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Shure to end phono cartridge business after 86 years of production

The vinyl revival has given plenty of new and old businesses a fresh lease of life, from Technics turntables to vinyl subscription services, but it seems not everyone is seeing an upturn.

Shure, an American audio company that has been delivering audio products to professionals and punters for more than 90 years, has announced the end of its phono cartridge business. The news was revealed in a statement on the Shure website, and marks the end of a cartridge line that has become an industry standard for DJs.

The statement said Shure relied on "consistency in materials, processes, and testing, as well the capacity to react to fluctuations in demand" in order to deliver products to "exacting standards". This ethos had been "challenged" in recent years, not least by rising costs, and the company was no longer able to deliver products it deemed up to scratch.

"We believe that the proud legacy of Shure Phono is best served by exiting the category rather than continuing production under increasingly challenging circumstances," it concluded.

Shure still produces microphones, headphones and professional sound equipment, and, intriguingly, said it planned to "expand into new markets and product categories for audiophiles".

For now, with Shure cartridges such as the M35X, M44G, M44-7, M97xE and M92E still on sale, if you want a spare cartridge (or two), now is the time to snap up the last products.


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Joe Cox

Joe is Content Director for Specialist Tech at Future and was previously the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across print and online for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung, reported from CES, the Bristol Show and Munich High End for many years, and provided comment for sites such as the BBC and the Guardian. In his spare time he enjoys mixing vinyl and cycling.