Shure M95ED

Direct From Shure:

The M95EDID cartridges combines M95 performance and high trackability with the Shure Destaticizer whose conductive carbon fibers ground static charges on the record surface. An added bonus is the Side-Guard Stylus Protection System which responds to accidental side thrusts on the stylus by withdrawing the entire shank and tip safely into the stylus housing before damage can occur.

The Shure M95ED is an older model HIFI cartridge with decent entry level performance. They can still be found on ebay and perhaps some local record shops with older stock. The replacement styli are still available, with the part number of “N95ED.”

For those looking for an inexpensive way to achieve decent HIFI sound, the Shure M95ED is a great way to go, if you can find them! The M95ED offers decent stereo separation, with a flat tonal spectrum. Be advised these are NOT DJ cartridges, and will offer little in the durability aspect of back cueing and rougher record handling.

For a DJ style cartridge see the Shure M447 or the Shure white label.

Shure M44-G

Direct from Shure:

Revived exactly the same as the original, this companion to the M44-7 provides an ideal balance between skip resistance and accuracy of sound reproduction for entertainment purposes. The M44G is a versatile performance needle, appropriate for both intensive scratching and mixing.With a tracking force of 0.75 to 1.50 grams, and a frequency response which is essentially flat from 20 to 20,000 Hz, the M44G produces a vibrant, high-definition sound. With the same unique Shure Type S cantilever as used on the M44-7, the M44G is a highly reliable performer, which is also easy on your vinyl.

Review

The Shure M44-G is basically equivalent to a Shure M44-7 with a flatter response. The M44-G doesn’t have the huge exaggerated bottom end that the M44-7 has. The M44-G also has much less shrill highs.

The tracking and performance of the M44-G is marginally less than the M44-7, but they perform relativity the same when set up correctly. One difference though is that the M44-G performs horribly when over weighted. More care is needed, as the bearing assembly of the M44-G is more sensitive than its M44-7 brother.

The M44-G is still a scratch cartridge, and frankly it sounds like one. The M44-G is best suited for a scratch or turntabalist that likes to play on real vinyl records. To continue to step up in sound quality, it would be best to sacrifice performance for sound, and look into something like the Shure Whitelabel.

Full tilt turntablists should still be using the M44-7 or the Ortofon Qbert. The performance of these cartridges are unmatched.

Shure Whitelabel

Direct from Shure:

The Shure Whitelabel cartridge is a truly revolutionary piece of DJ technology. It is an optimal choice for Digital DJs, providing superb tracking of time-coded records, and minimal sonic coloration when mixing between digital files and analog records.

Tailored for the club environment, Whitelabel features sonic characteristics including solid drop bass, flat mids, and accented highs. With a sleek and ergonomic design, the cartridge additionally delivers higher trackability, lower tone-arm resonance, and better skip resistance. It also includes an adjustable stylus overhang, reliable electrical contact, and improved stylus visibility.

Review

Shure Whitelabel DJ cartridges are some of the best sounding club grade mixing needles you can buy. A mix of smooth bass, warm but detailed mids and highs, give these carts an almost perfect sound for high volume environments.

The Shure Whitelabel cartridge is best used for mixing, but can be scratched with using higher weight settings. My personal setup for Whitelabels is 4-5 grams when scratching and 2-3 grams when mixing.

I feel that white labels are the best cartridge to use for drum and bass, jungle, and house music. The smooth bass and supreme detail makes all your classic vinyl sound really great. These are my #1 pick, if you like to spin actual vinyl. Another great feature of this cartridge is the high visibility stripe down the center. This is used for cueing, many cartridges cover the record, whereas the Whitelabel lets you see exactly where you place the needle.

The only downside about Shure Whitelabels is the cost. They run about $90 each, and the replacement styli run about $40 each. Considering the long life of the cartridge though, it’s not a bad investment.

Whitelabel cartridges are also the only overhang adjustable concord cartridge on the market. The genius one piece design still allows precise tracking adjustments to fit any user. A maintenance tip for Whitelabels is to make sure the overhang adjustment screw is always tight, as these do loosen over time.

Shure M44-7

Direct from Shure:

Revived exactly the same as the original, this legendary battle needle offers ultra-high skip resistance and ultra-high output. The needle of choice for many champion DJ’s worldwide. Engineered for scratch DJ’s and turntablists, the M44-7 is designed not to skip under even the most demanding circumstances.





Review

The Shure M44-7 is undoubtedly the most popular DJ cartridge ever used. It features extreme skip resistance not found in any other cartridges on the market. The sound quality is fairly good, and the record wear is minimal.

Another advantage of the Shure M44-7 is that it is not susceptible to poor setup. A DJ can simply plug them into the venue’s house turntables, slam the weights to full-on, and enjoy great performing needles that don’t skip and track magnificently.

The Shure M44-7 also is very cost effective and available everywhere that sells DJ equipment. You can typically expect to pay under $60 dollars each for just the cartridge. Shure also offers the M44-7h, which is a M44-7 pre-mounted on a OEM Technics 1200 headshell. You can typically expect to find the pre-mounted variety for around $75.

The only disadvantage of the Shure M44-7 is the balance of the sound. When using M44-7’s be careful not to push the EQ on the Dj mixer too far. The highs can be shrill and tinny. The bass is also the loudest bass available for any cartridge on the market. This fact is another reason why these cartridges are so favored by Hip-hop and Dubstep DJ’s.

With most DJ’s switching to timecode setups, for example – Serato, Traktor, Torq, the sound quality of the needle becomes irrelevant. The sound quality comes from the DJ’s sound card. The needle simply needs to have a high output, great tracking, and durability.

All these aspects make the M44-7 one of the best choices for modern DJ cartridges. A good match for a headshell would be the Ortofon SH-4 or the Stanton H4S V2.