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?



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….

One of the problems with a worn stylus is the fact that it is now damaging your records. This can be something that is initially not that noticeable, until such time as you replace the cartridge or stylus and hear the groove damage!

Probably a good rule of thumb is to consider replacing the stylus and/or cartridge after a certain amount of time ( depending on the stylus shape) regardless of what condition it might appear to be.

I would think if at all possible, a re-build by the original manufacturer ( if in budget) would be preferable, simply because they have the exact specs and access to the original parts.