I hear the new Ortofon MMs are very good and somewhat similar to the Shure.
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It is the small rubber cantilever suspension part or parts that dry out... I suppose it is true however I've used some cartridges over a decade with no audible problems that I could detect.
If you like the Shure V15, well, you could get a new one, I think they are still around (?) and for what, $300 or so? They track great. Have you tried the better Grado's for around the same price? hard to beat; alot cheaper than $2-5K moving coils! If you need MM level, try the high output Benz cartridges.
Plastic in the cartridge dried out? Never heard that one before. Usually they say it's the stylus suspension. I've got several 30-40 year old carts that sound just fine (like yours). You can always replace the stylus assembly (it may take some time to find one, but they're out there), but I sure wouldn't sweat the cartridge plastic, which will outlive us all :-) Good luck, Dave
Shure may still have a searchable FAQ that addresses these kind of questions. When I queried it about the longevity of a M91ED it said no worries. However if memory serves, the replacement stylus for the type III was no longer available. If it's not broke don't fix it. Check out www.garage-a-records.com
Thanks to all, and especially to Rockvirgo for the reference to the Shure FAQ. I found the following response:
"Only the stylus wears out. The cartridge body has no parts that deteriorate. A new stylus returns the product to like-new condition."
So I only need to replace the stylus when needed. The type III stylus is no longer available; has anyone tried the SAS Jico replacement stylus for it? Thanks again.
I have had the Shure V15 in the past and the styli goes bad very fast. The sound is dark, rather lifeless. My advice, get the Audio Technica AT 150MLX which is a spectacular cartridge for the money, way better than the Shure in my system. They track well, and can be had for 250-300.00. They are so much more dynamic than the Shure I had, they just inject dynamics. Jallen
Fallicy upon fallicy seems to be spread in this thread.
Firstly, why would a Shure Stylus "wear faster" than any other? Also, I've never known, or heard a goos Shure V-15 to be "Dark, or lifeless". Come over to my place, the Shure V-15 Type III I have will make your ears bleed.
If anything they "overdo" the sound, are a bit raw, and jagged, and can become tiresome to listen to after awhile. Of course, can anybody expect a 35 year old Cartridge, which in truth nobody should be paying more than $25 for today sound like a Dynavector XV-1, or Lyra Titan? The acution prices are highly over-inflated, as there's always nut-cases on the auction site, who just have to have it. Pretty photos, and piled on descriptions would make one think they're buying a ZYX UNIverse. They are what they are, no better, and no worse.
Lsw, if you like the Shure, the Jico SAS is the best way to go. LP Gear carries this Micro-Line, Boron Cantilevered Stylus for the Type III. There is no better currently available, and this should at least equal, if not surpass the Shure VN35MR Stylus. Mark