Ok here are some of my musings about the Sound-Smith Top Of the Line Re-Tip (UPGRADE) so before any Shure V15VxMR owners go out and pay 500.00 ++ for a factory original or decide that the cart is not worth keeping please consider the below.
FIRST (11-24-2008, 02:02 PM)
Just received the call from Sound-Smith my Shure VN5xMR Re-Tip is being shipped today.
It delivered to their facility 09-Oct-08 shipping today 24-Nov-08 not as bad as I was expecting.
I had them do this service: http://www.sound-smith.com/retip/ For those who demand the best, this is our top-shelf capability for upgrading of almost any cartridge or styli assembly. We install a RUBY "Single Crystal" cantilever which holds a Nude "Optimized Contour" Contact Line Diamond. This diamond shape closely resembles the actual cutting stylus that is used to create the master record, resulting in a near perfect tracing of the record groove walls. The Contact Line Diamond has three times the contact area in the vertical direction of the groove wall, thus lowering the "force per unit area" on both the diamond as well as the record groove, resulting in lower record and diamond wear. This combination creates an ultra low mass system, capable of the finest reproduction from your cherished vinyl. This upgrade can be done to almost any cartridge and stylus assembly, and again, often allows reduction of tracking force.
Now I will be able to compare the Sound-Smith to the original since I still have an original stylus for the Cartridge and its still in good shape.
so you all are asking why....
Some years back, someone (not me) but someone (I dont know who) broke the cantilever smooth off!
Back when they cost about $190.00 for an original replacement and before they were discontinued I bought a new one.
hindsight wish I knew then what I know now and bought 2 but I did not so here we are today.
for some reason I kept the original stylus insert and put it away.
Then shortly after that I went to an Audio-Technica OC9 ML/II MC cartridge.
Recently I decided to get another "Zupreme" head shell and mount it so I could have some fun switching around the carts every now and then.
One of the life's little joys is a removable head shell.
set it all up and WOW I had forgotten how good that cart sounded then I got worried that I would not be able to get a replacement stylus for it, then saw how much the remaining original styluses were selling for.
Which is a whole lot more that I paid for the entire cartridge Whoa the price $500.00 plus.
Heck I can get a new cartridge for a that.
So I am doing this
1) out of curiosity to see if it is as good or better than the original.
2) to keep my legendary Shure V15VxMR cartridge alive
3) to save a few bucks.
Once it arrives and I have had some play time on it I will report if its a deal or dud.
SECOND (12-01-2008, 06:02 PM )
First received the re-tip but a very short post
No question about it now this re-tip is worth every penny (and the wait) and is a whole lot better than the factory original stylus.
The cart now retrieves information from the grooves that even my MC cart was glossing over.
It will supercharge the Shure V15VxMR.
THIRD (12-02-2008, 11:47 AM )
More detailed follow up
I received back my Shure VN5xMR Sound-Smith Re-Tip
with their top of the line RUBY "Single Crystal" cantilever which holds a Nude "Optimized Contour" Contact Line Diamond.
I was worried that I may have been throwing away good money especially since the recently purchased Denon AU-300LC STEP-UP Transformer Denon AU-300LC STEP-UP
has now fully bloomed and my Audio-Technica OC9-ML/II has never sounded better!
But I had already committed to the re-tip so here I am.
Removed the Head shell with the Audio-Technica OC9-ML/II and remounted second head shell that holds the Shure V15VxMR on Sunday 30-Nov because I knew the re-tip would be delivered Monday, 01-Dec. so I could listen for a day before I switched out the stylus.
Yesterday pulled the head shell and checked the overhang with both the original and new stylus, perfect match GOOD! now I know I wont have to readjust for testing.
Played the 1st song from Cisco reissue of The Guess Who "American Woman" with the original stylus OK it sounded good... cued pulled the original slid in the new one.
Whoa, stunned and shocked at the remarkable improvement fact there is so much more information in the groove than I ever heard before!
Talk about a soundstage! The Shure V15VxMR is now amazingly wide, extremely natural clean and clear with detail that is mind blowing.
The bass is a whole lot tighter, faster but still deep the highs have now become silky and smooth no hint of harshness or brightness and the mids are so there I could not believe it was the same cartridge.
I am hearing stuff the OC9 and the factory Shure Stylus was just glossing over especially on the lower transients, Put on the APO 45rpm Myra Taylor "My Night to Dream"
Before the re-tip and with either cartridge in some places on some of the songs I could only hear her voice I thought (that place) was unaccompanied but there was a guitar picking every so slightly in the background never knew it was there till the re-tip.
I don't see how or understand why the Ruby Cantilever and Optimized Contour contact line diamond would make that much of an improvement,
especially since the original Shure beryllium cantilever with micro ridge diamond tip still has many years left on it
but it does, it has taken the Shure to a level I would say the very least is at a 75% improvement.
It has supercharged the cart well beyond the factory stylus and my beloved the OC9-ML/II which I did not think was remotely possible.
The folks at Sound-Smith are truly gifted craftsman and a real credit to the trade.
FOURTH (Yesterday, 03:11 PM)
I am still freaking!
Ok I know I should stop but just wanted to share one more thing
Last night I played the Cisco Reissue of Aja http://store.acousticsounds.com/brow...Title_ID=39750 and for the first time ever I actually got Goosebumps from listening to that album well any album for that matter!
I never experienced holographic imaging from that album as I did last night,
Aja always sounded very good fact it always sounded fantastic.
The imaging was is off the hook!
With this upgrade there is a real sense of center stage presence they were floating right in front of me.
And then I played some 1/2 speed stuff.
I thought they sounded great before but I was only hearing a sampling of what 1/2 mastering process can offer,
there is indeed a great deal more to the 1/2 speed than I ever knew.
and this is what I told jrhymeammo
Calling it just a re-tip is not an entirely accurate description for it, (to me), implies that is is merely a meager
repair so one will only be hearing it the same way it was when it was new with nothing extra nothing better than the original stylus.
The Sound-Smith Re-Tip is nothing short of a Full-On Upgrade they are a credit to their profession.
It is so much so that I am as excited about it as I am with the Yamaha C-4* there is THAT much of an improvement!
* BTW I am still stoked over the Yamaha C-4 such a fine sounding piece of equipment.
Last edited by BRANDONH; 12-05-2008 at 11:02 AM.
Great article! I chose the Shure V15 for my Rega P3 because of it's LACK of inner grove distortion. With the re-tip, is the inner-grove distortion gone as well? Thanks for your post and HOPE in still enjoying a better Shure!