Shelter 501 with Wilson Benesch?

I'm considering buying the Shelter 501 for use with the Wilson Benesch Act 0.5 arm, but am concerned that this may not be the best match since the WB is a unipivot and the cartridge is a low-compliance design. Does this seem like a well-founded concern, and are there any other great-sounding MC cartridges that should work especially well with the WB arms?

On another topic, I am thinking of doing away with the sprung suspension on my Michell Orbe SE and mating the plinth directly to some type of high performance brass cones. I use the TT in a finished basement with concrete floor, so footfalls are not an issue. Has anyone tried anything along these lines that worked well?
Plato, I would say that looking at the design of the WB 0.5 arm, that even though it is a unipivot, it stands a decent chance of being able to match up with a Shelter 501. It has lateral stabilizing outriggers which add lateral mass to both assist in maintaining azimuth control, and also to add lateral mass to the tonearm in that plane, thereby working to keep the cartridge from "wagging the dog" so to speak. The effective mass of the arm allows a cartridge of the Shelter 501's weight, for good resonance match. I would suspect that it would be worth a try, if you like the 501(and who doesn't?). I think that it would be just as capable as a Graham in this regard, and the Graham gets Shelter 501s put in it all the time. Not exactly sure what the weight of the WB outriggers are, but just the fact that they are there, is much more comforting. I would say that although it may not be the "perfect" arm for the Shelter, it may be "enough" and enough is all you really need. If you do this, I would love to hear your impressions of the Shelter in this arm, so I can use this in my database for cartridge recommendations in the future. I am only one person, and can't try everything in the world myself.

If you are a little leery of the Shelter, a very good cartridge in a similar price range that would definitely match up, would be the Benz LO-.4, which is one of the better sounding Benz cartridges, IMO. Another possibility would be a Dynavector 17D Karat. Many unipivot owners are happy with the Karat in their arms.

On the suspension mod subject, I don't know of anyone that has done that with an Orbe, but I suspect that you will find that you'll get better bass response and dynamics without a suspension. Direct coupling to the floor, with a rigid heavy stand, will also help with this. I have found that suspensions and soft isolation devices tend to reduce bass response and dynamics. A heavy stand will go a long way to minimizing any unwanted vibrations getting into the system. My Teres has no suspension, and it murdered my Linn in the bottom end and dynamics, along with everything else. I use direct coupling to the floor via a heavy rigid stand.

Thanks for your input -- I believe I will try the Shelter 501 on the WB arm. I think it may work just fine. When I get it all set up, I'll let you know how it performs.

It's funny -- I like everything about the design of the Orbe SE except for that spring suspension. I may give Pierre Sprey a call at Mapleshade and see if he might be able to come up with a simple practical plan to impliment an effective direct-coupled suspension. Your point on putting the turntable on a very solid structure is well taken and I will endeavor to do exactly that. Thanks again for the tips!
Well Plato, one thing is for sure, if you don't like the matchup, there will be a line of people waiting to buy it from you. So there is almost no risk involved with that purchase.
Just as an aside, if you don't like the Shelter on the WB arm, try the WB cartridges. Their own cartridges are awesome - I love them. Their higher end carbon fibre bodied models are really exceptional, but even their entry level models are quite strong. And of course the synergy with the WB arm is there.

The WB arm gets around a lot of the conventional cartridge matching problems of other unipivots for the reasons Twl mentions. The arm is a modified unipivot so it has some stabilizers and other mechanical changes which I feel improve on the standard unipivot design.