LP Gear N97xVL stylus replacement help

the thin end of the wedge
lenjack
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LP Gear N97xVL stylus replacement help

Post by lenjack » 25 Jan 2020 19:03

I'm considering one of these as an update to my m97xe. One of my primary concerns is the performance of the stabilizer brush. I know that the LP Gear replacement does come with such a brush, but I'm wondering as to how well it performs in comparison to the stabilizer brush on the original Shure replacements. I haven't heard much, but what I have heard, so far is confliction opinions.

Thanks in advance. :)

plyscds
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Re: LP Gear N97xVL stylus replacement help

Post by plyscds » 25 Jan 2020 20:21

It has been said somewhere else on this forum that Shure's construction of the N97xE stylus's brush assembly was patented. And that has been, so far, why nobody else has offered anything else exactly like it on replacement styli for the M97xE. All you get is a loosely suspended broom to sweep clean upcoming record surface area. It would be my guess that if someone would buy the rights to that brush's secrets to use them, or engineer an alternative workable fudge around it, and apply it, it wouldn't be long before word got around. The word on the street also recommends a bit of additional tracking force to make up for the presence of non-stock replacement stylus' brushes if they are used.

lenjack
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Re: LP Gear N97xVL stylus replacement help

Post by lenjack » 25 Jan 2020 20:36

Too bad. I kind of suspected that. Anyone else care to chime in?

Bob Dillon
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Re: LP Gear N97xVL stylus replacement help

Post by Bob Dillon » 25 Jan 2020 20:39

With the Vivid Line stylus, VTF measures the same with it's brush up or down. I no longer have the old stock Shure stylus to compare.

wolfie62
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Re: LP Gear N97xVL stylus replacement help

Post by wolfie62 » 25 Jan 2020 21:52

I have the original stock stylus, plus ones for the V15 Type IV, M97HE, and others.

The patent for the brush has long ago expired, 1978 for the V15 Type IV, so making a duplicate is no patent infringement.

I have several styli made by EVG Japan, and Bliss (TTN), as daily driver styli for the V15 Type IV and M97HE carts. The Dynamic Stabilizer brushes work well on these.

On my M97xE, I don’t use my stock Shure stylus. Too much rolloff. I use a cheap no-brush stylus, .2x.7 elliptical. Much less rolloff, but keeps the bass and mid detail.
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BMRR
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Re: LP Gear N97xVL stylus replacement help

Post by BMRR » 25 Jan 2020 22:54

I have a couple of JICO N97-series brushes, an N97B and an N97ED. The brushes on these JICO styli are just like the genuine Shure brushes: they are damped and the brush drops nice and slowly when you let go of it. The bristles are densely packed and baby soft. It works just as well as the real thing (and significantly better than the last couple of genuine Shure N97xEs I bought, which had defective brushes). Unfortunately the JICO N97B/N97ED will not fit on an M97xE body, but I mention them because I suspect the brush on the JICO N97xE is just as good. I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't be.

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Re: LP Gear N97xVL stylus replacement help

Post by BMRR » 25 Jan 2020 23:03

Another option is to have your existing Shure stylus retipped. If you're not familiar with retipping, it's the process by which a professional removes the worn diamond and installs a new diamond on your existing cantilever (or if your existing cantilever is broken/damaged, they graft on a new cantilever with new diamond).

Retipping is a good option when you don't want the sound of the cartridge to change, as is sometimes the case with aftermarket styli.

Some people, however, choose to have the stylus retipped with a different type of diamond than it originally came with, for example a hyperelliptical or Shibata, as a way of improving the performance of the cartridge. Obviously this will also change the sound somewhat, but not as drastically because you're still keeping the genuine OEM magnet and suspension, and those two items contribute significantly to the overall sound of the cartridge.

Pricing varies, but you can usually expect to pay between $80 and $120 to have your original bonded elliptical diamond removed and replaced with a new bonded elliptical diamond. Turnaround time also varies, and can range from two weeks to two months, depending on who you choose to perform the work and how busy they are at the time.

Dan_Seweri
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Re: LP Gear N97xVL stylus replacement help

Post by Dan_Seweri » 26 Jan 2020 10:03

I suspect that the LP Gear N97xVL stylus is manufactured by Jico. Jico brushes and genuine Shure brushes are interchangeable. Why don't you simply swap the brushes / stylus guards? I did this for a SAS stylus and the Shure brush works perfectly in the Jico SAS plastic holder. The right amount of damping of the brush is achieved by applying some drops of silicone grease (as originally done by Shure).

Genuine Shure solid metal stylus guard (left) and black Jico plastic and metal stylus guard (right)
https://i.postimg.cc/k5QX1p5W/20200126-104742.jpg

Jico SAS stylus with genuine Shure stylus guard / brush.
https://i.postimg.cc/zGmrsF67/20200126-104926.jpg

lenjack
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Re: LP Gear N97xVL stylus replacement help

Post by lenjack » 26 Jan 2020 14:55

Dan_Seweri wrote:
26 Jan 2020 10:03
I suspect that the LP Gear N97xVL stylus is manufactured by Jico. Jico brushes and genuine Shure brushes are interchangeable. Why don't you simply swap the brushes / stylus guards? I did this for a SAS stylus and the Shure brush works perfectly in the Jico SAS plastic holder. The right amount of damping of the brush is achieved by applying some drops of silicone grease (as originally done by Shure).

Genuine Shure solid metal stylus guard (left) and black Jico plastic and metal stylus guard (right)
https://i.postimg.cc/k5QX1p5W/20200126-104742.jpg

Jico SAS stylus with genuine Shure stylus guard / brush.
https://i.postimg.cc/zGmrsF67/20200126-104926.jpg
I like the idea, but I only see the guards in your pics. I don't see the brushes. Are you saying, if I get the LP Gear replacement for my m97, just swap over the guards? Are they easily removable/interchangeable? I've looked carefully at mine, and it's far from clear how to remove the brush assembly from the stylus assembly. Can you explain how it's done? After the swap, will the amount of silicone grease need to be adjusted? I would think not. If so, 2 questions:

1) What grease and where to get?
2) How to apply?

Dan_Seweri
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Re: LP Gear N97xVL stylus replacement help

Post by Dan_Seweri » 27 Jan 2020 08:45

The brush and the guard are one single assembly and cannot be installed seperately. Swapping the brush-guard-assembly is a little bit fiddly but can be done. I would recommend the same silicone grease / oil which is used for damping tonearm lifts with viscosity in the 300.000 - 500.000 cSt range. The grease can be applied at any later point in time. You just have to remove the little caps which cover the hinges and apply some grease with a toothpick.

lenjack
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Re: LP Gear N97xVL stylus replacement help

Post by lenjack » 27 Jan 2020 15:54

Thanks Dan. What's not clear to me - what you say is a bit fiddly - is exactly how you get the guard/brush assembly off the stylus assembly. Cam you offer some guidance here? What should be the starting position of the guard assembly? Very much appreciate your learned assistance. :)

Dan_Seweri
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Re: LP Gear N97xVL stylus replacement help

Post by Dan_Seweri » 27 Jan 2020 18:19

When the guard is in its normal range between "guard up" and "guard down" it can't be removed. You have to move it beyond the "guard down" position. That most difficult step in the whole process. Once it is in the position as shown in the photo it is easy to remove.

https://i.postimg.cc/3x5Z2zKM/20200127-191046.jpg

lenjack
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Re: LP Gear N97xVL stylus replacement help

Post by lenjack » 27 Jan 2020 19:45

I think I've got it. Just to be sure, it needs to be in the fully "down" position with the end caps off. Remove the end caps first? Any tools needed, besides maybe a fine blade? What's the best source for the damping fluid/grease, if I need it? I'm truly grateful for your help. :) =D>

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Re: LP Gear N97xVL stylus replacement help

Post by wolfie62 » 29 Jan 2020 02:37

You'll have to use grease, not silicon oil, for the viscous hinges. Oil will creep out and run down your cartridge. Grease is made to stay where you put it. Use bulb grease (silicon grease), available at all auto parts stores, to replace the viscous damping in the hinges. I've used it several times, 5 years ago, and it still works perfectly.

lenjack
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Re: LP Gear N97xVL stylus replacement help

Post by lenjack » 30 Jan 2020 15:20

Remove the end caps first? With which tool? Narrow needle nose plier, pry with small slim blade...?

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