Garrott Optim Ruby FGS cartridge - Technics SL1210

I have a Technics SL1210 (the black SL1200) and also a Garrott Optim Ruby FGS cartridge: see for info.
I pretty sure that the standard Technics arm will baulk at having to deal with the Garrott (and I'm equally sure that there are Audiogon folk who think I'm nuts for buying a Technics AND then putting the Garrott on there!), so I've bought a mounting plate to allow another arm to be fitted. (see other posts)
So, the plate allows for either a Rega (I have my eye on either an RB1000 or RB900) or Origin Live model (I'm thinking the Silver model).
Does anyone have a take on which arm would be more suitable for the Garrott?
Dear Dsa: IMHO and before you buy any other tonearm you have to test your cartridges on the own Technics tonearm.

That tonearm is very good design with very good build quality. Do you already try the Garrot with it? what do you think about?

The RB-1000 is very good tonearm that could give you a different performance than the Technics ( here you could re-wire the Technics tonearm. ) but to know for sure which one is the best garrot match you have to hear both.

Now, the Technics is a removable headshell and this is an advantage over the Rega/Origin live ones because changing the headshell you could achieve a better Quality Garrot performance and find with which headshell the Technics is the best Garrot match and this fact makes a huge difference, this you can't do it with the other tonearms.

Regards and enjoy the msuic.
Hi Raul,
Thanks for your response. I have tried an Ortofon OM5 cartridge from my stand-by Project TT in the Technics arm. Although PRAT are very good, the sound is very grey with no air around the instruments and little detail or soundstage. This is comparing it to the same set-up in my budget Project deck. It suspect, as you have pointed out, that the wiring in the Technics TT is craptacular. I would have to send the tonearm OS in order to have it rewired (I don't live in the USA). Since I would be going to that much trouble, I figured I'd just replace the tonearm with something more suiting the Garrott- hence my posting about what one to choose.
05-05-08: Dsa
Hi Raul,
Thanks for your response. I have tried an Ortofon OM5 cartridge from my stand-by Project TT in the Technics arm. Although PRAT are very good, the sound is very grey with no air around the instruments and little detail or soundstage.
I have an SL1210 M5G, which has better tonearm wiring from the Technics factory. I've played it with an Ortofon OM10, Shure M97xE, and Denon DL-160.

Based on my experience with the Ortofon OM10, your OM5 wouldn't be nearly up to showing what the stock SL12x0 can do. Now, when I switch between the DL-160 and OM10, the OM10 sounds rough and ill-defined, with a ragged, not too defined bass.

I also added the KAB fluid damper, and with the Denon, the sound is anything but flat and grey, or veiled. It's transparent, sometimes shockingly so, and the fluid damper has particularly helped resolve air around instruments and hear the recording venue and the volume decay of individual instrumental tones.

I agree with what Raul says here. In addition, the Technics arm makes it very easy to dial in the optimum VTA, and with some stylus shapes that is critical to getting the best sound. Also, you can adjust the fluid level in the damping trough to get a better match to various cartridges.

The combination of the double-gimbal pivot plus adjustable VTA plus adjustable damping enable this arm to accommodate a wide variety of cartridges, from high-compliance Shures and Grados to the stiff little Denon DL-103.

The Technics benefits greatly from improvements in the feet and isolation of the platform it sits on. I get immense sonic and musical enjoyment from mine.
Hello Johnny B,
Thanks for the input. The point I was making about the budget OM5 was that it sounded cheap, yet cheerful in the Project, yet grey, veiled and with even muddier bass in the SL1210 arm. If I strapped a floor nail to the Project's tonearm, it would sound bad. If I put the same floor nail on the Technics tonearm, it would sound even worse! I was simply comparing oranges with oranges.
Yes, you have the Technics with the better wiring. I could rewire the arm and pay for the fluid dampener. That combo would cost more than $550. If I'm going to that much trouble and cost, I thought I could ditch the arm, put on a better one, and sell the original arm to recoup some of the cost. Never-the-less, I will make an enquiry here as to the cost of rewiring the arm with some decent wiring. By the way, does anyone know the answer to my intial question: Which tonearm would the Garrott be happier in- The Rega 1000 or the Origin Live Silver??? Cheers.
Hi, Dsa,

What headshell did you use to mount the OM5 to the Technics? I suspect my Sumiko headshell has a lot to do with getting a good energy transfer from the Denon DL-160. Conversely, my OM10 is mounted on a $15 Stanton.

In the USA, upgrading the Technics is a lot less money, so it skews my perspective on what's the best way to go. KAB does a rewire for $169 and the fluid damper is $150, for a total of $319 instead of $550. But if you could get a good rewire done locally, the fluid damper, weighing as little as it doesn, shouldn't cost a lot in shipping.

I've never heard an Origin Live Silver, but if I were going to use the OL armboard, the Silver is probably the tonearm I'd go for. The reason is that the base model RB250 and RB300, while good values, don't reach their potential until they get $400-500 in upgrades--better stub and armweight with lowered center of gravity, arm rewire, stripped powder coating, and drilled holes or slots cut into armwand to better control resonances.

By the time you get an OL-1 with the works, it's $800, and it still has the original bearings, which according to some, are not so great.

For another $200 the Silver has all the OL-1 mods plus better bearings and (I think) a few other upgrades. I'd also make sure that whatever arm I upgraded to would have adjustable VTA.

Still, the difference in how the OM5 sounded between the Project and the Technics may not be because of the tonearm per se. It could be platforming and vibration isolation, which is the Technics' weakness. Some brass cones under the turntable seated on a thick butcher block supported by Vibrapods, Isoblocks, or sorobothane feet lower the noise floor, add a lot of inner detail, and improve imaging and soundstage noticeably. And it's a cheap fix.
Hi Johnny B,
All valid points- thanks for the insight. The vibration from the turntable itself could be an an issue, but outside vibration is not as I listen through a Graham Slee headphone amp and a pair of Sennheiser cans.
I've contacted KAB regarding the rewire and will add it as an option.
I thought I would post that I sold the Garrott cartridge and I'm now waiting on a Ortofon 2M Black. The search for a suitable arm continues on other threads.
Please post your impressions of the 2M when you can. I'm using the Garrott FGS in my Scout/JMW9 and am very impressed with it's performance. However, you always wonder about the new kid on block.
Hello Photon46. I will try and post on new thread when the 2M Black arrives.

05-16-08: Dsa
I thought I would post that I sold the Garrott cartridge and I'm now waiting on a Ortofon 2M Black. The search for a suitable arm continues on other threads.
Considering the costs you're talking about here, it seems that it might be worth trying the $150 KAB fluid damper before you move on. I suspect the fluid damper would make the 2M Black work well with that arm. And if you don't like the results, I suspect you can return it for refund in a reasonable amount of time (of course, check before you buy).

The fluid damper can be user-installed. Takes 30 minutes tops.
Hello Johnnyb53- yes, I'll have the 2M soon and I can try it out on the tonearm and then proceed an get the dampener if it sounds OK. If I decide to move ahead with a unipivot arm in the future, at least it would give me a good set-up while a get some funds together.