Koetsu Urushi Sky Blue MC Cartridge
Sumptuous Koetsu Urushi Sky Blue Phono Cartridge Soars: Highly Polished Sky Blue Appearance and Finely Detailed, Balanced Sound Attest to Mythical Status
Providing inspired and inspirational high-end performance that makes vinyl soar to new heights, the Koetsu Urushi Sky Blue phono cartridge features a gorgeous Urushi body that mirrors the traditional Japanese art of Urushi. Used to coat everything from furniture to tableware and decorations, the liquid material is extremely protective, wondrously shiny, and visually stunning when properly applied to the right medium. Expressive of Japanese heritage, Urushi takes on maybe its most striking guise ever in the form of the Koetsu Urushi Series. On the stunning Urushi Sky Blue, the finishing process hardens the hand-carved rosewood body and accounts for a much more detailed, nuanced presentation than that which is possible with a non-lacquered rosewood body. It’s enough to almost make you forget about the precision-ground and custom-made stylus. Combine these exceptional traits with Koetsu’s fabled tonal richness, balanced harmonics, lush midrange, and soothing smoothness, and you have a rare musical instrument that seduces with organic, ultra-precise sound and warm, museum-quality appearance. You’ll never grow tired of listening to – or looking at – Urushi Sky Blue.
“Now with the Urushi Sky Blue the music moves, it swings, there's life where before the interplay of the musicians seemed stiff and mechanical. The 'Blue made the difference. Of course my better sounding LPs were much improved by the 'Blue, but I expected that.”
—Steve Guttenberg, CNET
Sublime Ease, Liquidity, Clarity, Balance, Focus, and More
Koetsu owners don’t ask why. They just know. It explains why 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.
More Than Just a Phono Cartridge
Unsurpassed quality and superior performance never come cheap. By its definition, "best" applies to a very select and extremely small sample size. While not everyone will be fortunate enough to experience the thrills wrought by a Koetsu cartridge mining vinyl’s grooves and making beautiful music, all audiophiles relate to – and crave – the idea of the reference-setting imaging, three-dimensionality, supple harmonic richness, and tonal elegance that they effortlessly produce. The difference is that such sought-after characteristics aren’t just starry-eyed ideas or goals with Koetsu. They’re reality. And with a Koetsu, they’re your reality.
Urushi Finishes and Koetsu: Two Proud Japanese Traditions
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 gorgeous appearances. Today, Sugano’s son, Fumihiko, carries on the proud legacy.
A Sound Investment: Trade-In or Rebuild Your Koetsu Cartridge
Koetsu customers that already own a Koetsu model have two great options to get a new cartridge. Trade-in your existing Koetsu cartridge (no matter the working condition) and receive a 20% discount on any new Koetsu model. 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. Rebuilds take approximately six to eight weeks from the time Music Direct receives your old cartridge.