The last LP cartridges are rolling off the line

The last LP cartridges are rolling off the line


norman lebrecht

May 01, 2018

A statement from Shure Products:

For more than 90 years, Shure has been committed to manufacturing and delivering products of the highest quality, reliability, and value.  This commitment requires consistency in materials, processes, and testing, as well the capacity to react to fluctuations in demand.

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. 

Given our decades-long history of participation in the Phono category, we recognize that this decision may come as a disappointment to our channel partners and end users. 



  • Bill says:

    Another bit of click-bait here. The headline implies that Shure is the only producer of phono cartridges. It is not.

  • kuoirad says:

    You could always go buy from Grado Labs –

    Given their reputation in the headphone space, I would hope that their cartridges are also top notch.

    • Cubs Fan says:

      Grado carts are excellent, just like the headphones. As a dinosaur who occasionally listens to LPs (for no really good reason) I keep several carts on hand, but Shure lost the competition 40 years ago or so when Ortofon, Grado, and some other higher end manufacturers offered better sound. I keep two Shures nearby, and I don’t think they make them anymore – but the M90 is really good for playing old 78s and pre-microgroove mono LPs.

  • Don Hohoho says:

    The problem is installing those cartridges yourself. That requires some skill.

  • Bill says:

    Shure used to be the leader in phono cartridges back in the day, but their current offerings were middling at best. There is still a good supply of manufacturers that produce high quality phono cartridges out there, or get yourself a vintage Shure V15 type III and you’re good to go.

  • Michael Smith says:

    I’m more of a Linn man myself.

  • Allen says:

    Had a look at the Grado website out of curiosity: “These series of wooden cartridges are a fixed coil design, hand-crafted at our labs from a specially selected species of mahogany. An intricate procedure of curing is done between production steps to achieve optimal sonic quality.”

    Made me think, do studio microphones at the start of the recording chain also use “a specially selected species of mahogany”? If not why not? And, for that matter, do studios use miles of exotic cable costing ££££ per M?

    The answer, I suggest, is that studio equipment is bought by level headed engineers who are not taken in by overpriced snake oil claims.

  • Carl says:

    one of the saddest days in the history of UK Hi Fi the young generation will miss the brilliant sound coming from them, but they are still selling in the us why?? a huge loss

    • Cubs Fan says:

      Huh? I learn more about new developments in audio gear from reading BBC Music magazine than any US publication. And some of the best gear is being made in the UK. Best speakers (B&W) I’ve ever owned and my Creek cd player/amp are just fantastic. There are some US makers, all very high end. But I know what you mean about the younger set not knowing just how good a proper system can make music sound. Those cheap ear buds playing compressed files from their phones is such a set back. They don’t even want a system if it’s free. I replaced my 10 year old surround sound system (Onkyo, Paradigm) and the kids didn’t want any of it. Those huge speakers take up too much room, and the system is too complicated. But I’m a dinosaur.