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Why I'm proud of the Shure M97xE.


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G'day all, please feel free to ignore this thread, as I guess my fondness for the OEM stylus Shure M97xE is well known and it is my favourite moving magnet cartridge, and just today on another forum I noted two new M97xE related threads. 

 

As expected, the usual M97xE 'detractors' showed up but there was also some support including reference to a couple of past related links that I contributed to, which was actually nice to see.  Reading through the threads I made a bit of a realisation in that the great majority of the present popular mid to upper price range of moving magnet cartridges all pretty well exhibit a moderate treble 'rise' and this can definitely be assumed if an after market SAS stylus is fitted.

 

This sort of treble rise seems to be 'liked', but it is not in my opinion the way 'music' is.  That opinion comes from attending lots of live unplugged music performances in the past.  Sure, optimum capacitance loading is critical with the OEM stylus M97xE for the best upper treble response, as it is with every high inductance moving magnet phono cartridge. 

 

Assuming that optimised loading condition is met, I've always regarded the M97xE as sounding closer to the sound of the 'real thing' than other well regarded moving magnet cartridges with an (obvious) treble rise.  For this reason I am proud of the M97xE 'sound' as it is about the only high quality moving magnet phono cartridge presently commercially available (except for the Grado's perhaps), that hasn't fallen victim to the 'fashion' of treble 'rise'.  I think Shure should be applauded for that!  Regards, Felix.    

Edited by catman
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 it is about the only high quality moving magnet phono cartridge presently commercially available (except for the Grado's perhaps), that hasn't fallen victim to the 'fashion' of treble 'rise'.

 

The current issue of Sound & Image has a review of the Pro-Ject 1Xpression Classic Carbon TT, which comes fitted with the Ortofon 2M Silver. The measured response of the 2M Silver looks very nice and flat IIRC.

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G'day mate, that's very interesting.  This is the first that I've heard of the 2M 'Silver'.  Is it a new model or a new stylus for one of the existing models?  Regards, Felix. 

Edited by catman
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G'day mate, yes and in all honesty I prefer the sound of the M97xE.  I have a V15III and thought it excessively 'bright' unless loaded capacitively in the 400 to 500 picofarad range (at 47 k), as per the Shure recommendation of the time. 

 

At the time of the V15III (around 1973), the Shure cartridge sound was epitomised by a near ruler flat cartridge response between 20 Hz and 20 KHz and superb tracking at around the 1 gram tracking weight. 

 

Much later Shure changed their sound to the 'Audiophile' (softened treble) response of the V15VxMR and the M97xE series apparently in response to 'audiophile' complaints.  Regards, Felix. 

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I used Shure V15 carts almost exclusively from the early '70s up till about 5 - 6 years ago and the Type III wasn't my first, but I still have a couple and it's definitely my favourite of the lot. I had the V15VxMR too and it was the last V15 I bought new and I still feel the Type III was a better cart.......................this little black duck certainly wasn't complaining about the earlier V15s and particularly the Type III. :D

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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must admit - outside of a V15 which of course correctly set up, delivered a very faithful reproduction, my favourite was the M91ED - which I still have along with a number of replacement cartridges unused.  With my current setup it tracks at around 1.25gm and the sound is as pure as I can et it through the VAFs.

 

Shure cartridges were very forgiving and quite robust.  It is the stylus replacement which is becoming a problem now.

 

:(

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