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.
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.

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!


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

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?

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.