I purchased the SHURE M95ED simply because I was tired of hearing so much about it. Everyone knows Shure but not everyone actually uses them. Personally, I’d chosen to stick to other phono cartridge brands and I was pleased. However, despite my contentment, my love and the good reviews about the SHURE M95ED that I kept hearing forced me to make a purchase.
This post contains a detailed review of my experience with the SHURE M95ED. Here, you’ll find out what I thought of the SHURE M95ED before using it and after using it.
The SHURE M95ED wasn’t easy to get. In fact, it took quite some time for me to get my hands on one. With how wildly popular it is, one would have expected that it would have been everywhere. However, that isn’t quite the case- or perhaps, I picked a week where everyone was out of stock.
Eventually, I got one on an exchange. It was in mint condition and so I was pretty happy. In addition, it is pretty affordable. It cost under a hundred dollars and for quality, that definitely is a bargain. I definitely hoped that it would have the quality I was promised.
I was definitely happy and excited to unbox the SHURE M95ED. I liked the feel in my hands and although that was purely based on my high expectations, I welcomed it. It had a vintage look to it. A little bit of research showed that it has been around for quite a while. It dates back to the 1970s. I was even doubly excited because a large percent of my great experiences are from classics.
Of course, the first thing was to check out the features of the cartridge. The features are a great way to know what to expect and from a far glance to know if it is worth your time. The SHURE M95ED definitely looks good from afar. Let’s get started!
Tracking Force Range: 0.75 g -1.5 g
The SHURE M95ED’s tracking force goes as low as .75g and as high as 1.5 g. for a perfect middle, ground, most people would stick to 1.25. For the range, it is quite lightweight. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as too much force is actually a bad thing. If there is too much force, there could very well be a distortion. This is obviously not a problem we’ll encounter with the SHURE M95ED.
However, too much tracking force isn’t the only problem that one can have with a phono cartridge. If the tracking force is too little, you won’t enjoy the purity and depth of the audio. It could come off too crisp.
Recommended Range: 400 pF-500 pF
The capacitive load of the M95ED was capped at 400-500pF. One of the things you’ll notice if you fiddle around with various ranges is that it actually sounds good on quite a wide range of loads. This is a great thing as it hints that irrespective of your phono pre-amp, there’s a good chance that the SHURE M95ED will work splendidly for you. The wide range ensures that you would likely get the right setting for your system. However, you’ll find that they are quite specific about not setting the capacitive load past the recommended range.
Dynamic Compliance: –
The curious thing about the SHURE M95ED is that no matter how much I researched, I couldn’t seem to get an exact value of the compliance. After checking several websites and catalogs, I decided to give up. However, something that is even more interesting is its rep for its high compliance. This means that even if no one knows the exact compliance, everyone who has used it can testify to its high compliance- myself included.
The M95ED is suitable for medium-mass tonearms and as research proved, even low-mass tonearms.
The SHURE M95ED proved to be an interesting device to test. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Next, I moved on to sound tests and as you can imagine, I had quite high expectations. However, I kept the price in mind and entertained just the littlest margin of doubt.
Sound tests are my favorite parts of records. It is quite amazing how the same record can sound different depending on the cartridge or system you use. Of course, the SHURE M95ED’s rep preceded it and so, I knew that it wouldn’t be a waste of time. What I didn’t know was if I would love it.
In summary, sound tests simply have to do with testing the sound quality for the major parts.
Testing the midrange cemented my love for the SHURE M95ED. It had the clarity and beautiful texture that was present in the treble. It sounded amazing with rock and pop records and I suspect that it will be amazing with just about any genre.
The sibilance of the midrange was expertly handled, making it an enjoyable test. The SHURE M95ED produces a warm texture for the midrange.
VERDICT: A very enjoyable test. A strong 8.5
Of course, I moved on to testing the treble eagerly. My first impression of it was how clear and distinct it was. It was especially soft and easy on the ears. It combines clarity and distinctiveness with an airy feel that is hard to forget. It was hard to think of a genre that wouldn’t sound awesome with the SHURE M95ED.
Without a doubt, it delivers a quality treble sound that one instantly falls in love with. Although one could say that the softness was expected as Shure cartridges almost always have that quality, it didn’t reduce m pleasure and finding in present in this very cartridge.
Lastly, it was time to test the bass. I was extremely happy to hear the punch that bass sounds should have. It was in the right balance; not so deep that it overshadowed everything and not too hollow that it is almost non-existent. Its depth was just right.
Its texture was remarkable and enjoyable. Even when the rhythm was fast, it didn’t become a deep mess or overshadow the rest of the melody. I blended perfectly with the midrange as well as the treble. In all, it made it quite nice to listen to.
For fans of drums and lead guitars, you’re in for a real treat. It exposes the true depth and richness that most of us look for.
Without a doubt, the SHURE M95ED does its job brilliantly. It gives distinctiveness to each sound whilst blending everything perfectly. It is very easy to understand why it has so many fans.
- It features a warm and textured midrange with superb clarity
- The bass packs a punch without being too much. It is amazing if you really like to hear the bass in your music
- The treble has clarity that features top quality. It was expected but still very appreciated.
- If the record is way too edgy, you mightn’t like it. (Although, that’s hardly the fault of the cartridge)
If you use records frequently, you’ll know that while the sound is the most important part of phono cartridges, other things matter. For the sound, almost everything is perfect. It has wonderful treble, midrange, and bass distinctiveness. Let’s look at the pros and cons that have to do with more than the sound. Let’s begin!
The SHURE is definitely one of my favorite phono cartridges. It is quality and affordable. If you are a lover of good and balanced music, look no further.
The SHURE M95ED is definitely an improvement from other phono cartridges in the series. If you’re on a search for the right cartridge to deliver quality and balance, look no further than this phono cartridge.