Need cartridge advice for Philips turntable

I recently inherited a Philips GA312 turntable and wanted to upgrade the discontinued Grado cartridge (currently installed). I reached out to Grado Labs for assistance. Grado service replied, "the GA312 is not compatible with Grado phono cartridges".

Since Grado is not an option, what cartridges would mate well with the Philips tonearm?. My current price range is up to $150. I plan to upgrade, when my kids are out of college. Thus, a cartridge that allows the user to upgrade the stylus is an attractive option.

Thanks. Your help is appreciated.
I'm not sure why Grado would say that. It looks like it has a standard 1/2" mount. They may have been thinking of a different turntable. Check your current cartridge. Measure the distance between the mounting holes. Should be 1/2". If so you can use just about any modern cartridge.
The Grado Prestige Blue would fit the bill perfectly and allow you to upgrade the stylus in the future.
I set up  a Philips GA 312, or maybe 212, for a friend several years ago.It is a very good basic table.Go to for a manual, and other info.Go to to look at their inexpensive cartridges. Also check for a belt, alignment gauge, stylus force gauge, dust brush, etc.They show a lot of helpful basic info on their site with pics of 1/2" and P-mounts.
A Grado cart will definitely fit; no question about that. I assumed the Grado cart was "not compatible" due to a compliance issue.
...or maybe a hum issue. Grado Service didn't elaborate on why it was not compatible.
The 312 has a low mass arm which requires a high compliance cartridge.

I had 2 of them in the late 70's for a few weeks (long story) and one came with a Philips branded cartridge and the other with an Audio Technica (sp)? cartridge.

The Philips (whatever it was) sounded sounded pretty good and the AT not so much (kind of bright/thin).

Anyway, I replaced I replaced the AT with a Sure V15 MkIII and was surprised/pleased with how good the combo sounded compared to my various Thorens/SME/Sure V15 MkIII decks.

I also briefly had the 212 version in 1974-75, or so, but is was so affected by footfalls (100+ year old house) I returned it for a store credit.


High compliance, which would rule out the Grado I currently use.


Just Googled the old Philips cartridge I mentioned above and they and their replacement styli are readily available on the used/NOS market.

You would want to go with a 401 (or higher) and not the 400/conical version.

There is also a new Philips 501-II listed @ Thakker for $120/US, but I didn't see any spec's listed.

My decks came with a plastic cartridge alignment guide (fitted over the head shell) that actually worked.


The Grado Prestige Blue is a high compliance cartridge at 20 um/mN and will do just fine in that arm.