By Todd Anderson on May 2, 2018 at 9:13 AM
  1. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    Jan 20, 2017
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    Balt/Wash Metro
    The Hits Keep Coming: Shure to Discontinue Its Phono Line

    (Shure) Shure's $109 Whitelabel DJ Record Needle

    (May 2, 2018) Iconic staples of the physical media world continue to erode away, with Shure’s Phonograph Cartridge product category being the latest to disappear. Beginning Summer 2018, Shure will no longer produce phono products. That means the company’s current catalog of six needles and cartridges (ranging from the $59 SC35C to the $109 Whitelabel DJ Record Needle) will slowly melt into the history books as stock is no longer refreshed.

    According to Shure’s press statement, the decision to ax its phono offerings is largely due the company’s inability to maintain “exacting standards.” Whether that means parts are increasingly difficult to source, costs have risen, or sales are no longer able to support production (perhaps a combination of the three?), isn’t clearly defined.

    “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.”

    The company is not shutting its doors, however, as it will continue to support its various lines of professional and commercial audio equipment, along with consumer grade headphone and earbud models.

    Shure first opened for business in 1925 as a radio parts wholesaler, eventually entering the phono world during 1933. The company claims its phonograph market dominance officially arrived in 1946, as it became the largest cartridge supplier in the United States. According to Mark Settle of, the loss of Shure’s M44-7 cartridges and needles will be felt throughout the DJ vinyl world, but the resulting void will quickly be filled by offerings from companies such as Ortofon.
    #1 Todd Anderson, May 2, 2018
    Last edited: May 2, 2018


Discussion in 'AV Industry News' started by Todd Anderson, May 2, 2018.

    1. Matthew J Poes

      Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
      Staff Member

      Oct 18, 2017
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      Sadly this is no surprise. I had heard it was possible that this might happen. I had a conversation about building phono cartridges and they had told me that none of the parts are off the shelf anymore, everything has to be custom made, and many of the old machinery used to make the parts were no longer serviceable. The suggestion was that many of these companies needed to build custom machines to build new cartridges, and the cost was such that this would make the cartridges very high. The person that I was talking about builds cartridges and suggested he couldn't offer cheap cartridges anymore and was eliminating a lower end line due to lack of cheap parts of good quality.
      Thankfully there are a handful of companies still making inexpensive cartridges who (as far as I know) have full control over their production right now.
    2. Tony V.

      Tony V. Moderator
      Staff Member

      Apr 14, 2017
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      Edmonton, AB, Canada
      The writing was on the wall, even with the resurgence of LPs its unlikely that there would be enough demand for these any more. I replaced my cartage with a Sure a few years back and I think Ive spun about 20 LPs since then.

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