The Shure M44 cartridge is still being made and is not hard to find!
I just got one from KAB Electro Acoustics ($60). It comes with a
.7 mil conical stylus for playing LPs but KAB also carry the stock Shure
3.0 conical stylus (#4759-D3) for playing 78s ($29). And I believe
they still supply custom tips made by Expert Stylus Company in England
(I order mine directly from Expert).
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> Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2012 13:54:09 -0400
> From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Styli
> If I were starting new in 78RPM today, I'd probably buy the Ortofon OM series cartridge made for
> 78s. I doubt Ortofon will go out of the needle and cartridge business for a while. The Shure M44 is
> probably fine for most uses, also.
> I never _loved_ the Stanton 500 but it has always been fine for the 78 listening and transfers I've
> done and it's not so fragile or so expensive that I care about playing beat up records.
> I had a Shure M44 for a long time but stupidly sold it in the 90s when I thought I was getting out
> of grooved disks. I would have just bought the 78 needle for it and used it to play 78s to this day
> if it were still around.
> Grado also makes a 78RPM-purposed cartridge. My opinion of Grado, having owned two of their
> lower-end cartridges, is that they didn't sound very good and weren't very well made. It might have
> changed under the new generation of ownership. I like the idea of their business (American-made,
> American-owned) but like I said I didn't like their products which I have owned in the past.
> -- Tom Fine