Shure discontinuing V15xMR [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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10-26-2004, 05:06 PM
I saw this on AA:

The V15VxMR may be discontinued in early 2005. If it is, the reason
is simple: the worldwide demand for phono cartridges declines every
year. The demand is now so small that specialized suppliers to
Shure no longer want to produce the parts for the V15VxMR. We are
searching for new suppliers but the processes required are very
arcane, thus making it difficult to find new suppliers. Once a final
decision has been made, we will post it on our web site. As of
today, we can only say: maybe."

"If the V15xMR is discontinued, we expect to have replacement styli
for the V15VxMR until late 2006, but that date may change if buying
patterns do not follow past trends. If you want to purchase a
replacement stylus now, seal it in an air-tight jar to keep ozone
away from the stylus bushing."

"The M97xE sells in greater number than the V15VxMR and our suppliers
currently seem happy to continue selling parts. But that too could
change in the future as the phono cartridge market continues to

Now this seems odd to me since it at least appears that Turntables sales are up(perhaps they have nowhere to go but up) but Project and Rega seem to have several new models out these days etc. Perhaps Shure is losing business to other cartridge makers.

For instance it appears to me that a lot of STOCK turntables soled come with Goldring or Ortofon - I don;t know of any using a stock Shure cart. Perhaps Shure could lower their price get more sales and then suppliers would have reason to supply them. Hmm.

10-27-2004, 10:25 AM
That Sucks!

I love my Shure, I was just thinking i probably need a new stylus for it.. Get ready for the hoarding!


10-27-2004, 11:30 AM
It does seem odd, because the site I bought mine from earlier this year buys like 25 at a time and sells out quickly then has to replenish stock often. They currently only have 2 in stock now.

10-27-2004, 11:37 AM
perhaps perhaps perhaps ...

This would not be the first time that Shure has discontinued the V15 cartridge. That model went out of production for several years starting in the late-80s, although dealers still had a lot of stock on hand, and it was not that hard to find them in stores for years after they went out of production. Shure reintroduced the V15 in 1997 after they got the sense that the vinyl market had stabilized, and they revamped their production processes so that they could profitably produce the V15 in smaller quantities (albeit with a much higher list price than before).

The V15 is widely considered one of the best MM carts out there, but it in a very difficult market position. The high end audiophile market is mostly enamored with MCs and the V15's $400 list price is right in the middle of the price range for MC cartridges. Most MM cartridges cost less than half that. Ortofon and Goldring both make MC and MM cartridges, Shure only makes MM.

The cartridge market will always be there, since it's typically the only system component that requires regular replacement. But, there very well might not be much of a market out there for a $400 MM cartridge. I don't think that the OEM market has much influence except in the entry level, where you have more turntables that come preinstalled with cartridges. (Nearly all of the high end turntables I've seen over the years don't come preinstalled with a cartridge) And the V15 is far from an entry level cartridge, even though in the late-80s the V-15 was selling for about $150.

Shure says that they are responding to worldwide market conditions, which is a shrinking cartridge market. That really shouldn't be surprising. Vinyl is not a mass market product by any stretch, and its pockets of demand are in very specific niches. Vinyl might have cachet, but Shure and its suppliers seem like they're looking out for their bottom line. Shure only reintroduced the V15 because they made it into a low volume specialty product rather than a mass produced product like before. It doubled the price of the cartridge, but to reintroduce a product after it went dormant for several years is not easy to do.

I guess if you're a fan of the V15, start stocking up now! (It's really the stylus that you need to hoard since the cartridge bodies can last for years longer) The last time the V15 went out of production, there were still a lot of units in dealer inventories, but I doubt that situation will repeat given that the V15 is now made in smaller lots than before.

02-26-2005, 02:47 PM
From the Shure web-site:

V15VxMR Discontinued

We regretfully announce discontinuation of our legendary V15VxMR audiophile phonograph cartridge due to scarcity of exotic materials essential in the manufacturing of the VN5xMR stylus. These materials are increasingly difficult and costly to obtain, and substitutions of those materials would compromise the performance standards expected of the V15VxMR.In keeping with the tradition of the Shure phono line, we attempt to provide replacement styli for at least five years after a cartridge model is discontinued. This V15VxMR cartridge must be discontinued immediately so that remaining VN5xMR styli can be placed into our replacement parts inventory.

02-26-2005, 04:45 PM
If you are on the market for a cartridge, u either blow BIG BUCKS or small bucks. REAL audiophiles are out for the more sophisticated moving coils, suckers like me settle for 200-240$ cartridges. the people that just want to listen to their seventies records just go with the lowest priced they can find that doesnt have a plastic cantilever.
i have trouble imagining why would someone blow 400 bucks on a high end moving magnet when you can move up the scale for a bit more money, or down the scale for not too much of a sacrifice in fidelity.
in any case, its a shame. however, considering the huge market they have with them vynil-scratchers "in da clubs" shure is nowhere near being in finantial trouble

02-26-2005, 05:26 PM
I don't think they're in trouble. They've been dealing mostly in pro sound gear and DJ cartridges for awhile now. Still make some of the best microphones available. And they can count on me to buy an occasional replacement stylus.:)

They probably finally realized that the M97xE sounds better. woops!!!!