I wish today’s latest DJ Tech news happened exactly one month ago, then I wouldn’t be so sad. But since we are no longer being baffled by April Fools jokes, my heart has been sadly jolted. For over 22 years I have relied on the legendary SHURE M44-7 needle as a weapon of choice. The iconic needle has been my go to while in the battle circuit beginning in the late 90’s and even today on stage and in the club. But the SHURE company has broke many hearts with their statement released today:
For more than 90 years, Shure has been committed to manufacturing and delivering products of the highest quality, reliability, and value. This commitment requires consistency in materials, processes, and testing, as well the capacity to react to fluctuations in demand.
In recent years, the ability to maintain our exacting standards in the Phonograph Cartridge product category has been challenged, resulting in cost and delivery impacts that are inconsistent with the Shure brand promise.
In light of these conditions, and after thorough evaluation, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue production of Shure Phono products effective Summer 2018.
Given our decades-long history of participation in the Phono category, we recognize that this decision may come as a disappointment to our channel partners and end users.
We are grateful for the support and loyalty demonstrated for Shure Phono products through the years and we are proud of the impact that these products have made on our customers’ lives and the reputation of the Shure brand. We believe that the proud legacy of Shure Phono is best served by exiting the category rather than continuing production under increasingly challenging circumstances.
Shure will continue to bring reputable, high quality products to market and we look forward to meeting and exceeding customer expectations on our current and future offerings. As Shure expands into new markets and product categories for audiophiles, our enduring commitment to premium performance and technological innovation will remain at our core.
The SHURE M44-7 is widely respected in the Turntablist scene for it’s high output and high skip resistance. But the needle was not originally created for the battle DJ. In 1964, SHURE head engineer Bob Kita developed the needle for jukebox applications.
This surely is not the end of the phonograph lifestyle due to the reemergence of vinyl records being pressed again. Companies like Ortofon still have a pro and intermediate line of DJ needles and Phase creating a new evolution in DVS (Digital Vinyl System) hardware which does not depend on needles at all.
Even most of the U92 Allstar Mixers have depended on SHURE needles as their mixing buddies. It truely is the end of an era for the hardcore battle DJ.
Poetik’s son DJ Ace Black using the SHURE Whitelable phonograph needle.