Not a single MC cartridge at this price (or even well above) can capture the midrange magic in your records like the Shelter 501. It is as distinguished in its sound as any cartridge on the market. We always find ourselves throwing on record after record when this cartridge is employed. — NDr., Brian L.
Owners of this wonderful cartridge have said the Shelter 501 III easily fills the sonic shoes of cartridges costing two or three times as much. The 501 III blends its musical presentation with a warm, extremely musical midrange, deep, authoritative bass and a smooth as silk top end. Instruments shine and are easily placed, showing plenty of soul. With a .4mV output and great tracking, the 501 III is stunning.
TAS on the 501
"Each of this Japanese manufacturer's products offers superior sound at a reasonable price. Shelter's 'low-end' model, the 501 Mk III, does everything well - and some things spectacularly well. Its superb three-dimensionality adds spaciousness to recordings seemingly lacking in air and bloom, while its neutral tonal balance, audiophile virtues (resolution, focus, transient speed, extension at both frequency extremes), and cohesiveness make its sound always seem as if it is cut from whole cloth. Shelter's top-of-the-line 90x is ever more impressive, as it should be at its higher price point. What the 90x does better than other high-end cartridges is combine transient speed with rich, fully articulated timbres, so, for example, on plucked violin and guitar strings you don't hear more of the starting transient than you do of the note's steady-state tone and decay. With the 90x you hear each with equal clarity and realism." — Jonathan Valin, TAS
An Ongoing Stereophile Recommended Component
"One step up the Shelter line from the 301, the 501 MK.II ups the 301's output to 0.4mV and adds a 0.3 mil x 0.7 mil nude elliptical diamond stylus. Nearly identical to the $2,650 Crown Jewel SE, which Mikey once owned the 501 MK.II exhibited all of the CJ's sonic characteristics: a warm overall tonal balance with smooth high-frequency extension and solid, authoritative bass response, all completely free of grain and glare. I recommend the Shelter 501 MK.II without hesitation." — Stereophile
Moving Coil (MC) Stereo Phono Cartridge
Output Voltage: 0.4mV at 1kHz 5cm/sec.
Channel Balance: within 1.0dB at 1kHz
Stylus Tip: 0.3x0.7mil Elliptical Nude Diamond
DC Resistance: 12 ohm
Tracking Force Range: 1.4 to 2.0g
Channel Separation at 1 kHz: >25dB
Recommended Load Impedance: When using a Step-up transformer load at 20ohms, Head amplifier or High gain EQ-amplifier load at 100ohms