Technics SL-1200G Help

I have decided to dip my toe into the world of vinyl and have picked up a used Technics SL-1200G.

I am looking for some advice as to what cartridge to use with it. As this is my first turntable maybe I should start with a cheaper cart and upgrade to a better one later?

Any help appreciated!

Amp phono input specs:-

PHONO (MM) : 2.5mV / 47kΩ
PHONO (MC) : 0.3mV / 100Ω

There are plenty of decent carts. A lot of SL-1200 users pair it with Dynavector MC. I use Sumiko MM like the Moonstone.

The quality and synergy with your phono stage will play a big role too. Ortofon seems like a great match with the Technics also but don’t always play nice with Naim phono stages.

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Thanks. I was looking at the Sumiko Amethyst as the specs seem to match my Luxman amp. I will look into Dynavector now.

FWIW I used my 1200 with the Sumiko into my Luxman amp’s MM input and it was, quite frankly, crazy good.

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If you are crazy enough… but need to order special weights from Japan as well. A real heavy cart

My other cart is the Denon 110 Anniversary DL- A110

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DV 10x5 on my 1200G - nothing to compare it to, but very very happy with the sound.

Not sure there’s any good reason to start with a cheaper one other than affordability. Just take time and care mounting it, and cue up equally carefully at first, you should be fine. What’s the reason you want to start cheaper? The 1200s are very easy to use, so accidents should be rare if you’re careful.

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The detachable headshell makes mounting much less stressful too!

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Just make sure the cartridge height is 17mm or greater - that’s as low as the SL1200G arm can go. Otherwise, you’ll be messing with cartridge shims or thicker mats.

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Lots of choice all down to your wallet id recommend any Ortofon 2m cartridge or the Project which are rebadged ones cheap as chips too

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I’ve tried a fair few carts over the years and I’d suggest you start by buying a Denon DL103R and enjoying it for a while. It’s such a great VFM cartridge, it takes quite a lot to beat it. It’s not the last word in refinement but boy oh boy is it good fun to listen to! It’s the cartridge equivalent of the SuperNait amps.

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I paired the Hana SL moving coil (£639) with my new Technics 1200 GR through a Rega Aria phono stage. Sound quality is very impressive and a massive upgrade over my previous Project Experience Ortofon blue and Rega fono. Your deck is a higher spec than my GR so surely it deserves the best cartridge you can afford to get the best from it.

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Yes it probably does but the OP stated he’s dipping his toe into the world of vinyl, so you’ve got to start somewhere and dropping mega bucks on a cart you don’t really know/haven’t heard is probably not the way to go.
Let’s say you have a £1-1.5k budget, there are tens and tens of cartridges at that price point which are all excellent in their own way, but I’m not sure I’d want to spend that kinda money on something I wasn’t sure would be what I really wanted. Better (imho) to buy something relatively safe but decent for now and then explore further afield later.

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Thanks for the replies, lots to look into :grin:

My budget can be around 1k, I was worried that as a novice starting with a high value cartridge may not be the best idea, but as advised above the 1200G deserves a good cartridge.

A couple of questions for you experts:-

My amp specifies 2.5mV for MM and 0.3mV for MC, how close to these numbers do I need to be? For example the Orton 2M Black is showing as 5mV output, would this saturate my pre-amp?

Compliance, do I need to worry about this?

Thanks again for the help guys. :+1: :pray:

Unfortunately, this is one of the cartridges that falls foul to the SL1200G’s limited adjustability. It’s only 14mm tall, so your VTA is off unless you want to use a 3mm spacer or a 3mm thicker mat.

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Fair point (although who knows how the OP likes to have their VTA set), but a friend of mine had a G with a ‘capped’ 103r and it sounded wonderful. The Cap adds about 1.5mm I think and it certainly worked well.
Another option I’d recommend for this situation, is something from the Ortofon Quintet range (Blue or Bronze) as they should be a good fit from the off, sound great and can be used as an exchange towards any of the more expensive Ortofons at a later date.

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Another vote for the Ortofon 2M series of cartridges.

Ortofon offer these in a “premounted” version. These allow the headshell supplied with the deck to be removed and replaced with a premounted 2M cartridge and headshell. So much easier than fiddling with bolts and wires, and allows for swapping of cartridges as and when required.

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Hana ML would be a great match at sensible money…

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Depends on your definition of sensible money. I’d say that an ML is venturing into ‘Proper’ money!

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in reference to a 1200g I reckon it’s an appropriate level of cart choice for the deck… Agree it is proper money - but so is a 1200g… I can only imagine the trouble i would have gotten myself into if my first foray into Vinyl had been a deck like this instead of my el cheapo Akai!!

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