Cartridge for my Linn Sondek LP12?

My Linn K9 cartridge has bit the dust, and I am taking this chance to try something else. The Grado Prestige Silver/Gold has been suggested. My budget is under $300 and I do not own nor plan on buying a step-up transformer soon. Reasonably high output and tracking, along with a warm but detailed sound is paramount. The arm is the Linn Akito. My album collection is classical/jazz/classic rock/folk/ get the idea.

Your suggestions are truly appreciated. My tastes are eclectic; mostly jazz, classical, classic rock, and whatever is worthy.
There are other variety of Cartridges that will work. But you have to consider- budget and matching to achieve the sound that suites to your taste. Having said that, I just completed setting up my LP12 with a Grado Prestige gold. I use it with an AES Ph-1 tube phono amp and a Line 2 SE. This combo seem to work well for me. Of course there are others that will better this combo but like you I do not want to spend over my budget. The Grado gold is spec at 5mv output which I beleive will track at 1.5gm force. I feel that I re-discovered my vinyls after I got my TT setup.
It replaced my old DUAL 604/ Pickering XSV3000 combo.
Just my 2 cents..... hope this helps.
"Vinyl Rules"
Thank budget for this cartridge is not in the
Koetsu category.

If the Gold is a good match, I may pick one up.

BTW, I do not have a stepup transformer at present, so
sufficient output is a must.
I don't know how much under $300 your budget is, but if it's close then also consider the Grado Platinum, which is a very significant leap up from the plastic-bodied Grados, while being essentially of the same design, so no physical penalties. A lively and very refined cartridge, glorious with all types of music IMO, when properly set up. The better Ortofons are also very good (better than the plastic-bodied Grados), very detailed and sparkling quality, the OM20 Super and up usually being blown out the door for well under $300 on Audiogon.
I used to run a Linn K9 on my Rega p3 and enjoyed it very much. I now use a GOldring 1042 and it is slightly better than the K9 in all aspects. Linn's Asak is a slightly modified 1022.

The 1042 is a terrible rip-off in the US, but if you buy direct from the UK (from Mantra Audio) then it is quite competitively priced, at around $250 including shipping. They will also take your old K9 as a trade in for a discount.

I can't say it's the best out there, but it is well reviewed, and sounds quite good to my ears.
I agree with the recommendation made above on the Goldring 1042 cartridge. Very satisfying piece. I will say I do not like the Akito arm, that never did it for me. I would recommend you spend no more than the Goldring for that arm. If you want to spend more money, I think you will get much much much better sound by buying a lower grade cartridge and using $600 to buy a used Ittok rather than a cartridge. May sound crazy to you but the Ittok with a low grade cartridge will sound better than your Akito with a mega buck cartridge. Do not forget to tune your Linn for best performance. I have owned many many linn tables and currently use an LP12 with Pink Linnk and Naim Aro as 1 of my two main tables. This is my opinion but an experienced one. You will probably get many more. Dont sweat it, pick a path that fits your budget and ideas and go with it. The odds of being able to audition your choices is slim to none. So go with what you think is best. Good luck on your search.
Thank you one and all...
I always suyspected the arm was less than stellar.
I may keep an eye open for a good deal on a used arm as well as cartfidge.
The Akito is a fairly good arm, although an Ittok is better still, and a better arm with a cheaper cartridge will outperform a better cartridge in a less good arm. I remember being surprised at how much better the Akito was than my Basik Plus, and again at how much better the Ittok was than the Akito (significantly!).

Cartridges--the AT 440 ML is terrific--sounds a lot like a smoother K9, and is only $99 or so from Needle Doctor and others. The Linn Adikt is also terrific, although I think it is $350--above your budget.


The Linn Adikt is a Linn-labeled Goldring 1042, made for them by Goldring. Same with the Roksan Corus Black, and the Audio Note IQ-1 or IQ-2(can't remember which one).

I like the Goldring series cartridges on those tables, for the MM class.