Kiseki Blue NS

Apologies for the longish post.

I’ve been thinking about a cartridge upgrade in the £1200 - £1800 range. It’s important to me to get a cartridge that is a good match to my SUT and amp and the Kiseki Blue NS has caught my eye. The problem is I’m a novice when it comes to SUTs and would be grateful for confirmation that I’m on the right track.

The internal impedance of the Kiseki is 40 ohms. Am I right in thinking this would be an optimal match for my Luxman AD8000/8020 SUT which has “Primary 40 Ohms” written on it?

The Luxman SUT is 1:10 and the Kiseki output is 0.44 mV at 5 cm/s. I presume this would present an output of 4.4mv to the MM stage of my Luxman amp. Need I be concerned that this might overload the L590ax MM stage with input sensitivity of 2.5mV / 47kΩ?

Final questions: has anyone heard this cartridge? It’s not one talked about much on the forums.

Any other suggestions in my price range that would be a good electrical match to both Luxmans and a good mechanical match to an SME 310?

Thanks in advance.

1:10 sounds ideal for a cartridge with this internal impedance & output.

The phono stage may have a quoted sensitivity of 2.5 mV (to what exactly? full output?) but I’ll bet that the 5 mV output of a typical MM cartridge would not be a problem for it & nor would the 4mV or so you’ll get from the Kiseki & your SUT.

But £1200-£1800 is a fair lump of cash & I’d be sure to check out the other alternatives at that price level from the likes of Ortofon, Transfiguration, Shelter & even Ikeda if you can find any of them. You might even want to check that you’d be getting a tangible upgrade from a Hana SL or similarly priced offerings.

I seem to remember one review noting (I have not had one in to hear for myself) The treble can be rather harsh until the cart has ‘run in’ - Damper related? I’m assuming your 10 has a V or IV tonearm? The Kiseki is purportedly suited to a medium mass arm. This is interesting as the original Kiseki carts shared much with Koetsu and they like 18g++ to sing. (I guess there have been some changes?)

I have posted this in another thread but it may give you food for thought and potentially save you a bundle.

Having 20+ hours on my new Hana SL I am very very impressed for the money. It easily lives with my Kesiki PHS and Japanese original Io, which has recently been factory rebuilt. The rebuild alone cost multiples of the cost of the Hana! I do not mean that they all sound the same but the balance of all attributes for each, when compared to the cost, puts the Hana up there with the best. The Io is best overall, it can make you weepy and can also punch you through the back of the sofa but then it really ought to be!

A truly lovely cart which I could live with every day. If you like MC and have a suitable SUT I cannot but recommend this cart. I really doubt that you will be disappointed. I "omitted " to mention to SWMBO that I had swapped in a new cart from the previous PHS. SWMBO has ears like a cat but has happily sat for two evenings listening to this and requesting her favourite albums. Result. Listening to Kate Bush Hounds of Love on request. Irish pipes and drums are alive in the room. Panning is clear and wide outside the speakers/ room walls. Diction of the different voices very clear.

Just to indicate that there is nowhere for the cart to hide it is running through, TT Oracle /Audiomods an ANS 2 Silver SUT, SJS top of the range Phono / Graff 13.5B II pre / Sugden Masterclass monos and Kondo wired ART Impressions ,so the window is quite wide open to reveal any issues.

I am very impressed and totally happy with this cart. If in budget and you prefer MC to MM. Buy one.

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Thanks for your replies gentlemen.


Thanks very much for confirming that the Kiseki is a good match for my SUT and amp. I’d hate to make such an expensive rookie mistake.

I’ll look into Ikeda cartridges but I had thought they would prefer a heavier arm than my 310. I’d ruled out Ortofon, Transfiguration and Shelter as they all have low or quite low internal impedance.

My 310 is a 2016 model so I believe it has the magnesium armtube and series V bearings. No damping though. I plugged the specs of the new series Kiseki Blue and the 310 into the vinyl engine resonance calculator and arrived at 9hz so clearly it is a very different beast to the original blue. Comments and reviews on the web suggest it sounds on a par or marginally better than the original.

The Hana SL was on my radar and does pose a massive dilemma. I also quite fancy the AT33SA and have wondered how it compares to the Hana SL. I currently have an AT33PTGii which I like very much.

Whilst I am sure that the Hana offers great vfm and is likely a giant killer I feel the urge to splurge on an ‘end game’ cartridge. My thinking is that I will keep getting the Kiseki or the like rebuilt and in the long term this may ameliorate the initial large outlay in comparison to buying and re-buying cartridges at the Hana level which are not worth rebuilding. Decisions, decisions.

I have a brand new unopened Cadenza Black that I’d let go for slightly under your splurge level, so even if you hated it (unlikely) you could sell it on for a profit.

PM me if interested.

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I’ve an SL you can try at home if you fancy it. Should suit your SUT.


Buy a Decca and be done with all that SUT and MC bollocks :wink:


I was wondering how long it would take for you to post this recommendation

Longer than I would have predicted tbh. :smile:

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You can’t rush wisdom.

Of course you can

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Thanks very much Guy. That’s really a very kind offer. I’ll let things percolate for a few days but my heart seems to want the Kiseki. If I come to my senses I may well get back to you on the Hana. It does seem like the sensible choice. I’m just not in a sensible mood :smiling_imp:

Ahha! - Misfire on the reading front - My apologies .