Fidelity Research Cartridges?

I just bought an FR Mc 44 cartridge, and I must say, it sounds really good! It really sings mounted in a FR 64 Fx and a FR headshell.

Unfortunately, there isn`t much information about FR- cartridges at all on the www. Does anybody out there know anything about:
1) When was this cartridge produced?
2) Where does the Mc 44 stand in the FR- hierarchy?

As i wrote, I am really impressed with the sound of this cartridge, and I am a little surprised that there is such scarcity of information about it.
This thread will help you with some info about Fidelity-Research.

And if you want to check authentic source then look here and translate from Japanese.

In my opinion there are only two series of FR (LOMC) cartridges designed by Ikeda-San himself that is worth the attention today:

The PMC series
and FR-7 series

FR MC series and particular MC44 designed by Yasuo Ozawa (not by Ikeda-San), so they are different. Ozawa-San is the owner of Shelter since 1986. Tech specs for your MC44 is here.

1) When was this cartridge produced?

Early 80’s by Y.Ozawa (now Shelter)

Born in Tokyo. He was fascinated from boyhood by the timbre of music instruments and started self-designing audio products to realize high fidelity sound reproduction. He designed many tube amplifiers when he was in junior high school age, and majored in electrical engineering at the university with aiming an amplifier designer, but he found the charm of analog pickup which can practice the whole design of sound reproduction that he imagines. In 1982 he joined Fidelity Research (FR) and started its career as a phono cartridge designer. He participated to design MC phono cartridges of MCX-3, MCX-5 and other products during his work at FR. He then became independent in 1986 to establish Shelter, thereafter he has been designing and developing the MC phono cartridge throughout his life.

2) Where does the Mc 44 stand in the FR- hierarchy?

Lower than Ozawa’s FR MCX-3 and FR MCX-5 and completely different from the best FR cartridges designed earlier by Ikeda-San.

Thanks very much for the information, appreciate it!

              Regards tkr 
A short update on the FR Mc 44: For the price, this is a real keeper! Mounted in a FR 121 headshell in a FR 64 Fx arm, it sounds just great, and much better than a similarly priced Denon DL103 R. A good, capable and workmanlike MC.
Great, if you like it you have to look for vintage Shelter cartridges!