Good answer! From what I read in the May/June issue of $ensible Sound, the AT150ML is probably the most like the Shure V15. The reviewer thought it was actually quite a bit better. According to him the stylus shape is similar if not the same (MicroRidge vs. MicroLine).
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I'm with Viridian about the M97xE. If you play much used vinyl, it may be handy to have one around because its damper brush enables it to track very warped records.
As for me, I moved from the Shure to a Denon DL160, and the only way I'll play the Shure now is if it *is* a hideously warped record. Even then, I'm always aware of the sound I'm missing. If you look at this TNT-Audio review, scroll down to the charts and you'll see the source of the Shure's smoothness and warmth: In the first frequency response plot, the highest output is 100 Hz and then it slopes down gradually (with no peaks or dips) until it's 4dB down at 10KHz, bumps up a dB for a bit, and then falls off the cliff at 17KHz.
I found that the Shure's highest output at 100 Hz was really annoying over time. In the Technics SL12x0 turntable that cartridge sensitivity exaggerated resonances at that frequency, whether it was excited by bass output from the speakers, in-room noise, bumping the equipment rack, or tapping the plinth. I suppose the Shure could be a handy tool for damping to tune out upper bass resonances.
Further down, you'll notice that the damper brush completely damped out (6dB worth) the 10 Hz arm/cart resonance.
I plan to get KAB's fluid damper. Then I'll be able to play warped records with the DL-160.
The DL-160 is certainly more money than the AT440MLa, but it's detailed, extended, and yet quite smooth through the treble. I wish I had a 440 for comparison. I suspect it's almost the opposite of the Shure--transparent (with OCC copper), fast, detailed, and extended.