100-150 hours. Cheers,
I upgraded from a Denon DL-103R to the Shelter 501 and I must have about 75 hours on it now. I agree with what Spencer said about the bass and the highs at first. Now though, the bass is strong, extended and controlled, midrange is clear and precise and the highs are just as extended although the overall balance is much better than it was. Dare I say it's still getting better? Images are a lot more holographic now also, which is what I hoping I'd hear from this cartridge.
I upgraded from nothing. It was a return after a long vinyl hiatus for me. A few months ago, I upgraded to a ZYX Airy3, which was done at the same time I upgraded my table & arm. (see my system page, "Spencer's Funhouse" for details) Therefore, it's tough to draw conclusions about the cart change alone. For more than the Shelter, I think ZYX Airy 2 is worthy of consideration. So are the carts from Jan Allaerts, but you're getting into some higher $.
The 501 was sold to my buddy, slipknot1, who also had a Denon 103, as well as a Dynavector cart. Cheers,
Hey thanks guys. I'm sure the 501 is quite a step up. Right now I cannot fathom because I've never heard.
So far I'm very impressed with the 103, however this is my first venture back into vinyl since the days of Technics Linear Tracking...:)
The ease of flow is very very pleasant, and the dynamics are very fast. How does the Shelter differ if any?
Wow, just mounted this brand new and up and running on an MM7 playing my original mint copy of Roxy Music's Live EP. Everything sounds excellent and no flabby bass at all, just solid sweetness extended up and down all around. If the cart stays just like this I will be happy. Hard to imagine at this early stage how much better it is going to get. More to come after I pick my jaw up off the floor, that is if I can find it. So, so much better than the stock Goldring that came with this deck.
I am running a Mac 402 Amp, a Mac 2300 Preamp, using the MC tube Phono stage in the Mac with my Shelter 501 II. I have about 75 hours break in time so far. My Shelter still sounds tiny and the base isn't coming on like I hoped. I previously had a Denon DL160 that to me sounded a lot more natural. I still have hopes of it getting better since it was reviewed so well.
I know people are going to yell, but the problem is with your preamp not having enough gain on the MC...it's rated at 60db for MC......the Shelter has a very low output and you should be using a phono preamp with higher gain for MC...more like 70-75db. The Jolida JD9 has that kind of gain, as do others. I auditioned and bought the Shelter and it's fantastic on my Amadeus TT.
Sheesh..knew this was going to happen. OK, I am reading directly from the "Technical Data Model 501 II" sheet that came with my 501.
It is rated at 0.4mV at 1kHz 5cm/sec
It goes onto say that "Because output voltage is low, step-up trans or head-amplifier must be used to strengthen the signal".....
When I ran the Shelter with a phono pre-amp of 60db or less gain, I felt the cartridge sounded "soft" in the bass and lacked any punch throughout. I also had my dealer recommend to me to use a phono pre-amp with ample gain.
This may or may not solve the problem with bobandcathi.....but I suspect it is.
I hope there is someone here that has ran a Shelter with a Mcintosh preamp with good results....that would happily prove me wrong. Until then, I stand by my convictions on this. I have ran my Shelter with 4 different phono preamps and I talked extensively to two different dealers in California and an experienced technician who has a lot of experience with Shelters....and the message I got was pretty consistent. It's a great cartridge, it is low output and needs ample db gain on the phono preamp to come alive.