Cartridge for Technics SL-1200/1210GR


Hi All,
I recently took the plunge and got a gently used Technics SL-1210GR. I have a Sutherland Ph3d phone preamp. It has 40-60db of gain options and loading options of 100, 200, 1k, 10k, and 47k. I'm trying to limit myself to what I can get from Music Direct so that I can do a trade in of my current cartridge - Sumiko Blue Point Special Evo III. Here's what I'm seeing on their website that interests me:
Audio Technica AT-OC9MXL $550
Audio Technica AT-OC9XSH $650
Audio Technica AT-OC9XSL $730
Hana SL or SH (It weighs less than what Technics says to use, but I've read about people using it on my table. So, I don't know) $750
Audio Technica AT 33Sa $770
Soundsmith Carmen $1000. I don't really want to spend this much, but am interested because of the value of the rebuild pricing structure.
Any thoughts on these cartridges for this table? Or how any of these cartridges would compare to my existing cartrdge?
Thanks so much!
vanderstephen
It will be very hard to find any modern MC without spending over $3k to compete with these vintage MM cartridges:

Grace LEVEL II Ruby, Sapphire, Beryllium or Boron (they made so many). 
Audio-Technica AT-ML170 or AT-ML180
Stanton SC-100 WOS
Pickering XSV/4000
Pickering XSV/5000
Victor X1II or X1IIE
Pioneer PC-1000 MKII
SONY XL-50
Garrott P77

If you want something very special my advice is to look for some of them in MINT- or NOS condition. You will never find any modern MM that can compete with those great heritage. Each of them unique in its own way, all of them are high resolution cartridges, each has unique cantilever or stylus (all all together). You can’t go wrong with any of them, some will cost you over $1k, some will cost only $500-700. All of them are perfect for Technics tonearm. I have all of them and purchased NOS styli for most of them for the future. Some are very hard to find. If you need help ask me.

If you want a mainstream modern sound of MM then i can’t help you, MM cartridges are not trendy in High-End community anymore.
I’ve been looking for exceptional performers on MM territory, compared those vintage carts to some of the best LOMC up to $4-5k and still don’t understand why people think MC is better? MM was a king in the 70s/80s and this is where you could find absolutely killer Moving Magnet designs even for $600-700 with exotic cantilevers and the most advanced stylus profiles (user replaceable, with longest possible life-span up to 1200hrs easily).



I use a Hana SL on my Technics SL1200G and it sounds great. Not sure, but I think your tonearm may be the same weight as the 1200G,

The Hana SL sounds really good on my SL-1200 MK2. Better than my much more expensive Van Den Hul MC Two Special.
Vote number three for the Hana SL mc cartridge! It has the excellent Shibata stylus profile!
I have a vintage Garrott P77 with Jico SAS/boron stylus on my 1210GR.
I've also used an Ortofon 2M Black MM - which also sounded very good good on the GR, but I prefer the 2M Black on my TNT.
Recently got back into MM carts after using MC for decades. Really liking the sound, don't feel deprived in any way and so much more economical.
@tobes P77 is great with its original stylus, i never tried JICO on Garrott, but i’ve been using SAS on my Technics cartridges.

My old Garrott P77 with original stylus was stunning on Reed 3p "12 tonearm (18g mass), i couldn’t get the same quality on some other tonearms though.

You could try the latest Garrott stylus for your old P77.

Regarging Garrott cartridges i asked Philippe Luder (Managing Director in Australia):

"The principal difference between the two Cartridges is the Stylus Assembly. The Ps-77i is fitted with a Micro Scanner MKII diamond and tuned accordingly. The Ps-77 uses a Micro Tracer Diamond.

The sound of the MSMKII is more extended at both ends of the Audio spectrum therefore sweeter treble and deeper bass with overall flatter Frequency response."


@chakster I’ve never heard the newer P77i.
My P77 came from Brian and John Garrott back in the mid ’80’s and was fitted with their Microscanner stylus - which I believe is a MicroLine of some sort. I never got a replacement stylus, just moved onto something else.
Frankly I’m surprised the SAS stylus works at all because the carrier looks nothing like the original Garrott.....but I was encouraged by others that had tried the SAS on the P77 variants.
The SAS stylus is a ML shape and has a boron cantilever while the Garrott stylus has an aluminium cantilever. Not sure if this is responsible for the more panoramic and precise sound - or maybe my memory is foggy on the sound of the original.
FWIW the SAS/boron was actually cheaper than the Garrott replacement.
http://www.tobespages.info/p77_sas.jpg
http://www.tobespages.info/jp77_sas2.jpg
My P77 came from Brian and John Garrott back in the mid ’80’s and was fitted with their Microscanner stylus - which I believe is a MicroLine of some sort. I never got a replacement stylus, just moved onto something else.

Brian and John never used Boron cantilever in their Dynamic Coil cartridges for some reason and i believe they knew what they've been doing to make P77 sound sweet with aluminum cantilever.   

Frankly I’m surprised the SAS stylus works at all because the carrier looks nothing like the original Garrott.....but I was encouraged by others that had tried the SAS on the P77 variants.

I think that SAS replacement originally was made for Shure cartridge. 



@chakster 

i noticed your list doesn’t include some of your past favourites and wondered why. Do they not measure up to the others for you anymore?
Stanton 881 and 981, (although you do mention Pickering). 
Glanz MFG61, I remember you were very fond of this one too.
Grace F14.
I’m guessing the second two are maybe too rare to bother mentioning.

Steve.

@sdrsdrsdr  Basically the Stanton 881s is Pickering XSV/3000. These models surpassed by Pickering XSV/4000 which i discovered last year. The XSV/5000 is even better and equal to Stanton 980/981. The best of them all in my opinion is Stanton SC-100 WOS (it was the latest and the only signature model from Walter Stanton). I collect Stanton/Pickering carts, they are very nice. 

Grace is another passion, no more F9. Much better F14 and LEVEL II models is what i really like, and i collect original styli for them, very hard to find models. 

I put my Glanz 61 on the shelf, because i temporary removed my Reed 3p tonearm (it was superb on this arm). This cartridge is impossible to find anyway.
@chakster 

Thanks  for the info on the mm’s. I was curious about the Glanz 61 as I have an nos  one that I was saving for a special occasion to try. How did you find the Glanz ranked with your other favourites?

 I have my 881s on a 9.5 wenge reed 2a that’s sounding very good. Not sure if my atml180 was the best match that arm though. Neither was my Ikeda. Next I’ll try it on my 12” cocbollo reed 2a. Do you recommend the Glanz on your 12” reed 3P as best. Steve.
@sdrsdrsdr LOL, I expected this is the reason you asked for such a rare cartridge :)) It’s nice to have a NOS Glanz 61, lucky you. On my Reed 3p "12 it was great, this is it. An old US importer of Reed tonearms (Steve Dobbins) also ranked Glanz 61 very high. Replaced $5k ZYX Premium 4D with Glanz 61 i never regret ZYX. Later I’ve been using Stanton low impedance version 980LZS on the same Reed. The AT-ML180 was very nice on Reed too (and i would rank this cartridge higher than Glanz) ! The last MM cartridge on Reed i enjoyed a lot was my vintage garrott p77.

Glanz 61 is nice and it was one of those first vintage MM (after Technics carts) that flipped my opinion about MC/MM in general. I discovered many more great MM later and once i will put my Reed back I’m gonna check this out again.

If you will compare AT-ML180 to the Glanz 61 let us know.
Did anyone try the Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC Star cartridge on the Technics Technics SL-1200/1210GR?