Call David Lewis at David Lewis Audio in Philadelphia, phone (215) 725-4080. He is in touch with the importer of Shelter cartridges.
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The Shelter 901 is a low-output(.4mv), low-compliance(9cu) MC cartridge. It weighs 8.5 grams. It should have about 60db of gain from your Phono Section, or use a step-up transformer. It can be purchased from Axxis Distributors in the US, or from EIFL Exports of Japan.
The use of a 9cu cartridge in the JMW 10.5 is a matter of discussion, but my opinion is that it is not a good match. Some have differed with me on this opinion, but I still hold it. In my opinion, with that arm, you would be better off with a higher compliance of at least 12cu. I have heard that several people use the Lyra Helikon(12cu) in the JMW arms and have had success. That would be a better match than the Shelter. If you want the very best sounding cartridge for that arm, my selection would be the ZYX Fuji low-output MC cartridge, which is around $2k. Either the Helikon or the ZYX Fuji would be a great sounding package with your arm, with my nod going to the ZYX Fuji.
Rwd, 54db is a little low, but it will do. It will cause just a slightly higher noise floor, due to having to turn up the volume a little higher for the same SPL. But it should be about the same as with your Helikon.
Regarding the use of the Shelter in the JMW, just because it can be bolted in there and make sound come out, does not mean it is the optimal set up. The Shelter 501 or 901 will sound real good even if it is not in the optimal set up, but it will sound alot better if it is.
I guarantee you that the Shelter will microscopically "wiggle" that tonearm around, causing loss of dynamics and information. That's just what happens with low-compliance and unipivots. I'm sorry, but this is just simple fact. Just because an arm gets a good review and rating, and costs alot of money, does not mean that you can just go slapping any cartridge you want into it, and expect to get optimum results. The Helikon at 12cu, is on the lower edge of compliance compatibility with this arm. Any lower than 12cu, and you are asking for "tail wagging the dog" syndrome. Oh, it will work. But not the way it would work in the right arm. Even a good medium-mass gimbal bearing arm needs to have extra lateral stabilizing mass to properly handle it. A unipivot, damped or not, will get wiggled around enough to lose critical information. A Graham with the right armwand could do it because of the outrigger stabilizing weights, but it would be pushing the Graham to the max of it's capability. It is just a matter of matching the compliance to the arm design. It is not any kind of knock on the JMW arms.
At this risk of revealing my complete naivete, is this "cu" thing (as in low compliance = 9cu) the same as what my Goldring instructions call "internal resistance?" Or is it something else entirely? Otherwise, this Goldring scrap of paper refers to "static compliance," which in this case is 12mm (nothing to do with "cu"). Thanks for helping me clear this up!
Cp, no the cu is compliance units, and has nothing to do with your internal impedance. Compliance can also be expressed as (c)x10^-6 cm/dyn. The Goldring spec was given in the other metric version (c)um/mN. This is micro-meter/milliNewton. It is another way of saying the same thing. Just pay attention the the first number in these specs, that's what everyone refers to.(like 12, or 15, or 9, the numbers I represented with the (c) in my examples.)
I just bought a Shelter 901 from Japan. No, not from www.eifl.co.jp. I got it for even cheaper from another dealer in Japan that came highly recommended on the Audio Asylum discussion board.
I have an SME V. This is the first time I heard about the discussion on this "cu" thing. Should I be worried?
I also have the PH3 SE. I heard that the output on the 901 is actually higher than 05mV, so it shouldn't be a problem. I am planning to install the cartridge this week.
I have a Shelter 901/SME(309 and VI) on Michell Gyrodec to Audio research PH3SE. Gain is more than enough. Believe it or not Shelter's 0.5mv rating is giving equivalent output of 0.9mv of Benz Glider or 1.0mv output of Van Den Hul cartridges. My preamp volume level is actually much lower when I use Shelter than 0.6mv Koetsu.
Hi guys ...
Glad I found this thread. I have a ARC PH3SE and was thinking about the Shelter 901 as my next purchase. I have a modified Well Tempered table and arm. What do you all think about using this combo with the Shelter? I have used a variety of cartriges in the past, including the Clavis, which sounded fantistic. I'm presently using a Grado ... great midrange but I WANT MORE! hee, hee. Thanks for your responses.
Frank, for your Well-Tempered arm, I'd suggest the ZYX R-100 Fuji instead of the Shelter 901. The ZYX Fuji is in the same sonic category with the Shelter, but has higher compliance which would be better with your arm. The ZYX is a little higher in price, but still under $2k(barely) and is an awesome cartridge. The Shelter has a tad better bass and excels on large-scale music, and the ZYX is better on the small-scale music. This is splitting hairs, because they both are superb. ZYX is a better match for your arm though.