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One Channel sounding suppressed in Shure M97XE

haisaikat

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#1
Hello All,
My Shure M97XE reached almost 5 years now, very sparingly used, less than 100 record spins in my opinion. However in between for 3 years I did not use my turntable until last month I resurrected things. While the Shure played well initially but in one of the listening sessions suddenly this problem appeared where one channel is sounding suppressed than the other. I checked after lot troubleshooting that there is lint / dirt stuck on the stylus tip which I cleaned using the cleaner liquid and things started working fine. But yesterday I find the same problem again and even after cleaning the stylus tip the problem persist. Need some help and suggestions, overhang is 52 mm and weight at tip is 1.29 gm (checked with digital weight scale), leads seems to be tight and swapping channels on preamp swapped the amp channels too. Have not checked swapping CNC phono channels though

Any pointers? Some online forums seem to point out that this may be a Shure M97XE problem and option can be to replace it. Suggestions Welcome.
 
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reubensm

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#2
Channel imbalance can be the result of many circumstances but the usual suspects are:

1) tracking issues
2) stylus wear (from your usuage notes, does not seem to be the case)
3) clogged stylus
4) ill fitting stylus or cantilever issues
5) cartridge issues
6) cabling contact issues (the entire circuit from the cartridge pins to amplifier)
7) amplification scenarios (again does not seem to be the case)
8) groove damage on the record (again, you would have tried a different record so not likely to be the case)

From what you've mentioned, I wound narrow down to 4, 5 and 6.

Have you tried another stylus with the same cartridge and circuit? Have you tried another cartridge possibly?
 

haisaikat

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#3
Channel imbalance can be the result of many circumstances but the usual suspects are:

1) tracking issues
2) stylus wear (from your usuage notes, does not seem to be the case)
3) clogged stylus
4) ill fitting stylus or cantilever issues
5) cartridge issues
6) cabling contact issues (the entire circuit from the cartridge pins to amplifier)
7) amplification scenarios (again does not seem to be the case)
8) groove damage on the record (again, you would have tried a different record so not likely to be the case)

From what you've mentioned, I wound narrow down to 4, 5 and 6.

Have you tried another stylus with the same cartridge and circuit? Have you tried another cartridge possibly?
I have recently purchased Nagaoka MP110 from suggestions of @jls001 . Will try that. Why is 1 ruled out?
 

reubensm

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#4
I have recently purchased Nagaoka MP110 from suggestions of @jls001 . Will try that. Why is 1 ruled out?
Assuming that you've checked this as part of your trouble shooting steps, btw this is the most common reason, apart from a clogged stylus and stylus wear, for this circumstance. On another note, i have the same SL3200 turntable and its tonearm tracks like a gem, with minimal calibration effort.

Trying out another cart will help you find answers to a few of these questions :)
 

haisaikat

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#5
Assuming that you've checked this as part of your trouble shooting steps, btw this is the most common reason, apart from a clogged stylus and stylus wear, for this circumstance. On another note, i have the same SL3200 turntable and its tonearm tracks like a gem, with minimal calibration effort.

Trying out another cart will help you find answers to a few of these questions :)
I am out till Sunday will check and report back by Sunday day night. Note that one thing I realised now is that anti skating is set to zero instead of M97XE tracking force of 1.25
 
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#7
It happens with M97XE. I had gone through such kind of experience. One fine day, the cartridge had the same problem. Nothing came in rescue. I took it to the dealer for replacement.
 

The Wall

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#8
These were the serious quality issues that made Shure stop production of their carts
. It is alleged that since they moved their production to Mexico the manufacturing of precision items like carts suffered.
 

haisaikat

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#9
Replaced with Nagaoka MP110, everything running fine now. So it was indeed M97XE that was faulty. Now question if I buy the stylus and fit to the cart will that solve the problem?
 

sunder

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#10
In Mexican plant production, is the only cart M97XE problematic? Is there any complaint about the (Mexico) M44-7, M44G and other carts?
Problem is in the cartridge body or in the stylus part?
 
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Hiten

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#12
In the stylus part of the phono cartridge, it only has diamond, cantilever, elastomer, magnet and sometimes wire to hold all these. There is almost no chance that it will give only one channel output as the magnet will not travel in only one direction so as to give output in only one channel.
Regards.
 

haisaikat

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#14
Its similar discussion and only resolution seems switching to newer / different cart which I have already done.

In the stylus part of the phono cartridge, it only has diamond, cantilever, elastomer, magnet and sometimes wire to hold all these. There is almost no chance that it will give only one channel output as the magnet will not travel in only one direction so as to give output in only one channel.
Regards.
In the thread referenced above it seems that the cantilever may have become damaged. Also sound is produced by 4 axis movement, one channel by side ways (horizontal) and another by vertical movement (up-down), so it may be possible that the suspension / alignment is damaged so as not be able to transmit / detect properly one of the above movements. As such an experiment to replace with spare styli may be a solution, but then again its still 100 USD + so i do not see value add
 

Hiten

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#15
for stereo it will move in two axis perpendicular to (V Shaped) groove wall and for mono horizontal. Vertical component is for stereo only (Perpendicular to opposite groove wall so any stereo music plays in one channel only). My point was even tiny vibrations of magnet will produce sound in both channels. So we can almost certainly rule out the stylus and its component being faulty.
Regards.
 

haisaikat

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#16
for stereo it will move in two axis perpendicular to (V Shaped) groove wall and for mono horizontal. Vertical component is for stereo only (Perpendicular to opposite groove wall so any stereo music plays in one channel only). My point was even tiny vibrations of magnet will produce sound in both channels. So we can almost certainly rule out the stylus and its component being faulty.
Regards.
In fact sounds are produced but one channel is suppressed
 
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#18
Is it possible for you to check the continuity of both the channels of the cart with a multimeter.

The soldering on one of the wires in the cart body might have broken. The resistance of each channel is around 1550 ohm. If there is change in resistance/infinte than the cart is problamatic.

Also check the headshell wires with a magnifying glass or a light tug with a forcep if they are ok If all is ok then the magnet inside/suspension of the stylus has an issue.

Remove the stylus and move the brass cantilever gently with your finger for a few seconds. See how it goes.
 
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Hiten

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#19
checking with multimeter is not good idea. Some say it will damage the coils inside the cartridge.
Regards
 
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