Cartridge & Headshell for SL1210 M5G $399


I am purchasing a Technics SL1210 M5G player, and I see there are several SL12xx owners in this forum.

I will be getting the player with the Stanton Trackmaster II, but after reading the threads here, I think I would like to upgrade the Cartridge and maybe the Headshell.

I plan to get the tonearm damping upgrade. I can spend up to $399 for the Cartridge and Headshell. What would you recommend?

Associated Info:
Music: Rock, Female vocalist
Speakers: B&W 802D
Amps: Classe CA-M400
PrePro/Preamp: Denon AVP w/ MM 2.5Mv Sensitivity.
dmccombs
The answers to your question will be repeats of what is already being discussed in other currently active threads, and some in the archives. Check them out.
Tvad,

Actually, I did a search here and read every thread with with Technics in it that pertained to the 1200 or 1210 turntable, including the one you pointed to. That poster is looking in the sub $100 range.

Are you saying that if I were willing to spend up to $399 on the cartidge/headshell combo, you would suggest I stick wiht the Technics headshell and the Ortofon Blue cartridge?

Darrell

AT 150 MLX
Thanks Tvad. Would you recommend that I use this with the Technics or Sumiko headshell?

Darrell
07-06-08: Dmccombs
Thanks Tvad. Would you recommend that I use this with the Technics or Sumiko headshell?
I'm not Tvad, but I'm running an AT150MLX mounted to an LPGear ZuPreme (just like a Sumiko) headshell on a Technics SL1210 M5G. I like this combo A LOT!

The Sumiko/Zupreme has better wiring and more rigidity. Its extra weight adds some effective mass to the tonearm, making the cartridge compliance/effective mass resonance come in at an ideal 10 Hz. Plus this headshell's azimuth alignment makes it easier to dial in ideal alignment and performance.
I started out with the stock Technics SL1210MG5's headshell. Why not, it comes with your table right? Get comfortable with the stock unit, then move up to the Sumiko. Johnnyb53 is correct, the azimuth alignment on the Sumiko sure puts that headshell out front as the most flexible.

I found the finger lift on the Sumiko when mounted with the cartridge and headshell causes quite a bit of distortion. When I removed the finger lift from the assembly, the distortion went away. So now I do not use the finger lift when mounting the cartridge to the Sumiko headshell.
I found the finger lift on the Sumiko when mounted with the cartridge and headshell causes quite a bit of distortion.
James1969 (System | Threads | Answers)
Most of the finest tonearms utilize finger lifts:
Hadcock, Triplanar, Graham, among others.

The finger lift on my ZuPreme causes absolutely no distortion that can be detected with it on versus with it removed, or in comparison with the stock Technics headshell.

I'd focus on proper set-up of the cartridge, arm, and leveling the table along the arc of the stylus.
Thank you the comments so far. This sort of input is great.

So far, the consensus seems to be the Sumiko/Zupreme headshell, and the AT150MLX.

Darrell
Tvad, thank you for that tip, I will double check my level settings.
I'm not Tvad, but I'm running an AT150MLX mounted to an LPGear ZuPreme (just like a Sumiko) headshell on a Technics SL1210 M5G. I like this combo A LOT!

Johnny,

I saw you were running the Denon DL160 in April. I guess you found the AT150MLX to be better (for you)?

Darrell
If I was willing to buy an inexpensive MM/MC Preamp (like the Rotel), what cartridges would you recommend in the same $399 price range?

Darrell
07-06-08: Tvad
The finger lift on my ZuPreme causes absolutely no distortion that can be detected with it on versus with it removed, or in comparison with the stock Technics headshell.
Interestingly, that is the one difference between the Sumiko and the ZuPreme--the finger lift.

On the ZuPreme, the finger lift comes attached--it's screwed into the side of the headshell with tiny screws. On the Sumiko, it's a separate piece of stamped sheet metal with two spaced screw holes that you attach by sliding the screw holes over the cartridge mounting screws when attaching the cartridge.

I tried mounting the finger lift below and above, but decided that mounting it on top of the headshell sounds better, at least for the DL-160 I was mounting at the time.

I have both a Sumiko and a ZuPreme, and it's obvious that the headshells are sourced from a single 3rd party--same material, same weight, exact same shape, same cartridge leads, and same "Japan" cast in the same place on the underside of the headshell.

I like the ZuPreme a little better because the finger lift is truly attached, not supplied as a stamped afterthought that you have to attach as part of mounting the cartridge. It's easier to use the ZuPreme.
I think Nagaoka is the manufacturer for the headshell you are talking about. I just opened up a Nagaoka MP-50 today, and reading their documentation was interesting. They are an OEM manufacturer as well for 'other' companies providing various components and such for cartridges. Further reading (so rare to find a cartridge with any substantial documentation no?) the MP-50 comes in another version called the MP-50H, the 'H' being the supplied headshell for this cartridge. The diagram showing the headshell is the same as the Sumiko/ZuPreme in question.

So there is one possible answer to your theory of Sumiko and ZuPreme sourcing from a 3rd party - Nagaoka. It was Raul's posting on MM cartridges that motivated me to try a Nagaoka, I had no idea what I'm in for, but I'm sure it will be good.