Worldwide List of Phono Cartridge Retippers and Rebuilders
Compiled By Rob (with an introduction by Bill Hart)
In connection with the publication of Mike Bodell’s study on stylus wear, I thought readers might find value in the attached list of phono cartridge retippers and rebuilders. These folks can repair most phono cartridges and bring them back to life. I do think it makes sense to consult the original cartridge manufacturer first for advice on stylus life and options for inspection.This may prove particularly important if there is any possible warranty coverage, since once a cartridge has been modified or retipped by a third party, the original manufacturer may be unwilling to perform any work on it, whether or not under warranty.
Apart from the original cartridge manufacturer, there are many third-party resources for cartridge repair and retipping if you choose not to have the manufacturer do so or do not have a local dealer who is qualified to perform such an inspection.
The list which follows was compiled by my friend Rob, a long-time audiophile with a considerable amount of experience buying, using and enjoying some of the great hi-fi gear made over the decades. Rob contributed this list to a forum I frequent and allowed me to reprint it here.
Among the questions you might consider, apart from location, turn-around time and expertise, are whether the shop will do an inspection to determine whether a stylus needs to be replaced (including an estimate of time for inspection alone) and whether they are capable of replacing the stylus without replacing the cantilever. Motor assembly and suspension work may also be within their domain but I’d check first. There may be others and readers are welcome to add them via comments (and I’ll try to update the list accordingly).
My thanks to Rob, who is always gracious and ever so knowledgeable.
Here’s the “list”:
Expert Stylus Repair (Wyndham Hodgson) are UK based and offer complete rebuilds. Contrary to what I’ve read the lead times aren’t too lengthy, I don’t think I’ve waited more than 45-60 days from mailing my cart to the UK and having it back in the US of A. These are the guys to send your Linn Troika to, classic Supex (Koetsu) and literally anything other cart retippers/rebuilders won’t touch. No web presence, email only: [email protected]
Northwest Analogue are UK based and offer extensive rebuild services including rewinding coils, etc. I have not used them but heard one of their rebuilt Koetsus and it was excellent, the craftsmanship looked top-notch too.
Andy Kim aka The Needle Clinic. Andy has repaired a Koetsu Rosewood (missing cantilever) and Linn Karma for me. Turnaround was quick and the price fair, both carts went on to new owners and are still running strong.
Holistic is in the Netherlands and has a great rep, I don’t have direct experience but another collector-friend I know has two carts done by them and loves the result.
Peter Ledermann, best known and recommended retipper in the US. Peter is a fountain of knowledge on all things audio, I’d love to someday visit his lab and soak it all in.
Steve Leung of VAS NOVA fame. see Bill Hart’s other post and review at The Vinyl Press
Garrott Bros. are Australian based and also mfr MC carts. They’re well known for modifying DECCA carts back in the day. I owned one of their modded carts but have not used their rebuild/retip service
Ken Kessler on Garrott: https://www.kenkessler.com/hi-fi/gar…cca-cartridge/
AJ Van den Hul – his reputation precedes him, one of the best retippers. I’ve owned a retipped Koetsu, VdH and Benz carts that AJ did and they all performed as expected.
Goldring is UK based and a well known mfr of MC and MM carts. They also repair/retip other makes.
Ana Mighty is based in France and offer repair and retipping services.
Len Gregory aka The Cartridgeman is in the UK, they have their own bespoke line of carts and offer retipping services.
John Wright aka J. Wright Audio Services, UK based DECCA cartridge guru. Perhaps the first place to look to rebuild your DECCA
Roberto Torlai is in Italy and a cartridge builder as well as re-builder, I never used him but his reputation is well established.
AudioSilente this co was brought to my attention, also based in Italy.
JFS Tonabnehmer German based retipper, known for B&O carts but they work on all brands.
Axel Schürholz (now retired) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57sDQ7eiS00
West-tech are a US based rebuilders of vintage American carts.
Jilco and Namiki are among a few suppliers of styli and cartridge components in Japan and aren’t retippers per se, however I have a cart that was purportedly retipped by Namiki. Japanese cos. tend to be mercurial and not easy to establish a relationship with. Even my ex who was fluent in Japanese got the brush off when she made inquiries on my behalf.
You can find Rob’s original post (with some additional info on a few folks not on the list) at https://www.audionirvana.org/forum/the-audio-vault/analog-playback/cartridges/107908-worldwide-list-of-phono-cartridge-retippers-and-rebuilders