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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: The mystery of Koetsu Onyx Cartridges.
Post Subject: “I cannot express how stunned and disappointed I was with the new Onyx cartridge”Posted by Romy the Cat on: 6/25/2009

The Adrian’s quote about being stunned and disappointed can’t better express my view on the subject. I admit that I am driven by disappointed and in a way anger for the horrendous sound I got from my Koetsu Onyx Platinum. However, it was not a anger targeted against Koetsu sound but rather the anger targeted against my own idiocy. I bough Onyx in 2000 or so in Japan and the very first experience with it was not just beyond any worst expectations, it was hard to describe how bad it was. Gregm described it very well: recessed upper frequencies, mid frequencies were prominent, but very gray mid frequencies, with no color and not since of tonal sophistication, completely rolled of bass, not even bass but some kind of LF noise popup instead of bass. It not even AM sound (my TU-X1 does surprisingly good AM!) but it was AM sound from $5 worth heand0hekld portable radio. I was bitching to varies advisers of my at that time but any single person I consulted told me that I do something wrong and that my Kouetsu shall be “wonderful”. Believe me or not but it took for me 5 years of many attempts to make Koetsu to sound in any more or less acceptable way. I never ever was able to hear a whole track on this cartridge but I have countless attends to put it into different arms in different configuration and conditions; trying to punch anything that remotely resembling any civilized sound. My “anger” not for the Koetsu but for me being not firmed enough in my given experience and in my convictions – it took for me years to “agree” with myself and to admit that Koetsu is just a horrendous crap.

I do not afraid to drop a very negative judgment about the company juts based upon a single cartridge I experience from them. Why not? Make better cartridges and control the quality of own production better – then you will not have the disappointments as I have. How much credit you extend to your doctor who misdiagnosed your heart attack and you died? Most of us during our life will buy $6000 cartridges as many times as we have heart attacks during our life-span. Koetsu had its chance, it monumentally blew it. I, thank God, do not write for “official institutions” and I do not look for my commentary to have more value than my own truth. Being a proponent of Kant’s transcendental idealism I need no further evidences about the Koetsu’s needles.

Now, Adrian and perhaps others might suggest that in past Koetsu were much different. I admit that it is very common with most of audio companies. The Adrian’s comment contains the key: “it kind of pointless since we are talking more for the sake of nostalgia not anything to do with what we may do with our audio systems in the present”. Let me to take it a bit further. If the Koetsu’s old needles were great in past and today’s needles are crap then we are under impression that today quality is an accident and misfortune (for whatever reasons). However, shell I not consider that the sound of Koetsu 25 year ago was an “accident and misfortune”, the misfortune that I today would consider as “positive misfortune”.

When we are talking about Telefunken high-bias reel-to-reel tape we call it as it is – crap and we do not care that back in 1943 the Telefunken made time that was orders of magnitude better then anywhere in world. When we listen today’s crappy Tanoy’s drivers we do not care that in end of the 50s Tanoy did quit good speakers. The point is that if the train is gone then it is gone, even if it was there. What do am I doing now? Channeling the anger for myself being a food and do not send Koetsu to hell 9 year back? Well, what else can I do now?

The Cat

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