One More Thing Off The Audio Bucket List

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
In this case, it's just a stylus. But a significant one. I've been using the Grado TLZ listed below for the last while, and loving it. The TLZ was the second from the top of Joe Grados cartridges, that went away when John Grado took over the company and launched the wood body ones. They are by all accounts better cartridges, however....

The last Signature Series that Joe produced, are just somehow magical. They sold for as much as $750 1990 dollars, and were very much Joe's babies. He kept tweaking them all the way through series V. Joe personally listened to every Signature cartridge body that was built, and graded them according to his well they performed. The best ones became the XTZ.

Now, I've been hunting for an XTZ for almost a decade now. I've seen 3 come up for sale, and all were gone before I got them. From what I have seen, people who have them just don't sell them.

The one nice thing about these is that the stylus is replaceable. And as the biggest difference between the various grades was the stylus/cantilever combo, swapping a XTZ stylus onto a TLZ body, effectively gives you a XTZ.

I spent the last few months trying to convince the Grado distributor in Canada to sell me a stylus. All to no avail.

Anyhow, today, I finally got things sorted out, and the XTX stylus is being made for me as we speak.

I look forward to sharing my impressions once it's mounted up and running.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
And it's on its way. However, Canada Post is involved, so God only knows what they will do with it.

It's always hilarious to me to hear Americans complain about their postal system. We lost Saturday delivery in 1970 or so. And it's all been downhill since then.
 

mhardy6647

Señor Member
Personally, I have no complaints about the USPS.
I have had the best luck, over all, with shipping packages via USPS.
We've been (very) fortunate to have wonderful local post offices in MA and in NH.

12711

That blue cooler by the corner of the building? The PO's neighbor is a prep school. They have their own laying hens to provide eggs for the cafeteria. In the summer, they didn't need the eggs, so they sold them there at the PO -- honor system. :)
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
The Ferndale, Michigan branch of the USPS is a special case scenario of incompetence and not caring. It's not a competition. Postal incompetence can cross borders.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
The Ferndale, Michigan branch of the USPS is a special case scenario of incompetence and not caring. It's not a competition. Postal incompetence can cross borders.
Sounds like they sent your folks across the border for training. There was a government propaganda ad here some years back about the world needing more Canada. I'm glad to see that program is working.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Regardless of your disaffection with your country, when I cross the border, there's a palpable rise in both the friendliness and competence of the average person. The grass always being greener of course, relative to Michigan I find it to be almost technicolor green.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Regardless of your disaffection with your country, when I cross the border, there's a palpable rise in both the friendliness and competence of the average person. The grass always being greener of course, relative to Michigan I find it to be almost technicolor green.
Funny, but I find the same thing when I cross the border. :)
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
The post office here in Windsor has been really quite good wherever I've accessed it. The "postie" we've had the past few years has been amazing and one of the nicest people you'd ever care to meet. My experience of post offices in MI is a bit limited, but the one I've used most (S. Adams around 15 mi.) has been really efficient and friendly. Either side of the border I've found the post to be a big improvement over surly and lazy FedEx etc. employees.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
The post office here in Windsor has been really quite good wherever I've accessed it. The "postie" we've had the past few years has been amazing and one of the nicest people you'd ever care to meet. My experience of post offices in MI is a bit limited, but the one I've used most (S. Adams around 15 mi.) has been really efficient and friendly. Either side of the border I've found the post to be a big improvement over surly and lazy FedEx etc. employees.
I deal with a local post office franchise here, and the ladies there have always been very nice. It's what happens after your letter or package moves on from there that truly sucks. After 7 years living in the US, my biggest surprises in moving back to Canada, were the postal service being so bad and so expensive, and how horrible customer service in stores, restaurants, etc was. Canadians in general were more taciturn and less outgoing. But the medical system was certainly better.
 

airdronian

Junior Member
I deal with a local post office franchise here, and the ladies there have always been very nice. It's what happens after your letter or package moves on from there that truly sucks. After 7 years living in the US, my biggest surprises in moving back to Canada, were the postal service being so bad and so expensive, and how horrible customer service in stores, restaurants, etc was. Canadians in general were more taciturn and less outgoing. But the medical system was certainly better.
I had to send a small pkg to the UK recently. I wanted tracking and a service level that was not several weeks. Cheapest they could offer was $67.00 :mad:

And I agree about the customer service. I think they actually train staff down there.
 
Well we can all probably agree that UPS sucks.
well perhaps it comes down to definition o "sucks"? maybe im lucky, but for me ups performs well 99% of the time.

and one's view of USPS may be colored strongly by the competence of one's local post office. the post office by our house "sucks" - some amazingly bad experiences. the post office i use downtown is great - competent, hard working people who know my name.
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
well perhaps it comes down to definition o "sucks"? maybe im lucky, but for me ups performs well 99% of the time.

and one's view of USPS may be colored strongly by the competence of one's local post office. the post office by our house "sucks" - some amazingly bad experiences. the post office i use downtown is great - competent, hard working people who know my name.
Ones perspective changes a bit if you move to another country and experience their postal system. It's pretty hard to tell when you have only experienced one from the inside.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
I used to really like the UK postal system, but friends there tell me it has gone to hell in a handcart in recent years since it was privatized. Speaking of which - one can get amazingly inexpensive shipping from the UK to Canada - but not the reverse. One of the perks of being a former colony I guess!
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I used to really like the UK postal system, but friends there tell me it has gone to hell in a handcart in recent years since it was privatized. Speaking of which - one can get amazingly inexpensive shipping from the UK to Canada - but not the reverse. One of the perks of being a former colony I guess!
You raise an interesting point. It is now dramatically cheaper for me to buy things like books from the UK or Australia, then it is from the US. I bought a book from Australia and had it in hand for $1.99 in shipping. And it was a cheap book. The same book from the US would be $18. Wtf?
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
You raise an interesting point. It is now dramatically cheaper for me to buy things like books from the UK or Australia, then it is from the US. I bought a book from Australia and had it in hand for $1.99 in shipping. And it was a cheap book. The same book from the US would be $18. Wtf?
As I said, one of the perks of the Commonwealth. Enjoy it while we have it. My wife bought some really lovely clogs from a place in the UK a couple of years ago and the shipping was less than if they'd come from Detroit.
 
As I said, one of the perks of the Commonwealth. Enjoy it while we have it. My wife bought some really lovely clogs from a place in the UK a couple of years ago and the shipping was less than if they'd come from Detroit.
I find this very surprising as tariffs for international postal services are set by the Universal Postal Union (UPU). Discounts are given to underdeveloped countries, but you can hardly put the UK and Australia in that category. As you say, perhaps a remnant from colonial days (that hasn’t been corrected yet by the UPU). And then there is China. Have you ever wondered why shipping is so cheap when you order something from China? That´s right, China is apparently considered as an underdeveloped country by the UPU and gets massive discounts on postal tariffs. This means for example that it is twice as expensive to send an item from one place in the US to another as sending the same item from China to the US. The same goes for most western countries. Somebody has to pay for these below cost exports from China and this falls on the postal services in the recipient country. We in the Western world are actually heavily subsidising Chinese exports!
 
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