The Shure was a good cartridge for its time, especially in terms of trackability at low stylus pressure settings. I believe the medium priced moving coil units available today would be audibly better for your jazz material, where cymbals and hall ambience (echoes and reflections) require particularly good high frequency detail retrieval. I am happy with a Sumiko Blue Point in one of my systems; it's a good product in the up-to-$500 range. In the $500-1000 range, I would nominate the Benz-Micro Glider. Good luck.
Go and get yourself a Denon DL-103 and this will be your last cartridge.....
I've owned every generation of Shure V15 cartridge since they first appeared, and still think they are one of the great values in analog. However, the current version of the V15 -- the V15VxMR -- is a substantially better cartridge than the version you still own, and you can buy a new one for around $250-275. Try Garage-a-Records at: www.garage-a-records.com.
I think you'd be much better served with a new V15V than trying to invest $100 to resurrect the older model.
As others have mentioned, there is some good competition in the V15's price range, including the Grado Platinum (mm), the Sumiko Blue Point and Blue Point Special (mc). However, the one thing that the V15VxMR still excels at is tracking -- NOTHING outtracks this cartridge. It's also fuss-free, durable, has user-replaceable stylus, and has excellent sound quality.
Over the years, I have found it interesting that so many high-end reviewers and audiophiles are virtually incapable of giving this fine cartridge its' deserved recognition. Some recent articles, however -- such as Michael Fremer's columns -- have lately given grudging respect to the V15V, acknowleding it as one of the best cartridges available.
Yes, you can outdo this cartridge by spending more than twice as much, but, nothing will touch it for the price of a replacement stylus. It all depends on what you expect from your analog setup. By the way Edle, I have seen references to this Denon cartridge before and you certainly have piqued my interest. Could you please tell us what other cartridges you have had experiences with that leave you so fond of the Denon?
Of course the counterpoint to Jame's point is that if you go with a moving coil, you'd better have a phono stage that can amplify it. If not, you may have to upgrade that too. MCs usually have much lower output.
I'm very pleased with my Clearaudio Virtuoso MM, but it is unfortunately more $ than the V15
A little history regarding the Denon DL-103 mc cartridge:
Developed by Nippon Columbia and NHK in 1962 and at first were used by NHK radio station only. Since it was so reliable and superb in performance. Other radio stations were starting to use the Denon DL-103.
During 1970, the Denon DL-103 were formerly introduced to the consumer market. There are many different models like the DL-103S, DL-103D, DL-103M etc.
The Denon DL-103 had been in production for almost forty years and still going very strong. Many, many seasoned/experienced audiophiles all over the world had tried it and still using it. Why? Because it is an excellent cartridge. I believe that only excellent and good sounding product can stand the test of time. And Denon DL-103 is clearly one of those product. I love it because the sound it produces is so natural and so full of life. There are many experienced audiophiles all over the world still using the Denon DL-103 cartridge.
I think the best way to fully understand this cartridge is to try one yourself. It is not that expensive.............
Campbell has the V15 pegged. It's a good chartridge, but moving magnet just can't compete with moving coil, except in trackability. Once you hear even a relatively inexpensive Denon MC chartridge, you'll be hooked on MC. Try a Denon, or a Shelter. Buy the Shure too. Compare for your self. You'll be able to resell what ever you don't like for a loss of only the price of a nice evening meal for two, and you'll have about that much fun comparing these needles.
To answer your question first: no, I would not rehab your old Shure; I would get a new one, as it is significantly better. Also note that the damping block tends to lose its elasticity, and that usually imparts a hardness to the sound. So even if you were to get a new stylus, there might be other things in need of attention. The overall cost might approach the cost of a new one, which is indeed more refined than earlier generations of this cartridge.
There has long been an audio snobbery towards this cartridge, IMO, without any basis except that it perhaps doesn't cost enough, and that seems to put off some of the "purists". It is a very fine unit.
Now, I currently use the Denon DL 103 and am as enthusiastic about it as Edle. It has the added benefit of being a HOMC (high output moving coil) and thus doesn't require a pre preamp. In simple terms, you can drive it through a conventional phono input. And it doesn't cost a lot. So unless you're emotionally wedded to the Shure, you might give the Denon a look. But you would not go wrong with Shure Brothers. Good stuff.
This is a great cartridge for the money. Only around $225 new. (I can give you the link). As far as tracking, it is only bettered by one other cartridge I am aware of, the Cartridge Man's 'Music Maker' cart, which is a true audiophile MM (Or moving iron, I forget which) High output cart. Of Course, that one costs $750. For the money, it's hard to beat.
The body still the same, acquire the "Upgraded" stylus...
and Viola...! Listen music!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I've owned and used this cartridge since 1993 after upgrading from a number of carts (Micro Acoustics 630MP was the last one). I've replaced my stylus twice and am still happy with the sound. Many here say the newer Shure is better, but I've also read some reviews saying that the Type-V in particular sounds better than the newer Shure incarcation. Moving Coils will give a significantly different sound, but with other issues (including needing a MC front end, much more system sensitivity, more record wear required by the usual higher tracking forces, more possibilities of arm/cart interactions) not to mention the higher expense.
If you're a casual listener, I'd get a replacement stylus and be done with it, assuming you have all the original packaging and alignment tools, etc. Otherwise, I'd agree with the other posters to try a newer cart, exp the current Shure.
You may want to contact the Shure service department about a repair on your broken needle. The V series is $50.00 for a new stylus from the service department. Shure is a great company that takes care of its customers!