Replacing the Shure M97xE Cartridge/Stylus

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by retroboxman, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. retroboxman

    retroboxman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Thanks. I think I follow. So worst case situation, I have to re-mount the cartridge in a universal head shell and use longer wires so the cart can be moved forward? Am I understanding that correctly?

    Also, what type of gauge or tool do I need to measure overhang and can you offer some instruction? What distance is the overhang? From what two points is that measurement taken from? And to clarify, it cannot exceed 15.5 mm?

    Travis
     
  2. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Then add a Shure M 44-7 to your arsenal while you still can. Jico styli are excellent. Perfect for 1960's mono Soul, Rock, and R&B duty. Plays your kind of music well, and what helped make them hits.
     
  3. Mitsuman

    Mitsuman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Missouri
    Yes, and any headshell leads I've ever used/seen should have sufficient length to adjust the cartridge to get the proper overhang. The overhang can be set by carefully swinging the tonearm, with the headshell/cartridge installed in the tonearm and the cartridge screws snug but not tight, and carefully resting it on the center spindle. You need a metal scale (ruler) to measure the distance from the center of the spindle to the tip of the stylus. Per your PL-550 specifications, the stylus should "overhang" the center of the spindle by 15.5 mm. Some decks came with a plastic jig that allows you to set the stylus location in the headshell from the back of the rubber washer on the headshell. Many Technics decks came with the jig, but I don't know for sure if one was ever provided for the 550.
     
  4. retroboxman

    retroboxman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Which styli are you recommending for 1960's mono, the JICO or the Shure M 44-7? Can you tell me more about the Shure M 44-7? Looks very affordable online but it's marketed as a DJ's stylus and 'legendary'. Can you fill me in? And is this needle compatible in my M97XE cart? Out of curiosity, what do you store your needles in when changing them on the SAME cart?

    Travis
     
  5. Mitsuman

    Mitsuman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Missouri
    Just to add another point about overhang...................as the tonearm swings in an arc while the record is playing, you are trying to position the stylus tip so that it is as close to perfectly tangent with the record grooves at two points on the record, known as null points. By setting the overhang between the spindle center and stylus tip, what you are effectively doing is setting the distance the stylus tip is from the exact center of the pivot point on your tonearm. Using the overhang from the spindle is a bit more expedient and easier than locating the exact center of the pivot point on the tonearm. This again, is based on the tonearm's effective length, and that's how/why TT manufacturers arrive at the overhang dimension for your given deck/arm.
     
  6. retroboxman

    retroboxman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I think I understand, so once installed, swing the tone arm to the centre spindle on the platter and the the tip of the stylus should extend past the centre spindle by exactly 15.5 mm?

    Is that what those white thin plastic discs are used to measure? I know some are for speed, but others have a string attached a grid printed on them? What are those for?

    The PL-550 did come with a plastic gauge as you described. It's rare. There's one for sale on eBay for 50 bucks. I do have a place in town where I could ask them to set it up for me.

    Travis
     
  7. retroboxman

    retroboxman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    They should make a plastic disc with vertical soft brushes at incremental points depending on overhang, so you can set the disc on the platter, line it up with the appropriate vertical 'brush' and tighten the head shell screws!

    Travis
     
  8. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    The Shure M 44-7. When you run out of genuine styli, buy Jico styli for it and keep on using it. Perfect for the records you post about loving. It does not fit your M97xE. You need to buy yourself a Shure M 44-7 cartridge to own one.
     
  9. retroboxman

    retroboxman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Gotcha so to re-cap, buy the JICO replacement stylus for my M97XE once the original wears out and in addition to my recent Ortofon Mono 2m and M97XE, you are suggesting buying a third cart, the Shure M 44-7. Am I following you correctly?

    The M 44-7 seems to come in a DJ version (black) and a 'single' version (grey). Know anything about the difference?

    Travis
     
  10. retroboxman

    retroboxman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I am learning a lot here today. Thanks for your patience with me.

    Would this be a worthwhile tool for me to purchase. It looks like it was designed for Pioneer TT's judging by the font and typesetting.

    45 RPM TURNTABLE ADAPTER & OVERHANG CHECKER | eBay

    Thanks for your input,

    Travis
     
  11. Mitsuman

    Mitsuman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Missouri
    The stylus tip should be 15.5 mm from the centerline of the spindle. Looking straight on at the spindle, from the front of the TT, eyeball the middle of the spindle and adjust the cartridge in the headshell until the stylus tip is 15.5 mm from the center of the spindle. The spindle has a diameter, so the measurement must be from its center not from the left or right side of the spindle to stylus tip.
     
  12. Wngnt90

    Wngnt90 Forum Resident

    My PL-560 has an overhang gauge from Pioneer. The overhang is 49mm on the Pioneer gauge as opposed to 52mm on the Technics overhang gauge. My PL-530 came with the same Pioneer overhang gauge so I'd say it's a safe bet to say that the PL-550 originally included one as well.
     
  13. retroboxman

    retroboxman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Got it - I
    Got it - I found someone online who sells a 15.5 plastic gauge that you clip on the back of the head shell and then align the stylus with a small bump in the plastic. My understanding from reading stuff online is that if I square up the cart to be parallel with the gauge and line it up with the indentation, I will have successfully and correctly set the azimuth. Does that sound right to you?

    Apparently 's' shaped tone arms don't always require cart's to have a lot of horizontal 'angling' as the 's' in the tone arm accounts for that.

    Let me know what you think!

    Travis
     
  14. retroboxman

    retroboxman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    So with the knowledge you all have provided me, I realized my Shure Cartridge was NOT aligned properly. I printed off one of the free protractors from vinyl engine and took the time for proper alignment. Semblance is WAY down and I am hearing more detail. The Shure M97XE is also sounding 'brighter'. But then again this stylus is newer -- less than 100 hours on this one.

    I ordered a digital VTF scale off Amazon for $10.
    There's Azimuth settings on the PL-550 and I am not sure I want to buy a voltage meter and and so on.

    BUT I would like to double check the anti-skate and I know I need some dead wax for that.
    Is there a test record any one would recommend that has dead wax for testing anti-skate?

    Also, sure enough once the cart was adjusted the overhang is a perfect 15.5 mm past the spindle - DEAD on!

    Thanks everyone!
    Learned so much through this experience and your helpful advice.

    Travis
     
    Mitsuman likes this.
  15. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Gray lighter tracking and lower output, white higher output tracks 1.5-3 grams. I use the white. Either body can take either stylus, the heavier tracking one and the M 44-E and M 55-E. The white is the sound your records want. Get a body, if Shure's too expensive, Jico's N 44-7 is as good or better. I use one every day. My standards are high, I don't recommend it for you, if it's not good enough for me every day.
     
  16. retroboxman

    retroboxman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    JICO sells the the N 44-7 in packs of two - GLOW IN THE DARK, BABY! Ha!
    Which stylus sounds better to you in your M 44-7 Cart, the JICO or Shure? Can I buy JUST the shure Cart alone with no stylus?

    Thanks for the recommendations - this cart is very affordable.

    Travis
     
  17. retroboxman

    retroboxman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Mc Lover - I think when you referred to the "white" M 44-7 cart you meant the BLACK. I am only seeing them in grey and BLACK. Can you clarify, please?

    Travis
     
  18. retroboxman

    retroboxman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    What do you gents use to store your different head shells with your carts mounted on them? Do they sell protective boxes designed for these? Suggestions? Links?
     
  19. Yes. You have rebalance the tone arm and set it to the correct cartridge manufacturer tracking weight. You also have to re-adjust the anti-skate accordingly. The plug 'n play cartridge is just that, all you have to do is adjust the weights.
    If you want to get real technical, get yourself a digital cartridge scale and alignment protractor kit. Of course, I've never seen 2 digital scales that gave identical weight readings. Close, but no cigar.
    Here is what I know, Shure is getting out of the phono cartridge business. They discontinued the M97xe this year, so the replacement stylii are also history. Shure is still honoring warranties. I received a genuine replacement N97xe a couple of weeks ago from them for one which broke off. I normally get 100's of hours use out of them, but it's always good to have a back-up. I have 2 brand new M97xe's which I bought several years ago for $60. each. I bought a replacement stylus from Amazon for $59. this year and right after Shure made their announcement, prices started going through the roof. If you can get the genuine replacement stylus for $60., buy a couple. If you've got the money, buy a Jico. For the money, the difference in sound you will get doesn't pencil out. I think that you are going to be blown away by your new 2m mono.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  20. There are DJ cartridge storage boxes, but I've never used one. Most cartridges come with reusable stylus covers and I keep mine stylus side up in those plastic drawer parts bins you can buy at a hardware store. I keep replacement stylii and other phono parts in those drawers also. Many of the newer quality professional turntables have a special hole behind the tone arm to store an extra headshell. On the turntable I use for recording, I keep a Shure M97xe and Pickering NP/AC with it. For my 3 speed DD turntable I use with my quadraphonic system, I will have a Shure M24H, M78S or M97xe with it, using one with another in the storage hole and the others in the storage bins.
     
  21. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    You're talking about body colors I think. All Shure M 44 family bodies save for the M 44-GX take all M 44 styli options. Also, the M 55 bodies work with M 44 styli as well.
     
  22. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    It certainly does pencil out considering the Jico makes the M97 competitive with $1000 carts.
     
  23. retroboxman

    retroboxman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Thanks for your help. I will see if my budget can afford some N97XE replacements. Do you have concerns that JICO will follow suit and not manufacture their replacement stylus for the M97XE? Historically is that how things go cause the demand goes down I assume?

    Spoke to Ortofon this morning. The PNP comes on a pre-mounted head shell. The response I got was very diplomatic as they cannot guarantee products when you disassemble them, but he said that it's simply a 2M mono cart screwed into the their PNP head shell. So WORST CASE, if I can't get the proper (15.5 mm) overhang needed off the PNP head shell, should I just remount it in a standard universal head shell? Any recommendations on head shells. Vintage ones score a pretty penny online. Wow!
     
  24. retroboxman

    retroboxman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    You feel the JICO replacement stylus for M97XE is THAT good?
     
  25. retroboxman

    retroboxman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    So in other words, the colour of the Cart doesn't matter, as long as it's a Shure M 44-7?
     

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