help with Koetsu cartridge

the thin end of the wedge
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Mick1132
United States of America
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Joined: 13 Oct 2019 16:09

help with Koetsu cartridge

Post by Mick1132 » 14 Oct 2019 01:39

Newbie here. I’m just getting started in my collection of vintage receivers and turntables. This weekend I picked up a Linn Sondek LP12 at an estate sale. It has an Alphason HR100S tonearm and Koetsu Sky Blue cartridge. I also got a Marantz 2285 at the sale.

Here’s my issue..... when I hook it up to my Pioneer SX780 or Marantz 2285 the volume is very low. I have to crank it up to get a decent sound. I’m hoping someone can explain why and provide a solution. Do I need a preamp?

I have a lot to learn.

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Mick

Alec124c41
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
Canada
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Re: help with Koetsu cartridge

Post by Alec124c41 » 14 Oct 2019 02:15

Your receivers have phono preamps for moving magnet cartridges.
The Koetsu is a moving coil cartridge, with about 1/10 of the output of a MM.
You need a phono preamp that can handle MC cartridges, or a step-up transformer (SUT).
You have acquired high-end gear.

Cheers,
Alec

Mick1132
United States of America
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Joined: 13 Oct 2019 16:09

Re: help with Koetsu cartridge

Post by Mick1132 » 14 Oct 2019 02:55

Thanks Alex!! I sincerely appreciate your response. I will check into a preamp. Any recommendations?

I picked up the Linn for $250 hoping it was a good deal.

2002afan
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Location: Gainesville, Virginia

Re: help with Koetsu cartridge

Post by 2002afan » 14 Oct 2019 03:29

Mick1132, Welcome. :) Hate to say man, but you got screwed. :^o [-X Seriously, That was one hell of a deal considering what some people are trying to sell them for at 10 times what you stole it for. =D> Now get yourself a real nice phono pre or step up as Alec mentioned and you should be golden. No recommendations with either as I use vintage preamps. The Linn has it's lovers and haters. :roll: Only your ears can be the judge. :P A GREAT DEAL none the less and a real beauty. 8) Good luck.
Cheers,
WillO

Alec124c41
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
Canada
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Location: North of Toronto, Canada

Re: help with Koetsu cartridge

Post by Alec124c41 » 14 Oct 2019 07:25

Mick1132 wrote:
14 Oct 2019 02:55
Thanks Alex!! I sincerely appreciate your response. I will check into a preamp. Any recommendations?

I picked up the Linn for $250 hoping it was a good deal.
You could throw away the turntable and sell the Koetsu for a lot more!
You got one heck of a deal.
As for a preamp, what is your budget? That outfit deserves something good.
If your budget is tight, this one sounds surprisingly decent:
https://store.acousticsounds.com/d/6004 ... o_Pre_Amps

Cheers,
Alec

tom6to1
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Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: help with Koetsu cartridge

Post by tom6to1 » 14 Oct 2019 15:23

I am sure you may have used Google to check out what you have, but the a quick look indicates you have a turntable that often sells for thousands of dollars (depending upon what of many upgrades may have been made) and a cartridge of similar value. Everyone reading your post is green with envy. If you are serious about using rather than selling-on the turntable, take a bit of time to read up (here and elsewhere on the web) about moving-coil cartridges and matching it to an appropriate phono-preamplifier (correct amount of gain and impedance). All I can say is WOW! and good luck.

Mick1132
United States of America
Posts: 4
Joined: 13 Oct 2019 16:09

Re: help with Koetsu cartridge

Post by Mick1132 » 15 Oct 2019 22:53

Thanks for the replies and support. After further review..... I have determined the cartridge is a Kiseki blue, not Koetsu blue sky. I matched the Japanese marking to the Kiseki. From what I can tell, it’s still a high-end cartridge.

I have an opportunity to get an APT Holman v2 for $300. Any opinion on the Holman would be greatly appreciated.

Here’s the equipment I have to match up with the preamp and Linn LP12.

Pioneer sx780
Marantz 2285
Energy C-6 speakers
Klipsch Quartet

I’m the original owner of the Energy speakers. They’ve been in storage for years. I stopped using them when I sold myYamaha Rxv 870.

This vintage stuff is addictive.

Thanks
Mick

Collux
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Australia
Posts: 614
Joined: 01 Oct 2017 23:54
Location: Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

Re: help with Koetsu cartridge

Post by Collux » 15 Oct 2019 23:33

This is a nice inexpensive DIY offering from Sweden.
https://www.muffsy.com/
I know this approach does not appeal to all but I am sure you could get an 'electronic' friend to build a unit for you.
https://www.tindie.com/stores/skrodahl/
You can go MM only or MM + MC down the track:
https://www.muffsy.com/mm-mc-options.html

Hanuman
long player
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Location: Bangkok

Re: help with Koetsu cartridge

Post by Hanuman » 16 Oct 2019 11:39

Mick1132 wrote:
15 Oct 2019 22:53
Thanks for the replies and support. After further review..... I have determined the cartridge is a Kiseki blue, not Koetsu blue sky. I matched the Japanese marking to the Kiseki. From what I can tell, it’s still a high-end cartridge.
That sounds more like it. I thought that a Koetsu Urushi Blue didn't sound right for that combo. The Kiseki Blue from the '80s is a beautiful cartridge. The high-end store that I shopped at in Melbourne during that era (Trevor Lees Audio) were using one mounted on a Goldmund Studio and feeding big Proacs through an Audio Research amp chain, the whole setup making some of the best sound I've ever heard so, yes, it's a serious piece of work. The hard part now will be keeping it going. If that were mine I think I'd be tempted to get the re-builds done by van den Hul.

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