Pricing advice sought

I’d be grateful for some guidance. I’ve got a Kiseki Purpleheart NOS away at ESCO for a retip and my Phasemation PP-500 is also needing done and I could send it off to ESCO for a retip when the Kiseki comes back.

I’m pondering whether to keep and use them or sell them both and use the funds raised to buy a new cartridge. I’m not sure what I’d get at this stage but a lot will depend on how much I could raise.

The Kiseki Purpleheart NOS is a limited edition and is no. 9 of a run of 49. What impact, if any, would that rarity have on it’s asking price I wonder?

For what it’s worth, the new type Kiseki Purpleheart NS currently retails for £2495 and the retail price of the Phasemation PP-500 is £2295.

Any thoughts on what would be an appropriate asking price for these cartridges given they will have been freshly retipped by ESCO? Thanks in advance.

Don’t have a turntable anymore and so my opinion, as on any subject, is probably of little use but the retipping of exotic cartridges by anyone other than the oem with genuine parts was always a massive put off for me.

Realise that many of the oem’s no longer exist but not even sure you’ll get back the money you spend at ESCO.

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I’ve got to tell you that was not what I was hoping to hear. :grinning:

I must say that I was under the impression that ESCO had a decent reputation so find it surprising that you, and presumably others, would be put off to such an extent.

If you’re right and the cartridges post ESCO are really no longer desirable on the second hand market, I imagine I’ll hold off sending in the Phasemation and just run the Kiseki for a while.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I sold a Kiseki Purpleheart Sapphire that had been re-tipped by ESCO (incl one of their “home grown” sapphire cantilevers) about 8 years back. The cart was about 20 years old when it was re-tipped and sold. Iirc, I got £900 on ebay.


Thanks for your reply Jim. That’s very helpful and quite encouraging.


Can’t say I totally agree with unclep on this. A retip will put some people off but not everyone. As long as it has been done at somewhere reputable (such as ESCO) and you keep the paperwork you should still have a decent audience to sell to. Also it might be worth seeing if there is any interest in it as is. I was considering getting a Transfig Spirit retipped once but sold it as it was and saved the time and expense.


My starting point would typically be 50% of rrp for an original untouched cart with a decent amount of life left, or if retipped by the manufacturer.

Third party retip of an expensive mc would have me thinking more like 30-40% ballpark.


Thanks Nick. That’s also more encouraging. I hadn’t thought of selling as is as I thought I wouldn’t get much for a cartridge with over 900 hours on it. Food for thought. Also no harm in testing the market I guess.

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Thanks for your thoughts Wayne. That’s very helpful.

Taking the long view I might be tempted to sit on the Kiseki for a little while and sell the Phasemation. pointing this out as Koetsu is no more…the purple heart did share some tone with the Rosewood and was very popular with people getting on the Koetsu ladder.

I can see the price of the Kiseki improving, It should be with the clean bill of health £1200 - The key being nice photography and pointing out dampers on many originals are often out of whack. Guessing you will play both carts when they come back and this will likely be the decider. The Kiseki may be slightly more detailed with the fine line from ESCO.

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Thanks Matt. I hadn’t considered that the value of the Kiseki might pick up over time as a consequence of the demise of Koetsu. Good thinking.

I did slightly prefer the Phasemation to the Kiseki but this was mainly due to the fact it was so quiet in the groove and very forgiving of noisy pressings whereas the Kiseki exposed every bit of noise on the record.

My plan was to listen to the Kiseki with the paratrace tip. If it still compares poorly to the Phasemation in terms of record noise then I won’t be sending the Phasemation to ESCO.

I will explore other options including having it retipped with the original Ogura PA stylus by Ana Mighty Sound in Paris who are the European distributors for Phasemation.

Alternatively, I might sell it “as is” as Nick suggested along with the retipped Kiseki and buy something new. Difficult decisions ahead especially considering your advice on the value of the Kiseki possibly increasing over time.

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Paul, might be worth checking out Anamighty in France for a Phasemation check over. I believe they have all the the parts, skill and authority from Phasemation to bring the carts back to new. From what I understand they’ll give an honest and reliable appraisal of what’s required. Not used them myself but I know others who have

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Thanks Dan. I did actually send the Phasemation to Ana Mighty a few years ago for a check over and it came back with a clean bill of health. Since then it has a lot more mileage under its belt and I’m sure that it is the right time for a retip.

The advantages of sending it to ESCO are primarily cost, speed and a customs free experience. However, none of that will matter if I find the Paratrace tip on the Kiseki is not as quiet as I would like. At that stage I will explore the costs and timescales of sending the Phasemation to Ana Mighty.


I had ESCO retip a cadenza blue for me and it sounds amazing. Everyone comments on how good it sounds. So there is a good chance the paratrace will maybe improve its sound or at least sound fab. I have found ESCO to be very honest and do a great job


Thanks for your reply Tim.

I have noticed over the years a number of people in the classifieds of the various forums selling freshly retipped cartridges and I always wondered why that might be.

So, it’s good to hear that you have had such a positive experience with ESCO. I’m very much looking forward to getting the Kiseki back from ESCO, this week hopefully. It’s been a while since its last outing and I’m excited to hear it with the Paratrace tip. Fingers crossed that I will be as pleased as you clearly are. That would be an excellent result.

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I may be stupid but why would anyone retip a NOS cartridge? New suspension I understand, but replacing a brand new diamond with another seems…weird?

Neither are NOS, from what I’ve read both are significantly used James.

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Hi James and welcome to the AA.

When Kiseki restarted manufacture around 2013, the introduced two new models; the Blue NS and the Purpleheart NS. NS stands for New Style.

However, they had some left over parts from the past when they ceased trading including old style bodies. They used these parts to make limited edition runs called the Blue NOS and the Purpleheart NOS. NOS stands for New Old Style as they were new cartridges made using old style bodies. NOS does not mean new old stock in this context. I hope that clears it up for you.

I’m retipping the cartridge because it has about 850 hours on it and, according to ESCO who checked it over, it was about 85% worn. They recommended a retip.

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Thanks Hermit,
That makes sense and explains my confusion. Although I know the models this is a cartridge type I’ve never heard of!

I hope it goes well for you.