Cantilever brake suggestions for a '94 bike

M900 with A/73 straddles, preferably the Proset original style, no questions asked for my bikes.
After that maybe the XT version for 1994, but I've never actually used them.

Diacompe 987 are way down the list for me, (though they are on a bike because "variation" and a some Magura setup, and my old man's with the dreadful Marin Lite from '95.)

Then use holders like these find a colour and machining style to suit you, scrap any others.
I like triple compound pads in mine if not a commuter, they just need standard pads in.

Of the suggestions so far, I'm tempted by some M550s because they don't have the long post mounted pads like all the others seem to. R550's also but they are a bit too modern.

@FluffyChicken , I have tried those type of pad holders on some M737's but still gave up on them.
If the levers are 564 as they gained ServoWave (or rebranded the DX setup as LX) then keep at the cantilever, then previous 563s then don't bother, they're not great.
560 just the same poorness as 563s. Just a bog standard lever. Either they're hard, give rim clearance and have no power/modulation or have modulation and some power but naff all rim clearance and everything is usually compromised.

It's the long pads that are there to stop/reduce the squeeling of shorter stubby pads.

I can only conclude "So either I'm rubbish at setting them up or my expectations of how they should work is too high", it probably not he latter ;-)
Or your rims....

Stick with it, see if you can get them to be nice. V-Brake are too easy a choice.
it could be the rim choice as I have been using campy atek as my retro rim of choice but along with the curved braking surface, they are very narrow. It's beginning to sound like I build it with xt M737/9 that I have to hand

The thing is, it's an lx kind of bike as it's a cheap P7
Ah but m900 look so nice...

Narrow I also used Atek, not anymore though. Large surface are one the pads bed in, similar with my Araya395's that are curved.
Still no funny sounds.

As a taller bike user, it could be down to judder...not the brakes as such. Long cables and headtubes / high stems are a bugger and all aggravate issues with cantilevers.

Basically, they all start to act like a bow string, all that flexing and stretch basically pulling the brakes loose/ tight rapidly as the whole lot judders.....that then makes it worse.....and worse..

Before you chuck the baby out with the bathwater have you considered this.....takes away all that long flappyness and oscillation.

Quote from the great man himself....

Quote (Leonard Zinn)​

Why does shudder occur?

Brake shudder is widespread because it’s built into the design of almost all ’cross bikes; it’s inherent to the design of a center-pull cantilever brake. To understand the reason why it happens and why reduced pad size, lots of toe-in, and a tight headset help take a look at the chart titled “Brake Shudder in cantilever brakes.”

As the brake is applied, the ground applies a force directed backward on the tire as shown, causing the fork to flex backward. Problem is, the brake cable is fixed at one end at the brake caliper and at the other end at the cable stop above the headset (as you can see in my case, at a cable hanger attached to a bolt on the stem face plate).

Think “bow and arrow” and imagine the fork between the cantilever bosses and the top of the headset is like the bow, and the cable is like the string. As the fork flexes back due to braking, the cable tightens like the string in the bow, because its two ends – the cable hanger and the brake calipers, have moved further apart. So even though you may have pulled the brake lever carefully enough to modulate it properly, as soon as the pad slows the wheel down, the fork flexes back and tightens the cable, which in turn pulls the pads harder against the rim. This in turn flexes the fork back further, which tightens the cable more, which pulls the pads harder against the rim, and so on.

Eventually, something has to give: Either the tire must slip on the ground, the rider must go over the handlebars, or the pads must break free from the rim. It is the latter that creates the shudder, the pads bind and release, bind and release, each time allowing the fork to flex back and forth and the tire to roll and stop, roll and stop. This is why the problem goes away in mud and wet sand, because the pad can break free smoothly. It is also why smaller pads with more toe-in help.

If the headset is loose, the problem is greater, because the length change between the brake posts and the cable stop atop the headset is greater as the fork moves back when the brake is applied.