Shure M97×E Review; Yay Or No-no?

Mention Shure, Auto-tech, Ortofon, Fender, Yamaha, and Sennheiser.

And there you have a complete list of the 6 top musical instrument manufacturers alive especially when it comes down to turntables and cartridges.

But while you might have already heard enough good news about Shure’s M97×E.

Or you are already considering it as your next phono cartridge.

A quick background check wouldn’t hurt.

Right?

In your next 10minutes on this Shure M97×E review, I will show you everything you need to know whether this is a nice fit for your needs or not.

Sounds great, right?

Let’s get started.

First thing first…

An Overview

This oldie M97×E has been Shure’s biggest stride into the phono cartridge market for home listeners and clubbers. It came after Shure dropped the previous M92E which was targeted at the audiophiles. Though sharing some of the M92E qualities, the Shure M97×E stands out as a rather clear-sounding phonograph cartridge for hours of quality vinyl home playback without distortion in the least. It is noted for a fairly precise tracking ability, a maximized frequency response range, and a super-rugged body for an investment that lasts longer on the stereo. All of this, Shure was able to achieve on an aluminum stylus cantilever holding on to an elliptical diamond tip both of which are then in turn housed in Shure’s in-house Type 2 low-mass thin-wall body.

Before drilling into the full details of it, take a sneak peek at the accessories that come with this baby here.

Included Accessories

  • Stylus cleaning brush; to keep the stylus tidy always after and before use. It also serves as a mini-file to put your needle back in shape after a long period of usage.
  • Stylus guard; mounting a new cartridge can be tasking a stylus guard. But even Ortofon’s moving magnet line of 2M cartridges doesn’t come with a stylus guard. Seems like Shure is being fair on this one.
  • Mounting hardware; no need to spend the extra bucks on a headshell that may not even fit in. Shure has got you covered. Yay!
  • Headshell screwdriver; other than getting the guide you need for a near-to-perfection installation, your Shure M97×E comes with an installation headshell screwdriver.

While all of that may sound like great news. The bigger picture as illustrated through the next part of this Shure M97×E review is more important.

Sound Quality

You can never go wrong with this rugged-looking phono cartridge for your home stereo or your club turntable where clearness and transparency are the top priorities. Shure M97×E produces pounding bass, warm tremble, and natural vinyl mid. What really contributes to the sonic accuracy is the polished natural gemstone employed as the stylus tip and how lightly the entire cartridge stays on the groove without over-pressure thanks to the light weightiness of 6.6g. Even while sharing the same headroom with most stage stereo cartridges at 20hz to 22, 000hz frequency response range, Shure M97×E mainains a distortion-free production and zero self-talk, all thanks to the 25dB channel separation. Unfortunately, the 4.0mV output voltage has yet to be updated like Ortofon did to their 2M Red which is even a moving magnet just like this one.

 

Tracking Accuracy

The Shure M97×E sits smartly on the groove with a pointed and highly polished 0.2 x 0.7 mil elliptical diamond tip tracking everything that comes its way to give a moving coil semblance. According to Shure’s test, the setup has a trackability of 44cm/s when at 1, 000khz and a trackability of 31cm/s when at 10, 000hz. Meanwhile, though Shure recommends a tracking force of 1.25g, you can play around through the 0.75-1.50g tracking force until you craft the fitting sound quality for the event.

 

Durability

While phono cartridges are generally durable, this Shure M97×E is engineered to be highly rugged, withstanding most of the inevitable knocks that you may throw at it in the club. The body is molded heat-treated aluminum alloy whilst boasting a uniform thickness of 1.0ml throughout the walls enclosing the 20mil space. Likewise, the needle is reasonably thick and short at 0.2 by 0.7mil dimension, packing a lot of mileage on that seemingly short needle.

 

What’s It Best For?

The Shure M97×E phono cartridge is quite a dynamic one. However, Shure recommends it as a spinning and scratching cartridge for the DJs. But if you’re buying for your home’s turntable or shopping around for the right needle for your club’s turntable. You can never go wrong with this.

 

Be that as it may, in the next section, I will highlight the complete features, pros, and cons of this cartridge to guide your purchase decision. Hop in.

Features of Shure M97×E

  • Frequency response range; 20hz to 22, 000hz
  • Output voltage; 0mV
  • Mounting type; half-inch mount
  • Cartridge type; moving magnet
  • Tracking force range; 75g to 1.5g
  • Maximum trackability; 44cm/s at 1,000hz
  • Minimum trackability; 31cm/s at 10, 000hz
  • Stylus type; heat-treated low-mass aluminum alloy
  • Stylus tip; polished natural elliptical diamond
  • Stylus size; 2ml by 0.7ml
  • Channel separation; 25dB at 1, 000hz
  • Overall weight; 6g

To the next part…

Pros 

  • Rugged body made to last
  • Ideal for scratching and spinning for the DJs
  • Lightweight
  • Great sound quality
  • High trackability at high and mid frequencies
  • Reasonable output voltage
  • Easy to install
  • It comes with everything you need to get it up and running
  • It comes with a maintenance cleaning brush
  • A cost-effective replacement phono cartridge
  • The replacement needle is readily available

 Cons 

  • The voltage output needs an update

 

Conclusion

Listening to all the hypes around a musical appliance or an instrument as a whole can be deceiving. Most of the time, taking the pain to make a thorough research is all you need to escape being disappointed. And so far in this Shure M97×E review, I have explained everything you need for a guided purchase decision. I hope this helps you at least.ß

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