Catch 22 / Price differentials

Discussion in 'Vinyl Nutjob World: Turntable and Related Gear' started by Gallic Dweller, Dec 22, 2018.

  1. Gallic Dweller

    Gallic Dweller Acquaintance

    Mar 31, 2018
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    Midi Pyrenees/France
    when you get older or just plain old, the expression - you can't take it with you becomes relevant.

    I use an AT 33EV bought in the USA at a very good price - $299 when the rate was £1=$1.70. I sent money to my friend in Florida, he repackaged it, put a b/s price on the packager and the Spanish Customs let it pass. Cheapest price anywhere in Europe at that time was in the UK @ £535 - crazy difference in price. My friend has since entered the oneness - so it goes.

    I look on Audiogon at Americans quite rightly ranting at the difference in price of a Japanese cartridge in Japan and the price in the USA, that's the price hike by the importers. In Europe we have a 20% import tariff that is levied not only on the price of the product but on the shipping cost as well.

    So, loving the sound of the 33EV and reading only positive things about the ART 9 I'm sold on looking for a s/hand one from a reputable seller - I've missed out on 3, one from Canada, one from the USA and one from Belgium @ €650. I put off making a call until the evening and it was gone. Not only a good price but no import duties inside the EU.

    Then I go and read an excellent review by someone on Audiogon who has both the ART 9 and the Soundsmith Zephyr MMIC Star - damn but I really like what is said about the Soundsmith and the fact that my Kenwood arm is the right mass for this cartridge.

    So I punch in to google the Soundsmith and joy of joys an American company has them on special offer @ $1,299 - the normal price is $1,999. I email them to supply shipping costs by FedEx/USPS only to get back an email - they can only ship to the 48 States - bugger it.

    I thought about posting on this forum if there was any honest member who I could post $ to who could buy it for me, repackage with a b/s price so I don't pay too much in import charges for which favour i could send quid quo pro an original copy of King Crimson - ITCOTCK - Excellent media/excellent vinyl.

    (a) the French Customs may not buy the b/s price and fine me as well so in the end I have decided to pay the going price in the UK of £1,499/$1.889.

    This seems like a lot for a cartridge but as a good cartridge, properly set up should last a minimum of 2000H it means that 1H of play should cost $1.8.

    The Soundsmith cartridges have another huge plus - the Zephyr can be renewed with a new stylus assembly for $350, something not possible with an MC.

    And like I said at the beginning - you can't take it with you.

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