This is my second M97xE and it is now about 4 years old. With the factory original stylus installed, it works well in my system. Two years ago I finally accumulated enough funds and I purchased the SAS with the boron cantilever. There was an immediate noticeable extension of the higher frequencies and the increase in the overall signal strength from the cartridge boosted the bass and mid rage response. I then acquired the M75ED Type2 as a perk that came along with the 1249 turntable I purchased. The stylus was damaged in transit, so I invested in the LP Gear N75HE VL stylus. I was immediately impressed by the cartridge with the VL stylus. It sounds just as good as the M97/SAS combo. If I use the Shure stylus in the M97xE and compare it to the M75 with the VL stylus, the M75 has the edge. When I return to the SAS, they are equal again. The only advantage to the M97xE at the present time is the dampening brush. JICO does not use any form of dampening material on the brushes included on the SAS stylus, so I put a drop of the high viscosity lube for the turntables quing mechanism on one side of the pivot for the brush and it works just as well as the brush on the Shure stylus. So the brush does improve the tracking ability of the Shure M97xE over the M75ED.
Final observation: in my system the M75ED Type2 with the LP Gear N75HE VL is every bit a match in sound quality when compared to the M97xE with the JICO SAS.
DualSpinsMyVinyl, Dynaco-PAT4 Pre Amp, VTA ST-120 Valve Amp, Dual 1219,1249, Shure M97xE JICO SAS, V15 T III JICO VN35HE, M95HE, M75ED-T2, M71, Grace F8, Technics SL7-Ortofon TM14/Shibata stylus,Heil AMT-10b spkrs, Sansui QRX3500.