This didn’t come as a huge surprise to most in the industry, as the company ceased production of its most famous (and most expensive) cartridges several decades ago, and in recent times has manufactured only six phono cartridges, all of which sold for less than US$100 and four of which were designed specifically for DJ use. Only one cartridge was available for audiophiles, the M97xE.
The reason for the discontinuation, according to a statement on Shure’s website: ‘In recent years, the ability to maintain our exacting standards in the Phonograph Cartridge product category has been challenged, resulting in cost and delivery impacts that are inconsistent with the Shure brand promise. In light of these conditions, and after thorough evaluation, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue production of Shure phono products effective Summer 2018.’
Shure will no doubt continue to be famous for its line of microphones, headphones, wireless products and personal monitor systems, but any old-timers who remember their Shure V15 (any variant) with fondness are permitted to shed a tear in memory of it.
But if this news story prompts existing Shure owners to wonder where they might obtain a replacement stylus for it, you can get an exact replacement from Ed Saunders. (He has them available for most Shure cartridges.)
This means that if you think it’s a good time to pick up a Shure V15 Type IV on Ebay (they usually go for around $150 for the body only), you’ll be able to own a good-as-new Shure V15 Type IV for around $300 by buying the body second-hand and adding a new stylus from Ed Saunders. Pretty good when a NOS version (if you can find one) sells for around $1,000.