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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:04 am 
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Location: cambridge, ON, CA
sold my TT to upgrade

in the meantime

I have installed a M97xE with about 70 hours on it so far on a second DD TT

I am pleased,and not in a rush for a replacement TT right away

So i can save a little more for the new TT and cartridge

So I would guess everyone owns a M97xE


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:31 am 
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Location: Hamilton, ON, CA
I'm dealing with that Shure cartridge in my Systemdek TT,in Hamilton,around $100+ tax at East Hamilton Radio
Few years ago i'm used V15/III-V15/IV.great cartriges,but someone told me between M97xE & V15III /IV perfomance/price differences is not $250&300!


Last edited by laszlo1959 on Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:53 am 
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One of my audio regrets was essentially giving away a very low hours M97xE when I sold a TT several years ago...shoulda woulda coulda :D

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:29 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
M97xE was on sale in the States a couple of years ago for $50-ish. I have one on idler-drive Dual 1228 table, and still have a 2nd one in shrinkwrap. One of the best bang for your buck cartridges out there for sure.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:25 am 
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Location: Wasaga Beach, ON, CA
You should try it with the Jico SAS stylus, same sound even better resolution!

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:31 am 
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Steve, with all due respect, but why would someone install a $170-190 stylus on a $60 cartridge? Sure, it will probably sound better, but I can get a much better cartridge for $230. I know people on AVS rave about this combo, but this price puts it into Denon DL-103 price bracket.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:31 am 
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zhenya01 wrote:
Steve, with all due respect, but why would someone install a $170-190 stylus on a $60 cartridge? Sure, it will probably sound better, but I can get a much better cartridge for $230. I know people on AVS rave about this combo, but this price puts it into Denon DL-103 price bracket.


Zhenya, which $60 cartridge are you referring to here? The M-97xE has a suggested retail of $160 and is pretty much always on sale for between $79 and $129 at most major on-line retailers. Comparing the sale price of one cartridge to the full retail price of another (which is die to almost double as soon as current stock is depleted and new production starts up) isn't quite fair.

The M-97 series used to comprise of over a dozen models, all using the identical body but different styli and varied from under $100 to well over $300. The 97xE replacement stylus is around $75 and is a very ordinary elliptical tip. There used to be a Hyperelliptical tip available from Shure that turned the 97xE into a 97hE that retailed for around $150 for the stylus alone. The Jico SAS stylus is a couple of steps above the Shure 97hE stylus shapewise and soundwise, so $170-190 does not sound out of line if the performance boost is there. BTW, the M-97xE with the Jico SAS stylus is said to be fully competitive with the long discontinued Shure flagship V-15 Type IV-Mr which was one of the most highly regarded MM cartridges of all time while the stock M-97xE suffers by comparison in terms of sound.

Shure was not alone in using 1 body with multiple stylus types to produce multiple cartridge models. Ortofon, Audio Technica, ADC, AKG, Empire, Pickering, Nagaoka and Stanton all use/use this same manufacturing model to produce diverse lineups. Even Grado does this in a limited way with their Black/Green, Red/Blue and Silver/Gold pairs (same body, different stylus for each pair).

With most manufacturers, the cartridge body is a very small fraction of the total cartridge cost, sometimes as low as 20%, some as high as 50%. Another example: Ortofon 2M Red and Blue. 2M Red, list price $99, replacement stylus $79, 2M Blue, list price $229, replacement stylus, $179. This price disparity is odd because the Red and Blue use the identical body.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:16 am 
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The M97xE is our best selling cartridge :D


On OBI's Grado cart/stylus comment. I was told that the pairs are separated not by the stylus, but by testing them. The top 10-15% of the tested carts get the better color rating, and the increased price.

But I know nothing about manufacturing carts, so could easily be wrong.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:21 am 
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Forbes_2 wrote:
The M97xE is our best selling cartridge :D


On OBI's Grado cart/stylus comment. I was told that the pairs are separated not by the stylus, but by testing them. The top 10-15% of the tested carts get the better color rating, and the increased price.

But I know nothing about manufacturing carts, so could easily be wrong.


You are correct about the Grado selection process Forbes, but explain why the 6 replacement styli carry different part numbers and retail prices.

Black $35
Green $45
Blue $60
Red $80
Silver $95
Gold $120

The styli from this series are all interchangeable, but just changing the stylus from Black to Gold does not give you a Gold, but going from Black to Green will give you 99% of a Green.

The Black1 and Green1 models use a three piece OTL cantilever technology, standard oxygen free wire in the coils and Grado's specially designed elliptical diamond mounted in a brass bushing. The Green1 model is selected from the Black1 production run and meets higher test specifications. Approximately 15% of the production run will meet these standards and become Green1 models.

The Blue1 and Red1 models use a four piece OTL cantilever technology, standard oxygen free wire in the coils and Grado's specially designed elliptical diamond mounted on a brass bushing. The Red1 model is selected from the Blue1 production run and meets higher test specifications. Approximately 10% of the production run will meet these standards and become Red1 models.

The Silver1 and Gold1 models use a four piece OTL cantilever technology, ultra-high purity long crystal (UHPLC) oxygen free copper wire in the coils and Grado's specially designed elliptical diamond mounted on a brass bushing. The Gold1 model is selected from the Silver1 production run and meets higher test specifications. Approximately 5% of the production run meet these standards and become Gold1 models.


So, 3 different bodies shared among 6 different cartridges but all with interchangeable styli. They are differentiated both by the stylus and testing.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:57 am 
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OBI, I was referring to M97xE actually. It goes on sale pretty much every year for $50-60.
Here is one example I found right away:
http://terminal-boredom.com/forums/inde ... ic=27025.0

So I don't see an advantage of upgrading a cartridge that I got for $75 (I paid ~$60 from amazon.com plus shipping) with $170-$190 USD stylus. Will the upgrade really offer 3-4x the performance or should the person actually go with a $250-300 cartridge instead? I know it's more of a philosophical discussion at this point.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:56 am 
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zhenya01 wrote:
OBI, I was referring to M97xE actually. It goes on sale pretty much every year for $50-60.
Here is one example I found right away:
http://terminal-boredom.com/forums/inde ... ic=27025.0

So I don't see an advantage of upgrading a cartridge that I got for $75 (I paid ~$60 from amazon.com plus shipping) with $170-$190 USD stylus. Will the upgrade really offer 3-4x the performance or should the person actually go with a $250-300 cartridge instead? I know it's more of a philosophical discussion at this point.


That link is 4 1/2 years old from when they were selling off the Mexican factory rejects. Amazon.com has them at $72.74 but won't ship to Canada. The best current price on Amazon.ca is $147.39. eBay.ca has a few US vendors who will ship to Canada at $76.37. Next best current price that will ship to Canada is NeedleDoctor at $89.95.

My point is, if a $170 (retail) stylus converts a $75 (on sale) cartridge into one that matches a $300+ (retail 10 years ago) cartridge, then it can't be a bad thing.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:07 pm 
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Also, stylus upgrades are cool. Sort of like putting a hot-rod carb on your old car. Did that with a plain-jane Chevy Malibu I had once & that car went from cruiser to bruiser, baby!
8)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:09 pm 
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These are $79.95US at LPGear.

The M97xE is actually a very good cartridge. You don't see many carts below $1k with a solid metal mounting block. The only reason it's cheap is because they've been making the same basic cart for the last 40 years or so, and they cheaped out a little on the needle.

Buy the Jico SAS for it and use the stock one for beat up vinyl. Can't go wrong there.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:31 pm 
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Location: Newmarket, ON, CA
Just a FYI - A canadian outfit that has it for $99

http://www.electronicsforless.ca/shure-m97xe-half-inch-dynamic-stabilizer-tone-arm-mount-872.html

Can't be certain but it seems they are not adding taxes; I'd have to buy it to confirm :lol:

They have pick-up in Richmond Hill, or $10 ship by Purolator (at least to my postal code).


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:32 pm 
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OBI56 wrote:
Forbes_2 wrote:
The M97xE is our best selling cartridge :D


On OBI's Grado cart/stylus comment. I was told that the pairs are separated not by the stylus, but by testing them. The top 10-15% of the tested carts get the better color rating, and the increased price.

But I know nothing about manufacturing carts, so could easily be wrong.


You are correct about the Grado selection process Forbes, but explain why the 6 replacement styli carry different part numbers and retail prices.

Black $35
Green $45
Blue $60
Red $80
Silver $95
Gold $120

The styli from this series are all interchangeable, but just changing the stylus from Black to Gold does not give you a Gold, but going from Black to Green will give you 99% of a Green.

The Black1 and Green1 models use a three piece OTL cantilever technology, standard oxygen free wire in the coils and Grado's specially designed elliptical diamond mounted in a brass bushing. The Green1 model is selected from the Black1 production run and meets higher test specifications. Approximately 15% of the production run will meet these standards and become Green1 models.

The Blue1 and Red1 models use a four piece OTL cantilever technology, standard oxygen free wire in the coils and Grado's specially designed elliptical diamond mounted on a brass bushing. The Red1 model is selected from the Blue1 production run and meets higher test specifications. Approximately 10% of the production run will meet these standards and become Red1 models.

The Silver1 and Gold1 models use a four piece OTL cantilever technology, ultra-high purity long crystal (UHPLC) oxygen free copper wire in the coils and Grado's specially designed elliptical diamond mounted on a brass bushing. The Gold1 model is selected from the Silver1 production run and meets higher test specifications. Approximately 5% of the production run meet these standards and become Gold1 models.


So, 3 different bodies shared among 6 different cartridges but all with interchangeable styli. They are differentiated both by the stylus and testing.


I think I have my head wrapped around it now!
Thank you very much for the info :D

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