I bought this cartridge new from MusicDirect in October of last year. It has been 2 months shy of a year and I have played exactly 5 albums with it. This cart was mounted on a spare VPI arm and was intended to be my "indie rock" cart, with the Shelter saved for the audiophile albums. I will finally admit that I don't have the time to break in this cartridge, nor do I need to be a two cart owner. I am trimming down to basics. So, by my estimate, it has 3.75 hours of playback on it. Not even close to breaking in. Played on a VPI JMW 10.5 arm, no accidents, correctly mounted and weighted. Still essentially brand new. Hard to give a review without proper break-in, but noticeably punchier, heavier bass than the Shelter 901. Midrange not quite in-your-face as I wanted it to be, but still brand new. That would mostly likely change over time. Original box and all paperwork included, plus bag of mounting hardware, small brush and allen key. Will properly pack, track and insure for delivery, with the same box Soundsmith uses. Thanks!