Why The Shure M-447 Is The Best DJ Needle For Your Vinyl

  1. Fade

    Fade

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    Often times when you read the latest DJ news on various websites, they talk about the biggest and best new gear that money can buy. From CDJ's, to iPad-infused controllers, to the newest digital mixer - but they all forget about the most important part - the needles!

    Using The Turntables

    Of course, if you're a DJ that solely uses digital gear such as a CDJ, then none of this applies to you, but if you're still using regular turntables, listen up. The needles that you buy will play a pivotal role in how your vinyl is treated each time you spin the wax or move it back and forth.

    A lot of people fail to realize that your needle wears down your records. It's understandable that especially with today's DJ setups, vinyl is not that much of an issue since most DJ's have gone digital, but what if you still want to throw on some regular vinyl?

    Old School

    Countless times we've all seen DJ's from the days of old spin some wax and you could tell right away if they've played that record a million times or not - simply from all of the hiss coming out of the speakers. Those records would get worn down so much from DJ's spinning it over and over again, and the needle was the culprit.

    Watch this video of Mista Sinista beat juggling, see what I mean?



    Shure M-447

    Shure has been around for a long time. They're well known in the recording world for their great microphones, but they also have some great needles as well. The Shure M-447 is the perfect type of stylus to use for any DJ because of the way it was designed - with a wide diameter Type S cantilever, and a tracking force of 1.5 to 3.0 grams.

    This stylus is rugged and durable. Through my many years of using the M-447, I've given mine a beating and yet they still work as well as the first day I used them. I've dropped mine on the floor, dropped the turntable tone arm which banged the needle onto the record, and I've even bent the stylus all the way crooked to the left! After panicking for a few moments, I used a pair of tweezers to move it back into place, put the needle on the record, and everything was fine!

    I've even had a lot of dust accumulate on and around the styles and still had no lack in performance, whether it was just playing a record or through my many hours of heavy-handed scratching. Yes, this needle is dope. Plus, it's rare that the needle will skip when I'm either scratching or beat juggling. Usually if it happens it could be from anything - the record hole is not tight enough, I'm too heavy-handed, or moisture. Needles skip, no matter what type it is, but with the M-447, I noticed that it's much less often than other types.

    Of course, I have to mention that the sound from the M-447 is great too. It's clear, loud, and precise. Some needles may not sound as full as this one, they're sort of "thin", but you don't get that problem here.

    Shure M44G and SC35C

    These two needles are very good products as well. The M44G is similar to the M-447 in that it's rugged and durable, but the drawback for me was that it emphasizes the bass and low-end more. I think it's a great needle for regular record playing, and for playing old and scratched up records. It's not as loud or clear as the M-447, but it's still a great needle.

    The SC35C is more of a lesser-known needle, but is still popular amongst a lost of scratch DJ's. It's more of a lighter needle than the M-447 or M44G, but very good at reproducing the sound. Since it's a lighter needle, it's even less wear and tear on your records, which is ideal for a lot of collectors.

    Other Brands

    There are plenty of other brands out there, and you should check those out as well. Stanton makes some good products, as does Numark, and Ortofon. A lot of club DJ's usually use the Ortofon-style of needles, with the long necks. Those are good, but if you're looking to manipulate your vinyl through scratching, or even some quick backspins, be careful. I'm not saying Ortofon is no good, but it's not ideal for certain situations.

    Stanton's needles have come a long way as well, but that's another brand you should be careful with. From my experience, Stanton needles are not that good for scratching, the ones I've tried or owned, skipped a lot. I'm not familiar with their newer models, so you might want to check them out.

    Conclusion

    The Shure brand of needles are your safest bet. They've been around for decades and have consistently put out great needles and the prices are really good. Ever since I first bought the M-447's, I haven't bothered with other models or brands because I didn't need to. The M-447's are tough, rough, durable, tough to skip, and you can bang them up and they'll still work. Even though they're great for scratch DJ's, it's not just for them - it's also for anyone looking for a needle to just play their vinyl.

    Here are links to the Shure needles that I mentioned, plus other models:

    More Information: Shure Phono
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
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  3. Formant024

    Formant024

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    447 is a no brainer here, but in terror-mode it will wear down your vinyl much faster...i can live with that though hehe
     
  4. Pug

    Pug

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    i need a new needle badly... i noticed my sounds was only coming out of one speaker yesterday, and i had to fuck with the needle to get shit working again, ugh.