The differences between the new turntable and the original SL-1200GAE are for the most part cosmetic. The SL-1210GAE’s top plate is a dramatic-looking anodized black brushed hairline finish. The operating buttons and the magnesium tone arm are also black-finished. Affixed to the top plate is a numbered 55th anniversary plaque.
... a special badge with inscribed serial number, upgraded insulation and, for the first time, a specially-tuned Nagaoka MM cartridge.
The unique Nagaoka pickup cartridge provided with the SL-1210GAE is a moving magnet type JT-1210 cartridge that was tuned explicitly for the job by a joint team of engineers from Technics and Nagaoka.
The JT-1210 employs a Boron cantilever and is specifically tuned and designed to offer superior performance in focus and detail in comparison to other Moving Magnet cartridges they say. Furthermore, it will only be available together with the SL-1210GAE turntable.
Don't buy Nagaoka MM or Hana MC.
Discover much better MM/MI cartridges in the same price range with much better and more involving sound quality and advanced technology (better cantilever, greater stylus profile).
Don't follow the mainstream group, to advice something a user must try many (at least). Some people just recommend what they use even if they tried only 2-3 cartridges, and we see it almost in every post. A cartridge can be improved many times, each time it cab be a better cartridge (different one) without spending much.
The Hana SL is a great cartridge for its price, much better than my Nagaoka MP500. The Hana SL sounds better than my much more expensive Van Den Hul MC Two special on my Technics SL 1200 MK2.
I appreciate chakster's insights and experience trying older carts, but many of them are hard or impossible to find, while the Hana SL is readily available.
I have to ask if you've tried one chakster?
Chakster ,what will be your choice of cartridge or the SL1210 GAE?
Audio-Technica AT-ML170 OFC or AT-ML180 OCC
One problem: the AT-ML180 can be over $2k in NOS condition, another expensive one is Grace LEVEL II LC-OFC with Ruby, Sapphire, Beryllium or Boron cantilever (any of those is great).
The AT-ML170 is best buy in this situation (imo).
However, my choice for everyday would be Stanton SC-100 WOS (signature model) or Pickering XSV/5000 - those are real killers for very reasonable price. I also like Pioneer PC-1000 mkII, Victor X1IIe, Pickering XSV/4000 ...
Last year discovered SONY XL-50 MM (with Boron Pipe cantilever and Super Elliptical tip) is inexpensive MM and very nice at lower budget than anything in this list above.
Any of those must be in perfect condition if you're willing to try.
In the January 2021 issue of Stereophile, Herb Reichert has an excellent article entitled "Some truly affordable phono cartridges." It starts with the Audio Technica AT-VM95E. $49.00. It concludes with the observation "that the difference between a $100 cartridge and a $10,000 cartridge are not nearly as big as I previously imagined." He spends a lot of time talking about the importance of the turntable and arm and proper setup. As the owner of a GAE, I can tell you that your new turntable is excellent. Set it up carefully and it will reward you. It is a dream to set it up too. Don't worry about trying to find "the best cartridge" for it, there is no such thing anyway.
Chakster, Have you heard the Nagaoka JT1210? If so, what were its shortcomings compared to the cartridges you commonly recommend?@lewm
Chakster is Rauls alter ego - whilst Raul has heard everything, and doesn't know what it sounds like, Chakster knows what everything sounds like, without having heard it.
I get sick and tired of his ludicrous recommendations for obsolete cartridges, which if you can even find one, chances are it will be mechanically suspect or unreliable due to age.
I have several vintage cartridges purchased new, when they were in production, with very few hours on them - they have deteriorated - I can hear it clearly. The only vintage cartridges I use are where the cartridge has been completely rebuilt including generator.
If anyone values their records, buy a new cartridge from current production offerings.
any cartridge that is damaged, worn, not set up correctly or mismatched with the tonearm runs the risk of mistracking. Mistracking damages records, at worst you get a noise like a scratch or scuff from the damaged groove. Furthermore, you may not hear mistracking until it gets really bad, but during this time the groove is being damaged until such time as you can hear your cartridge mistracking. The groove damage is permanent it cant be fixed.
This is why I believe it is risky to play vintage cartridges that may not track as well as when they were new. I have around 4000 records, many worth hundreds of dollars, many unobtainable now, therefore why risk damaging them. Buy a new current production cartridge unless the manufacture has a rebuild service where the cartridge is not just retipped, but all operating parameters are checked. NOS is not the same as new current production - suspension materials degrade over time.
Even if you have a modest record collection, add up what you spent - in most instances it is more than what you would spend on a new cartridge.