Recently, I had the very good fortune to review the Shelter 501 III MC Phono Cartridge. No sooner than the review was published, a Shelter 5000 MC Phono Cartridge dropped into my lap. For my review of Canadian startup Pure Fidelity’s Eclipse Turntable, the designer John Stratton suggested he setup his Shelter 5000 as it had been so successful during the turntable’s beta testing. I killed two birds with one stone for that review and jotted down some thoughts about the 5000 once I got to know the Eclipse’s sound signature. The cart was mounted to an Acoustic Signature TA-1000 tonearm.
At an MSRP of $2245, the 5000 is a couple of steps above the $1295 501 III in Shelter’s ‘Legendary Line’ of cartridges and a couple steps below the top player, the $4195 9000. I’m familiar with the outstanding 9000 and really liked the 501 III. As I began serious listening, I wondered what another grand above the 501 III got you in Shelter rent.