Shure V15 cartridge question

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Benzion, Jun 24, 2017.

  1. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I have an interest in cartridges that have a legendary reputation and lots of aftermarket improvements. I already own and love a Denon 103R, modified by Zu Audio.

    Next, I'm thinking of getting the legendary Shure V15. But, a) - there are too many to consider, and I don't know which one to get, and, b) - the NOS ones are quite expensive, easily in the $500 range.

    here's one:

    NOS Shure V-15 Type III Super-Track "Plus" Phono Cartridge & Shure VN35E Stylus | eBay

    here's another:

    SHURE V15IIIHE NOS CARTRIDGE AND NOS GENUINE SHURE VN35HE HYPERELLIPTICAL STYLUS | eBay

    So, the actual questions are:

    Are Type III better than Type IV or vice versa?
    Are hyper-elliptical styli better than elliptical?
    Are these prices justified by the merits of the carts, or is it just hype/vintage markup?
    If the advise is NOS - which one?

    OR

    Is the combination of current production Shure M97xE with an upgraded stylus (LP Gear N97xVL ViVid Line or JICO SAS/sapphire cantilever) better, or at least as good as those NOS carts? - It seems this route is cheaper than original NOS cart, even with JICO, but is it a better choice?

    The turntable the cart is likely to be installed on would be a Denon DP-1800 direct drive, with original arm. Separate thread on the merits of the Denon will be posted shortly.
     
  2. Standingstones

    Standingstones Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Central PA
    As Shure quit making the V15 in 2005 the supposed NOS is all that is left. You have to consider if you bought one of these cartridges there is also a finite number of replacement styli in existence. Unless you are in love with the Shure there are probably better choices at this time.
     
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  3. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I've never heard one, as I said - it stems from an interest in legendary cartridges.
     
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  4. back2vinyl

    back2vinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    They stopped making the III in 1978 so even if you were buying the last one off the production line, it would be virtually 40 years old. I would caution against it, personally - even if the cartridge and stylus had survived the passage of time, the stylus would soon wear out and as soon as you replaced it with a Jico or similar, you'd significantly alter the frequency response (EQ) of the cartridge which would somewhat defeat the purpose of buying the thing in the first place. Plus, I doubt whether those old styluses and cantilevers had the tracing ability of stuff you can get these days.

    So, I would say definitely for collectors only and don't expect value for money or even first class tracing. The Shure M97xE with a Jico stylus was an excellent value-for-money combination when Jico styluses were still reasonably priced but I don't think even that combination makes sense any more when you can get better MC cartridges off the shelf for the same price.

    That's just my take on it but if you have the money to spare and you want to do it just out of curiosity, than I certainly wouldn't want to discourage you. Let us know how it sounds!
     
  5. TimB

    TimB Tube be or not Tube be?

    Location:
    Galion, Ohio USA
    I have the V15VMr, excellent cartridge. I also have the V5RS, the Radio Shack version, which the bodys of the V15VMr look similar, the RS version is silver where as the Shure version is black. If they were not so pricey, I would say go for the V15Vmr or V15VMrx. I can tell you this, the V15Vmr is one of the best cartridges I ever listened with. Just as a note, I purchased a Beatles Abbey Road purple label back in the early 80's, and played it first at a friends house, sounded great, got home, it would not play on my record player. I latter found out that my friend was using a Radio Shack V15RS, and it tackled the warped record, I could not tell that it was warped on it, on my table with a AT cartridge, it did not track at all, and where it did you could really hear the warp. To my knowledge, there is no better cartridge at tracking than the V15 series, and with the brush on the front, it tracks at 1 gram (total down ward force is set at 1.75 grams but the brush takes up some of that weight).
     
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  6. TimB

    TimB Tube be or not Tube be?

    Location:
    Galion, Ohio USA
    I should slightly amend my post, the V15VMr is the best MM cartridge I have heard. I really like the Denon DL110 and DL160 moving coil high output cartridges.
     
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  7. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    I have the following; V15/V Jico SAS, V15VMR/Jico SAS, M97XE/stock/JicoSAS/ LPGear Vivid line. And I sold a V15IV/Jico SAS (which was a mistake) the V15IV/Jico was a fantastic cartridge. Due to an unfortunate accident I am currently using the M97XE/stock stylus. The reason was that while I was adjusting the cartridge alignment the cartridge separated into two pieces the top silver half and the bottom black half. I repaired it and in doing so modified it a bit. The results are that the sound "appears to be more solid" and listenable, the imaging is "improved" along with "perceivable" detail. I'm liking it quite a lot and that's with the stock stylus. If I "had to rank them right now" they would be as follows;

    1. V15IV/Jico SAS
    2. V15V/Jico SAS
    3. V15VMR/Jico SAS
    4. M97XE/Jico SAS
    5. M97XE/Vividline - M9XE/Stock

    My tastes are focused on female voice reproduction and lower with a "touch of detail" and tight bass and excellent tracking. Each of these cartridge configurations provide those things for me.

    M~
     
  8. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    So, seems like JICO SAS is pretty much a must, and does the best job on the original IV and V bodies?
     
    Gavinyl likes this.
  9. DonnyMe

    DonnyMe Forum Resident

    Location:
    NW Indiana
    I recently came across an old Shure V15 cartridge with a broken stylis that was buried in a box of junk. I had it on my previous turntable eons ago. I almost threw it out thinking it was useless. Reading the above posts it appears I may be wrong. This could be resurrected by adding a new stylis? JICO makes the replacement stylis for this model? I guess I need to do some research huh?
     
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  10. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    Like all things audio, it depends if you like it better than the Vividline, some do. I was in the process of breaking mine in when the accident happened. I do think and it is IMHO that the V15IV is "better"sonically" than the V15V/MR.

    To the point I love the JICO in any of those bodies. Pick your flavor and have fun listening, you really can't go wrong.

    M~
     
  11. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    Try LP Gear to get started for $134.00 and if it floats your boat you can move up to the SAS. which I would buy from Jico or a EMT (I think).

    M~
     
  12. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    I bought my first V-15 III in 1973 and have used them since then. The Jico elliptical replicates the sound of the original stylus and the hyper elliptical brings out a little more detail. I use a V-15 II on a Dual 1019 that I really like too.
     
  13. DonnyMe

    DonnyMe Forum Resident

    Location:
    NW Indiana
    Thank you the prompt response and recommendations macster! I truly appreciate it.
     
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  14. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    JICO makes a stylus called SAS, it's their proprietary diamond shape. Available with sapphire or ruby cantilever. Ruby is more money, but reviewers place them as equal sonically. Apparently, those SAS styli do magic on Shure carts. Give it a try.
     
  15. I developed the LCRMKIII with a V15 mkIV/Jico SAS. Great cart. I could have died with that cart, no regrets. The only down side was the Jico SAS went limp and I didn't notice. It took out side 2 of a BC-13 Rubber Soul.

    Fast forward another year or so and I see a post in the 'Asylum; "I'm tossing a TD165 TT unless someone comes and gets it". I go get it. It had a Shure M91ed with a very used stock stylus. That cart was my goto unit to check my preamp QC and designs for the last year.

    That workhorse M91ed (Stock stylus and all) got mounted on a Denon DP-51 TT and went to the recent LA Audio Show to demo the Lounge LCR Gold and LCR Tube. It worked like a champ.

    Also that same M91ed (through an LCR Gold) was used to play;
    Breakfast in America and Blondie "Rapture" for Lenise Bent.
    EWF "Lets Groove" And Lionel Richie "Hello" for Michael Boddicker.
    The Fixx "Saved by Zero" for Kevin Gray
    The Runaways "Cherry Bomb" for Andy Morris
    McCartney "Listen to What The Man Said" for Don Perry

    All the above pushed through a banquet hall PA system. It went well, in no small part, due to the M91ed.

    Now I have the V15mkIV back up and running with an average stylus I got form turntableneedles.com. Even with a standard stylus, there is nothing wrong it, nothing at all!

    What is the first cart Kevin Gray uses on his lathe to listen to his cut?--- A Shure V15mkV :D
     
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  16. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Huge fan of the Shure, been using them since 1976.

    Current Shure I have:
    Ultra 500 (the king of Shure's!)
    M97xE
    V15VxMR with stock or Jico SAS stylus
    V15VMR
    VST V Ultra Group Black SE
    M35X
    SC35C
     
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  17. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Looked up the Ultra 500. Found one on eBay, used, for... $1,188.00 (Euro 999). Will pass. Seem if I can't find a NOS type 4, I may stick to M97xE with JICO SAS, it will total under $400, with readily available replacement styli for years.
     
    SandAndGlass, macster and GuildX700 like this.
  18. theron d

    theron d Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore MD
    Have you ever tried the jico HE on the Shure M97xE? Or is that the same as the vivid line?
    I like the HE it seems to be better than stockbut retains the Shure tone...
     
  19. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Was interested in trying one at some point. Ebay prices for even a cart body with no stylus or cheap $15 aftermarket stylus are out of hand IMHO.
     
  20. Wngnt90

    Wngnt90 Forum Resident

    I own 2 V15III's one equipped with a Jico SAS and the other with an OEM elliptical stylus...both still sound awesome...the SAS equipped one giving the most detail.
     
  21. Jack Flannery

    Jack Flannery Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I bought a td-166 that had a Type II on it. Put a Jico stylus. 60's era music had a nice bite to it.
     
  22. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    I used to use the SAS on the two V-15 III cartridges that I use but now prefer the Jico HE or elliptical.
     
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  23. Wngnt90

    Wngnt90 Forum Resident

    Yes they do!
     
    TennesseeCherokee likes this.
  24. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    No but I will. My vivid line finally broke in to the point where I started to like it more than the stock stylus. But the mod that I did changed things, so I have start my listening comparisons over again.

    M~
     
    theron d likes this.
  25. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    Try to buy one minus stylus.
    I did and got it for £50 on EBay.
    I have used normal Jico stylus for the V15MK3, them i tried a Thakker
    Which Jico make for £24. It passes all 4 tracking tests on my HI -Fi News test record at 1gram!! It sound wonderful.
    Clean , deep and detailed. Surface noise is very low.
    This was 2 years ago and it still floats my boat!
     

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