View Full Version : TD 145 / Shure v15 type IV DILEMA

06-15-2012, 12:12 AM
Found this yesterday. It hadn't been played since the late 80's. Hey it's real cherry and spun up and did it's little lift/stop trick and made noise both channels so I figured it was good enough to go.
Today went to adjust the weight/force and no matter what I did it sounded like pure doodoo all distorted and humming and wouldn't stay in the groove or on any particular track. Just skipped and skated. I took the headshell / cartridge to my tech and he scoped the stylus and said it looked really good and the coils tested fine. So I tried it again and no luck.
Decided to try to completely rule out the Shure so I R&R'd it to a Pioneer and actually got it to play without distortion although it was touchy and didn't have alot of punch.
Finally I put a cheapo AT cartridge from a Technics/MCS on the Thorens and it sounds really great. I mean reeeeealy great. lots of guts and stable too.
I thought those Shures were supposed to be great stuff. I'm reluctant to buy a new stylus for it in case it's actually the cartridge that's no good.
Any thoughts about this scenario or on the Shure V15 type IV cartridges???

06-15-2012, 12:19 AM
I guess the stylus is bad.

Ben aka MacKat

06-15-2012, 12:37 AM
Just thought I'd ask: when you set the tracking weight on a Shure V15 Type IV and use it with the brush active, you need to ADD 1/2 gram to the tracking weight you really want. If you want to track at one gram, you need to set it at 1.5 grams. If you set it at one gram, your actual tracking weight will be one-half gram, since the first half gram will be "spent" by deflecting the brush. And it won't track at one-half gram.

Despite all that, though, I think the diamond tip has broken off the cantilever so it won't track the groove at all. Did your tech actually take a careful look at the stylus with a magnifier or microscope? Often a "fleeting glance" will miss this kind of damage.

06-15-2012, 07:08 AM
My guess would be the suspension has collapsed. I think the V15-IV is one of the super high complaince types. Does it look like the cartridge is riding really low on the record with the tracking weight set correctly ?

06-15-2012, 07:41 AM
Right I set tracking weight with and without the brush active and to the high and low side of that even.

No doesn't ride "low". Actually the cantilever seems quite stiff.

I've heard about rubber inside getting hard and / or cracking. That would seem to make a cartridge "toast".

06-15-2012, 07:52 AM
You can try a product "Rubber Renue" search past threads and you will find where others have had success with this on older Shure styli

06-15-2012, 08:36 AM
Sounds worthwhile but I'm not seeing it.
Anybody? source or experience with rubber renue?
So pardon my ignorance. Is the rubber part of the stylus or the cartridge??

06-15-2012, 08:58 AM
Try this

and there are several others. Just type Rubber Renue at the top ot the forum in the search this forum box

06-15-2012, 09:01 AM
This is a source with free shipping

06-15-2012, 09:12 AM
I concur with GP49. Listen to him, he knows his stuff!! This sounds like a bad tip, not a rubber suspension problem.

Anytime I have been involved in a similar situation, it's because the diamond stylus tip was chipped, extremely worn, or missing altogether. A rubber suspension issue wouldn't be this extreme, based on my own experiences.

06-15-2012, 10:03 AM
Seminole54 ! Thanks for being so helpful. Bottle on the way.

I think I'll try the "better living through chemistry" approach but in the meantime I'll take the stylus to the lab at work and look at it with my own eyes. Very powerful microscopes there.
If it's bad it's bad and a new stylus will be next.

I used to use a bit of brake fluid to swell up the seal on a power steering pump. It works but the seal gets addicted to it and you have to keep doing it.
Also heard of using brake fluid on a stiff speaker surround. Never tried that one. Heard that one is temporary too.

Either way a stylus is probably inevitable. But if the dope works at least I'll know that the cartridge is OK.. That's my feeble plan. Thanks for the input people!!!
Meantime this Thorens is going to get a workout and that's a fun thing. I'm going to try it with Dynaco/Khorns today.

06-15-2012, 10:07 AM
It made me feel confident that this "Rubber Renue" was available from a Pro Audio Supplier and not,,,
A tire store or,,,,,a pharmacy:D

06-15-2012, 10:19 AM
Own and enjoy a Shure V-15-IV with both the JICO SAS stylus and a couple of original VN4G conical LP styli - loaded properly (47-60? K -250pF or slightly more ) and in a LOW mass arm - wonderful sound and tracks everything. I use SME series 3 arms for this cart with fluid dampening and no brush at 1 gram VTF.
The cart body is probably fine ( your tech has checked the coils with a ohmmeter already -this is the only thing within the cart body itself that can fail - unless someone's damaged the stylus opening by jamming the wrong stylus assembly into it at some point ?) - so -OLD Shure V-15 IV/V/Ultra 500 styli can have the following issues : 1.) the obvious- as other's have stated- tip is worn out or fractured/damaged. Few stereo techs ever had the 200 power microscope required to actually inspect a stylus tip - most of us had something that allowed us to at least determine if the diamond was still there -worthwhile information- but by the time we saw a worn stylus - it had been badly worn for years ?thousands of plays ? 2.) The brushes on the Shure's really were damped - this has failed on both of my VN4G's - so I run them with the brush locked up. This dynamic stabilizer failure can take two forms : a.) pivot has become stiff - this will really screw up the styluses performance.b.) loose - no dampening. This will still help clean the record of loose dust -but the high compliance cart/styluses ability to work well mechanically with higher mass arms is gone at this point. 3.) Is there any chance you have too much capacitance here ? Most common way to screw up this way is long high capacitance phono leads used to extend the RCA cables from the TT/arm. Shure carts run into very high capacitance's (beyond Shure's spec) will sound pretty awful.
Final point : You really have to work at it to damage a cart body - but if you decide to use rubber renew or any other liquid elixir to treat your stylus - PLEASE - do this with the stylus assembly removed from the cart body so that no liquid can get into the carts body. Let the solvent completely evaporate before you re-install the stylus assembly into the cart body.
For what it's worth - I'd rank a JICO SAS stylus in a Shure V-15 body as at least in the top ten of MM carts available today - regardless of price.

06-15-2012, 11:51 AM
And that's good stuff about the cart.
Have a couple steroscopic microscopes at work up to 1000x or more.
The cart/stylus has led a sheltered life with the OP stashed in a cabinet.
I hope the love potion works so I can buy a JICO.
OK I won't soak the cartridge in snake oil overnight.
One Thousand ThankYous

06-15-2012, 06:34 PM
I was in a similar situation with my type IV when I went to use it after sitting unused for 25 years. When I first went to use it, the output was very low, very distorted and it tracked very poorly with the stylus occasionally popping out of the groove. I tried the Rubber Renue treatment and the difference was like night and day. The one thing I noticed was that the treatment needed to be repeated in order to maintain decent performance. But like yourself, I was mostly interested in knowing if the cartridge body was still good before going for a SAS. You'll most likely find that your cartridge body is fine. I haven't gone for a SAS yet but it's on my list of things to do.

As mentioned earlier, make sure that you remove the stylus assembly from the body first before applying the Rubber Renue. You can use a tooth pick or something similar to carefully apply a couple of drops at the base of the cantilever. Allow it to dry completely before reinstalling the stylus in the body. Good luck!

06-19-2012, 11:54 AM
The stylus dope worked. Just like the previous poster said. "Like Night and Day".
I've played both sides of three different records and they track perfectly beginning cue to end lift.
I used the eye of a sewing needle to apply it.
First I tried it on a fat rubber band just to see it in action. I dipped the RB in it and watched it closely. The stuff just sucks into the rubber very quickly and disappears. The rubber band is slightly swollen in that area but less than 5% bigger. I didn't have any affect on it's strength. Even this morning the rb is very strong with no sign of weakness in the area of the application.
So now I'll wait for the effect to wear off,,, re-apply,,, to see if the stylus is truly "Chemically Dependent".

07-08-2012, 03:56 PM
I've applied the Rubber Renue a few times and the stylus suspension wakes up each time but it seems a bit less each time. Also I think the effect lasts a shorter time now. From about 3 days down to 2 days.
I thought the cartridge sounded pretty good. BUT,,,, I aquired another v15/4 cart and stylus. Pulled the stylus and transfered it to my original cartridge and the difference is very remarkable. The new (to me) stylus sounds and acts way better.
So safe to say....Mackat :yes: The stylus is bad.
I'll save up for a replacement. Hopin' JICO SAS

10-26-2012, 05:52 PM
I am really happy to have found this forum! Thanks for all the great advice on the Shure cartridges.
I am in the process of sort of resurrecting old equipment I bought in the late 1960s and 1970s. Among my old clunkers is a Marantz SLT-12u; which I have also been reading about.
Much to my surprise I found the cartridge in it is a Shure V15 type IV. I thought it was a type II. I must have replaced it years ago.
I have not tried using it yet as the mat is long gone; I will try a piece of felt and some rubber cement I guess.
I looked long and hard at the needle and it seems to have been bent or something; it does not stick down very far from the body of the cartridge when installed. It is as though the shaft which holds the diamond is pushed up; it does not look bent though.
Is that the kind of situation the rubber renew product mentioned would help?
David Jackson

10-26-2012, 06:13 PM
What a lot of fuss and bother about trying to use a thirty year old stylus. Just buy a new one and start over. I don't usually use the brush down with my V15 IV, since it can make the stylus skittish by lessening the downforce. You can get excellent styli from JICO or buy an EVG made by JICO (not as refined) from Carole's Needles on thr Bay. LP Gear has a good selection as well and sells JICO. Do it.

10-27-2012, 09:37 AM
I don't usually use the brush down with my V15 IV, since it can make the stylus skittish by lessening the downforce.

Not trying to be snarky or a smart-a$$, but you do realize you're supposed to add half a gram to the tracking force and anti-skate target you're shooting for to compensate for the damper, right? Meaning, to track at one gram with the dynamic stabilizer "in," you have to balance and set the tonearm's VTF and anti-skate for 1.5 grams.

A properly set-up and balanced Shure cartridge with the dynamic stabilizer "in play" shouldn't ever be skittish across the record. I've used the IV and the VMR since their introductions and have never seen it be "skittish" on any of my table/arm combinations. If it is, there's something wrong somewhere else IMO.

10-27-2012, 09:53 AM
I have found that really old (and a type 4 NOS stylus is) Shure Dynamic stabilizer can be slightly less effective on VERY warped records with the brush down. The reason is that with age the "goop" that provides the very slight dampening needed for this design either dries up and becomes stiff/sticky or produces no dampening at all. Personally - I have never encountered the stiff problem - but the too loose/no dampening problem seems common at this late date. Cure is pretty simple -simply lock it up and track at the "no dynamic stabilizer" VTF .
To test the damper - you should be able to very gently and carefully - move the brush to it's top ( but not locked/latched position and let it drop) - it should take between 1 and three seconds to drop. I have a NE-111HE that works this way and it's great. The V-15-IVG styli I have all drop immediately - no percievable delay - I run these latched up at 1 gram and they sound great and in low mass arms tackle anything I've ever thrown at them. If I was using medium or higher mass arms the lack of dynamic stabilizer function might make a big (negative) difference.

10-27-2012, 08:06 PM
@emppirelvr-yes, i am quite aware of it and I also have an M97He with the same arrangement. Sometimes you have to use more downforce than you really want to-it depends on how "compliant" the brush is, especially on replacement styli that adon't work as well. Sometimes original or NOS brushes have become stiff over the years-like some of us.

10-28-2012, 01:52 AM
how and to what does one apply Rubber Renew to on a cartridge?