Shure V15 Type III with non-SAS Jico stylus tracking tests

the thin end of the wedge
oregonalex
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Shure V15 Type III with non-SAS Jico stylus tracking tests

Post by oregonalex » 06 Feb 2017 02:44

I have a V15 Type III with original 'SuperTrack Plus' stylus. When put through the tracking tests on the Hifi News test record it plays all of them (except the insane torture track) flawlessly.

I have bought for it an aftermarket stylus from TurntableNeedles listed as 'Jico VN35HE'. It plays nice enough, but at both 1.25g and 1.5g jumps out of the groove at the slightest provocation and can't track even the mildest tracking test track on the HiFi News record. It is not usable.

There is some indication that the stylus I bought (which came in a generic dealer box) may not be the same as a Jico stylus that comes in a Jico retail-box, but I have also heard about some tracking issues from an owner of a guaranteed genuine Jico VN35HE on V15III.

So before I buy another stylus (this time in sealed Jico box, mind you), I'd like to hear if anyone has run a non-SAS Jico V15III stylus through the tracking tests on a HiFi News (or some other) test record? What was the result? Short of that, tracking tests of the V15III with any aftermarket styli would be of interest.

Thank you.

PS. The arm is Pro-Ject 9cc with 8.5g eff mass, so compliance is not the problem.

Erin1
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Re: Shure V15 Type III with non-SAS Jico stylus tracking tes

Post by Erin1 » 06 Feb 2017 04:24

I recently bought an EVG stylus (supposedly made by Jico) for my Shure M55e. It was advertised as tracking between 0.75- 1.5g. It performed as badly as yours above. Luckily the ebay seller accepted a return and gave me a refund. Seller said it must have had a manufacturing defect.

I now wonder if Jico has been supplied bad suspension material and has installed it into a whole batch of stylus? - Pure speculation on my part! But your report is adding to my suspicion about this. I'm seeing a pattern.

H. callahan
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Re: Shure V15 Type III with non-SAS Jico stylus tracking tes

Post by H. callahan » 06 Feb 2017 05:51

If these are "NOS" styluses it just might be the case that the rubber suspension has hardened during the decades. Rubber can´t be "restaurated" in the meaning of regaining its former softness without any drawbacks, but it is possible to make it softer again - sometimes even softer than when it was new.
As far as i know (usual) oil does somewhat destroy the molecular structure of rubber and therefore is able to soften hardened rubber. This process probably will take some days - but don´t mistake this with "restauration"! The rubbers molecular structure is basically destroyed not "restaurated".
...

Anyway i did give an old cantilever suspension a small drop of oil and the stylus did track better than before. Furthermore from softening the rubber, the oil just helps to reduce friction between rubber suspension + cantilever - so you´ll get an immediate improvement in tracking.
As the oil probably will take some days to soften the hardened rubber you might want to remove the oil when the desired softness (and therefore good tracking) is provided - so the oil won´t make the rubber too soft, which then might interfere with original performance/cartridge compliance.

oregonalex
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Re: Shure V15 Type III with non-SAS Jico stylus tracking tes

Post by oregonalex » 06 Feb 2017 06:25

H. callahan wrote:If these are "NOS" styluses it just might be the case that the rubber suspension has hardened during the decades.
No, at least mine, and it sounds like Erin's too, is a newly purchased new production stylus from a dealer that seems to turn a lot of product. It is still barely possible that they had old stock, but unlikely more than a few years old.

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Re: Shure V15 Type III with non-SAS Jico stylus tracking tes

Post by H. callahan » 07 Feb 2017 06:31

I see. Wasn´t quite sure so i made my post.

oregonalex
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Re: Shure V15 Type III with non-SAS Jico stylus tracking tes

Post by oregonalex » 07 Feb 2017 11:36

H. callahan wrote:I see. Wasn´t quite sure so i made my post.
I understand, thanks. That would have been a plausible explanation.

At this point I've heard enough reports to make me suspect that it is not just me. But it is anecdotal and inconclusive. That is why I am trying to collect results from the test records. In my experience, there is a good correlation between general tracking ability and being able to play these test tracks without buzzing, at least the two milder ones.

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Re: Shure V15 Type III with non-SAS Jico stylus tracking tes

Post by BMRR » 07 Feb 2017 19:38

VTF specs/recommendations from aftermarket stylus manufacturers should always be viewed with skepticism, in my opinion. Some stylus manufacturers are better or worse in this regard.

The JICO elliptical styli I have for various Shure cartridges seem to track quite well between 1.75g and 2g. In some cases (or maybe all cases) I think they simply copy the VTF specs of the original OEM stylus without regard to the optimal VTF of the stylus they're manufacturing. Pfanstiehl and others are just as guilty of this, often to a much worse extent than JICO.

It's unfortunate, but it's par for the course when dealing with cartridges that are no longer supported by the original manufacturer.

oregonalex
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Re: Shure V15 Type III with non-SAS Jico stylus tracking tes

Post by oregonalex » 07 Feb 2017 23:01

BMRR wrote:The JICO elliptical styli I have for various Shure cartridges seem to track quite well between 1.75g and 2g. In some cases (or maybe all cases) I think they simply copy the VTF specs of the original OEM stylus without regard to the optimal VTF of the stylus they're manufacturing. Pfanstiehl and others are just as guilty of this, often to a much worse extent than JICO.
This is very interesting! I don't remember exactly how high I went with the VTF when testing this, but I certainly tried a bit more than 1.5g and as I didn't see any improvement, I didn't try to go even higher. Worth a try. I am going to remount the cart and try 2g.

Thanks for the idea!

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Re: Shure V15 Type III with non-SAS Jico stylus tracking tes

Post by Erin1 » 07 Feb 2017 23:42

I sent Jico a message the other day about their Shure stylus and they replied saying that the ones sold by them under the Jico brand will track between 0.75 and 1.5g.

I suppose I will have to try one and find out.

oregonalex
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Re: Shure V15 Type III with non-SAS Jico stylus tracking tes

Post by oregonalex » 07 Feb 2017 23:54

Erin1 wrote:I sent Jico a message the other day about their Shure stylus and they replied saying that the ones sold by them under the Jico brand will track between 0.75 and 1.5g.

I suppose I will have to try one and find out.
Me too. I have just ordered one from EMJmusic. They are supposed to be reliable and sell the genuine article. We shall see.

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Re: Shure V15 Type III with non-SAS Jico stylus tracking tes

Post by PaulKehayas » 08 Feb 2017 03:37

Thakker who claim their styli are JICO also perform horribly. An N91GD only tracks appropriately at 2.5G. it is recommended 3/4G - 1.5.
JICO upon email said that the only way you can obtain a JICO stylus was through them directly. I purchased their N91GD and the cantilever is different to the Thakker bought one. Also it has a tie wire unlike the Thakker where there is none.
Somebody's lying and I don't think it's JICO.

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Re: Shure V15 Type III with non-SAS Jico stylus tracking tes

Post by BMRR » 08 Feb 2017 04:02

Can you post photos of the Thakker stylus and the JICO stylus? It might be helpful for others to see the visual differences between them.

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Re: Shure V15 Type III with non-SAS Jico stylus tracking tes

Post by Tympani1982 » 08 Feb 2017 08:25

H. callahan wrote:If these are "NOS" styluses it just might be the case that the rubber suspension has hardened during the decades.....
I have a NOS VN35 type 3 stylus that is almost 40 years old. It was purchased in San Francisco and was brought to Taiwan for maybe 5 years unused. Then it came back to California for another 30+ years unused still. It was forgotten in fact. When it reappeared about a year ago the V15 Type 3 cartridge was long gone. But I have a type 4 cartridge w/o a stylus so I put it on the type 4 cartridge and started to use it. Initially I suspected the same thing that its damping rubber had hardened. It turned out that it was my speakers that sounded too bright.

I replaced my bass with a pair of EV 15" speakers as the base drivers. Now there is plenty of bass coming out of the NOS type 3 stylus. After some careful comparison with all my other cartridges I determined that my NOS type 3 stylus is as good as it is supposed to be. The damping rubber does not sound hardened at all.

So there is a possibility that such an old NOS shure stylus can be very much as good or normal as new. I really enjoy its sound mounted on my SME 3009 series 2 improved light weight tone arm. It sounds simply beautiful.

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Re: Shure V15 Type III with non-SAS Jico stylus tracking tes

Post by Erin1 » 08 Feb 2017 09:38

PaulKehayas wrote: Somebody's lying and I don't think it's JICO.
Thats the feeling I get!

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Re: Shure V15 Type III with non-SAS Jico stylus tracking tes

Post by plyscds » 08 Feb 2017 16:25

I just bought a new JICO VN35HE from TurntableNeedles for my new V-15 III, and though it has needed a bit of time to 'open up', it had, and to date, has had no problems with tracking. In my opinion TurntableNeedles has some good people to work with. To oregonalex I would suggest you get in touch with TurntableNeedles and discuss your issues with them.

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