I think the Shure is an excellent cartridge for the money, but I think the Denon DL103 is an even better cartridge for considerably less money. I switched from the Shure to the Denon, and I found the Denon more musical and coherent (and the surface noise is less intrusive as well.) The kicker is I'm using a SME IIIs, probably the ultimate tonearm (besides a Black Widow?) for the Shure, and totally wrong (theoretically) for the Denon (I am using the 4.3 gram SME headshell weight and a little lead tape to add mass for the stiffer cartridge.) When I finally mount my 3012, I expect even better things from the bargain priced Denon.