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Koetsu Black K Moving Coil Cartridge

Koetsu Black K Moving Coil Cartridge

  (4 Reviews)

As iconic today as it's always been

£1,748.33 Exc. VAT |  


Koetsu Black K Moving Coil Cartridge

The Koetsu Black offers the signature tonal balance and natural harmonics that the line is known for worldwide, but at a price that makes it much more accessible for a larger group of analog aficionados. The tonal signature of all Koetsus is pure smoothness. Sure there may be some cartridges that better the Koetsu in a specific area, but there are none that offer the complete package. If you really care about the sound of music, if your goal is to be immersed in tones that make up chords, and you don't want to put up with any more hi-fi artifacts, the choice is simple.....only a Koetsu cartridge will do.

In the 1970s, Sugano began to experiment with phono cartridges by substituting his own parts in commercially available models. His keen ear and deductive reasoning, combined with an artist's sensibilities, led to the creation of what would become a legend in audio. Sensing the moment, Sugano named his cartridge after his hero, Koetsu.


Sugano's quest led him to enlist universities, specialized industries and master craftspeople to create the special parts to go into his masterpieces. One of the first to use 4 nines copper (99.99% pure), curent production uses 6 nines copper (99.9999% pure). Platinum signature models feature silver cladding of the 6 nines copper, a process where a silver sheath is slowly drawn over the copper conductor.

Ultra-pure iron square plate formers were sourced for their most predictable magnetic characteristics and lowest oxidation. Pre-aged to the perfect consistency, rubber suspension parts are sourced under license with a rubber damper manufacturer. Special magnetic materials, including Alnico have been featured. Today, samarium-coblalt is used with platinum magnets reserved for the flagship models. Japanese craftsmen carve the rosewood bodies, lacquer coat the Urushi bodies, or cut stone for the onyx Platinum. Styli are specially designed and precision ground for Koetsu.

Today, Sugano's sons have revived his art and continue to create musical masterpieces under the watchful eye of the old master. For every music lover, your journey to musical nirvana is incomplete without a Koetsu phono cartridge in your system.

The tonal signature of all Koetsu's is pure smoothness. Sure there are cartridges that better the Koetsu in every area but there are none that are the complete package. If you really care about the sound of music, if your goal is to be immersed in tones that make up chords, and you don't want to put up with any more hifi artifacts, the choice is simple.....Koetsu




Body: anondized aluminum
Type: moving coil
Coil wiring: copper
Magnet: Samarium cobalt
Cantilever: boron
Output: .4mV
Frequency range: 20Hz-100kHz
Channel separation: 25dB/1kHz
Inner impedance: 5 ohms
Channel balance: .5dB/1kHz
Recommended impedance: 30 ohms
Weight: 10.8g
Compliance: 5x10-6cm/dyne at 100Hz
Tracking Force: 1.8-2.0g


Average Rating (4 Reviews):  
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Very Good but not for me!
Friday, 15 October 2021  | 

I wanted a new cartridge to compliment my new (used) AVID Acutus turntable. The dealer recommended the Koetsu Black. Having never tried a wood bodied cartridge before I wasn't sure what to expect. It is excellent at detail and sound staging snd the overall balance of presentation is very good. For me though I couldn't live with the slightly 'warm' sound that it gave voices in particular. It sounded a bit coloured to my ears. The bass was a bit too strong but that's probably a combination of AVID Acutus and Audio Note AN-E loudspeakers in a room that's a bit too small. I can see why the dealer would recommend it. It is a very good cartridge and if you are looking for that degree of warmth you probably won't do better at the money. I have also tried a Kiseki Purple Heart and I thought the Black was better. I think it comes down to if you're after a very detailed sound or not. I think I prefer the open detailed sound,

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Koetsu Black
Thursday, 13 May 2021  | 

You need to be aware that Koetsu cartridges are hand built in Japan so if your model isn't in stock it could take a while to arrive. It is worth the wait! The Black is the 'entry level' Koetsu cartridge which was fitted by AS to my Linn LP12 (karousel, mose/hercules) with an Ittok arm, it tracks beautifully. This cartridge was a revelation from the start as compared to the D17 karat I had previously. It continues to improve with a few hours playing. The music is fluid with excellent timing which does get you involved and completely immersed after a little while. I play all sorts of music, rock, pop, folk, African, jazz, blues (anything apart from Drill and opera) and it doesn't fail anywhere. There are reviews out there that talk about high and low roll off. I haven't noticed it, detail at both ends is very fine (yes that old clichť I heard things.... was true) and the soundstage is large (which gets wider and higher through playing). I hate sibalence, it grates on me, however the Koetsu hasn't got a jot of it so vocals sound natural without being too 'up front'. Many reports say you need a high mass arm for Koetsus (this may well be true for the higher end cartridges) however my Ittok seems to like the Black and so do I!!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Beautiful natural sound
Sunday, 18 April 2021  | 

Itís quite difficult to describe this cartridge because it sounds so natural that you donít listen for itís specific characteristics. All I can say is that from the first track it sounded wonderful and I just kept listening for the whole morning. Installing and setting it up was straightforward because the body is rectangular and machined very accurately from aluminum. Using an alignment protractor is much easier as a result. I set it at 1.8g VTF and 1.5g of anti skating force. That worked well with my deck and I have not changed it since.

I had heard that this cartridge is not so good with heavy rock or metal but it had no problem in my system with loads of deep controlled bass, very good attack, and timing. However, where this cartridge really shines is with vocals, jazz and classical.
Imaging is spectacular and the midrange and treble are just beautiful.
Itís an expensive cartridge but if you have a good system, it will make the most of its capabilities. I was previously using a Denon DS-1, which is very good, but not even in the same league as the Koetsu. Despite the price, this has been the biggest system upgrade, in terms of sound quality, that I have made for many years. Well worth the investment.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

A Real Classy Sound
Wednesday, 14 November 2018  | 

Having come from the Dynavector stable previously David at Analogue Seduction sugguested to try the Koetsu Black .I was looking to upgrade and bring a cartridge to match of the Avid Sequel and SME IV tonearm. I arrived with my Turntable set up and together we set up the Koetsu Black Cartridge on the SME IV.This proved difficult due to the long cartridge body and lower height compared to the Dynavector. The issue was resolved with the introduction of the head shell spacer of 3 grams .This increased the height of the tonearm and allowed a straight forward cartridge to tonearm set up to take place. Now to the sound .My record collection now breathes and becomes so musical .The Koetsu black is all about mid range .Many thanks for Davids time in setting up and his advice.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

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