bluenote borghese and shelter 501?

I am starting over in Vinyl. I was recently forced to sell my spacedeck and metal spacearm, along with my trumpet and Dyna DV20H.

I plan to buy my tonearm and cartridge and then buy an affordable mass loaded turntable. Maybe a horizon or the upcoming bix from DIYforum. I've also considered a lower end teres.

Just wondering what affordable phono pre-amp I could pair with this and if any of you had any feelings about this set up(tonearm/cartridge.


The 501 and the Borghese are not a good match. The Bluenote arms are true unipivots with no kind of stabilization whatsoever. Just an inverted cup resting on a point. The compliance of the Shelter is too low for this type of unipivot arm. I tried the 501 with the Borromeo, and while it sounded ok, it was not an ideal pairing. You should consider another arm if you are set on buying the Shelter.

What cartridges would pair well with these tonearms.

I'm not as interested in the cartridge as the tonearm.
You should probably look at Bluenotes own cartridges, they make a high and low output MC that should work fine. I have heard the less expensive Boboli, and while it's not bad, it's definintely not my first choice at it's respective price point.

I traded my Borghese for a Borromeo but ended up selling it. I don't like being so limited as to the cartridges I can use.

Listen to Ozzy, he is the voice of experience.
Thanks Ozzy!

Do the morch's suffer from the same problems?

I was looking at the UP-4 when I came across the bluenote.

Sound like the bluenote is out, thanks for the info. I guess the OL-Silver and the 501 shelter would comply.

Thanks for your time.

Both the Bluenote and the UP-4 are unipivots. Speaking theoretically, many unipivots seem to lack the stability to fully control lower compliance cartridges like Shelters. As Ozzy apparently discovered, they tend to limit you to higher compliance cartridges.

I don't have Ozzy's experience with such arms, advice like his led me directly to gimbal-based designs to mate with my Shelter. Even the inherently stable arm that I chose benefitted further from stability-enhancing mods and adjustments. I can state with confidence that maximizing stability in the arm is crucial to fully enjoying a Shelter, or probably any other lower compliance cartridge.