Jico QC - not that impressed with them...

the thin end of the wedge
PaulKehayas
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Jico QC - not that impressed with them...

Post by PaulKehayas » 18 Nov 2019 22:51

So a friend of mine was using the M35X...This was attached to a DUAL 1229 that I restored for her. I told her to find the N44GX replacements that Jico made for the previous model of this cart and said "get 10!"
In purchasing the numerous Kate Bush reissues she informed me that the sibilance on "Song of Solomon" was causing her husband to refer to it as "Song of Sylvester"...
I then referred her to the newly released and tested on a 1219 AT-VM95ML...this did the trick...

She gifted me the remaining Jico stock to me (bought direct from Japan not a 3rd party) and so I experimented with them...

One of them had distortion so bad on it that I will be checking it with a microscope because I am certain it was mounted grossly incorrectly - more to follow on that when I get to it later this week...

Then the next one worked with sound!

Here's the thing - it has tons of sibilance on certain cuts that say the AT-VM95C doesn't (same size stylus at .6mil) so I am wondering what is going on here?

I remember purchasing an N91GD (same stylus as all the other N91 varients they sell - I just liked the red colour) and it performed well...
I also had a person purchase a V15IIIG cheapo from them (again also direct) and it actually SANG in my V15TypeIV body. I was so happy that they existed...

So this batch of ten have all been kinda crap - one of them if I recall from my friend's recollection was bottomed out right direct out of the package....

So basically, 8 out of 10 were non-playable and the rest showed more sibilance than other conical stylii that I have used by Jico or AT.

Now of course I do use microline and I have a Paratrace on another and a good ol' M91ED (two US original stylii thank goodness) but I am really concerned by this because I don't understand why or how they of all companies could muck up the simplest cut.

Anybody else have a similar experience? This is so unlike them...

johnnywalker
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Re: Jico QC - not that impressed with them...

Post by johnnywalker » 18 Nov 2019 23:35

Odd. Never had any problem with Jico (non-SAS - haven't used one of them yet), but I haven't tried their stylus for the M35X/SC35C.

smee4
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Re: Jico QC - not that impressed with them...

Post by smee4 » 18 Nov 2019 23:58

I tried a Shibata cut stylus for 681eee from a replacement stylus dealer. I think it was sourced from Jico, but you can never be sure with 3rd parties. Anyway, under a microscope the mounting looked very rough. It played reasonable well, but didn't sound overly impressive.

BMRR
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Re: Jico QC - not that impressed with them...

Post by BMRR » 19 Nov 2019 16:11

It's certainly worth contacting JICO about it. After all, 10 styli is a very large order for most people. It's hard to imagine that JICO wouldn't stand behind their products or try to remedy the situation.

Also, if you're interested in purchasing some genuine Shure N35X and N44GX styli (new, never used), I'm selling mine because I no longer own a 35-series body.

patient_ot
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Re: Jico QC - not that impressed with them...

Post by patient_ot » 21 Nov 2019 14:40

Hmm, I wonder if QC just isn't that good on their cheaper stuff or they are slipping? I still have my Shure M35X but don't use it that often. At some point I will need a new stylus for it and was thinking Jico could be an option. My one experience with Jico is one of their Shibata styli ordered direct and I had no problems with that one.

dahoo
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Re: Jico QC - not that impressed with them...

Post by dahoo » 22 Nov 2019 02:53

i once got a vn35he with tilted cantilever and a neo sas with much less channel separation than the sas boron it replaced.

Erin1
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Re: Jico QC - not that impressed with them...

Post by Erin1 » 22 Nov 2019 03:17

I bought a vivid line stylus from LP gear for a Shure M55.

It plays great with any instrumental music, or any vocals that have low level.

But, vocals that have prominent sibilance - which play fine on any other cartridge, is highly emphasized with this stylus. Emphasized so much that to me it sounds defective. I sent recordings to LP gear who said that that's just how they sound.

In my opinion, it's poor design. Suspension too hard and cantilever too heavy.

Oh well. That's how the cookie crumbles.

I think it must be very difficult to make an aftermarket Shure stylus.

I think the suspension material is critical to the Shure design.

I haven't found any aftermarket Shure stylus that sounds as per the original.
They all seem to have sonic problems somewhere.

The only Shure aftermarket stylus I have owned that tracked perfectly and was genuinely high compliance and tracked high amplitude test tracks at 1.2g was for an M95, but it sounded dull and lifeless, and had very low output. (To my ears) There was nothing enjoyable about the sound.

Shure cartridges mostly sound great - but without good affordable replacement stylus they are tragically becoming a bunch of useless duds.
Hardly anyone makes them with the correct high compliance of the originals.

This is my experience. I haven't tried every aftermarket Shure stylus. There may be good ones but my luck with them isn't great. Others may have different experience.

Boltman92124
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Re: Jico QC - not that impressed with them...

Post by Boltman92124 » 22 Nov 2019 16:02

PaulKehayas wrote:
18 Nov 2019 22:51
So a friend of mine was using the M35X...This was attached to a DUAL 1229 that I restored for her. I told her to find the N44GX replacements that Jico made for the previous model of this cart and said "get 10!"
In purchasing the numerous Kate Bush reissues she informed me that the sibilance on "Song of Solomon" was causing her husband to refer to it as "Song of Sylvester"...
I then referred her to the newly released and tested on a 1219 AT-VM95ML...this did the trick...

She gifted me the remaining Jico stock to me (bought direct from Japan not a 3rd party) and so I experimented with them...

One of them had distortion so bad on it that I will be checking it with a microscope because I am certain it was mounted grossly incorrectly - more to follow on that when I get to it later this week...

Then the next one worked with sound!

Here's the thing - it has tons of sibilance on certain cuts that say the AT-VM95C doesn't (same size stylus at .6mil) so I am wondering what is going on here?

I remember purchasing an N91GD (same stylus as all the other N91 varients they sell - I just liked the red colour) and it performed well...
I also had a person purchase a V15IIIG cheapo from them (again also direct) and it actually SANG in my V15TypeIV body. I was so happy that they existed...

So this batch of ten have all been kinda crap - one of them if I recall from my friend's recollection was bottomed out right direct out of the package....

So basically, 8 out of 10 were non-playable and the rest showed more sibilance than other conical stylii that I have used by Jico or AT.

Now of course I do use microline and I have a Paratrace on another and a good ol' M91ED (two US original stylii thank goodness) but I am really concerned by this because I don't understand why or how they of all companies could muck up the simplest cut.

Anybody else have a similar experience? This is so unlike them...
Yup on my M35x. My Jico N44gx from Jico is very sibilant and splashy in the treble. I also got a N44-7x, which works better. Neither of them sound as good as the Shure N35x stylus though, so the M35x is banished to the storage bin. No N35x stylus' left anywhere I looked. Jico does make a new SAS stylus for the M35/M44 bodies..but spending $200 for a $50 cartridge seems silly.

patient_ot
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Re: Jico QC - not that impressed with them...

Post by patient_ot » 22 Nov 2019 21:52

Boltman92124 wrote:
22 Nov 2019 16:02

Yup on my M35x. My Jico N44gx from Jico is very sibilant and splashy in the treble. I also got a N44-7x, which works better. Neither of them sound as good as the Shure N35x stylus though, so the M35x is banished to the storage bin. No N35x stylus' left anywhere I looked. Jico does make a new SAS stylus for the M35/M44 bodies..but spending $200 for a $50 cartridge seems silly.
A bit silly - maybe, but if you like the sound of the generator maybe not. The real issue for me is that if you put a SAS on the 35X it changes the compliance dramatically. A SAS will need a lighter tonearm to perform its best, usually.

PaulKehayas
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Re: Jico QC - not that impressed with them...

Post by PaulKehayas » 22 Nov 2019 23:00

I suppose this is just a rumination speaking in general about most of the stylii that they have for the out of production cartridges...Shure's are just the tip of the iceberg of their production...but really they haven't made anything that sounds close to the original in sound and I am ok with that because it's not that it's unpleasant, but when I don't get any issues with the lowly Audio Technica outings and then this comperable stylus replacement fails miserably on every level wrt tracking, then I have to point and call foul.
I have been wary of checking out any other SAS from them for my other Shures (the M91 and the V15 Type IV) because of the terrible rising treble response from an SAS bought for the V15 TYPEVxMR...now in looking back at that I can see that something has to be thought of wrt the electrical characteristics of that cart working with the resonances of a berylllium cantilever and not an aluminum...however that same body was used for the M35X and didn't have any problems. (same inductance and resistance and no laminated coils, so my money is on it being exactly identical)
Sorry for the rant everyone...I just figure that resurecting the old carts is a bit of a fool's errand at times...one of the reasons why the new VM95 series seems like a bit of a godsend....

Boltman92124
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Re: Jico QC - not that impressed with them...

Post by Boltman92124 » 22 Nov 2019 23:15

patient_ot wrote:
22 Nov 2019 21:52
Boltman92124 wrote:
22 Nov 2019 16:02

Yup on my M35x. My Jico N44gx from Jico is very sibilant and splashy in the treble. I also got a N44-7x, which works better. Neither of them sound as good as the Shure N35x stylus though, so the M35x is banished to the storage bin. No N35x stylus' left anywhere I looked. Jico does make a new SAS stylus for the M35/M44 bodies..but spending $200 for a $50 cartridge seems silly.
A bit silly - maybe, but if you like the sound of the generator maybe not. The real issue for me is that if you put a SAS on the 35X it changes the compliance dramatically. A SAS will need a lighter tonearm to perform its best, usually.
Even the standard Jico's are higher compliance than the N35x. They are really not similar at all. Jico's SC35c version looks more like the Shure with the thicker cantilever and orange color on top.

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Re: Jico QC - not that impressed with them...

Post by Erin1 » 23 Nov 2019 06:45

PaulKehayas wrote:
22 Nov 2019 23:00
...I just figure that resurecting the old carts is a bit of a fool's errand at times...one of the reasons why the new VM95 series seems like a bit of a godsend....
You're probably right.
A fools errand.
The money I spent trying to find a decent stylus for my M55, could have gone towards any of the decent modern offerings.

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Re: Jico QC - not that impressed with them...

Post by Sterling1 » 23 Nov 2019 17:04

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Erin1 wrote:
22 Nov 2019 03:17
I bought a vivid line stylus from LP gear for a Shure M55.

It plays great with any instrumental music, or any vocals that have low level.

But, vocals that have prominent sibilance - which play fine on any other cartridge, is highly emphasized with this stylus. Emphasized so much that to me it sounds defective. I sent recordings to LP gear who said that that's just how they sound.

In my opinion, it's poor design. Suspension too hard and cantilever too heavy.

Oh well. That's how the cookie crumbles.

I think it must be very difficult to make an aftermarket Shure stylus.

I think the suspension material is critical to the Shure design.

I haven't found any aftermarket Shure stylus that sounds as per the original.
They all seem to have sonic problems somewhere.

The only Shure aftermarket stylus I have owned that tracked perfectly and was genuinely high compliance and tracked high amplitude test tracks at 1.2g was for an M95, but it sounded dull and lifeless, and had very low output. (To my ears) There was nothing enjoyable about the sound.

Shure cartridges mostly sound great - but without good affordable replacement stylus they are tragically becoming a bunch of useless duds.
Hardly anyone makes them with the correct high compliance of the originals.

This is my experience. I haven't tried every aftermarket Shure stylus. There may be good ones but my luck with them isn't great. Others may have different experience.
I have a pair of Shure V15V-MRs. One has original MR stylus, the other a Jico SAS with Boron coated cantilever. The Jico SAS sounds smoother, more seamless. Of course, that may be my imagination. Both track well and both handle sibilance, except on Diana Krall's Straighten Up and Fly Right, which reveals both carts are just slightly short of perfection in comparison to my download of the tune.

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Re: Jico QC - not that impressed with them...

Post by Collux » 23 Nov 2019 23:43

PaulKehayas wrote:
22 Nov 2019 23:00
...I just figure that resurrecting the old carts is a bit of a fool's errand at times...one of the reasons why the new VM95 series seems like a bit of a godsend....
Finding myself down the 'old cart' rabbit hole. I think your comment is good advice.

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Re: Jico QC - not that impressed with them...

Post by Legrace » 24 Nov 2019 02:09

My experience with Jico has been nothing short of exemplary.

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