Kiseki. Japanese for “Miracle”. The most mysterious, cherished, and desired name in phono cartridges. Stories have whirled around for decades why they have a sound that nobody else can attain. If you look at the history, you hear stories about such legendary names as Sugano Yoshiaki (Koetsu), Mr. Kondo (Audio Note), and the mysterious Goro Fokadu. Why is it that Kiseki diamonds are different? Is it true that the final polish is carried out using a human hair? Just how do they achieve a wider channel and the huge sense of space that everybody talks about?
We’ll leave you to go out and find these answers. The driving force that made Kiseki the cartridge used in the reference systems of audio’s most astute reviewers is Herman van den Dungen, owner of Durob Audio BV in The Netherlands. Kiseki was born out of two problems that plague the cartridge industry. One is supply, and sadly that will never be a perfect situation as producing a good product is time consuming. The bigger problem is sample to sample variation. Herman has brought to market some of the most notable brands in high end audio. If you know the Dutch people, they require an even higher level of precision than even the Germans or the Swiss. Herman felt that he could achieve a higher level of quality both in manufacturing and in sound, and control distribution so that if a dealer represents he sells Kiseki, the customer won’t wait six months for a cartridge. Not every dealer will be allowed to sell Kiseki.
It’s a specialty item. But worth seeking out.