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SME 3009 Series 2 Improved and Shure V15 ii

Discussion in 'classic' started by DynamoDoug, Oct 13, 2021.

  1. DynamoDoug

    DynamoDoug New Member


    I have a Shure V15 ii on my SME 3009 Series 2 Improved with a fixed head.

    Would there be any improvement by replacing my existing cartridge with a V15 iii or iv, Or should i get a new stylus?

    Many Thanks
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Sadly Shure stopped making styli for any of these models decades ago. As such your options are third-party styli which are often of very dubious quality (I’d personally only recommend Jico in Japan, especially their SAS profile), or replacing the cartridge entirely. Plenty of decent models out there from Ortofon, Audio Technica, Nagaoka etc. Given you have the fixed-shell 3009 Imp my personal recommendation would be to track down either an Ortofon 540 or OM40 (or the 30 if money is tighter). These are both discontinued, though styli are still available, but significantly they are light bodies and high compliance, they work very well indeed in the low mass SME. Most modern MMs are a bit heavier and lower compliance than is ideal for your SME, but these two match perfectly. I used a 540/II in one for a while and it sounded great and tracks anything!
    effinity likes this.
  3. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    The JICO VN-15E SAS/B is $225. 'SAS' is a MicroRidge tip by any other name, with '/B' standing for Boron cantilever.

    They also do a straight VN-15E with elliptical tip and aluminium cantilever for $83. Likely a safer bet for a new customer to the none genuine Shure replacement stylus market.

    In either case, I'm not sure what JICO's product availability or shipping costs are like these days.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
  4. Ponty

    Ponty pfm Member

    I have the same arm and if you go for a new cartridge, can highly recommend the Audio Technica VM540ML.
  5. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    Experts Pickups can replace the stylus used on the V15, improving its performance.
  6. sktn77a

    sktn77a pfm Member

    The V15 II was an OK (alright, good) cartridge in it's day - late 1960s - early 1970a. But it had a lot of issues, probably the greatest of which was its sensitivity to capacitive loading. SME even made a special insert for its tonearm wiring harness to smooth out the V15 II's frequency response. I don't think you'll find any of these any more. As such, I'd probably sell it on and get a much newer cartridge (I'd try an AT).
  7. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    I wouldn't describe the Type II as having had 'a lot of issues', myself. Remember it was 1968 and starting in that year Shure began suggesting 400 - 500pF loading (including tonearm cable) for all new models going forward (they had only listed suggested input resistance previously). It was during the period leading up to this that certain popular amplifier makers began increasing capacitance across their phono inputs in order to reduce the possibility of RFI breakthrough. Circa 300pF became an unofficial norm so Shure altered their coils accordingly. From 1968 on all of Shure's new models listed the same 720mH coil inductance and 630Ohm DC resistance, indicating that the coils were the same across all of their models.

    Regardless, it is easy enough to add capacitance to taste, which is what SME essentially did during their long collaboration with Shure. SME models were even marketed as Shure-SME over here in North America, hence the gratuitous loading resistors being fitted within the RCA plugs.

    Exhibit 'A'
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
    Darren L likes this.
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Conversely if the system sounds nicely balanced now with the Shure it will sound like One Thousand Tweeters with the AT which needs a capacitance value impossible for many systems!

    PS This could be a big issue with the nice low-mass high-compliance Ortofons I recommend above too. Great cartridges, but many phono stages are unsuited, and whilst it is easy to add capacitance it involves proper electronics knowledge to remove it (i.e. actually reconfiguring the phono stage). If the SME armlead has additional capacitance that is easily enough removed, so it is all down to the phono stage.
  9. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    Exhibit 'B'

    If you click where it says 'See other side . . .' in the photo I posted above, you'll be transported back to the 1964 Shure catalogue excerpt where the Shure-SME marketing collaboration was first revealed.

    I suspect that one would be lucky to land an SME headshell for $92.50 these days.
    MUTTY1 likes this.
  10. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    Jico posted an interesting post on Instagram today about replacement stylus for the Shure cartridge, a Basie Ltd model, well may be of interest to the OP, I can't seem to cut and paste or provide a link but if you check out Jico International on Instagram you should be able to find it.
    I really like the Shure V15v-mxr, I've never heard any earlier models but I think I'll buy a Jico SAS stylus for when the time comes that I need a replacement.
    narabdela likes this.
  11. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Here’s the Jico news on their own site. I suspect these will be very expensive, plus are for a V15/III. They’ll have some nice styli for the II somewhere though.
  12. Stuart Frazer

    Stuart Frazer pfm Member

  13. Craig B

    Craig B Re:trophile

    Last edited: Oct 17, 2021
  14. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I still think Expert Stylus Co. are a good idea.
    At least it’s worth asking them...

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