goatbreath, a user comparison of those three cartrdiges promises to be quite pertinent, because they are very popular right now. Their price points are just around $100.00, give or take a few, which is rather manageable.
I find that a strange one as the AT95e at the moment comes out on top as far as tracking goes..it can do track 3 on the HiFi News record,,the other two can't..But I run mine around 2.25 gms..I have used AT95e's for over 20 years though..That extra quarter gram makes all the difference..Maybe the fact that is the cartridge I have got to know is why it's coming out where it does just now..
Obviously the DL110 is not ran in yet and the M97xe is being used with the stabiliser brush as the arm is a medium mass going towards the heavier side..So the M97xe may produce more detail without the brush..
At the minute I am running the Denon at 2gms and the Shure at about 1.85 gms,,but that is with the stabiliser,,so we are talking..1.35 gms..
I'd love a DL110 for $100US! $130 is currently a GREAT price on one. I wish you could get your hands on an LPGear "ViVid Line" stylus for the AT-95 (a semi-line contact type) and test it too. I can always get the AT-95E to track on the "Universal Japanese Turntable", but I often don't get really good channel separation with the stock stylus. Very seriously, I can line-up a dozen Technics mid-level TT's of the same model, stone stock, and 3 or 4 will sound much better with a different brand of cartridge, when correctly aligned. I can't figure this out. I await further results with baited breath.
I have the AT95e and also run it at 2.25g and find it a moderately good tracker, but not in the same league as the DL-110. Also, at least in the UK, the DL-110 is about 4 times the price of the 95E, and the Shure is about halfway between. I haven't sampled the Shure on my system but, based on first hand experience of the other two and online samples of the Shure I'd say you broadly get what you pay for and all are good value.
My experience with the HFN tracking tests (which are at 315Hz, I think?) is that they don't give much indication as to the high-frequency tracking ability. I was astonished to hear an after-market Stanton 680EEE stylus sail through track 4 on the HFN record (no other cartridge I own comes close), yet also completely murder any high enegy sibilants in music, turning them to screechy mush. My DL-110, by contrast, remains sweet and clear no matter how much HF energy it encounters in the groove, but apparently 'tracks' much less well, when judged by the HFN test disc (it whines a bit on tk3 and distorts horribly on tk4).
I guess the upshot is that I would judge tracking ability by the smoothness of loud high-frequencies rather than 315Hz tone, but that's just because I personally find distorted HF most objectionable. Either way, there's HF and LF tracking ability and they appear to be not closely related.
Your interpretation of the 315 Hz bands is correct. That frequency test reflects on the cartridge's lower frequency capabilities, which are affected principally by compliance and tracking force (below 500 Hz). It does not affect aspects governed by moving mass and tracing resolution (above 5 KHz approximately).
Those test bands are fairly useful because they reflect on the major energy content in the grooves, up to the midrange.
My nickel's worth. A higher test frequency, especially above 1KHz would bring to bear things like the tonearm and other "stuff". An elderly Pickering can plow thru almost anything, but sound pretty bad doing it.
Well I've had the Shure M97xe on for a few days,,I am running it with the stabiliser brush engaged.The stylus was in a prior model I had and had had around 30ish hours on it..My first observation is that it is very sensitive to loading capacitance..When I used the same cartridge type on my SME IIIs tonearm,,It sounded way darker with somewhat rolled off in the highs..On my Kenwoods Arm it sounds pretty well balanced and has a Shure family sound..I can hear that my old M91ed was a relative..I also have a M75ed T2 with an M75e stylus. I can hear it is a Shure in the Kenwood but couldn't so much in SME IIIs does that make sense ??? You can hear the swish of cymbals and the drumstick hitting the ride cymbal properly etc..I will say though at first the upper mid to treble region sounded a bit hard..
I can't see the capacitors that boost the capacitance in the lead that are mentioned in the SME booklet,,so I'm taking it that the previous owner cut them out..I don't know if someone can enlighten me here because that would make a big difference in the capacitance therefore sound I imagine..
So if I was to be getting into anything as serious as points.Different points would be awarded on different arms..It could clear track 3 on the HiFi News test disc when I used it with the SME IIIs..But track 2 only on the Kenwood..But possibly due to load capacitance and maybe other factors too it sounds way better on the Kenwood..
The removable shell on the Kenwood is a blessing as I keep my records clean..but that brush fills up fast with fine dust..I can't make my mind up whether the stabiliser brush is causing static or not..??? I know it says it neutralises it,,but they would say that as a marketing opportunity..
So the Denon DL110 is now on..Again I am a bit worried..The Anti Skating on my Kenwood is unusual..You need more than it says on the anti skating gauge,,I think most of you will agree you usually need under..About .4 of a gram more that the VTF is the nearest I can suss it out to be..Well with the Denon I have a gram more,,this is not consistent,even then it skates inward on an anti skate band,,yes I know they are not accurate,,but at least they are a rough indication of what is going on..
I hear talk of the Shure SFG stylus gauge I use and the Denon DL110's magnets interfering with the proper reading..This is making me nervous the Denon is possibly tracking too heavily..
How does the Denon sound..I've tried it with much less music than the Shure so far,,I really like it so far too..But as I say I am cautious about the weight and anti skate at the moment..
The Denon does not clear track 3 on the HiFi News test disc either..But it has had about 2 to 3 hours on it max..
Sorry I can't do a more detailed scientific test with instruments etc...
The M97xe is tracking at 1.85 grams with brush engaged,,making it 1.35 grams theoretically..
The DEnon at 2 grams on the Shure scale..But as I said above I am worried...