What happens when the stylus tip wears out on a $12,000 cartridge?

There is no shortage of stereo phono cartridges with 5-figure price tags. What do you do when the stylus tip wears out? Do any/some/all manufacturers of these cartridges provide or offer a re-tipping service? Or do you just lay out another 12 or 15 grand for a new cartridge? Sorry for my ignorance - the Denon DL-103R/Lithium Audio Musikraft shell I currently use is the most expensive cartridge set-up I’ve ever owned. I’ve had a couple re-tipped by Soundsmith in the past for $200 - 300. What do you guys at the other end of the price spectrum do?


Chayro, I agree with your approach. If you love the cartridge it’s best to stay as close to original as possible when retipping. J Carr of Lyra wrote here that it may not be a good idea to change the cantilever material dramatically from original, since the suspension and other components were selected to work well with the original structure. Apropos of nothing, I followed that philosophy when having my Koetsu Urushi retipped by Expert Stylus; they replaced only the stylus. Surprisingly but only subjectively, the thing sounds better than ever. This probably means it was subpar long before I woke up and sent it off to ES in the UK.


To those who are not familiar with the Denon 103R, it is made with an aluminum cantilever and a conical stylus.


"automation is less important to craftsmanship" should have read "automation is less important than craftsmanship"... I hope this is clearer.

If you take care of your cartridge and get 2000 hours out of it, at about 44 minutes per album, it is about 2,727 albums. If you pay $12,000 for the cartridge, it costs about $4.40 to play an album. Only you can decide if it is worth it to you.

Streaming doesn’t wear out, and with Qobuz it’s higher sound quality, too!

As good as Qobuz is, and it is good, it won’t beat a high quality vinyl rig. You are smoking some good s$&t….