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Jico VN35HE vs Jico VN35SAS

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Jico VN35HE vs Jico VN35SAS

Postby Roberto Fabbri » 11 Jan 2018 14:58

Hello Everybody,

I tried to search the forum the better I could, about the comparison between the two stylus, but I did not find anything specific.

Here it is... I have an old Shure V15 III, with wornout stylus.
I'm willing to replace the stylus and I cannot choose between the two Jicos.

The HE is less expensive and is currently available.
The SAS is more expensive and is currently unavailable (and it will be until Jico would fulfill all the past orders).

What about the sonic differences between the two ones?
Is the SAS performance worth the more money needed and the waiting time?


My system is:
Thorens TD125 mk2 with SME3009 s2 improved (detachable headshell) now mounting an AT440mla
Lehmann Black Cube
Primare I20
Dynaudio Focus 160

...and I prefer from my system, soft, warm and smooth sounds and voices

Any word of advice?
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Re: Jico VN35HE vs Jico VN35SAS

Postby Sterling1 » 11 Jan 2018 15:41

Shure states that today's 97xE cartridge performs better than the V15lll. I believe that. I have a V15lll, as well as a V15V-MR; and, I'm very, very, hard pressed to discern ANYTHING that suggests the 97xE is in any way inferior to the V15lll. Only from extremely critical listening can I distinguish the V15V-MR delivering anything better than the 97xE. I have thought about replacing my stylus with a JICO SAS of some sort, given the accolades here for those; however, since my 97xE delivers sound indistinguishable in all manner from SACD, I am not at this time going to spend any money for just the promise of better sound.
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Re: Jico VN35HE vs Jico VN35SAS

Postby Roberto Fabbri » 11 Jan 2018 17:34

Ok thanks Sterling, but I have a Shure V15-III and I just want to use it at its best.
I'm not interested to buy a new cartridge (at least at the moment), I just want to understand if for my needs, a Hyper Ellitical Stylus would be enough or it would be better to wait for a SAS stylus to be available.
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Re: Jico VN35HE vs Jico VN35SAS

Postby Sterling1 » 11 Jan 2018 18:25

The reason for my detail on the 97xE is that it is less money than the JICO stylus you are considering.At any rate, if you buy the 97xE you can fit a JICO stylus to it later for V15V-MR performance.
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Re: Jico VN35HE vs Jico VN35SAS

Postby hugo casassanta » 12 Jan 2018 04:03

Based on my own experience (not with the V15III, thou), I'd say go for the SAS. I have one on my V15IV and it is very detailed and smooth. I had an N95HE (Hyperelliptical) once, and although I used it until it got worn out, I was never really fond of the sound of it, but that's just me, and in the system I had at the time, anyway. Many people love those JICO HE styli, thou, so someone may chime in in their favor. My main TT is a Thorens TD 125 Mk II, with an SME Series IIIs, and I'm using my V15III with a NOS VN35MR on it, if it matters.
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Re: Jico VN35HE vs Jico VN35SAS

Postby sliceofhogan » 12 Jan 2018 11:45

Shure states that today's 97xE cartridge performs better than the V15lll. I believe that.

In it's day, when vinyl was in its prime, the v15III was considered a reference MM. Can you seriously claim the same for the 97?
I don't believe marketing bull, sorry :D And in my system, a Nagaoka 110 (considered an entry model) sounds better.
But spending crazy money on a SAS is also something I wouldn't advise. Even if they were available (although you can still get them, around $300 at thacker).
I would save a little more and try to get an dl 304 or AT 33 ptg/II, for serious improvement.
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Re: Jico VN35HE vs Jico VN35SAS

Postby Sterling1 » 12 Jan 2018 14:23

sliceofhogan wrote:
Shure states that today's 97xE cartridge performs better than the V15lll. I believe that.

In it's day, when vinyl was in its prime, the v15III was considered a reference MM. Can you seriously claim the same for the 97?
I don't believe marketing bull, sorry :D And in my system, a Nagaoka 110 (considered an entry model) sounds better.
But spending crazy money on a SAS is also something I wouldn't advise. Even if they were available (although you can still get them, around $300 at thacker).
I would save a little more and try to get an dl 304 or AT 33 ptg/II, for serious improvement.

Dude, I'm not making any claim, it's Shure that makes the statement that the 97xE is superior to the V15III. I have a V15III, V15V-MR, and a 97xE; and, making a judgment from my personal experience with these cartridges, I believe Shure's evaluation is correct. Now, my V15V-MR is, no doubt, better in all manner that better can be discerned than other Shure cartridges I have had experience with; but, only marginally better on just a handful of albums I own. For the most part, I can not distinguish the Shure V15V-MR sounding better or even different than the 97xE. At any rate, I'm glad you have discovered a cartridge that you perceive sounds better than other cartridges you can afford. I hope you can be totally satisfied with it, as I am with the Shure 97xE.
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Re: Jico VN35HE vs Jico VN35SAS

Postby Roberto Fabbri » 12 Jan 2018 15:40

Hello guys, thanks for the replies.
It's not in question if a new cartridge is needed or not. I have got this V15 mk3 and I want to use it at its best!

I'm just asking if anybody could describe any difference between the Jico Hyper Elliptical stylus (VN35HE) and the Jico SAS stylus (VN35SAS). That's all! ;)
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Re: Jico VN35HE vs Jico VN35SAS

Postby Sterling1 » 12 Jan 2018 17:36

Roberto Fabbri wrote:Hello guys, thanks for the replies.
It's not in question if a new cartridge is needed or not. I have got this V15 mk3 and I want to use it at its best!

I'm just asking if anybody could describe any difference between the Jico Hyper Elliptical stylus (VN35HE) and the Jico SAS stylus (VN35SAS). That's all! ;)


Roberto, sure, I understood your question all along. I just wanted you to have knowledge on the matter, which might Help you get the desired result, for less money. That knowledge is for about a hundred dollars you can buy a whole cartridge which may satisfy you more than a more expensive stylus replacement for the V15III. And, if that cartridge did not satisfy, you could then get the JICO stylus for the 97xE cartridge body and have a V15V-MR like experience from it for only about $60 more than you would have put out initally. At any rate, I hope you make a decision which proves to work.
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Re: Jico VN35HE vs Jico VN35SAS

Postby audiopile » 13 Jan 2018 04:58

I've actually got a V-15-III sitting here with a JICO VN3G stylus ready to go into it - sort of a homage to J. Gordon Holt who was a public fan of the spherical super tracks. V-15-III have a couple of things you need to keep in mind - they are like Denon DL-103 -15mm height - so most arms made after 197X?? will assume 17mm as rough cartridge height and track the type III noticeably high in the back. Easiest way to deal with this is either see if you can drop your arm's pivot height lower or use some extra height on your platter ( extra matt?) to raise the platters height relative to the arm -but you want the top of the cart at least close to parallel to the records surface. About a 2mm spacer plate between the top of the cart and the bottom of the headshell can get you close too ( you will probably have to look around for long mounting bolts for this spacer/type III combo -which is the reason i have fired up the JICO VN3G yet in my III). The original type III styli were VERY high compliance -designed to be used in low mass tonearms . Of the several styli that JOCO makes for the V-15-III -I suspect? the SAS is the highest compliance - but since JICO does not AFAIK publish compliance specs ??? The biggest issue is the 400-500pf input load required for the III - most modern Phono sections give you about 100pf input capacitance with a assumption of about 100pf additional for tonearm lead wires =around 200 pf . If you don't like the sound of the JICO/type III reserve judgement until you've heard it working into this higher capacitance input loading ( and since this interacts with the stylus HF resonance - it may or may not make a difference - it certainly did make a difference with the Shure OEM styli).
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Re: Jico VN35HE vs Jico VN35SAS

Postby BMRR » 13 Jan 2018 18:29

I have an M97xE and a V15 III + JICO HE. There is absolutely no comparison. The V15 III + JICO HE sounds better in every possible way. Better stereo separation, less surface noise, better overall frequency response, drastically less distortion (especially at the inner grooves).

I paid $90 for my JICO HE stylus direct from Japan, free shipping. They seem to be going for around $100-$120 right now. Still a bargain at that price.

Shure says a lot of things these days and not all of it is true or accurate. Take their statements with a huge grain of salt. Obviously they're going to tell you to buy their current product rather than buy a competitor's imitation stylus for a Shure product that was discontinued decades ago; that's just business.

I also had to go through three different N97xE styli before I finally got one that wasn't grossly defective. Two of the defective ones were sent to me directly from Shure headquarters. Their quality control these days is nonexistent.

If you choose to go the M97xE route, that's perfectly fine but I'm just saying you should inspect the stylus very very carefully, and if you get one that's defective, be prepared to spend weeks or months sending them back until you get one that isn't junk.

As far as the SAS is concerned, it's worth what they charge for it, but I can't really say whether you should get the SAS or get the HE. They're both good. The SAS takes things to another level, but some folks prefer the HE. I have a SAS for my M95ED and there's definitely more clarity and better transient response, but the overall sound is very similar in the other areas I mentioned above.
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Re: Jico VN35HE vs Jico VN35SAS

Postby audiopile » 13 Jan 2018 19:21

I'm not a mind reader (especially of the corporate mind :-) - but the Shure recommendation of the M97xe as a replacement for almost everything on their website is at best odd ? I will say that because of the dynamic stabilizer "brush" that cart works reasonably well mounted in a wacky assortment of tonearms - it's a "safe" choice for a lot of people. I've only owned a couple of 97xe's and four or five? styli for them - none of those were defective - but YMMV. I can understand Shure not recommending a product that they have no control over and probably less experience with than a few of us here on Vinyl Engine. Still -the JICO SAS and neoSAS have never dissapointed me. Used in V-15-IV , V-15-V ,Ultra 500 ,M-110 , SC-35 ,Technics P22? (buddy broke it so I don't remember the model #) bodies. I will say that the OEM VN-45he styli I have are (to my ears) superior to the SAS replacements ( and at this time unobtanium).
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Re: Jico VN35HE vs Jico VN35SAS

Postby abs1 » 13 Jan 2018 20:07

Sterling1 wrote:Shure states that today's 97xE cartridge performs better than the V15lll. I believe that. I have a V15lll, as well as a V15V-MR; and, I'm very, very, hard pressed to discern ANYTHING that suggests the 97xE is in any way inferior to the V15lll. Only from extremely critical listening can I distinguish the V15V-MR delivering anything better than the 97xE. I have thought about replacing my stylus with a JICO SAS of some sort, given the accolades here for those; however, since my 97xE delivers sound indistinguishable in all manner from SACD, I am not at this time going to spend any money for just the promise of better sound.


If I was manufacturing the M97xE and had no V15III cartridges to sell I might puff-up the M97xE by stating that it was superior to the V15III. :^o

Capitalism at its finest.

BTW - I own an M97xE and I'm loathe to throw dirt on it. It's a fine cartridge, especially for the money, but it's not a V15III (which I also owned back in the day)!

Cheers,
Al
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Re: Jico VN35HE vs Jico VN35SAS

Postby wolfie62 » 13 Jan 2018 21:03

If you’re anxious to begin listening, I’d go with the HE stylus. I think you will really enjoy it! The V15 III is a very competent cart, and certainly worth resurrecting! If your budget permits, and you don’t mind the wait, go for the SAS. Either way, you will have a listening experience that needs no apologies and is with few compromises.

Most folks with the M97xE wind up getting bored with the muted high end detail, and end up forking over the same money you are looking at for a SAS or Shibata or Vivid Line Stylus.

I have 2 of the M97xE carts, one still sealed, unopened. The other has about 75 hours on it, and it sits unused. I have experience with the Shure V15V, and other carts from AT, Stanton, Goldring, ADC. The M97xE is an abysmal cartridge. You will enjoy your V15 III!
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Re: Jico VN35HE vs Jico VN35SAS

Postby DualSpinsMyVinyl » 14 Jan 2018 00:50

I have been observing the various responses to your question, some on the mark others somewhat afield. So I will add my two cents worth. I have the V15 III with the JICO VN35HE stylus and love it. I compair it with the early model (barillium) of the JICO SAS stylus on my M97xE. I find that the HE performs just as well as the SAS. I also have the LP Gear VL stylus on my M75 and M95 and I find it very hard to select one over the other. When push comes to shuv I gravitate between the V15/HE combo and the M97xE/SAS. So in the end I would suggest the VN35HE from JICO, less costly with no compromise in sound quality. I realize that different systems will produce different results, so ultimaely only you will be able to judge what is best for you system. Good luck.
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