Shelter 501 Review By The Analog Dept.
Extended natural highs. Liquid, slightly warm and very melodic mids. Detailed and textured bass that is perhaps just slightly lighter than some would prefer, but bass is delivered in texture and detail, honestly and without any artificial emphasis. Shelter 501 Review By aM Hardware
The Shelter does many things right. It brings the music alive in a way that many cartridges don’t. It does not add any noticeable colorations. Its errors are errors of omission, rather than ones of commission. The choice of a cartridge is a highly personal decision. You need to audition several cartridges until you find one that meets your tastes. If it is in your price range, the Shelter 501 II cartridge should also be added to your audition list. Roger S. Gordon Shelter 501 Review By 10 Audio
The 501 is very musical. It is somewhat more dynamic and has better response in the low bass and upper treble than the classic Koetsus. It is easily in the same league as the Helikon, Frog, better Benzs, etc. I prefer it to the vdH Black Beauty ($5k) that I owned for two years, as it is less sterile and more involving. The rating below is really not fair to this fine performer, and it forces the comparison with cartridges costing significantly more. The 501 deserves a 10 LP rating in its price class, which is really $1500-$2000 cartridges. Compared to the best, though, it earns a respectable 7 LPs. Shelter 501 Review By TNT
Now a wide, open, grand stage isn't everything. It can be generated by fuzzy-sounding phase-anomalies, and at the other side of the spectrum, it can be sharp-etched like a blueprint. Neither of these presentations is, in my opinion, truthful. The Shelter, much like the DL-103, errs to the soft-focus side of things, the Benz being a bit more specific...Dynamically too this cartridge is no slouch. Much like the Denon, in fact, even more so than the Denon, drums thwack out with verve, and the sound is very much more alive and powerful than with the Benz cartridge. The Absolute Sound
Shelter cartridges…have been generating Internet “buzz” as price to performance leaders for well over a year. Let me come right out and say it: The Shelter 501 MK II is the best sub-$1000 cartridge I’ve yet heard. This cartridge has treble air without brightness, transient speed without overshoot, definition without edginess, focus without sterility, and bass weight without any thick or syrupy coloration. Stereophile Recommended Component, Class B
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. (Vol.28 No. 2)