Gramophone Dreams #21: EMT, Koetsu, Miyajima Contacts

Sidebar: Contacts

EMT Studiotechnik, Industriestrasse 25, 77972 Mahlberg, Germany. Tel: +49 (0)7825-879-47-0. Fax:: +49 (0)7825-879-47-15. Web: US distributor: Tone Imports. Web:

Koetsu, Japan. US distributor: MoFi Distribution, 1811 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Chicago, IL 60660. Tel: (312) 738-5025. Fax: (312) 433-0011. Web:

Miyajima Laboratory, Japan. US distributor: Robyatt Audio. Web:


supamark's picture

I always knew them for their plate reverb units, didn't know they also made phono gear.

Also, Herb - so what sort of stylus does the EMT cart have? I don't think you said but I'm going to assume not a cone.

Ortofan's picture

... the stylus type is a Super Fine Line.

tonykaz's picture

Watch packaging for a $1,000 Automatic is gorgeous.

A $5,000 Rolex gets a Vault Box and much better for the pricier pieces.

Geez, I was owning and selling Brief Cases of Koetsu in Black, Rosewood and Onyx Versions. All came in a crappy Wood box about as nice as an expensive Cigar box.

Back then Koetsu Black was $500, RoseWood would Retail at $750ish, Onyx would be in the $1,250 range.

Where are those older Koetsu Carts? why isn't someone at Grado refreshing our Vintage Greats?

Tony in Michigan

ps. Koetsu were always the Carts creating Love affairs with owners.

grantray's picture

You can expect to pay roughly the same as you go up the ladder in quality, with the same attention to crafted perfection in the instrument, and an elegantly austere wooden box, like a Koetsu. Ditto with quality ceramics from respected houses. As Hon'ami Koetsu was born into a family devoted to the blade, the homage is fitting. More to your point though, high end audio in general is pretty terrible at the art of packaging. Pretty lame, actually.

Metalhead's picture

Really enjoyed the article Herb. I want all 3!!!!!!!!!

Heard a EMT years ago and it was a sheer pleasure. Never heard Koetsu but their reputation precedes them and a rosewood just has to be killer.

Thank God for Soundsmith and Mr. Ledermann keeps my old and well loved Fidelity Research cartridges earning their keep. I will never give up my 201!!!!!!!!

Ortofan's picture

... from one another, doesn't that suggest that at least two of them (and maybe all three) are wrong? Shouldn't the reproduction from analog disc be as close as possible to the sound from the master tape? With the volume of LPs currently being made, is it not possible to get a copy of a master tape to use as a reference when evaluating phono cartridges? Surely MF must have some connections that would make this possible.

Herb Reichert's picture

People say "master tape" like there is only one "real" and sacred document of the recording.

Don't laugh, but during the 1990s I collected Ampex recorders and "master tapes" many of which came directly from the arcives at RCA. What I discovered was that RCA made a 'CD master', a "cassette master" and an "LP master." Naturally, I compared my tapes to the CD and the LP. Surprise! The Lp master sounded like the LP and likewise, the CD master sounded a lot like a CD. I did not have cassettes, but I suspect the reselts would have been similar. Even a dub from a master tape is EQed during the transfer.

What's more, I just received Todd Garfinkle's (MA Recording) latest LP "Nima Ben David - Resonance" it was mastered by Burnie Grundman using a Schiit Yggdrasil DAC and I swear I can 'sense' the sound of the Yggy. It is a truly spectacular LP! What master?

They way I see it, the first commercial release (LP or CD) is the "master" - everything else is an interpratation herb

eskisi's picture

Many turntables (and tape recorders) from the 50s and early 60s feature idler drives but almost none do therafter. I am curious how or why idler drives came about? Was it because belts were difficult to perfect at the time?

Point is, idler drives have — at least — two fatal flaws. One, because the hard-ish rubber idler wheel presses against a small diameter motor shaft, even when stopped, it sooner or later forms a dent which leads to speed constancy problems (that is, assuming, it was ground to perfection in the first place). Two, because the idler wheel, as already mentioned, is relatively hard, it transmits motor vibrations to the platter.

In such a tape deck — of which I have a few — vibration is less noticeable but the wow certainly is. I can only imagine how much worse it must be on a turntable.

Cemil's picture

"I immediately realized that this cartridge is my ex-lover—the one I should never have left, and now, maybe, the one I can't live without."

Totally. Bought my first Koetsu, a Black, in 1982 in never looked back.I had a brief dalliance with a Dyna but went back to the Koetsu. Still own 2 Blacks (now with the gold line), a Rosewood which I upgraded to Platinum and a Coralstone Platinum.

lastperfectday's picture

Also bought a Koetsu black in the early eighties, VD Hul retipped and still going strong. I read so many comments on the ridiculous prices that the ultra hi end demands, but from my side Im quite happy that there are customers for these dreams. Im sure that it keeps the designers dreaming too. After a wonderful review like this, I tend to feel a little sorry for digital only audiophiles, us analogers have so much more to...dream about.