The Koetsu Urushi have always been the sweet spot of their product line up. Offering better performance than the Rosewood, but still relatively affordable when compared to the stone body cartridges. The history behind this finish on the base rosewood body is fascinating, and is one facet of why this cartridge sounds like it does. Here is an excerpt about it:
The sap of the lacquer tree, today bearing the technical description of "urushiol-based lacquer," has traditionally been used in Japan. As the substance is poisonous to the touch until it dries, the creation of lacquerware has long been practiced only by skilled dedicated artisans.
The Tsugaru is the pinnacle of the Urushi line, with the finest and most complcated finish. The pictures I have taken really cannot convey the depth and subtlety of this finish. And this is why there is a $500 premium over the other Urushi cartridges, and it is a special order from most retailers.https://www.needledoctor.com/Koetsu-Urushi-Tsugaru-Phono-Cartridge
This cartridge has been serviced and retipped by Van Den Hul, and has zero hours on the diamond. I had bought a second Urushi Vermilion to use, and aside from an initial check out, I chose to set this cartridge aside while I used the hours in the other cartridge. I am the second owner on this cartridge, and bought it as being serviced by VDH. In a comparison with a stock Urushi, there is literally no difference in performance. But then again VDH is one of the highest skilled cartridge artisans available to us.
Cartridge comes in a Koetsu box, although I am unsure if this box is original to this cartridge. Have the factory stylus guard. The body does have threaded cartridge mounting, which my other Urushi does not have.
Sell for $2500 plus 3.3% for Paypal and buyer pays shipping
Body: Rosewood w/ Urushi lacquer
Type: moving coil
Coil wiring: silver-plated copper
Magnet: Samarium cobalt
Frequency range: 20Hz-100kHz
Channel separation: 25dB/1kHz
Inner impedance: 5 ohms
Channel balance: .5dB/1kHz
Recommended impedance: 30 ohms
Compliance: 5x10-6cm/dyne at 100Hz
Selling to fund another analog project, and I just have too many cartridges. The Koetsu magic is here in this cartridge, and this is one of the most affordable Urushi you will find. A true gem in the anaog world.