Sourcing Nagaoka Styli That Isn't Fake?

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WHAMMO_63
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Sourcing Nagaoka Styli That Isn't Fake?

Post by WHAMMO_63 » 11 Jun 2019 20:34

And also not crazy expensive! I mean, Amazon has a MP-110 stylus listed for sale by 'Nagaoka' for $162?

https://www.amazon.com/NAGAOKA-genuine- ... 01D11XZN8/

Apparently the Needle Doctor doesn't even list Nagaoka products anymore. There's a flood of pretty obvious fakes out there, anyone have a reputable source for official & certified Nagaoka products? TIA!

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Re: Sourcing Nagaoka Styli That Isn't Fake?

Post by Tinkaroo » 11 Jun 2019 21:00

I see some on eBay from Japan starting around $48 US.

Amazon prices can be all over the map and quite often on the absurd side.

What makes you suspect some stylii are fake?

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Re: Sourcing Nagaoka Styli That Isn't Fake?

Post by mrow2 » 11 Jun 2019 22:44

I doubt if this has to do with "fake" vs genuine styli offerings. There are different levels of quality. Where it becomes a little gray is the mid-priced units that don't present any documentation as to the build quality, so it's pretty much buyer beware -- Caveat emptor, with the various prices. If I owned a nice vintage Nagaoka I'd be aware that there are inexpensive after-market styli versions which will produce very decent sound in the range Tinkeroo suggests. That's probably your best bet until you're ready for higher-end reproduction. I'd also want to learn what Jico has to offer for my particular cartridge and try to determine if paying more for a stylus is best or if I'd be better off going with a new Audio Technica ATVM95E or something like The VM540ML or even the 740, for instance, and how would one of those compare with a Nagaoka MP-110 generator. For an aftermarket replacement, I'd want to know the dimensions of the stylus, whether it's a little diamond tip glued onto a metal post (these can sound quite ok) or a nude rectangular diamond post (likely more expensive). One frustrating thing about researching aftermarket stylus designs is that the vendors often don't offer any meaningful specs, like the dimensions or type, beyond the word "elliptical." But if you buy from a decent vendor, they'll likely exchange if there's a sibilance issue or something else wrong that's symptomatic of a manufacturing error. i.e., they all should sound reasonably good or ok. If the post is inserted off-angle, it will affect balance and sibilance, also record life). Think I'll do an update in the PDF re: this topic. See the Jico chart here (which I just made), for a visual explanation for why there might be cheaper and more expensive ones ...
Jico stylus chart bb.jpg
(208.02 KiB) Downloaded 83 times
https://www.jico-stylus.com/sas.php

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Re: Sourcing Nagaoka Styli That Isn't Fake?

Post by WHAMMO_63 » 11 Jun 2019 23:04

Tinkaroo wrote:
11 Jun 2019 21:00
I see some on eBay from Japan starting around $48 US.

Amazon prices can be all over the map and quite often on the absurd side.

What makes you suspect some stylii are fake?
I was looking at some photos and the Nagaoka logo appeared to have been sloppily printed on someone's desktop printer. I searched for 'counterfeit Nagaoka' and it seems that there is some legitimate concern. I also was unable to find a Nagaoka website in Japan, which concerned me. there is nagaoka.eu, but they don't appear to sell anything. I believe I also read a thread on this forum suggesting that the Needle Doctor was the only authorized Nagaoka dealer in the US, so finding out they stopped carrying Nagaoka products also set off alarm bells.

http://www.nagaoka.eu/data/articles/ima ... m/m_55.jpg

Note: I also emailed nagaoka.eu a few days ago about buying their products, but have not heard from them yet.

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Re: Sourcing Nagaoka Styli That Isn't Fake?

Post by davetruestory » 11 Jun 2019 23:14

Aa this price is better to buy the cartridge, $108 vs $169. And I don't like it sound.

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Re: Sourcing Nagaoka Styli That Isn't Fake?

Post by davetruestory » 11 Jun 2019 23:19


WHAMMO_63
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Re: Sourcing Nagaoka Styli That Isn't Fake?

Post by WHAMMO_63 » 11 Jun 2019 23:19

mrow2 wrote:
11 Jun 2019 22:44
I doubt if this has to do with "fake" vs genuine styli offerings. There are different levels of quality. Where it becomes a little gray is the mid-priced units that don't present any documentation as to the build quality, so it's pretty much buyer beware -- Caveat emptor, with the various prices. If I owned a nice vintage Nagaoka I'd be aware that there are inexpensive after-market styli versions which will produce very decent sound in the range Tinkeroo suggests. That's probably your best bet until you're ready for higher-end reproduction. I'd also want to learn what Jico has to offer for my particular cartridge and try to determine if paying more for a stylus is best or if I'd be better off going with a new Audio Technica ATVM95E or something like The VM540ML or even the 740, for instance, and how would one of those compare with a Nagaoka MP-110 generator. For an aftermarket replacement, I'd want to know the dimensions of the stylus, whether it's a little diamond tip glued onto a metal post (these can sound quite ok) or a nude rectangular diamond post (likely more expensive). One frustrating thing about researching aftermarket stylus designs is that the vendors often don't offer any meaningful specs, like the dimensions or type, beyond the word "elliptical." But if you buy from a decent vendor, they'll likely exchange if there's a sibilance issue or something else wrong that's symptomatic of a manufacturing error. i.e., they all should sound reasonably good or ok. If the post is inserted off-angle, it will affect balance and sibilance, also record life). Think I'll do an update in the PDF re: this topic. See the Jico chart here (which I just made), for a visual explanation for why there might be cheaper and more expensive ones ...
Jico stylus chart bb.jpg

https://www.jico-stylus.com/sas.php
Thanks for your help Don, I'm just a little suspicious because the Asian countries will clone anything to make a few Yen. I think I might take a look at Ortofon, or perhaps AT who both seem to offer a wide range of products. I am on disability and receive very little money from SSI, so I want to get the most bang for my buck.

P.S. That JICO site is an interesting read.
Last edited by WHAMMO_63 on 11 Jun 2019 23:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sourcing Nagaoka Styli That Isn't Fake?

Post by WHAMMO_63 » 11 Jun 2019 23:26

davetruestory wrote:
11 Jun 2019 23:19
LP Gear got it for $69.98 https://www.lpgear.com/product/JNP0110.html
Thanks Dave. Are LP Gear a reputable supplier?

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Re: Sourcing Nagaoka Styli That Isn't Fake?

Post by WHAMMO_63 » 11 Jun 2019 23:31

What just occurred to me is that perhaps Nagaoka are simply not savvy enough to heavily Photoshop their product photos? Maybe I'm just so used to fake photos. For example, I was looking at the thread with photos of people's cartridges, and they all just looked so dusty to me :roll:

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Re: Sourcing Nagaoka Styli That Isn't Fake?

Post by mrow2 » 12 Jun 2019 06:10

There might be a larger company behind Nagaoka now. I saw something out there relating Ortofon and Nagaoka together, but have no idea. Pics don't mean a whole lot. Specs do. If you could get a fine-line stylus made by Jico for under $100, it might be worth a look (I do not know). I don't believe there's a big counterfeit conspiracy out there involving vintage phono styli, however. But the two names / makers you'd be able to normally trust would be Nagaoka (the original maker) and Jico. With Shure cartridges, it's now all about aftermarket knockoffs or going with a Jico SAS, As Shure doesn't make them any longer. After researching, you're probably going to be pretty pleased with one of the Audio Technica carts in that range I mentioned, but there are some others worth looking at too. One way of looking at it: each time you jump up $100 you get something more.

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Re: Sourcing Nagaoka Styli That Isn't Fake?

Post by Tinkaroo » 12 Jun 2019 09:34

This is from the Nagaoka website which is in Japanese. I believe they only sell through distributors outside of Japan, so there may be markups, duties etc. which go into the final prices.
https://www.nagaoka.co.jp/item/mp-110.html

I ordered mine directly from an ebay seller in Japan, and the stylus packaging looks exactly like that shown in the website photo I linked to above. It is genuine Nagaoka and works great.

Nagaoka quote the price at 5200 Yen for the stylus which translates to $48 US, which is about what I paid for the one I bought. Most resellers/distributors will be above that price as has been shown through examples in this thread.

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Re: Sourcing Nagaoka Styli That Isn't Fake?

Post by DSJR » 13 Jun 2019 19:39

The MP110 used to be a very low cost cartridge and somehow in the transition from MP11 to MP110, the prices went through the roof for some reason. On the other hand, the AT95E family weren't much different in the 80's I think, and haven't increased by anything like the same amount. The current VM95 models really mustn't be ignored in my opinion, say the VM95-EN at a hundred quid (dollars) or so or the related Goldring E3 (both are great as long as you can screw into them from above).

I didn't think Nagaoka had discontinued these models, so proper official replacements must be available...

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