Shelter cartridges...Any thoughts?

I seem to have a passion for the underground, un-reviewed kind of audio most times and these cartridges seem like the real deal. But, rather than blow the dough on something that is not going to deliver the performance, I thought that I would see if some Audiogon folks would chime in. The Lyra Helikon was my other choice...but I don't know anything about the 90x...the 500mk2 and 900 have reviews by one or two guys...HELP!
I can't compare the shelter to your other choices and the cartridge is heavily dependant on the arm you use but I went out of my way to listen to an Origin arm/Shelter combo recently and was impressed. Specifically, the Origin Live Illustrious arm, and a Shelter 901. I also heard the Shelter 501 and the Origin Live Encounter arm.

I listened to them on the recomendation of Tom(TWL). I talked to him recently and his advise to me was:Teres,Origin,Shelter.

I remain

I have Nottingham (Spacedeck)/Origin Live(Illustrious)/Shelter(501 MkII).


I have heard both the 901 and 501 in the Illustrious. They are, IMHO, equally fine cartridges, depending on tastes. I find the 901 a bit more detailed while the 501 has a certain warmth (not dark) that makes me sometimes have a hard time deciding between the two. Either way, they are fine cartridges and I think they both best the Helikon (which I have heard on several occasions). If buying an OL arm, I advise to inspect it thoroughly before purchase. Great performance. Uneven QC. IMHO
With a proper arm, you can't go wrong with a Shelter cartridge. I agree with Craig, and with David's assessment above. I use a 501 and like it very much. I use a modified OL Silver tonearm with it. They make a good match, OL/Shelter.

Of course, there are other good cartridges, but Shelter is very tough to beat for the money.
My only thought is that you can't have mine, though you're certainly welcome to come over and listen!

Shelter 901/OL Silver/Twl's HIFI Mod/Teres 265

Agree with David on OL's QC, but not to worry if you buy new from a reputable source. OL stands behind the product. I received a wonky VTA adjuster with my new arm and it was replaced lickety-split.
The table it would be going into is a VPI hw19mk4(all tnt mods) with a ET 2.5 arm...if that makes any difference. I think that the mass ratio for the arm/cartridge will work...and it sounds like this thing is worth giving a try. I was very impressed with the Helikon's sound on many tables at Brooks Berdan's shop in the LA area...but alot of people are saying that this is a largely underated cartridge company. Thanks for your time...and if any of you are in the LA area, I'd love to hear the cartridge in a setup.

Thanks for your time...J
The Shelter will do fine on an ET 2.5 arm.
This is my setup Teres 255/ET2/901 and this sounds great, you will need to let the Shelter 901 break-in for about 50-70 hours before it really starts to sing. The 901 is a good match for the ET2 or ET2.5 just make sure you have the right armtube.

I find the 901 a wonderful all-round cartridge. I use it on a Graham 2.2.
Twl and the rest here have been singing the praises about the Shelter cartridges for a long time now. Check the archives, you will see we recommend the Shelter's to almost everyone. These cartridges are at the top of the class in price to performance.

The Shelter 501 and the Crown Jewel Special Edition cartridges are one in the same product. The Crown Jewel, reviewed in Stereophile (v.20 no. 4) where it was given a “Class A” rating, had a $2650 price tag. The Shelter 501 is available in the U.S. for about $800.

My previous cartridge to the Shelter 501 was a Van den Hull Frog, I like my shelter 501 MKII better.

Babyjdrums,I think this is what you wanted to hear, so what are you waiting for?