Technics SL 1200GR with What Cartridge???

I'm starting yet another thread on a similar topic, because I don't want to hi-jack someone else's thread, and I haven't found the answer to my question in other threads.

OK... I'm considering returning to vinyl for some of my listening and I need a Cliff's Notes version of what cartridges I might want to use.  

I've had a Linn Sondek LP12 for years, which I've barely used... but... it's been in storage.  As I recall it was pretty "finicky" and required a lot of attention to perform it's best (which was/is good).  I don't have enough patience anymore to deal with that, and am planning on moving to a Technics SL 1200GR, because it seems simple to operate, gets good reviews and doesn't seem to require a lot of attention. 

It appears that you can get great sound quality from the 1200GR with a good cartridge.  I'm just not sure what might be optimal / best for the money.

I also do not want to go crazy with esoteric cartridges that cost a mint.  My budget is probably in a range of... say... $300-400 to maybe $800-900 (if the cartridge is noticeably better than the more modestly priced cartridges).  

My Linn cartridge is a MM cartridge, I think (Basik or K9) in an Itok arm.  

That's about it.  

I'm not really interested in considering a lot of alternatives either in a turntable, or cartridges.  

Any guidance in this context would be appreciated.


I have an SL1200 Mk5 and use an AT 540ML and could not be happier. Solid sound presentation and easy to set up. Stylus replacement is easy and no worries about loading etc. Phonostage is the one inbuilt into my Parasound Hint 6 and speakers are JBL 4309.

@jagjag how are you liking those jbl 4309's? Do you find them fatiguing in anyway? Also, how is the sibilance on vocals? I'd imagine that with the AT540 and the 4309's it would be quite bright....been reading about those 4309's...the price is reasonable. I don't need  them whatsoever, but I would not mind trying a horn speaker. Alternatively, I could cheap out and buy the klipsch 600m's, but I like the looks of those Jbl's....

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