I recently tried a new needle from JICO for my M44 cart and I’ve gotta say, I’m really impressed.
The new needle looks a little different than the OEM needle from Shure or the base N44 stylus from JICO. The shield and mount for the stylus is a clear red. The stylus itself is a little different in that it tapers to the point where the actual “needle” is bonded to the stylus. It’s also a brass color rather that a gray metal color. The stylus as a whole feels very sturdy and well built. It fits perfectly into my Shure M44-7 cart. It has a spherical stylus and can take up to 3g of tracking force.
The sound of this stylus is incredible! It picks up sounds that I haven’t heard or were hard to hear in my music/vinyl . It really brings some of the mid and high forward for a more balanced sound. It doesn’t sound fuzzy or muffled at all. It sounds very, very clear. This stylus almost makes my M44-7 moving magnet cart sound like an expensive moving coil cart (not that the M44s are cheap now). The sound quality and the build of this stylus are outstanding. It also holds the grove well when scratching!
Anyone looking to expand the sound range their M44-7 cart will be extremely happy with this product. I’ve been going through my vinyl collection, listening for things that I may have missed using this new stylus. As the “first contact” with the vinyl, the stylus is very important. Using this stylus has eliminated the need to have different cartridges and needle combinations for different kinds of music. Up until now I didn’t know that part of this stylus is made of wood! I am extremely happy with this product and will continue to use JICO as my stylus provider. Top notch product and customer service!