Purchased a used Shure V15 Type IV cartridge, looking for stylus

I purchased a used Shure V15 IV with a NOS stylus but I believe it is an aftermarket as it does not say Shure across the stylus, but it does have the dampening brush. I have looked at the Jico replacement stylus’s and am leaning towards the one with Boron cantilever and super elliptical stylus. I believe Jico is getting around $280.00 give or take.

LA Gear also sells a stylus for much less as well as many sellers on flea bay. I hear that the higher end Jico stylus with the ruby canteliver has a tipped up high end and Jico claims their stylus with the Boron canteliver is closest to the original with the Berellium stylus. Since I can’t listen or try before I buy, I am looking for anyone with experience on this. The cartridge should arrive on Wednesday and a new headshell and mounting hardware should be here by Saturday.

Of course I will try with the supposedly NOS stylus but most likely 99% sure I will buy a replacement just for the peace of mind. Looking for knowledge and answers from those that know.  I only paid $140 for the cartridge and owned one back in the day (1978) and always loved the sound of it.  This will be a third cartridge so it won’t be in use all the time.  Thanks.


Any of the options you mention will work great with your Shure V15 Type IV cartridge. All but the NOS will sound different, but still great. Keep in mind that the V15 is an "old school" MM cartridge design: thicker in the midrange and rolled off a bit on the top and lower end. That's wonderful, assuming that's the sound profile you're looking for. More modern cartridge designs may be a bit more extended and balanced.

There was a great discussion about this topic on vinylengine a few years ago. Here's a link Which Stylus for a Shure V15 IV?


this, from Stereophile review of Shure V15V IV about Shure’s DAMPED brush

"The Damping Brush
The V15-IV is equipped with a small, fine-bristled brush mounted directly in front of the stylus and pivoted via damped hinges. The pickup can be used either with the brush raised and locked out of the way, or lowered so that the brush rides in the grooves. The brush is supposed to serve two purposes: To hold the cartridge directly over the average groove path, and to absorb warped-disc undulations. The result is a reduction in inward pull (due to the arm’s offset angle), effective damping of the arm/cartridge resonance in both the horizontal and vertical planes, and reduction of spurious subsonic interference as a result of warps and groove eccentricities. Not surprisingly, it is highly effective in accomplishing its goals; surprisingly perhaps, it does these things without producing a trace of background noise due to the brush’s contact with the disc—normally."


Jico Shure replacements have a brush, but they are NOT DAMPED. Like Shure’s you can play with it up or down.

My Shure V15VxMR body, (I broke the beryllium) I use a Jico SAS on Boron Cantilever, non-damped brush, use up or down.

I got clever, bought a Shure 97xe (my favorite Elliptical) with a damped brush. Had Steve at VAS re-fit it with an advanced stylus on boron. Now I am the only person I have heard of with 97xe with an advanced stylus. AND, it fits my Shure V15Vxmr body! Thus I can have a damped brush on either V15Vxmr body or 97xe body.


There is no way I would buy an Elliptical for your cartridge, the performance of the body's magnet ... separation, channel balance will be retained, and the advantages of an advanced stylus shape are gained. I use the same light tracking force the Shure’s have, also advantageous for both stylus and groove wear.

AND I will not use or pay for anything stiffer than Boron, they are too delicate. I have a vintage Sumiko Talisman with Sapphire cantilever, my 75 year old hands are very careful messing with it.



If I use the brush, what do I set tracking at? If I want to track at 1.5 grams, do I add .5 grams for the brush or just leave it at 1.5G?

Yes, brush down, you add .5 grams to tracking weight measurement, move brush up for measurement: measure 2.0 grams, brush down, you will get 1.5 grams. (Shure calculated that the brush pushes up .5g)

Thus you set anti-skate at 1.5 grams, not 2.0.

I use the blank side of an LP to set anti-skate visually, you can check it when playing a warped LP with the brush dn, re-check when playing with the brush up, the majority of the time. Don’t trust the anti-skate dials, you will find that they are not accurate most of the time.

Down for anti-static even if LP not warped? You can check, see if it makes a difference, if so, play with it down, make above measurements

search Amazon:

Hudson Hi-Fi Turntable Cartridge Alignment Protractor Mat (Single-Sided Print, no Strobe Included)


I went for the Jico SAS with Boron cantilever for my Shure V15 Type 3. Sounds great to my ears. Tracks like a dream. I am using a vintage Pioneer 707 table and am getting excellent vintage results. It sounds just like I remember the hi end systems sounding in the 70s.

I am using the Jico Boron SAS stylus on a Shure V15 IV, and find it a very satisfying replacement. Measuring the response with pink noise and the REW RTA, I am able to get a very flat response. Tracking is good, although not quite as good as with the original stylus.

With all respect to Elliot, who is a knowledgeable Audiogon contributor, I'm not a fan of using a brush mounted on any cartridge, for the following reasons:

1. it screws up the geometry of the cartridge and makes azimuth adjustment almost impossible. This wasn't a major factor when the V15 series was first introduced, but it is now.

2. Some turntables, mostly belt drives with "low-noise" (aka low powered) motors will not spin at the precisely correct speed with the brush attached.

3. Unless the brush is cleaned often, your you will hear more noise as dirt get accumulated into the grooves. It's a resolvable issue but it's also a PITA.

4. In dry/low humidity conditions, brushes can build up a considerable amount of static on the record surface, also contributing to noisy play.

Best to skip the brush, IMO.

br3098, On balance, I wouldn't use the brush either.  But if your motor is THAT weak that the brush slows down the platter, then we are in trouble.  Most weak motor BD TTs are designed with massive platters; the designer wants the inertia of the platter per se to be the major factor in holding constant speed.  I would have thought that properly designed BD TTs with motors that are intentionally weak would not be affected at all by the brush. Have you had the opposite experience? On all other points, I agree, except as regards the importance of azimuth in the good old days.  I guess you are suggesting that elliptical styli are less fussy about azimuth. The other factor is that most of us never thought much about azimuth in those good old days, because we couldn't adjust for it even if we had.

My Technics SL 1200G is a direct drive so there will never be a problem of the brush slowing the turntable speed.  I have decided that I will listen to the cartridge when I receive it first.  It presently has a NOS VN4G stylus which is a cheap alt.  Once I have verified the cartridge actually works, I will then purchase the Jico SAS with the Boron cantilever.  

I was leaning towards that stylus before I made the original post, but you guys sealed the deal for me, thanks all so very much.  

The brush would have to weigh about 10 lbs before it would affect the speed of the 1200G (Hyperbole intended).

I use a Shure V-15 III that I bought nearly 50 years ago. For the last eight years I have equipped it with JICO SAS styli (two in that time period) and have been very pleased with them. It is mounted into an SME 3009 II. The V-15 III needs more of a capacitance load than most MM carts, like 400-500pf, and that of course influences the top end considerably. I took the best estimates of arm cabling and the "Y" adapter I use to connect caps in front of the phono pre, load the "Y" with 200pf, and adjust the rest with the phono pre (Schiit Skoll). The net is approaching 500pf and the top end is detailed without being shrill or hyped. The SAS tip geometry can tend to collect crap from the disc surface easily so cleaning both regularly is a good idea.



you make some good points.

many of the new LPs I buy surprisingly have minor warps, brush not needed if minor, but some existing LPs with real warps you want the brush. A quickie adjustment of tracking force and anti-skate needed.

anti-static/keep it clean:

IF it takes static away, that’s worth using it. No advantage, use it up. If it picks up stuff, then the LP is not that clean, the air is full of tiny dust you can only see when in a sunbeam, or a new stylus that goes deeper in the groove is ’digging’ junk out of the grooves that elliptical shapes don’t reach. Next play, less junk to dig out. IF that happens, clean your stylus thouroughly. Next: clean your old LPs more aggressively.

I scrub the heck out of my old lps with a baby scalp brush


Keeping the cartridge brush clean, easy when you have steady hands, gotta be more careful these days, I clean the brush with the styus cleaning brush.

Having good light and a mirror to see/reflect light makes the job easier, you can see if whatever got off the stylus or brush.

I use a makeup magnifier mirror, this one from Amazon seems clever. I cannot post links, just copy and paste this in Amazon search

30X Magnifying Mirror, Small Magnifying Mirror with Suction Cup and Tweezers, As a Travel Mganifying Mirror, Compact Mirror Set for Plucking Eyebrows 3.5 Inches

gotta love the mispelling

And a lamp with light coming in from the side, off/dimmer/on/off to have no hum risk. Remove the suction cups, place/leave the mirror under the stylus when in the rest, then you can tilt the mirror this way and that, lift the arm, light on, easily see what is where.

Elliptical stylus are definitely ’less fussy’, what that really means: the advanced stylus shapes (SAS, Shibata, Geyer, Van den Hul, Microline ....i.e., close to cutter blade shape) are very important to get right in ALL respects. Azimuth very important to get in/down in the groove. Better get the anti-skate right!

I agree, a brush should not slow a platter down.

Gents, I agree that using a brush shouldn't affect the platter speed. This isn't a universal problem. Yet there are a few turntable designs when this can happen. I used to be a dealer for Pear Audio Blue turntables. They are a Tom Fletcher design, like the Nottingham line. Really great decks. One of their features was belt drive using a low torque motor, designed to just keep the mass loaded platter spinning at the proper speed. You started and stopped the platter rotation by hand. It's not a problem, in fact I found it to be a brilliant and simple method to limit noise. It worked. But I wouldn't want to introduce any significant drag on the platter with  turntables of this and similar designs.