The Cartridge That Started an Analog Legacy: Hand-Crafted Koetsu Rosewood Standard (RED) Cartridge Spoils Music Lovers With Breathtaking Depth, Focus, and Richness
When Yoshiako Sugano founded Koetsu in the 1970s, the master cartridge builder started with the Stereophile Class B Recommended Rosewood Standard (RED). Today, the beautiful cartridge remains a go-to staple for countless analog enthusiasts that demand to experience the immersive depth, laser-like focus, and supple tonal richness that only vinyl provides. Featuring a lighter wood body than its aluminum sibling, Black, RED proves a more faithful tracker and virtually eliminates any audible surface noise during playback. Of course, RED possesses the sought-after characteristics that have caused many audiophiles to look upon Koetsu with almost-mythical reverence: Natural harmonics, stellar frequency response, buttery smoothness, and elegant balance. The rare type of cartridge deserving of the boast "brings your record collection back to life," RED features six-nines copper (99.9999% pure) and a specially designed, precision-ground stylus. This is what hand-crafted analog magic sounds like.
“…I have never experienced any Koetsu, mine or a friend’s, that didn’t give me pleasure just by being there, screwed onto the end of a nice tonearm and playing records.”
—Herb Reichart, Stereophile, Class B Recommended Component
Able to Ignite Your Deepest Passions
Koetsu owners don't ask why. They just know. We could wax all day long about likeminded comparisons to these exquisite, handmade, ultra-exclusive cartridges. Similarities to collector automobiles, limited-batch scotches, and sought-after luxury goods ranging from super-complication watches to perfect-cut diamonds spring to mind. Like each Koetsu, these choice articles ignite our deepest passions and inspire within us emotion, enthusiasm, and excitement that nothing else comes close to matching.
Musical Transcendence and Transformation
At the end of the day, however, Koetsu cartridges don't require any fancy promotion or exaggerated typecasting. They stand alone for what they represent: The zenith of analog sound. These reverential musical instruments are all about musical transcendence and transformation. Indeed, while some listeners will inevitably demand how Koetsu justifies its pricing, our reply is simple: Once you listen, you'll hear and understand everything. Questions and doubts immediately melt away. All that's left behind is music distinguished with utmost ease, liquidity, vibrancy, clarity, responsiveness, and focus. The kind that leaves you wondering just how much detail, information, and texture you've missed on records you've heard hundreds of times.
The Legacy of Koetsu Begins With Master Builder Yoshiaki Sugano
Founded in the 1970s by Yoshiaki Sugano – a multi-skilled boxer, sword maker, painter, metallurgist, and Toyota executive that held a special love for hi-fi audio – and named after Honami Koetsu, a 17th-century Japanese artist and calligrapher, Koetsu prizes tradition, purity, and perfection. A direct descendant of the medieval Koetsu, Sugano demanded his cantilevers be built of a "special" iron custom-made by a northern Japanese university that used a secret process. After receiving pre-aged rubber suspensions and rosewood bodies from other craftsman, Sugano painstakingly hand-built each cartridge in the same manner a legendary violin maker obsesses over a wood's finite grain and age. Koetsu cartridges stood out not only for their transparent sound and exotic materials, but for their flawless appearance. Today, Sugano's son, Fumihiko, carries on the proud legacy.
A Sound Investment: Trade-In or Rebuild Your Koetsu Cartridge and Save Big
Customers that already own a Koetsu have two great options to get a new cartridge. Trade-in your existing Koetsu cartridge (no matter the condition) and receive a 20% discount on any new Koetsu model. Upgrades have seldom come easier. Offering additional security and peace of mind on your investment, all Koetsu cartridges can also be completely rebuilt from the ground-up for a fraction of the price of a brand-new cartridge. The rebuilt cartridge will essentially be a new Koetsu featuring the same serial number and body of your original model. The rebuild process take approximately six to eight weeks from the time Music Direct receives your old cartridge.
Type: moving coil
Coil wiring: copper
Magnet: Samarium cobalt
Frequency range: 20Hz-100kHz
Channel separation: 25dB/1kHz
Inner impedance: 5 ohms
Channel balance: .5dB/1kHz
Recommended impedance: 30 ohms
Compliance: 5x10-6cm/dyne at 100Hz
Recommended Tracking Force: 1.8-2.0g
Recommended Load: 80-1,000 Ohms