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Affordable but great cartridge suggestion for a Technics 1200G?


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The Technics tone arm might look the same as the original but on closer inspection, it has been radically improved and using high quality components including the bearings. Cartridges transmit so much energy so dampening between the cartridge and headshell makes a lot of sense however, a decent tonearm would have addressed many of the issues. 
I have always put I tiny bit of blutac between cartridge and headshell for as long as I can remember. Habit I suppose. 
 

Back on topic, better cartridge for the Technics 😊

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You’ve just described 99.9% of tonearms ever made!

Way over budget but we get it that you are in love with Arthur 😂😂😂

I have no interest in changing the arm, not for a long time thanks!  

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2 hours ago, rabski said:

Many tonearms resonate. The problem is that they don't all resonate, those that do resonate don't all resonate at the same frequency, and some have mechanisms to counter the resonance.

I have no doubt that the CM Isolator and the Houdini are likely to have an effect. The problem is that without a hell of a lot of complex measurements and calculations, it's going to be pot luck as to whether you get an improvement, a difference or a deterioration.

As I suspect few of us enjoy removing and refitting cartridges unless strictly necessary, it's an experiment I'd be unwilling to risk. But then I don't need to.

And of course some people like resonances.  Those Mana tables rang like mad and many Linn and Naim users bought them and stacked them up on top of each other.  

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22 hours ago, Beobloke said:


IMHO, you’ll need to spend at least double that to significantly better the 2M Black.

I’d stick with it and buy more records, personally!

Absolutely this - I ran a Black in a Mk2 some years ago, but found it notoriously finicky with regard to capacitance loading. However, get it right (as I did eventually) and it's a staggeringly good cartridge and made me re-evaluate how good MM cartridges can be. All the thin, slightly obvious glare from the Ortofon vanished. Adding a KAB damper to the Technics arm made a big difference too - sounds a bit gimmicky, but it really does work.

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2 hours ago, DomT said:

Maybe stop hitting the arm tube when playing then.... sounds totally psychological from your explanation!

I have a funky friend who knows what a thankless task it is trying to explain things to me and prefers to demonstrate a point.

I do recall him hitting a TT fitted with his thread bearing arm , with a hammer while it was playing, to prove another point. :D

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I would say definitely stick with the arm, nothing wrong with it ! I have a 1210 mk2 rewired and that totally transformed what was a dark and closed in sound, and the new arms are a step above what they used to be like on the old 1200 series, and so it should be for the money !

Cart wise i would say try a few top flight MM carts to try alongside your 2M black and see if you prefer the presentation of either. Sometimes throwing money at something is not the answer if the synergy is not right. I am thinking the AT740ML and Nag MP500 here for different flavours. My personal fave would be for the AT 740 or the more expensive 760SLC. I don't think that the 750 Shibata is any better than the microline, its just different.

Then if you liked the sound of the AT but wanted a genuine step up  then the  ART 9 is a whole lot of cart for just over a grand new. That would show what your 1200G is capable of IMHO.

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3 hours ago, rabski said:

I have no doubt that the CM Isolator and the Houdini are likely to have an effect. The problem is that without a hell of a lot of complex measurements and calculations, it's going to be pot luck as to whether you get an improvement, a difference or a deterioration.

I disagree. It is not a variable feast. If it succeeds in achieving isolation whilst maintaining stability then that is going to have a consistent effect. Arthur claims at least 85% of arms and cartridge combinations are compatible with Houdini and he can calculate which they are. The calculation is much more complicated than the fairly simple mass compliance regular tonearm calculation because the system is now a coupled oscillator. 2 masses and 2 compliances. I have asked a few times for more information about this and not yet caught him on a good day, but from various comments i wouldn't be surprised if its near impossible to get it precision right but to the nearest half-brick, is always 10Hz

His assorted reviews and testimonials, which I have no reason to doubt are genuine appear to support his claims subjectively.

It is a bit frustrating that he carries on with this coy fan dance instead of providing more details, but he's always been like that, and is genuinely stressed to bursting by the chaos brexit has inflicted on him

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3 hours ago, rabski said:

Many tonearms resonate. The problem is that they don't all resonate, those that do resonate don't all resonate at the same frequency, and some have mechanisms to counter the resonance.

I think they all resonate. I was about to add a plot of FXR, but it's on my laptop and I'm on my phone in the queue for a channel tunnel train

The issue is not so much whether they resonate but whether they do so significantly more at some frequencies. That adds colouration.  FXR has no spike at any frequency more than +-3db , which is acceptable for a loudspeaker.

The arm I posted the graph for has spikes over 10db right in the main audible zone.

2 hours ago, DomT said:
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Much as I'm a fan of the higher-end AT moving coils (and some of the lower-end ones as well), I'm not a universal fan of all the MM range. Equally, whilst I have made my feelings clear about some of the Ortofon range, I actually think the 2M Black can be made to sound superb. It does, however, need A LOT of patenice and experimentation with loading, and it also needs A LOT of care a fiddling with the setup.

My own feeling here is that a moving coil may well give more of the presentation that suits. However, I wouldn't throw middle-of-the-road money at it, because disappointment may result. Before spending money, spend some time on the loading and alignment of the Black. The 834 should give the sound you like (some might say if anything, too much of the syrupy sweetness), but you may well need to play with the capacitive load.

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3 hours ago, rabski said:

As I suspect few of us enjoy removing and refitting cartridges unless strictly necessary, it's an experiment I'd be unwilling to risk. But then I don't need to.

I agree. It's a bloody nightmare and I avoided it for months, which was a bit churlish since Arthur has been mentioning this concept every time I meet him for at least 10 years

Were he not an old friend I too would have thought it too much trouble and missed out. Although in non covid days I would doubtless have had it demmed when visiting him and wanted one as a result.

Or in the good old days i would have visited a dealer to have it demonstrated and bought one as a result

There's no doubt a money back guarantee is not the same as a dealer demonstration when it comes to fannying about changing cartridges. And installing Houdini is a bit more faff than a simple cartridge swap. Especially if you have no vision in your right eye and Parkinsons disease

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Just for completeness, cos I said I would, on the subject of all arms resonating, but the problem being big spikes

this is FXR and another popular quality "reference" tonearm

fxr.JPG

arm 2.JPG

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Going well off topic again, does anyone else want to recommend a cartridge for the poor old op? That Technics is quite a capable deck and arm combination 

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Fair point @radiant red Could the mods maybe move the tonearm stuff to another thread?

However, I suspect you will be left with a load of cartridge recommendations that the well-meaning advocate has never tried in a 1200G

Have you tried your recommendation in a 1200G or are you just recommending an old favourite and ignoring the bit of the question that asked for compatibility with a specific deck?

I confess my advice was based on my experience of a Mk5 1210 and I have no direct experience of a 1200G. But my point was based on a bent metal tube, and the graphs of several similar arms I have seen, not the bearings or the wiring and I am not sure that was invalid. 

I'd love to suggest a U205c mk4, if only Technics would relaunch their best analogue component instead of getting sucked in to the 1200 pimping fad. Sadly not a viable proposition.  If his MC stage is up to it , i have a Technics epc 310 mc which would be worth a try.

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42 minutes ago, Pinkie said:

Fair point @radiant red Could the mods maybe move the tonearm stuff to another thread?

However, I suspect you will be left with a load of cartridge recommendations that the well-meaning advocate has never tried in a 1200G

Have you tried your recommendation in a 1200G or are you just recommending an old favourite and ignoring the bit of the question that asked for compatibility with a specific deck?

I confess my advice was based on my experience of a Mk5 1210 and I have no direct experience of a 1200G. But my point was based on a bent metal tube, and the graphs of several similar arms I have seen, not the bearings or the wiring and I am not sure that was invalid. 

I'd love to suggest a U205c mk4, if only Technics would relaunch their best analogue component instead of getting sucked in to the 1200 pimping fad. Sadly not a viable proposition.  If his MC stage is up to it , i have a Technics epc 310 mc which would be worth a try.

I have never recommended  something I haven’t owned or tried. 
My customer works for Panasonic and when the deck first came out, he lent me one because at the time, I had an old SL1200 in the loft (son has it now) to compare because I couldn’t believe that the deck was that much better for all that extra cash. Also, I had three AT cartridges he lent me to compare on both decks. Long weekend but let me tell you, That G on the end of that deck means something and it was awesome and I was extremely embarrassed when I gave it back... egg on yer face I think we call it💭

So hopefully that answers your question 

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8 hours ago, rabski said:

Much as I'm a fan of the higher-end AT moving coils (and some of the lower-end ones as well), I'm not a universal fan of all the MM range. Equally, whilst I have made my feelings clear about some of the Ortofon range, I actually think the 2M Black can be made to sound superb. It does, however, need A LOT of patenice and experimentation with loading, and it also needs A LOT of care a fiddling with the setup.

My own feeling here is that a moving coil may well give more of the presentation that suits. However, I wouldn't throw middle-of-the-road money at it, because disappointment may result. Before spending money, spend some time on the loading and alignment of the Black. The 834 should give the sound you like (some might say if anything, too much of the syrupy sweetness), but you may well need to play with the capacitive load.

I seem to have the 2M Black sounding very nice now, as you say, it's very fussy about VTA etc.  My EAR Phonobox has no settings to tweak, just MM or MC :D

From the sounds of things I will wait a bit and then go for a Hana - the beauty of this TT is the easy cart swapping :)

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JICO Seto Hori on my 1200G sounds like a high out Koetsu for than than a re-tip & recently fitted a Funk arm - giant killer combo

JICO Seto Hori CartridgeJICO Seto Hori Cartridge - Positive Feedback (positive-feedback.com)

FX3-28_1_m.jpg

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