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.