Technics SL 1200GR with What Cartridge???

I'm starting yet another thread on a similar topic, because I don't want to hi-jack someone else's thread, and I haven't found the answer to my question in other threads.

OK... I'm considering returning to vinyl for some of my listening and I need a Cliff's Notes version of what cartridges I might want to use.  

I've had a Linn Sondek LP12 for years, which I've barely used... but... it's been in storage.  As I recall it was pretty "finicky" and required a lot of attention to perform it's best (which was/is good).  I don't have enough patience anymore to deal with that, and am planning on moving to a Technics SL 1200GR, because it seems simple to operate, gets good reviews and doesn't seem to require a lot of attention. 

It appears that you can get great sound quality from the 1200GR with a good cartridge.  I'm just not sure what might be optimal / best for the money.

I also do not want to go crazy with esoteric cartridges that cost a mint.  My budget is probably in a range of... say... $300-400 to maybe $800-900 (if the cartridge is noticeably better than the more modestly priced cartridges).  

My Linn cartridge is a MM cartridge, I think (Basik or K9) in an Itok arm.  

That's about it.  

I'm not really interested in considering a lot of alternatives either in a turntable, or cartridges.  

Any guidance in this context would be appreciated.


Personally I think you should just get your Linn serviced ( not upgraded ) - just cleaned, set up, new oil.

If you have the Linn K9 it is an upgraded Audiotechnica AT95.

You can buy a replacement stylus for the K9 from Expert Stylus that is outstanding and takes the cartridge up significantly in performance.

The Linn Basic cartridge is also an AT95 variant.

For a new cartridge at your price points I would go Grado moving iron - musical and very easy on the ear ( no grain ). MC's will be more demanding on the phono stage.

@ dover

Yes... that's prolly what I'll do initially, until I've decided on the cartridge and phono stage... and... whether 1200GR or 1200G.  

@bassdude 1200GR is all you need to enjoy many wonderful vintage and new carts. Amazing phono pre like JLTI will load both MC and MM for around $1750 from Australia.

Technics seen here in my system