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Beogram 1202 - Get new SP14 Stylus or explore alternative cartridge options? And general restoration!

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JonaServ posted on Thu, Aug 27 2020 7:38 PM

Hi all, I've been lurking around on this forum for a couple of days now  and this is my first post. 

About a week ago I found a Beogram 1202 and Beochord 1200 for almost free at a second hand store. As usual, that's where the trouble starts and almost free quickly turns into quite expensive :-). 

Optically, the units are in pretty good condition. Technically however, they were not...

I started with the Beogram. There was no belt (fixed). The Idler wheel was out of roundness and hardened (almost fixed, replacement wheel needs some fine-tuning but will get there I think). The autoreturn-mechanism had way too much resistance in all its moving parts (fixed) and the lift was jammed so when the autoreturn worked it would just drag the needle all the way accross the vinyl... (fixed). 

It's all working fine now though, except for a slight speed issue due to the new idler wheel which doesn't seem that big of an issue. 

Except... I think the needle is complete rubbish. Judging from the small marks it left on the platter, the needle must have bounced off the platter for quite some time during transport or so (before I had it).

The cartridge itself is an SP14. 

Now I don't know what to do.

I can get a new replacement stylus (Eliptical for SP 10, 12, 14) for what I think is a lot of money (189 EUR is the cheapest I could find).

Or a good condition used SP12 cartrige for 149,-. 

I've also found Tonar adapters to convert an SP mount to fit an MMC20. That would be really a lot of money, but the most important question is that I don't know if it's worth it. 

Since you guys know the 1202 and these cartridges better than I do, I think I'm going to trust your judgmenet on this one: what should I do? 

Is the 1202 a good enough turntable to invest EUR 500 to convert to MMC20? I mean, I LOVE the looks of the thing and will never again sell it, but if I look at the internals (really no offence but just being fair) it's compromised in terms of audio quality. I don't really understand the idler wheel + belt choice, the wiring for the audio signal is creative to say the least. The 'floating' way the platter supports the vinyl is not optimal in terms of vibrations, etc. I'm not saying it's rubbish, but I just wonder it it's the kind of turntable that would really benefit from a 500 EUR cartridge upgrade... 

So a new needle for the SP14 seems like a better option (eliptical). 

Of is the SP12 a better cartridge alltogether? 

Please help! 

(I'll open a separate thread on the Beochord once I get to restoring that one) 

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Top 500 Contributor
84 Posts
Bronze Member

I'd say it's not worth it. I would get an SP14/10 cartridge and get the stylus replaced.

In audio terms the turntable is really not exceptional and it's kinda hard to setup correctly.

And even still, you will probably go nuts when you'll spend 500EUR on an MMC adapter and an MMC cartridge only to still hear a faint hum from the motor through your loudspeakers.

Top 75 Contributor
1,353 Posts
Bronze Member


I can not answer the question "Is the 1202 a good enough". Say if its good or not, i dont know.
I use one and it plays records beautifully, and thats why I wanted it because it's beautiful.

But if you Frankenstein it to fit any other cartridge than the original SP, the tone arme wont be as beautiful ans sleek (called "Concorde arm", after the plane, here in France).

Be patient and youll find a near new needle, or save money to retip yours.

Also, it would be nice to share how you fixed the idler wheel issue.


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Germany (close to Rhine)
30 Posts
Bronze Member


I also just restored BG1202.

I got my SP14 cartridge retiped with an eliptical needle for just 50€ here in Germany.

I am very happy with result!

Very nice sound with my BC9500 and still the original look.

Kind regards,


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