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A year ago, Mojaxx reviewed Jico’s replacement needles for Shure’s M44-7 and M44G cartridges. He found that they were good alternatives to the original styli, but they weren’t essential because the originals were still available.
However, that changed in May when Shure announced that it was discontinuing its entire range of phono products. Now, with the new-found need for replacements, Mo takes another look at Jico’s styli.
Watch above on this week’s Tips and Tricks.
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On what will be a sad day for many DJs, Shure has announced that they are ceasing production of their entire range of phono cartridges and styli this summer.
From the company’s statement:
“For more than 90 years, Shure has been committed to manufacturing and delivering products of the highest quality, reliability, and value. This commitment requires consistency in materials, processes, and testing, as well the capacity to react to fluctuations in demand.
In recent years, the ability to maintain our exacting standards in the Phonograph Cartridge product category has been challenged, resulting in cost and delivery impacts that are inconsistent with the Shure brand promise.
In light of these conditions, and after thorough evaluation, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue production of Shure Phono products effective Summer 2018.”
Shure’s decision means that supplies of their turntablist-beloved M44-7 cartridges and replacement styli should start to dry up soon. If you have a lot invested in the company’s range of cartridges, it’s probably worth picking up a few replacement needles soon, as prices are likely to rise as stocks dwindle.
It isn’t the end of the road for turntable DJs, however. A review of Ortofon’s new Concorde Mk2 range is coming soon to DJcityTV, and the new Phase system will be released in September.
Read Shure’s full statement here.
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Shure’s M44-7 cartridge is legendary in the DJ community. Originally released in the 1960s, the company resurrected it in the ’90s after they realized that turntablists like the Invisibl Skratch Piklz were flying to Japan to snatch up the remaining stock.
But like any cartridge, the stylus on the M44-7 needs to be replaced from time to time. There are many cheap, third-party replacements on the market, mostly around $15. The problem is, they aren’t based on the M44-7 or similar M44-G stylus. Instead, they’re based on the M44C, which as Mojaxx puts it, is “aimed at jukeboxes.”
Jico’s replacement styli have surprised him, though. Handmade in Japan, the N44-7 and N44-G are “on a different level from your regular, generic replacements
Watch Mo’s review above.