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Shure M91ED........... any good?Night Wolf
Feb 17, 2003 11:17 PM
Hey all, just wondering what your thoughts on the M91ED was, I know Shure dosn't make it anymore, but overall, is it a good cart.?

and what woudl you recomend as a upgrade from a M91ED in the $60 range or so..... you know best bang for buck?

I ask this becasue my tt has a M91ED on it, and I got a new stylus for it. really have no bais to compare it to, other then the fact that my tt w/ shure cart, when we hooked it up to my fathers DJ system sound better then his vintage Sony table w/ Stanton cart. (proably due to the fact that his Stanton is a pro. DJ cart, and not home audio) but I was just starting to brainstorm differn't makes and models to go with, I am not too familer with them, so I would nee your help, I would be looking at the $60 range, and maybe stretching it to $80 or so it it means much better sound. also should I stay with Shure when I upgrade? or what are the other better brands (I was looking at and there was alot of cart.s around $60 form differnce brands)

not a particularly great onehifitommy
Feb 18, 2003 7:35 AM
i had one and it just didnt sing. it wasnt mounted on a sme or anything (dual 1215) but a cheeeeep adc sounded way better.
today, shure is doing a much better job. the m94 is in your price range and should be pretty good based on the reception given the m97xe ($80-100-try garage-a-records). the grado black is a sure bet if you dont have a rega or dual. other cartridge sources are, and the garage. most of these have better pricing/shipping rates than the doctor.
not a particularly great oneNight Wolf
Feb 18, 2003 10:03 AM
my tt is a BSR 810 Transcrition, it was perhaps BSR's best TT made to be in direct competition with the Dual 1219 (AFA performance)

I got my table at Good Will for $4 w/ the Shure, so I have no complaints (new stylus was $9 at PartsExpress) how much in crease in performance am I look at going from a M91ED to a M94?

here is a picture of my table...... not the best picture I have, but you can see the whole thing pretty well.
not a particularly great oneNight Wolf
Feb 18, 2003 2:08 PM
amazing what some wood restorer can do:

not a particularly great oneRick Brown
Feb 20, 2003 7:48 AM
Hey, Night Wolf, it looks like your tonearm is raised quite a bit at the back end. Is the VTA adjustable and have you tried changing it?
re: Shure M91ED........... any good?skeptic
Feb 23, 2003 5:13 AM
The Shure M91ED was an excellent second tier performer when it was manufactured in the early 1970s. It was second only to the manufacturer's top of the line V 15 Type II improved which was considerably more expensive. I had several M91EDs and a V15 myself.

Shure focused on several things.

Trackability, the ability of the stylus to accurately follow the groove without distortion at low tracking force minimizing record wear and distortion.

Flat and extended frequency response, dampening the high frequency peak common to many magnetic cartridges. The sound is often described on wide range systems as "neutral" meaning neither dull nor bright. Sound systems with a high frequency rolloff might sound better with a brighter cartridge. Personally I would use other means to correct frequency response problems than selecting a cartridge but it's one way.

The Stanton DJ cartridge like anybody's DJ cartridge is designed primarily to survive the incredible abuse it is expected to endure. High compliance low mass for high trackability and dampening out high frequency peaks is the last thing the manufacturer would worry about. The Shure stylus is quite fragile. The Stanton isn't. The Stanton's output is probably greater too.

Development's in phono cartridges have been evolutionary rather than revolutionary. It would be surprising if there weren't improvements over thirty years especially in an era of great technological advance. Personally, I like Shure very much myself. I would expect some improvements but not miracles. Are the tangeable benefits of progress worth the cost of a new cartridge? Sorry I can't help you there.
i bought the hype and rhetoric of the reviewhifitommy
Feb 23, 2003 8:51 AM
of the m91ed and didnt realize there was much more to life than trackability. changing to the adc XLM was a revelation. in comparison, the shure sounded lifeless, the adc otoh produced MUSIC.
the latest shures have overcome this limitation and are much more musical.
Trakability is not hypeskeptic
Feb 23, 2003 9:13 AM
It has to do with harmonic distortion and record wear. It depends on mechanical parameters such as compliance, dynamic mass, stylus geometry, resonances. Frequency response depends to some extent on electrical parameters and can be fiddled with with by the manufacturer. Don't be deluded into thinking that because a cartridge is brighter it is necessarily better. You can change that with an equalizer.
Trakability is not the issuehifitommy
Feb 23, 2003 10:34 PM
the way a cartridge SOUNDS is a very large factor. when i went to an ADC XLM, not only did the sound take a leap, but the adc tracked high energy cymbals with more accuracy.
i assure you, the XLM wasnt brighter than the shure, just way better sounding.
if one were brighter, i would suspect it was mistracking anyway.and sounding better isnt necessarily about frequency response either. record wear has more to do with a stylus NOT mistracking than how low the tracking force is.
the adc specs rated it at 0.75-1.5 gr. in an average arm, 1.5 did the job, in a superior arm, 1.0. soundwise, the adc stood head and shoulders above the shure at the proper tracking force. even the v15III was not preferable to the adc. not until the V did shure compete in the sonic war.
Trakability is not the issueskeptic
Feb 24, 2003 5:29 AM
I do not disagree that ADC made some outstanding performing cartridges to compete with the best of Shure and Empire. I am glad you didn't include Audio Technia in there, I thought that their cartridges sounded awful. Each brand had its own sonic signiture independent of other factors such as trackability and in that regard, selecting a cartridge is as personal a choice as selecting a loudspeaker. In fact, it often boiled down to a matter of finding a good match to the other equipment you used. Of the three companies, as far as I can tell, only Shure is still in business possibly owing their success to some degree to the widespread professional acceptance of their microphones and their very popular teleconference microphones. Any Idea what happend to the other two? ADC was bought by BSR which seems to have disappeared. Empire I think was bought by a Swiss company and then it also disappeared.

I always found one of the most useful lab test data items in the old magazine reviews of cartridges to be the square wave response. I especially looked for signs of ringing. Does anybody still publish that kind of data? You'd have to go back into archives if you could find them to check what the labs found for these old models.

In the mid 1970s ADC manufactured one of the most unique products ever, the Accutrack turntable (sounds like the name of a safety razor doesn't it.) It was semiautomatic and had an infra red source and sensor in the arm that would allow it to be programmed to play different tracks automatically by finding the spaces between them. There was an episode of Columbo which featured Theodore Bikel as the murderer in which the Accutrack played a key role as evidence.

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