May 1st, 2018 will surely be marked down in turntablist history as a sad day. Shure announced that it would discontinue the production of their phono products; their entire line of needles and cartridges. Shure had the largest market share for phono products among dj enthusiasts but after Shure stock is cleared from the shelves it’ll be interesting to see which company will be considered will have the needle of choice for turntablists: Ortofon, Numark, Audio Technica or perhaps another player? Speaking of another player, MWM unvieled their much talked about Phase 2-channel DVS system that essentially replaces the physical needle on a turntable. Definitely a disruption in this market.
Although record player sales in the US had increased from 49,000 units to 67,000 in 2016, that is a miniscule figure in terms of the entire music market. Consider that vinyl itself, only constitutes 2.5% of the entire music consumption in the US. According to Shure’s press release, production costs have increased, thus we can deduce that it wasn’t worth Shure’s time & effort to continue on with producing phono products. Anyone have any spare M44-7’s or even N44-7’s kicking around?
In tribute to Shure’s storied needled past enjoy the following vid with DJ Jazzy Jeff and Skratch Bastid mixin’ and cuttin’ it up!