Shelter has been hand making moving coil phono cartridges in Japan since 1986. It ships two series of cartridges, the ‘Ultimate Line’ and the ‘Legendary Line’. The 501 III moving coil cartridge is mid price point in the Legendary Line, at $1295. The original 501 was produced in 1990. The Mk. III under consideration has the combination of an aluminum clad boron cantilever and an elliptical diamond stylus.
I first heard of Shelter when my Audiophilia colleague Martin Appel purchased a 9000 moving coil (top of the Legendary Line) a few years ago. He uses it on his VPI Avenger turntable. It sounds wonderful. Detailed and vibrant.
The 501 III arrived at the office in tandem with a few other high end pieces and the superb Phasemation PP-300 moving coil cartridge, which is roughly the same price.