartridges cannot.

Re-tippers can buy only what’s available from Namiki or Ogura (or maybe some others), while the cartridge manufacturers can order exclusive parts patented/manufactured for their own cartridges only. But the question is not even a quality of parts, but a calculation of mass, resonances etc that only original designed can do manufacturing/voicing his own high-end cartridge. Sometime this is a long process and they try different parts before choosing what they are using. Why do you think re-tipper in his garage can do better if he don’t even have an access to those exclusive parts manufactured only for the specific cartridge designers?

You can upgrade weak parts in the products (like amps whatever), not sure how you can upgrade a reference class, you can only change something pretending for upgrade, but only certain kind of people have this habit, most of them are very strange, the best of them design their own products instead of upgrading others.

Cartridge is the most important part in analog chain.

Everyboby knows JICO, their stylus SAS (bury, boron, sapphire) replacements for old MM cartridges is an upgrade for mediocre cartridges, but not an upgrade for top of the line reference class cartridges. Many original styli are much better than best SAS replacement. With MM you can immediately change your stylus and compare, with MC people are waiting for their cartridges from a re-tipper for a 1-5 month and they can’t compare re-tipped and the original, but i think it’s very important to compare side by side the original and re-tipped sample (I did that with some very rare re-tipped/refurbished MM).

Another weird habit is to invest over $1k to a $300 cartridge, some people love it. Denon 103 is one of them, instead of buying a nice $1500 cartridge they are happy to invest $1000-1500 into a $300 cartridge and raving about the result they are hearing.