Comparing the Playback of the SHURE M44G Cartridge with the NAGAOKA and the 100SOUNDS Styli Using Paul McCartney’s Newest Album, McCartney III - Side B



The SHURE M44G stylus cartridge is still loved by many vinyl fans and DJs. Vinyl lovers know well that the M44G was very popular not only for DJing but also for music enjoyment. Last time, I listened to Side A of the analog LP of Paul McCartney’s latest work McCARTNEY III with the M44G and two replacement styli, the NAGAOKA / GD 63-44G and the 100SOUNDS / RS-44-100B. Perhaps it’s because of the experimental nature of the album, but one stylus made me revel in Paul’s vocals to my heart’s content, and the other stylus pumped me up to the point where I felt my whole body vibe with the beat as if I were in the club. I was amazed at the fun of comparing the effects of the replacement styli. Now, let’s go onto Side B. What kind of surprise did I anticipate from comparing effectiveness with the M44G? But before listening... I didn’t mention the record jacket much last time, so let’s take a little look at the record jacket first!

McCARTNEY and McCARTNEY II are produced and instrumentals are played by Paul himself and encompass Paul’s playfulness. Like the two previous albums, McCARTNEY III also is a 1-disc LP inside a gatefold jacket. Open the jacket, and you will find the familiar photo gallery of Paul’s precious moments that was also featured on the first album.

Similar to his 1st solo album, McCARTNEY, has a colorful photo gallery from Paul’s recording sessions and his private moments.

The inner sleeve lays out the entire library of lyrics from the album.

The lyrics are printed on a simple white background. It looks like a paired down version of the inner sleeve from McCARTNEY II.

As I mentioned last time, the sticker on the album shrink wrap says “MADE IN ROCKDOWN.” These words are also engraved on the inner groove (the inner ring with no tracks) of the vinyl.

The album seems to emphasize that this record was produced only during lockdown. By the way, the analog version of McCARTNEY III has various editions. The standard version features the artwork of a dice on a black background. The limited vinyl editions come in red and blue and are encased in a jacket with different color die to match the vinyl disks. These limited editions are available at premium prices on auction and resale sites. However, this time I would like to focus only on the standard black vinyl since it is the most common, and I will analyze the subtle nuance in the sound with both styli. You might say, “So, you can only afford to buy the standard edition because you are short on pocket money?” No, that’s not it!... Actually, yes it is….! Let’s hope that my personal Minister of Finance (my wife) sees this blog post so that I can drop the needle!

Following Side A, I am going to listen to Side B with these two styli (NAGAOKA / GD 63-44G and the 100SOUNDS / RS-44-100B).


I feel that the vocals, acoustic instruments, and the keyboard synthesizers sound like gentle live private performance with the NAGAOKA / GD 63-44G. Last time I wrote that I often listen to “London Town” by Wings with this stylus, but I also recommend this stylus to those who want to thoroughly enjoy the mild contemporary rock song “Pipes of Peace” by Paul McCartney.

100SOUNDS / RS-44-100B

The 100SOUNDS / RS-44-100B is recommended for those who want to enjoy the vibes as they’re listening to rock, soul, and club music like trance music. While listening to Paul’s works, I am in absolute euphoria when I’m using the 100SOUNDS stylus on the 12-inch version of “Good Sign”, “Deliverance”, and “Secret Friend”.

1. Deep Deep Feeling

A killer playful tune that condenses the concept of the McCARTNEY series. I personally feel this is the best track on this album. Paul’s drum intro, reminiscent of “Kreen-Akrore” off the first album of this playful series, starts the song with a sparse tribal drum that accompanies Paul with his blues singing, and then increasingly becomes unbearably good when the piano comes in! As I mentioned last time, the track number on the CD version of this song is switched with another song on the vinyl version. This is a pop tune that endlessly repeats the same phrase while changing the color slightly. I think the decision to make this tune the opening of the Side B on the record was the right choice. I have already listened to it so many times. Like the Side B singles “Check My Machine” and “Secret Friend” from McCARTNEY II, “Deep Deep Feeling” is the greatest addictive track to those who can appreciate it. However, it is interesting that the music arrangement is mysterious yet fashionable.

The sound of the toms in the intro and the vocals in the beginning give me goose bumps! That’s something only the NAGAOKA can do! The sound of the electric guitar in the latter half of the song is a little like Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd). Hearing the NAGAOKA lets Paul’s solo works sing in a way that just pulls on my heartstrings so much that I suddenly want to listen to “Give My Regards to Broad Street".

The toms in the intro plays an energetic straightforward tribal beat and then the fusion of the vocals and instrumentals is less than that of NAGAOKA, so the sound gaps are really artistic. Yes, yes! It’s the world of the masterpiece album “Chaos and Creation in the Backyard”, which was controversial at the time of the album’s release in 2005. I thought about that sound for a long time after I last listened to it. This song is still an awesome killer tune.

2. The Kiss Of Venus

An acid folk song that is crazy in a good way. This song is a single-stroke folk style of the second track of the Fireman’s 3rd album. This track still gets me with every listen. Is the reason why it’s not too over-the-top is because it’s a complete contrast from the track “Fireman”.

The resonance of the acoustic guitar on this track is truly a sound unique to NAGAOKA! You will feel as if it’s being played right in front of you.

With this stylus, the guitar holds back at first letting the vocals stand out, but the guitar solos are more front and center with this stylus.

3. Seize The Day

For a moment, I thought that a soulful electric piano would start, but it turned out to be a UK psychedelic pop sound from the late 1960’s. The Beatles influenced many psychedelic pop bands even though they had a very different sound from the Beatles. On the contrary, this 21st century version of the niche psychedelic pop genre feels like he dares to play all instruments on his own. The good point is that he didn’t try to live up to the past success of the Beatles’ songs. The neo-psychedelic groove that is unique to solo Paul, not Beatles Paul, just explodes in my head.

The vocals resonate beautifully! The tom drums are really emphasized with the NAGAOKA stylus that they reminded me of “Kreen-Akrore”.

The 100SOUNDS stylus makes the distortion sound of the electric guitar stand out sharply. You can feel the drums tipping their hats off to Ringo.

4. Deep Down

The most soulful and mellow tune on the album. Paul previously released a gorgeous duet hits album with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson in the 1980’s. “Deep Down” is like the solo version of the “Say Say Say” duet with Michael since these songs have a similar melody. On the contrary, he enjoys even the lonely songs alone, so the album is subtitled “MADE IN ROCKDOWN”. After all, he lives in a punk way.

The mid-low range of the bass and synth tends to drone on. Because of that, the vocals sound rhythmic and the soul flavor is even stronger. The drums are lighter and in a good way sound like old-fashioned computer music. The 100SOUNDS rather emphasizes the groove of 1990’s club music.

The mid-low range of the bass and synth tends to drone on. Because of that, the vocals sound rhythmic and the soul flavor is even stronger. The drums are lighter and in a good way sound like old-fashioned computer music. The 100SOUNDS rather emphasizes the groove of 1990’s club music.

5. Winter Bird / When Winter Comes

After the opening of the album reprise shortly, the album ends with an acoustic tune that is similar to the ending from McCARTNEY II. This song is an even gentler and lighter feeling. A small part of the folk tune is similar to “Lovely Linda” at the opening of McCARTNEY. The ending of the album is unexpectedly a nursery rhyme, not rock music. Coolness isn’t what was intended. This sensibility is what makes McCartney’s work cool. I thought it would be okay to listen to this tune with both styli, but!....

The balance between the song and the guitar is very good, and the sound is warm! The song is expressed in so much detail. After all, this is the ever reliable NAGAOKA brand. Songs sounding especially this good can never disappoint!

The tone of the acoustic guitar has more resonance in the bass. Then suddenly a high energy children’s folk song enters to make you want to dance! The groove can be squeezed out from this kind of song... I even feel the pride that 100SOUNDS has in the RS-44-100B stylus!

I listened to Paul McCartney’s latest album and compared the two styli for the M44G. The NAGAOKA stylus helps you to enjoy the sound of pop music to your heart’s content. The 100SOUNDS stylus surely brings out the trance feeling and club-like fun from any kind of music. Compare the effectiveness of these two styli, and you may be able to discover a new way to enjoy other albums, maybe even take out an old album from your own collection...


45歳にしてオヤジバンドにベーシストとして参加。バンドでサウンド・ハウスの存在を知りその勢いで入社。 趣味は英国ロックのレコードコレクション。ポール・マッカートニー、デヴィッド・ボウイとP.I.L.を愛する永遠の29歳。

NAGAOKA / GD 63-44G (SHURE M44G / M44-7対応 交換針)


GD 63-44G (SHURE M44G / M44-7対応 交換針)

¥5,364(excl. tax)¥5,900(incl. tax)





100SOUNDS / RS-44-100B replacement needle for M44G/M44-7


RS-44-100B replacement needle for M44G/M44-7

¥3,180(excl. tax)¥3,498(incl. tax)

Shure / M44G / M44-7 compatible replacement needle, case included, Made in Japan







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