Country of origin : Japan

From this manufacturer :

  • Analogue
Manufacturer’s Website
Koetsu moving coil cartidges
Outstanding contemporary designs from the company which arguably created the high-end ‘artisan’ cartridge genre with the extraordinary Koetsu ‘Black’ in the early eighties.


In 1984 Ricardo Franassovici of distributor Absolute sounds came into the store I was working at and produced a Koetsu Black in an unassuming sandalwood box.

In those days it was all about Denon, Supex, Linn and Ortofon, all of whom had top of the range cartridges at typically around the £2-300 pound mark.

The Koetsu cost twice as much as any of its competitors.

So a hard sell? Err, no.

I put it on a Sondek with an Ittok and immediately I was sold.

We had an exceptional run on selling the original Black and the Rosewood and then came Urushi. Clearly the late Koetsu designer Sugano-san, who had started building cartridges purely for himself and a few friends, was far ahead of the game in many ways.

Sugano’s spirit still remains with his son, who was clearly paying attention to his father’s teaching. The contemporary range has expanded, but remain amongst the best money can buy. Koetsu fans insist that nothing else ‘takes you there’ like a Koetsu, and quite a few will own two or three models which they switch between, savouring the individual character of each version.

Koetsus still aren’t exactly inexpensive, but one thing I can say with complete conviction is simply that you do indeed get what you pay for. Please call for models currently on demonstration.


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