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MC vs MM

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Holy Zoo, Jan 28, 2002.

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  1. Holy Zoo

    Holy Zoo Gort (Retired) :-) Thread Starter

    Location:
    Santa Cruz
    Can someone teach clueless boy here what the differences between moving coil and moving magnet cartridges are? (I'm more intersted in difference in sound than the technical/physical differences)

    All all MC's better than MM's?

    thanks!

    HZ
     
  2. Jim Ricketts

    Jim Ricketts Active Member

    Location:
    Freedom, USA
    GENERALLY speaking, a MC will be faster, more transparent with a greater sense of air and space. A MM will be a bit slower, rounder and warmer. Your choice, forgetting cost factor, will be based on your listening tastes and equipment synergy including phono cable and phono amplifier.
     
  3. Patrick M

    Patrick M Subgenius

    Location:
    US
    I don't think this question is so black and white. You have to consider the synergy of the rest of the system. In some cases, a MM may be a better mate than a MC.

    Also, keep in mind that within the MC genre, there is high-output and low-output.

    Maybe you should state what your 'table is, or what 'table(s) you are considering.

    BTW, ceramic cartridges are really the best, anyway. ;)
     
  4. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    Location:
    South Plymouth, Ma
    Ceramic?! Heretic!

    Bad, bad Patrick.

    Actually, you have to be careful sometimes in picking carts to the preamp you have either on or off board. Most every preamp is geared for MM. While high-output MC's are quite awesome (Dynavector 10X4's) some low mV carts that are pure "MC" need a much different rolloff and preamp charactoristic.

    A LOT of the Rega carts make great MM buddies. The Dynavector 10X4 is MC, but has a high mV so it compliments a MM preamp stage nicely.
     
  5. Holy Zoo

    Holy Zoo Gort (Retired) :-) Thread Starter

    Location:
    Santa Cruz
    Ok... here's my system and tastes:

    I have a Music Hall MMF-5 turntable, which came with a Goldring 1012x MM cart. This is into my Rega Mira integrated amp (w/built-in phono preamp).

    The sound I like tends towards warm, with solid bass. I don't care for lots of treble (makes guitar solos shrill :)). And I think that cymbols should sound "integrated" with the rest of the music, not riding on top.

    So far I'm very happy with the MM Goldring. Sounds warm and lush to my ears. But then, I've never had a MC cart. (I grew up with my dad's Duel turntable with a Shure V15 (type II or III?))

    Thanks for any words of wisdom!
     
  6. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    Location:
    South Plymouth, Ma
    I would sincerely think that if your Rega pre-stage is solid, then I would really recommend a Dynavector 10X4. It's made as a MC to work with MM stages. Absolutely one of theee best buys out there cart-wize. Only second to the Elys by Rega, which is also one of the better MM carts out there for the money.

    If you like the Goldring sound, there are many other Goldring carts that I would concider upgrades, but the Eroica (regular) is rated like/for a MM stage. Their Eroica LX is not (only .5 mV) Make sure you choose wisely because you have a MM Phono Pre-integrated doohicky.

    Check them out at http://www.needledoctor.com as Jerry's page has a lot of insightful info. You may find your cart cheaper elsewhere, though...
     
  7. Holy Zoo

    Holy Zoo Gort (Retired) :-) Thread Starter

    Location:
    Santa Cruz
    Thanks Sckott! You've talked me into it. :D Time to start saving my pennies (again!).
     
  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    I'm a MM guy. But, I listen for more than pleasure; it's my work too. So, I need a razor flat cart, and that means MM!

    You on the other hand can choose what you want on the basis of the "sound" of the cart. Sigh. Ah, the good old days...
     
  9. Ronflugelguy

    Ronflugelguy Resident Trumpet Geek

    Location:
    Modesto,Ca
    Steve, what's your analouge set-up? Turntable Arm Cart.
     
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Thorens table & Vintage rim drive Garrard 301 table, with Signet TK10ML phono cartridges, moving mag type. Shure SME arms.

    The usual lab set up.

    Joule Electra tubed phono stage with matching tubed power supply.
     
  11. Ronflugelguy

    Ronflugelguy Resident Trumpet Geek

    Location:
    Modesto,Ca
    Signet made some good carts,I used to own a TK7e. Are they available in Japan?
     
  12. TSmithPage

    TSmithPage Ex Post Facto Member

    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    I've always wondered about this. My turntable has a button so that you can choose either MC or MM, and I've always opted for the setting with the fuller, more bass-oriented sound. I do not know if my cartridge is an MM or MC cartridge however. Do I understand correctly that the cartridge dictates the setting, or does the setting work both ways for all cartridges, just depending upon your preference as to the sound?
     
  13. Ronflugelguy

    Ronflugelguy Resident Trumpet Geek

    Location:
    Modesto,Ca
    Yes, the cartridge does dictate it , hoever some high output moving coils can be run through a moving magnet input.
     
  14. vinylrec

    vinylrec Senior Member

    Location:
    Delaware, Ohio
    I'm using the Shure V15xMR. It does the job for me. Nice and warm....
     
  15. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    Location:
    South Plymouth, Ma
    That cart is also one of the nicer MM carts around, category as: Great playback for the cash.
     
  16. bcherry

    bcherry New Member

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    B&O MMC2

    This underrated MMC (moving magnet cross) gives some of the advantages of both. Very good tracker, requires little tracking force to do its job and very dynamic articulate sound. Doesn't need a stepup. The MMC2 and 4 are still available from phonophono in Germany.
    bcherry
     
  17. I always heard that the Grado's were good hi-output MC's, but the one I had suffered channel imbalance until I took out the stylus assembly and dabbed the contacts with petroleum jelly. It played well then, but it was very midrangey if I do remember correctly. Was on a Technics 'table.

    Wore the stylus out before I had it hooked to a relatively grain-free phono preamp.

    I had a Shure a long, long time ago and I used to listen to my MoFi Abbey Road on a McIntosh C-32 preamp thru that thing. Those were the days.
     
  18. Kevin Sypolt

    Kevin Sypolt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rocklin, CA
    Hi Sckott and all,

    Hmmm, I think I just found out that I am a MM kinda guy too! Too bad you can't take a blood test for this kinda thing. :)

    I just purchased the Dynavector 10X4 MKII, and I find the sound is too "forward" in my system. Of course, you can't return phono carts to Music Direct, so I am looking to sell it for cheap if anyone is interested... It just arrived yesterday, and I installed it last night. I have listened to it for maybe 1.5 hours, and I have decided not to keep it. So if anyone wants to to test out one of the better rated MC carts around, please send me a private message.

    Thanks,
    Kevin
     
  19. Beagle

    Beagle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ottawa
    I am curious as to what effect the petroleum jelly would have. I thought the contacts on the stylus assembly were just extentions of the magnet assembly on the cartridge body. I know Grado used to have this black goo on that area and warned people not to remove it.

    The Grados were actually moving iron design which was sort of a combination of MM and MC.
    Then you would probably love the $300 Grado Reference Platinum.
     
  20. kda

    kda Forum Resident

    Kevin

    Don't be too quick to sell the Dynavector. They are famous for requiring an extended break-in period. My 20XH improved over time, but I must say it never sounded bad.

    KDA
     
  21. Kevin Sypolt

    Kevin Sypolt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rocklin, CA
  22. efhjr

    efhjr Idler Wheel Enthusiast

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Do I have enough juice for MC?

    I also have a Music Hall MMF-5 turntable with a Goldring 1012x MM cart. And I have been considering going to a MC cart.

    My preamp is the Wright-Sound WPL-10V, which has a phono voltage gain up to 60 dB. Am I correct in assuming this is enough gain for a high-output MC cart? Or should I consider a step-up transformer?
     
  23. mazort

    mazort New Member

    Location:
    San Antone
    Der Difference

    Ya, und de first vun, der little squeegles mek der coil muv, und der secund, squeegles mek der megnut muv.

    Mit both, der sund come out der back, ya.

    Der are s'many pinions abut dis, vich vun sund best, as der vud be pipple.

    Mebbe you've noticed.

    You must listen to der leetle stinkin tings und mek up your un mind!

    Ya. Now Herr Huffman digs der MM, vich mebbe vud be vun pinion vich you shud esk yurself vhy? He leestin to a lot of der stinkin records und must van to know in vat vay do der stinkin tings really sound.

    Ya.
     
  24. Kevin Sypolt

    Kevin Sypolt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rocklin, CA
    Hmmm, I think I traced just a bit of Sveedish und yur spch... :)

    So Mazort, now that I have been relieved of my Dynavector MC, I am REALLY thinking about purchasing a Grado Reference Sonata. If Stereophile magazine rated it a Class B, one would think it can't be THAT bad... Am I crazy? I know Tom will think I am. But I really DO like my Prestige Green (if only it tracked better), because it is very WARM sounding, with lots of solid, full bass. How does the Sonata compare to the Prestige Green? Do you think it would have similar tonal qualities? For me it's a toss up between the Sonata and the Clearaudio Aurum Beta S. They are both similarly priced. However, I am rather gun-shy after that Dyna...

    Signed, Confused in California
     
  25. mazort

    mazort New Member

    Location:
    San Antone
    Grado Sonata

    I'm not familiar with the other cartridges you mentioned.

    I did use a Grado Sonata before I upgraded to Grado's The Statement, and I was really pleased with the tone. I thought it was a wonderful cartridge. I used it in my Linn LP-12 with the Ittok tonearm, a Mistral phono section, an Audio Research CA-50 tube integrated amp and ProAc Response 1SC's. I found this combo to be highly synergistic (my love of ProAc's has a lot to do with their tone, voicing and overall musical balance), and as I said the tone of the Grado was outstanding. I didn't feel the other parameters were lacking, either. It had plenty of kick, too.

    There can be a lot of system interaction and differences due to setup. And then there's the matter of subjective judgement...

    All I can speak to is my own experience and as I keep repeating, I got great tone from the Sonata and I obviously value that because I'm listening to music!

    Ya!!~
     
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