Shure M97xE vs Ortofon 2M Red

the thin end of the wedge
Idgar
member
member
Posts: 30
Joined: 02 Sep 2011 14:59
Location: Israel

Re: Shure M97xE vs Ortofon 2M Red

Post by Idgar » 15 Nov 2011 03:04

OK, after a lot of you answered me i've started to get the point.
so first, i've aligned the cartridge like a pedant, over and over again.
i don't think it's the alignment, maybe i got a defective cartridge (i've ordered it from ebay, maybe something wrong?).
don't get me wrong, the sound is good, but not enough for me.
i putted my om cartridge with 14 needle, it feels like it sounds better, but the needle i bought (a new one) is not original, i think so. there isn't an ortofon logo on it.
does every om needles has a logo on them?
about the brush/stabilizer, i don't use it. as it seems, my TT has a GREAT anti skating which gives me stability on vinyl that in my past TT had skipped (i had sherwood pm-9805).
about the hum, i've connected it right.
when i'm using the ortofon it has less electric "hum" noise, so i'm sure it's the cartridge. it's not that loud but when i'm turning the volume louder i can distinguish.
about the sound, yeah, i like the sound brighter but not too bright/open. i love my sound sharper. i have EQ on my stereo system but i'm not using it, it's just for displaying.
i'm not sure what's better, to keep with my old OM Cartridge (at least 15 years old, i'm not sure) and replace the needle to an original one like the 20 which i saw a great reputation on it.
can someone describe the 2M Red and the AT-120/E?
i've heard a simple audio-technica cartridge, i think at-90 or something like that, the one that comes with the sherwood PM-9805, the high frequency is too high that it doesn't sound natural at all, so i have a bad feeling about them but i would like to hear more about.
anyway, the AT-120/E can found at ebay for 129$ + 10$ shipping, compares to 2M Red which costs 99$.
and what about grado? for example, the grado green.

by the way, just for make sure, what is the meaning of:
1. QC - Quality Check?
2. IMO - In My Opinion?
3. OP?

freefallrob
senior member
senior member
Posts: 288
Joined: 06 Aug 2005 11:46
Location: UK

Re: Shure M97xE vs Ortofon 2M Red

Post by freefallrob » 15 Nov 2011 09:27

The AT120e is a nice cartridge, owned two of them, nude stylus (as does the 2M Blue) which really helps with clean tracking, I'd pick it over the 2M RED any day.

The AT120 will need a bit of running in to sound it's best.

I like the Grado Black, but they need REALLY good set up to give their best, not a universal choice in my opinion and don't suit all arms/turntables, especially those prone to hum. Not the best tracker of inner grooves either...

OP - Original poster - him/her that started the thread;-)
QC - Quality control
IMO - In my opinion (also IMHO - in my honest opinion) as if we would lie!?

Laudanum
senior member
senior member
Posts: 323
Joined: 15 Jul 2011 14:30
Location: USA

Re: Shure M97xE vs Ortofon 2M Red

Post by Laudanum » 15 Nov 2011 14:01

I think the AT120e should be available for right around $99.

In terms of alignment as Brighton mentioned, I have the Shure aligned to Stevenson on a Rega arm and Baerwald on another arm, no IGD on either. So it's not necessarily alignment geometry dependant. But it would be worth trying different alignment if possible ... just takes a little time so why not.
I still believe it is mainly a QC issue with the stylus. Get a good sample and it's a good cart.

Bebé Tonto

Re: Shure M97xE vs Ortofon 2M Red

Post by Bebé Tonto » 15 Nov 2011 17:46

brighton123 wrote:My point, dont write off the Shure till you are certain that your setup is right, I think its a great cartridge for the money and seems to track just about anything, believe me I have put the Shure through things I wouldnt dream of putting other carts through, Its especially good on Warped trojan LPs. Great all rounder IMO
100% agree. I was impressed with the N97xE stylus. It's not exactly a V15 stylus but gives 85% of the satisfaction, which is a lot.

Idgar
member
member
Posts: 30
Joined: 02 Sep 2011 14:59
Location: Israel

Re: Shure M97xE vs Ortofon 2M Red

Post by Idgar » 15 Nov 2011 20:32

thank's freefallrob for the explanation about the at10e and about the terms! :)
about the IGD and m97xe, maybe it's just some specific records. i've just turned back to this hobby of TT and vinyl so i'm still learning.
i think it's just a matter of flavour, i like the ortofon sound more than the shure.

thanks for your help guys, you helped me a lot and also i've studyied new things!

jpv1973
Posts: 2
Joined: 20 Nov 2011 22:02

Re: Shure M97xE vs Ortofon 2M Red

Post by jpv1973 » 20 Nov 2011 22:15

My M97xe did not have any of the IGD issues mentioned, but from what I understand these can be hit or miss from a QC perspective. Mine was a hit. I liked it a good deal better than the V-15vxmr I replaced it with some years ago.

I settled on a at440mla a few years ago when they were ~$90US, tracked as good as the Shure(s), a little bright, (not necessarily a bad thing), and pretty dynamic. At the current $240 price point, however, this cart is not much of a bargain. I felt it was time to try something else.

I replaced it with the Ortofon M2 Red. Its early in its break in, (only mounted this on the arm two nights ago, and has about 6 hours on it), but so far, I think it beats them all. Great detailed mids, (best I have heard in an MM), tight punchy bass, and smooth high end. Definately a contender for a good at440 $100 replacement, IMO.

pivot
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 4979
Joined: 27 Dec 2002 14:31
Location: Albany, NY USA
Contact:

Re: Shure M97xE vs Ortofon 2M Red

Post by pivot » 21 Nov 2011 14:22

jpv1973 wrote:....I settled on a at440mla a few years ago when they were ~$90US, tracked as good as the Shure(s), a little bright, (not necessarily a bad thing), and pretty dynamic. At the current $240 price point, however, this cart is not much of a bargain. I felt it was time to try something else.
......
One does not have to hunt too much to find a better than $240 price on the 440MLa.

Here it is for $155.49

http://www.amazon.com/Technica-AT440MLA ... B00009MK3A

Have not heard the Ortofon 2M Red but on paper the 440MLa has the better stylus.

Bebé Tonto

Re: Shure M97xE vs Ortofon 2M Red

Post by Bebé Tonto » 21 Nov 2011 17:25

I just wanted to chime in to say again that the N97xE stylus is fantastic. I'm using it right now this morning. Truly audiophile.

SoundHarmonyMKII
member
member
Posts: 152
Joined: 30 Sep 2011 13:57
Location: Central Kansas

Re: Shure M97xE vs Ortofon 2M Red

Post by SoundHarmonyMKII » 21 Nov 2011 18:04

I've always been 100% satisfied with my M97xE cart. Only bought one, seems to be perfect for the price. I have some IGD problems that aren't at all related to the cart (my TT is definately the "weak link" in my system).

Match up the N97xE to a great set of tweeters and IMO the highs come out quite well w/o becoming too bright and trying to dominate the sound stage.

Keep in mind that the stylus on the Shure can be upgraded too, read this...search.php?search_id=egosearch
cafe latte wrote:
Bebé Tonto wrote:
Laudanum wrote: A brigher sound seems to be what many, dare I say most, vinyl listeners prefer these days.
Very interesting, i often see Audio-Technica cartridges being underrated here because they being "bright" in general, people talking about the "bright AT house sound" (in a bad sense). I thought people liked a more soft treble sound, at least audiophiles...

I agree with your point, the owner wants a brighter cart. But IMO it is not worth spending $100 just to change flavor of tonality... In my case i would just touch the appropiate bands in the equalizer, but then the holy cult of audiophilia considers equalizers and tone controls "bad".

In any case, i'd recommend the AT-120E then!! The Ortofon 2M is priced too high for what it brings to the table, in my view.
I like a good treble, but I like weight and good mids too. IMO the 2M red is bright and a bit thin. Audio Technica are a nice cart, but are sort of similar in that they need to be on the right system to sound good as are a bit on the bright side. It is a long time since I have owned an audio Technica and I have a far better system now so I may feel different on them if I heard them now though.
The Sure is a great cart if you get a good one, it does most things right, but it is a little rolled off which I could live with more than a hard edged treble and most of the roll of can be fixed by loading.
Regards
CL
viewtopic.php?f=50&t=40876

jpv1973
Posts: 2
Joined: 20 Nov 2011 22:02

Re: Shure M97xE vs Ortofon 2M Red

Post by jpv1973 » 22 Nov 2011 14:26

"Have not heard the Ortofon 2M Red but on paper the 440MLa has the better stylus."

Agreed. I was very hesitant to go elliptical after the FL stylus on the 440. But it seems to track well, and is very good at handling detail, so those supposed theoretical weaknesses of the elliptical do not seem to come into play.

I had a couple of Ortofon MCs in the past, an MC-25FL that did not match my arm too well, and a HOMC that I liked very much minus the occasional "shout" it had on the rare passage. The 2M Red sounds alot like the HOMC I had, (I forget the model), without the "shout"

Jason

timbloke
member
member
Posts: 73
Joined: 15 Nov 2011 20:42

Re: Shure M97xE vs Ortofon 2M Red

Post by timbloke » 30 Nov 2011 19:44

Just posting to agree with Brighton123, I fitted a M97xE to my Thorens TD160 mkII/SME3009 MkII Improved today and it sounds amazing, much much nicer than the DL-160 it replaced. A few years ago I had the 3009 rewired with sliver and new SME sockets + screening can fitted and I run a Van Den Hul D-102 III cable. This added clarity along the Denon cart was way too bright for me but the Shure sounds just right. It also plays some records old records I thought were worn out and newer ones I had written off as bad pressings. It didn't take much setting up either.

jimbro
Posts: 4
Joined: 04 Oct 2011 21:15
Location: texas

Re: Shure M97xE vs Ortofon 2M Red

Post by jimbro » 04 Dec 2011 01:42

Mr. timbloke - was wondering if your sme has the damping trough. I just picked up a Thorens td125/sme 3009 II improved with a v15 III but no trough which I had forgotten existed and now understand is needed for the v15 type III. Ironically I just sold a v15 IV right before finding my Thorens! My whole system is in a state of transition so I can't really listen critically so I'm relying on the insight of 'those who know'. There are no troughs for sale right now that I can find.

brighton123
member
member
Posts: 54
Joined: 21 May 2011 12:52
Location: Brighton UK

Re: Shure M97xE vs Ortofon 2M Red

Post by brighton123 » 05 Dec 2011 10:47

Hi Timbloke,
Im glad I just read your response as I am in the process of retiring the Thorens 160 which is also a Mk 2, I have been rebuilding my old Ariston RD11 which will have Mose Herc Power supply and an SME 11 improved, silver wired as yours is I was considering the Denon but you have just persuaded me to keep the M97XE although my friendly local SH dealer just swapped me a V15 Type 3 with new ED Saunders stylus for a tired DV10x5 (Dont know if I got a good deal there or not?) So On the new/old deck I will probably set up with the v15 for my pristine records and keep the M97 on another headshell and use it for beaten up LPs and singles of which I have quite a lot, sorry if Im drifting away from the original thread here 8)

timbloke
member
member
Posts: 73
Joined: 15 Nov 2011 20:42

Re: Shure M97xE vs Ortofon 2M Red

Post by timbloke » 29 Dec 2011 19:52

Sorry for the slow response, I'm new to the forum and have only just realised I have a user CP :/

My 3009 is undamped. Would love a TD125 though, I think that would be my dream turntable.

I found the DL-160 sounded too much like a CD player if anything (or like some peoples perception of what a CD player should sound like). I wonder if MC carts are pointless in suspended belt driven turntables. I'd imagine they're better suited to Japanese direct drive with a higher background noise level. I'm skeptical about silver wiring on the whole but I think it finds favour with older people who's hearing isn't 100%. I think if I was starting again I'd go for copper wire, though I'm happy with the way turntable sounds for now. It does tend to make substandard pressings sound brittle and sharp, though the shure cart counters this a little.

Keso77
member
member
Posts: 199
Joined: 06 Oct 2008 08:51
Location: Sweden, Stockholm

Re: Shure M97xE vs Ortofon 2M Red

Post by Keso77 » 29 Dec 2011 22:06

timbloke wrote:I wonder if MC carts are pointless in suspended belt driven turntables. I'd imagine they're better suited to Japanese direct drive with a higher background noise level.

I'm skeptical about silver wiring on the whole but I think it finds favour with older people who's hearing isn't 100%.
Two wonderful quotes!

First, about the MC's I disagree. Heard many many balanced belt driven turntables with MC carts. If bright they've almost always had the wrong load or junk phono preamps.

About silver wire and old people. Hillarious! :D