Shure M44-7

the thin end of the wedge
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bernardherrmann
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Shure M44-7

Post by bernardherrmann » 14 Feb 2014 21:51

So Shure claims this is an exact copy of the original. When I read reviews of the original, many rave about the sound quality and compare it to that of an M91, M75, etc. When reading about the new ones all I hear about is how it is just a crappy DJ cartridge. What's the deal?

tubewade

Re: Shure M44-7

Post by tubewade » 15 Feb 2014 01:08

In my opinion the whole "DJ" thing is a marketing ploy. All of us who are playing records are DJs. Some require a more robust stylus for rougher environments while others can utilise a more fragile stylus supposing it will not be mishandled.

The M44 was a very high fidelity cartridge for audiophiles when introduce in '63. It became more of a favourite for DJs later on because its design is rugged enough for rough environments like radio stations and night clubs. The 44-7 is quite good. Some people will not consider it, being scared off by tracking weight, but it does work excellently in higher mass tonearms.

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Re: Shure M44-7

Post by BMRR » 15 Feb 2014 01:15

I personally don't find the tracking force of the M44-7 too intimidating (1.5 to 3g seems perfectly reasonable to me), but the one I WAS intimidated by was the Shure SC35C, which has a recommended tracking force of 4 to 5g. :shock: Probably a great cart for a jukebox in rowdy bar or club, though! :)

One of the things I've found fascinating about the M44G is that it has a very light tracking force range, 0.75g to 1.5g. I, too, have wondered if it really is identical to the original (as Shure claims), or if there are subtle differences.

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Re: Shure M44-7

Post by jc_the_trucker » 15 Feb 2014 01:54

Put the N55E stylus on it. The tracking force goes down, and sound quality goes up. Thats what I did to my old M44E. It isn't quite as good as my DL-110, but it's pretty close. And where else are you going to find 9 mV output?

tubewade

Re: Shure M44-7

Post by tubewade » 15 Feb 2014 02:10

jc_the_trucker wrote:Put the N55E stylus on it. The tracking force goes down, and sound quality goes up. Thats what I did to my old M44E. It isn't quite as good as my DL-110, but it's pretty close. And where else are you going to find 9 mV output?
Awesome report! Thank you for that!

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Re: Shure M44-7

Post by BMRR » 15 Feb 2014 02:19

Aside from being louder, does the sound quality of the M44-7 differ from the sound quality of the M44G?

dlaloum
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Re: Shure M44-7

Post by dlaloum » 15 Feb 2014 02:36

The simple answer is that the bodies are the same and the styli are different.

Stylus quality is the main determinant of overall sound quality - the lighter it is the better it is able to navigate high frequency corrugations and provide the highs as well as the lows of the full frequency range.

Heavier thicker cantilevers do just as well at the low frequencies, but have nothing to give in the highs....

Take a look at the popular DJ styli for the M44/M55 family, and you will see fat solid cantilevers - look at the HiFi oriented styli and you will see delicate light fine cantilevers.... horses for courses...

You can turn a G into a 7 by swapping styli and vice versa - the M55 similarly uses the same body but had HiFi oriented styli.

Pick the right stylus for the job and enjoy!

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Re: Shure M44-7

Post by BMRR » 15 Feb 2014 02:43

dlaloum wrote:The simple answer is that the bodies are the same and the styli are different.
The M44G is listed as having a 6.2mV output, while the M44-7 is listed as having a 9.5mV output.

Does this mean that the different stylus on the -7 actually increases the electrical output of the cartridge (compared to the G stylus)? And if so, does that mean that the M44G's output would decrease if you used a non-DJ stylus on it?

tubewade

Re: Shure M44-7

Post by tubewade » 15 Feb 2014 03:08

BMRR wrote:
dlaloum wrote:The simple answer is that the bodies are the same and the styli are different.
The M44G is listed as having a 6.2mV output, while the M44-7 is listed as having a 9.5mV output.

Does this mean that the different stylus on the -7 actually increases the electrical output of the cartridge (compared to the G stylus)? And if so, does that mean that the M44G's output would decrease if you used a non-DJ stylus on it?
Yes, and yes.

Dlaloum, regarding large vs. tiny cantilevers, I have experienced exactly what you are talking about, and one can make a pretty good assessment of stylus quality by looking at the size of its cantilever. However, I have also found that with high tracking forces the disadvantage of large cantilever size can be partially overcome. In my experience a conical/spherical 0.7 on a type 1 or type S cantilever tracking at 3 or 4 grams can sound better than one would expect and better than the same tip/cantilever designed to track at 1 to 1.5 grams. In other words, lower tracking force requires lower effective stylus tip mass (i.e. tiny cantilever) to track properly.

Your experience?

dlaloum
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Re: Shure M44-7

Post by dlaloum » 15 Feb 2014 03:24

Hi Wade,

There actually is a very complex interaction between effective mass, suspension compliance, and stylus tracking impedance....

Which is why it is difficult to provide precise optimum setting advice - and we end up with rules of thumb.

Too low a VTF with ANY stylus will lead to mistracking (which is very very bad as it destroys both stylus and record relatively quickly).

Optimum VTF is not directly related stylus shape, but has to do with the interaction of cantilever suspension, and arm mass.

There are also limitations on the safe highest pressure per surface area on vinyl, which means that the smaller the contact patch of needle to groove the lower the VTF needs to be.

On records in the early 60's there were often warnings about running finer tipped conicals at no higher VTF than a specified amount.

You can get a shibata on a mid or low compliance stylus and run it at 3g or 4g VTF quite safely... But it would not be wise to try the same with a 0.5mil conical, as you would tear up the vinyl. (a 0.7mil conical would be fine...)

The horizontal width of the contact patch determines how well the needle can follow the fine corrugations of higher frequencies - so the finer edge radius cartridges have lower harmonic distortion from around 10khz upwards.
the edge radius starts out at 0.7mil (conical) to 0.5mil (Conical), the there are elipticals ranging from 0.4mil to 0.2mil and the line contact types range from 0.3mil to 0.1mil.

The finer edge contacts are only possible because those designs have a longer vertical contact area, so the total surface area is actually higher on a 0.1mil edge radius VdH or FG than on a 0.7mil conical. (elipticals tend to have a teardrop shaped contact patch)

The relationship is not between tip mass and VTF but between tracking impedance/compliance/arm mass and VTF.

There are plenty of fine sounding heavy trackers - consider the DL103's or Ortofon SPU's.

But in my opinion the best possibe results are at the light end of the spectrum below 2g VTF with the right setup. (no point trying to run at 1g on a changer!)

Classic ADC and Shure cartridges were designed for VTF's in the 0.75g to 1g range... but that is only possible on the right arm, and often with damping (fluid damping or similar)

bye for now

David

tubewade

Re: Shure M44-7

Post by tubewade » 15 Feb 2014 03:31

Very good info. Thank you very much. I hope this also helps the original poster and others with interest in this thread.

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Re: Shure M44-7

Post by jc_the_trucker » 15 Feb 2014 16:02

tubewade wrote:
jc_the_trucker wrote:Put the N55E stylus on it. The tracking force goes down, and sound quality goes up. Thats what I did to my old M44E. It isn't quite as good as my DL-110, but it's pretty close. And where else are you going to find 9 mV output?
Awesome report! Thank you for that!
You're welcome. And in the interests of thoroughness, the N55E I bought has a .2×.7 mil elliptical and I run it at 1.25 grams. Also, it did sound very harsh for about 5 hours of play. After that it very quickly settled into the familiar M44 sound I was used to, albeit with noticeably better detail. I actually don't really use it anymore because the head shell it's on is too light to work with my Jelco arm and I do like my DL-110 better. But if I ever set up my JVC again, this will be on it.

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