Do MC carts sound better than MM ones? - diyAudio
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View Poll Results: well, do MC carts sound better than MM ones?
yep 52 69.33%
nope 23 30.67%
Voters: 75. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 29th September 2009, 12:31 AM   #1
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Default Do MC carts sound better than MM ones?

Well, punk, do they?
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Old 29th September 2009, 02:58 AM   #2
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Yes, as a generalization assumming that ancillaries are up to the task.

community sites,, ........ commercial site planet10-HiFi
p10-hifi forum here at diyA
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Old 29th September 2009, 03:13 AM   #3
SY is offline SY  United States
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It depends. The best magnetic cart I ever had was a Technics MM. But several MCs that have gone through my living room have also been excellent. So, I can't really generalize.

Best-best cartridges ever weren't magnetic- think Panasonic strain gauge and Weathers FM.
"You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is."
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Old 29th September 2009, 12:14 PM   #4
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It depends a lot on your music and sound preferences. I can't imagine any MM beating a good MC on classical but with rock music MCs are often too polite and lacking a real kick. As i haven't heard a MM cart for at least 20 years, things may have changed.
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Old 29th September 2009, 12:53 PM   #5
brianco is offline brianco  Ireland
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Originally Posted by woodturner-fran View Post
Well, punk, do they?
Being old enough to have had many cartridges through my experience I will say that the MMs I tried - and lived with over many years - included the ADC 25 and 26. These were actually stupid cartridges which were so compliant that they tracked best at under 1 gram. However they jumped around on anything other than the flattest of records and one well known record shop refused to sell me records as I too often returned them as unplayable! BUT when all was well these MMs back then sounded as good as was possible.

I also tried Decca cartridges but although extremely dynamic I found that they had a tiring relentless quality and moved on to MCs.

Again I had many of these, but have two favorites (still). One is an early SPU/e Ortofon and thye other is an original Kondo Audionote Io (with elliptical stylus). Both are troublesome as they need a lot of step-up and also they can be nowhere near their best potential in a less than perfect arm.
If the bearings are not absolutely right both will shake them to bits! These cartridges produce a lot of energy. Other than the homemade arm I use now, the old SS FR64s or 66s have proven to be the best for purpose.

I have not heard many of todays good MCs but those I have heard seem to be too sterile for my liking. They do not in my experience produce the type of sound I like.

If I were to have to buy a cartridge within the next few months I would buy an old SPU and have it rebuilt by the Expert Stylus Company here in the UK. THey specialize in this particular cartridge and, having heard a recent sample of their work, I can only say that they do a world class job. For UK £600-700 (total) you get an equivalent to a cartridge retailing at triple that figure.

I have had many others but the above are the ones which are at the top of the pile for me. All of the views above are also fully valid. THe Technics - I think it was a 305 or some similar number - was a glorious MM when fitted with the top stylus.

Last edited by brianco; 29th September 2009 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 29th September 2009, 01:08 PM   #6
Cobra2 is offline Cobra2  Norway
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Impossible question...without a price-range.
No MM will beat a Dyna XX2 in a good arm/drive.
But this is more than twice as expensive as any MM

Arne K
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Old 29th September 2009, 10:36 PM   #7
Nanook is offline Nanook  Canada
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Default neither!

'cause we all know moving Irons sound the best

Seriously, I have had great success with the moving Irons from Grado.
stew -"A sane man in an insane world appears insane."
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Old 29th September 2009, 11:07 PM   #8
Salas is online now Salas  Greece
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Originally Posted by brianco View Post
I have not heard many of todays good MCs but those I have heard seem to be too sterile for my liking. They do not in my experience produce the type of sound I like.
I think that much of that sterile character is down to phono stages. Only little noise from their regs and a Riaa filter not taking into account how an MC measures on an actual test record, just all nice and textbook, can push it too far along with the high gain needed. It takes a ''fizzy'' quality. To the contrary, MM by being naturally subdued in the highs and 18dBV stronger as a generator in average, can come across tamer and limp. Alas, enough info is lost. Of course, correct tone comes first in order to appreciate any info. Else its a drill on endurance to shrill.
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Old 30th September 2009, 12:07 AM   #9
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I worked in a Hi-Fi store for too long. Grados are okay, but only the gold or silver, don't pay any much more for an elliptical tip. A good FG or Fine Line makes a huge difference, surface noise seems to drop big time with more exotic tip geometries.

I dealt with clearaudio, sumiko, ortofon, Benz Micro, Dynavector and a couple others.

The best I've heard are the Benz-Micro gear. The aces, ('specially Low output) and Gliders are absolutely sublime. And ofcourse the gullwing

But I'm loathe to spend the kind of money you need to get into the good Benz stuff. I recommend the Ortofon Salsa. It's goofy looking but it sounds amazing for the money (Super Fine Line tip!)
Wherever you go there you are.
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Old 30th September 2009, 04:49 PM   #10
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I have a Sure in my Technics. I don't even know what kind it is. Sounds fine to me.

But is the issue here is moving mass? Which is less? Moving Coil or Moving Magnet?
Has anyone tried Moving Neodymium, or Moving Field Coil (IE: not the pickup coil
thats doing the moving)?

I'm assuming there is some minimum BL that has to be achieved. And then after that,
additional moving mass (even if the signal gets bigger) is dead weight. Is this how it
works, or am I completely off the page?
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