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In the Forum: Analog Playback
In the Thread: Buying a last cartridge.
Post Subject: Shelter against Shelter: I do not trust to anythingPosted by Romy the Cat on: 1/30/2012

 N-set wrote:
I'm wondering if the current 901mkII holds the candle? (...which would be against the industry practice, but...)
It can be gotten for $1500 in some japanese online shops, but there does not seem to be much feedback around.
N-set, it is hard to say. I dealt with Shelter 901 in 1999, it was time when it was just begin to show up in US market. Before the version 501 was available re-branded by a US salesperson who was pushpin it for $2500. I bought my 901 in 2000 in Tokyo and at that time they sold 901 for $800 and 501 for $400, in US the prices were doubled.  It is 12 years passed by from then and only God know is the today 901 has any resemblance to what was 12 years back. Mind you that since then Shelter made a few other models of cartridges: MK II for each of the formerly existing and also 90x , 5000, 7000, 9000 and Harmony MC. All of them are presumably more superior to 901, at least more expensive.

The problem is that no one, at least among the people I might trust has any area about absolute truth regarding Shelter. People might get some relative truth regarding one of another cartridge but they are not able to grasp the thinks all together. I spoke with Shelter US distributor who suppose to know something about Shelters and he was absolute idiot, not only ignorant on the subject but not even able to support a conversation about cartridges, I think I have written about it before.

It is possible that more advanced version of Shelter, after the 901, are better and it is also possible that they are worse. I have seen a few years back some kind of US publication when they compare the Shelter 901 to 90x and 900 and found that the newer version worthy. I do not remember what it was but there were in there also some contradiction in the article that made me to discard the findings.

The most important question would be however: how Shelter holds it absolute level of quality/sound. Let pretend that they took the 12 year old 901 cartridge and rename if to the Shelter 9000 with price tag of $5000. Then they took the old 501 cartridge and re-name it to 901. With the industry that has no quality control and no reviewing control then can get away from absolutely anything and have no liability for what they do. I do know some manufactures who absolutely intentionally secretly dropped the performance level of the existing on-going products since the products had developed a reputation. It was not just a “drop in sound” but it was a drop from being absolutely one of the kind super-products to be juts garbage that deserved to be wasted. There is nothing prohibitive for Shelter to do the same, nowadays they can make the any Shelter for $3.59 per cartridge in china and write on the cartridge body any numbers they want. 

I am not accusing Shelter for going juts hat but I know that whatever fuck up might be made by the industry will be made by the industry. so, I would not trust to any cartridge by any bran or any model and would be evaluation myself the very specific cartridge I want to by. I remember what I was buying my current Jubilee I was getting it from VERY reputed company – not high you can go in reputation and stability of results as Otofone? So, I still got two cartridges with two different sounds.

So, I personally do not believe anything ever told about cartridges and I do not believe that cartridges might be described by brand or by model. I would say even 10-15 years ago it was but nowadays cartridges pool is a jangle and I have zero trust to anybody and to anything. The only thing that makes me gratefully in all of it that I am not in cartridges market….

The Cat

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