Got new turntable needs cartridge help


i just purchased a technics SL-1200M3D. I want to play my 33, 45, and 78 rpm collections on it.

As I recall, the phonograph will ship without cartridge and stylus.

I have found a lot of reviews of specific cartridges at this and other sites, but what I need is 1) how to select a cartridge/stylus, and 2) where to find comparison information. As much as I might want to, it is unlikely that I will spend $500+ for a cartridge, but I remember from old that the right cartridge and right installation is very important.

Can anyone direct me to useful cartridge comparisons? Does anyone have suggestions about a good (higher than entry level) moderate-expense cartridge? Does the term cartridge always also include stylus, or does the stylus have to be chosen independently of the cartridge?

I have read a lot here and elsewhere about cartridge installation, and remember doing that once or twice in the past. But I have no clue about how to decide which one.

Thanks for any help.

John, as a DJ I prefer almost any Ortofon needles. They have a long life, come with extra needles with the cartridge, and some like the "concord pro ss" are somewhere around $100.00. Check out your local DJ or record shops!

It's been a long time but I seem to remember Stanton making some pretty tough stylis also. They didn't sound all that hot but they could be abused. I once had an AR turntable and a Shure V15 and it REALY sounded good.


Hope this helps.

My kids are now grown and I have recently dusted off my old Thorens turtable with Linn arm and a Shure V15MR cartridge. Man, I am telling you, it sounds sweet!

Shure is still around and selling good stuff. So is Grado, Stanton, and Ortofon. Just depends upon what you want. If you want to shop for a good cartridge, try this site. It is pretty funky, but it has a lot of good cartridges for sale:

I don't listen to my albums all that often[not enough really] so I won't spend alot on a cartridge and have really been sold on the Grado Blue. For $80 list it's very smooth and accurate. Got my last one for $60 and at this point won't use anything else. Have like Ortofon and Stanton in the past but for now give me the Blue.

Unregistered guest
John, that Technic's "S" arm is pretty heavy. I'd say go for something low compliance like a Stanton. Ortofon's will probably have a resonance frequency with that arm in the audable range, good as they are, i'd look elsewhere. Shure cartridges would work fine also....and can be quite good. Some Grado's would work too, if my memory is correct. Good luck.

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
78's require a totally different stylus shape, size and geometry. You need a cartridge that is designed specifically for 78 playback. Shure and stanton used to make models that were appropriate for 78's. Don't know if they still do but a quick check of their web sites should tell you. You will damage the stylus and the record if you play a 78 with a stylus designed for modern "microgroove" records.
Picking a cartridge is similar to picking a speaker. Both are what is termed a transducer. They convert one form of energy into a different form of energy. As such they both have a definite sound. The problem is you can't listen to cartridges like you can speakers. But you end up picking what you think (after reading reviews) will compliment your system.
A cartridge always includes a stylus. But a stylus can be purchased separately from a cartridge in many cases.
There is a thread on the "Phono" site where you can send off for a good cartridge alignmnet tool.

Unregistered guest
Jean Elaine
Unregistered guest

I am old and frustrated with my Technic turn table because no one can find the right cartridge or needle to make the unit play. Everything is in good order and has been since 1991. The Sony system of which the turntable is a part is excellent...great sound! I miss my record collection like a lost relative (one I loved!) I would appreciate any help or directrion you might be able to give me. Thank you ahead of time.
My Technic system is labelled "Technics Model SL-D9
kDirect Drive Automaticd Turntable System" and has a number (serial?) beneath that information. Is that useful do you think?


J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Have you tried the links above?

Bronze Member
Username: Drumsuck

St. johns, Newfoundland Canada

Post Number: 38
Registered: May-04
John - don't get a Grado for your technics. It's not a good match to the high mass arm.
« Previous Thread Next Thread »

Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us