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401 and SME 3009S2 imp what cartridge?

Discussion in 'classic' started by docstocker, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. docstocker

    docstocker pfm Member

    I am about to scratch an itch and add a second turntable to my system. I have located a 401 in excellent condition and have ordered a plinth.
    I plan to use my old SME 3009, bought new in 1975 and not used since I bought my LP12 in 1988.
    The next question of course is the cartridge
    I have an M75ED and an M95ED in my parts box and I also have a New old stock Grado FCE+1 . I had one of these on the SME when it was in my Thorens 150 and I loved it. But I have heard that Grado's can hum on a 401.

    So should I look for a second hand V15 and if so which one?
    Thjer is a guy in America with lots of second hand cartridges for sale, seems to have high satisfaction levels but will it justify spending £375?

    Alternatively there is the Shure M97 XE for about £100.

    Any thoughts?


    Remainder of system is Naim 32.5 with RSL cards (the remote control of volume turns out to be a killer function), Hicap with tpr4, Naim 110 cap6 mono blocks (thank you Mark of Witchat) and AR3a imp speakers. LP12 is up to cirkus spec with an Ittok and an Adikt.
  2. df_genius

    df_genius Solder slinger

    How about a Stanton 881/Pickering XSV or ADC XLM? LPgear do a vivid line contact stylus for the 881/XSV (they are the same cartridge). These were contemporaries of a V15 and some preferred them, and they are also cheaper to buy now. Here is a good stylus for the 881:


    Alternatively they also do a vivid stylus for your M95:


    I have one for my Stanton 680 and is a step up from the original elliptical.
  3. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    The Shire 97 is excellent.
  4. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Arkless

    I posted yesterday (lost in the great crash) that the FCE+1 is a real giant killer if in full working order after all these years. Although only about £15 new in 1980 or so I recall them being far better than £1-200 current Grado's!
  5. slavedata

    slavedata pfm Member

  6. df_genius

    df_genius Solder slinger

    I've read a few times that the M97XE doesn't have the same level of build quality and consistency as the V15, and the M95 isn't far off a V15 anyway. You might be best off trying the M95 with a good stylus first to see if you like the Shure/SME combination.
  7. ian r

    ian r 401's Nakman

    if you get a Jico stylus upgrade on any Shure then you are ina completely differrent quality level than the originals, the build quality of shures is less important imo than the incredible Jico diamonds and cantilevers... sweeter top end than Shure originals and way more convincing bass
    best upgrade i ever bought... try a S/H one ...they do crop up

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