Which Stylus for Shure V15 IV

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Trius
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Which Stylus for Shure V15 IV

Post by Trius » 20 Feb 2019 16:17

I took a flyer on a Shure V15 IV with broken stylus, from that auction site. Cost was $77USD shipped; I figure I’m not out a lot of money, though some may consider that a bit high. Opinions on the IV seem to seem to range from “one of the best V15s!” to “absolute crap!”

Given that initially I would mount this on a TD160/TP16 (both refurbished and upgraded) I’m wondering which stylus to purchase. I’d be willing to go with an SAS but I’m not sure if it’s “worth it.” Add to that, JICO only lists a model with zirconia cantilever; other cantilever material are out of stock. LPGear lists an SAS but doesn’t mention the cantilever material.

I would also consider a VL/Vivid Line. I actually already have a Vivid for a Shure M91ED. My plan is to evaluate the performance of both cartridges and choose one as primary, with the other as a backup, at least until I get the itch to upgrade the cartridge and/or arm to something completely different. (Cue the Monty Python theme ... :D )

Music tastes are eclectic, but primarily I’m a jazz and acoustic folk guy. But I had some great classical LPs and value dynamics as well as other factors.

What say ye, oh Vinyl Gods?

plyscds
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Re: Which Stylus for Shure V15 IV

Post by plyscds » 20 Feb 2019 17:44

I am not going to suggest what type of stylus to buy, but I will point out that you can use a V15-III stylus on the V-15-IV (but cannot use a V15-IV stylus on a V15-III due to fitting issues). This will save a bit of money as the "III" styli cost a bit less than the "IV" styli for the same type of tip.

This will either be reinforced as a good idea, or criticized by someone with more acute hearing than mine. Just make sure to buy from a known good brand and source as the lower quality tips will be what they are. Not necessarily bad, but possibly a tad "off".

Trius
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Re: Which Stylus for Shure V15 IV

Post by Trius » 20 Feb 2019 21:38

plyscds wrote:
20 Feb 2019 17:44
I am not going to suggest what type of stylus to buy, but I will point out that you can use a V15-III stylus on the V-15-IV (but cannot use a V15-IV stylus on a V15-III due to fitting issues). This will save a bit of money as the "III" styli cost a bit less than the "IV" styli for the same type of tip.

This will either be reinforced as a good idea, or criticized by someone with more acute hearing than mine. Just make sure to buy from a known good brand and source as the lower quality tips will be what they are. Not necessarily bad, but possibly a tad "off".
Thank you - I wasn’t sure about fitting of styli for other models. I’m certainly going to purchase from a high quality seller.

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Re: Which Stylus for Shure V15 IV

Post by macster » 20 Feb 2019 23:59

I owned one of those and hated that I sold it. I would put a Jico SAS on it and smile all the way to the bank.

M~

wolfie62
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Re: Which Stylus for Shure V15 IV

Post by wolfie62 » 21 Feb 2019 06:06

Ok. I’ve put a lot of time into this, and research. So here goes:

My Shure V15 Type IV: (Love this cart, one of the best bargains in phono carts out there, one of the most versatile engines out there capable of ruler flat, accurate and detailed responses!)
FEE4633D-32B4-4A12-8AE6-523B322CA18E.jpeg
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The Shure V15 Type IV is the finest cartridge body Shure ever made!

Some will say that’s wrong, or heresy!

Read on:

The truth is, Shure developed the V15 IV and it went to market in 1978; aluminum cantilever and hyper elliptical stylus. Then, to improve it, in 1982 Shure added the beryllium cantilever. The engine DID NOT CHANGE. The beryllium cantilever smoothed out the treble “wiggle” from 13 kHz - 20 kHz.

In 1983, Shure added the Micro Ridge diamond to that beryllium cantilever; a complete package! Full, detailed response, ruler flat frequency response, supremely good tracking, line contact stylus, neutral sound, and pronounced king of the MM carts by most of the high end audio reviewers.

In 1997 Shure began its divestiture in the phono cart market, due to Compact Discs, and came up with the V15VxMR. No longer maximally flat response, neutral sound. No more finely laminated pole pieces. Dropping treble response curve. Cheaper to manufacture, but some thought the drooping treble lended a “smoother, less fatiguing” sound to it.

The V15 Type IV is a best but, “get them while you can” cartridge. It literally embodies the best of Shure, and you can buy a range of very good styli for it!

If you want an elliptical stylus, they are about $50. That’s WITH the viscous damped brush. From here, you can go Vivid Line, Shibata, SAS or neoSAS.

I now have two V15 Type IV carts, since I now know their true value and worth.

So how does it sound? It’s an amazing cart! I have the Bliss Japan elliptical stylus on it from Turntable Needles. I really like it! Smooth, detailed, airy, tight, but not at all strained! And, it only gets BETTER from here! This cart will produce what you feed it! If I spend more, I’ll get more, with the range of styli from LP Gear and Jico. Easy upgrade path! And I WILL HEAR the difference!

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Re: Which Stylus for Shure V15 IV

Post by bernard1 » 21 Feb 2019 09:35

wolfie62 wrote:
21 Feb 2019 06:06
If you want an elliptical stylus, they are about $50. That’s WITH the viscous damped brush.
Alas, alas ! Contradict me if I'm wrong but I'm afraid none of the after market VN45 styli brush are damped. And that's a pity because it was a major feature.

wolfie62
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Re: Which Stylus for Shure V15 IV

Post by wolfie62 » 21 Feb 2019 10:00

The one I picture is. I have it in the up position, because I don’t use it. I KNOW it’s viscous damped by its action when I push up on it. It’s not just hinged. It resists being pushed and comes down slowly.

So yes, you stand corrected.

But, I have to correct myself, too. I got 2 of these from Voice of Music. When they’re out of stock, they’re gone.

It’s the EVG Japan unit. It plays clean, no sibilance. Not as detailed as a vivid line or SAS, but quite good, nonetheless! You will get your money’s worth in performance!

https://www.thevoiceofmusic.com/catalog ... ategories=

wolfie62
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Re: Which Stylus for Shure V15 IV

Post by wolfie62 » 21 Feb 2019 10:03

I confused my recent purchases. The Bliss is what I bought for one of my Shure M97HE carts. It’s a good value, also.

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Re: Which Stylus for Shure V15 IV

Post by BMRR » 21 Feb 2019 13:52

I recommend the JICO hyperelliptical. In my opinion this is the best bang for the buck because it has the soldered tension wire (just like the original Shure stylus), which is something you won't get with the EVG, LP Gear, Bliss, Thakker, et al. styli, and it's $100 less than the JICO SAS. I have a JICO hyperelliptical for my V15 III and it's fantastic. I have to believe the JICO hyperelliptical for the V15 IV is as good or even better.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/JICO-VN-45HE-R ... :rk:4:pf:0

wolfie62
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Re: Which Stylus for Shure V15 IV

Post by wolfie62 » 22 Feb 2019 02:18

$140 is over my budget. That’s why I’m looking at installing the tension wire myself. I’ll have to gut a broken OEM, and then gut the aftermarket, and compare. There is a bearing piece in the OEM, along with the tension wire. I may use a drop of epoxy instead of the solder; depends on what I find under the hood. I’ve always wondered why the soldered wire instead of adhesive.

Also, depending on what I find, I may be able to use a less expensive LP Gear Vivid Line Stylus and properly tie it in.

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Re: Which Stylus for Shure V15 IV

Post by BMRR » 22 Feb 2019 02:26

wolfie62 wrote:
22 Feb 2019 02:18
$140 is over my budget.
I was responding to Trius. He didn't say what his budget was, but he did say he'd consider a SAS so I figured a less-expensive alternative would be within his range.
wolfie62 wrote:
22 Feb 2019 02:18
I’ve always wondered why the soldered wire instead of adhesive.
Just a wild guess, but in a production environment, soldering seems like it would be much faster than waiting for adhesive to dry. Not a problem for us DIY-ers, of course!

wolfie62
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Re: Which Stylus for Shure V15 IV

Post by wolfie62 » 22 Feb 2019 02:30

Industry has been using instant adhesives for many years. Fact is, the headshell mount on top of the body is affixed using an instant adhesive. That’s 1978-1982 for the Type IV alone. Electrical conductivity? Perhaps.

Trius
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Re: Which Stylus for Shure V15 IV

Post by Trius » 24 Feb 2019 00:53

Wow, what a lot of GREAT response - that’s why I came here! Special thanks to Wolfie - I’ll probably even pick up another IV “just because”.

The cartridge body arrived and it looks better than the eBay pics, so I’m happy so far. I’m on hold at the moment, waiting for an arm board to fit a Jelco/AQ PT6 arm to the TD160, as the TP16 has issues that require parts. I’ll probably run the M91ED first just to make sure I have the table and arm tuned properly.

In the meantime I’ll mull over the input on stylus types for the IV and make a decision.

Thanks guys - you rock!

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