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Old 19th July 2010, 01:45 PM   #1
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Default Distortion in Shure V15IV

I have a Shure V15IV phonograph cartridge, with the original stylus, that came installed on a Pioneer PL-518 turntable. This cartridge produces pronounced distortion when playing my lps. My other cartridge, a Shure M97HE, produces clean sound when playing the same records on the same turntable, and I know how to properly set up a cartridge, so the problem is definitely in the V15IV.

My question: is it likely that the problem lies in the cartridge body itself, or in the stylus? I have thought about ordering a replacement stylus, but would prefer not to waste the time or money if the stylus is not at fault. Can anyone help?
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Old 19th July 2010, 05:19 PM   #2
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Default no help

I've got a Shure V15 labeled "Era IV" on the front, that I bought about 1980. It still works great! However, rubber deteriorates and no other cartridge I have owned has lasted this long. Get a cheap toy microscope at the charity resale shop, look at your stylus. If it is not a smooth ellipse, ie it has a crack, then buying a new stylus is a good idea. If the stylus looks nice and smooth, then throw the cartridge away and buy a new one. I've owned a1961 ADC cartridge and a 1970 Grado FTE cartridge, the ADC had hard rubber in 1970 and the Grado was bad by 1980. Hard rubber cartridges can't track extreme bass lines. My V15 is doing ZZ Top's "Afterburner" just fine, loudest bass line I own.
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Old 24th July 2010, 07:13 AM   #3
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I wouldn't think the problem is in the cartridge if it exists in both channels equally since each channel has its own coil so to speak.
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Old 25th July 2010, 02:27 PM   #4
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Thanks indianajo and thetube0a3. I may have to get an SAS stylus to satisfy my curiosity.
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Old 27th July 2010, 08:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majerjack View Post
Thanks indianajo and thetube0a3. I may have to get an SAS stylus to satisfy my curiosity.
Of all the Shure cartridges I tried,only the type IV has a rubber that becomes hard and totally non compliant.All other Shure cartridge's suspension rubbers become soft.Touch the tip lightly and see if the cantilever moves up and down or it is hard to move.In case of the later(most probably)then the rubber is useless.In this case a SAS is the best choice.
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Old 18th August 2010, 12:21 AM   #6
bulgin is offline bulgin  South Africa
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Hi

I have owned a V15 Type 111 and Type 1V for a long time. I bought them at the same time about 12 years ago as nos but never used them until this week. The Type 111 has a VN35HE stylus and the Type 1V has the stylus with the little brush and just "SHURE" on the front stylus carrier.

I tried them both during the past few days and first played them on TTR110 and both tracked all bands with no problems. Both carts were mounted on the same type Micro headshells, tracking at 1.4g VTF on my Micro Seiki BL-51 with CF-1 arm.

Last night, I asked someone to help me listen to decide which one we liked best and eventually, we unanimously decided it was the Type 1V as it produced less surface noise and was less harsh-sounding with brass instruments.

After our tests were over, I was interested to find out why the Type 111 sounded the way it did and tapped the headshell with a little pan stylus brush.

To my surprise, I discovered it was grossly microphonic and today, I had a chance to do something about that. I found the loose and floppy stylus guard responsible and inserted two very small rubber washers over the stylus guard lugs.

Both cartridges now performs identically and the microphonics on the Type 111 is no longer an issue.

I'm not sure if you have access to a test record (such as Shure's own), as this will give you a correct diagnosis of what the problem is.

bulgin
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Old 18th August 2010, 12:25 AM   #7
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Better still,remove the type III stylus guard completely.
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Old 18th August 2010, 02:17 AM   #8
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Bulgin : isn't 1.4G a bit on the heavy side for a V15 cartridge? I thought the recommended range was .75 to 1.25G.

I used to track at .75G without problems when I had an SME arm. On my Technics SL-1800 MK II I find I need 1G to 1.25G to be comfortable.



I standard corrected. It seems recommended tracking is .75G to 1.5G.
p.s. I use Shure's test record.

Last edited by thetube0a3; 18th August 2010 at 02:20 AM.
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Old 18th August 2010, 09:44 AM   #9
bulgin is offline bulgin  South Africa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thetube0a3 View Post
Bulgin : isn't 1.4G a bit on the heavy side for a V15 cartridge? I thought the recommended range was .75 to 1.25G.

I used to track at .75G without problems when I had an SME arm. On my Technics SL-1800 MK II I find I need 1G to 1.25G to be comfortable.



I standard corrected. It seems recommended tracking is .75G to 1.5G.
p.s. I use Shure's test record.
Hi thetubeOa3

I am so used to playing other carts (mostly mc's) at around 2g. "Other" mm carts like AT's, I play at 1.6 to 1.8g. I know the V15's were 'special' and famed for their light VTF. Yet, it was kind of difficult for me to go as low as 1.4g due to long-acquired habits of playing cartridges above 1.5g.

Regards

bulgin
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Old 18th August 2010, 10:45 AM   #10
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I've been running the V15 Era IV at 1.5 gram since I bought it in 1979. No problems, best cartridge I've ever owned. Tracks ZZ Top afterburner, worst record I own.
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