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DIB's picture
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MM vs MC - Pros and Cons.
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When my new MCR603 arrives it will come with a new Pro-Ject Phono Box SEII pre-amp. This will offer me the flexibility of either MM or MC cartridge compatability.

 

Presently my Systemdek IIX/RB250 uses an Ortofon 2M Blue MM which is far from the end of its life, and I'm more than happy with it. However, in the future should I need to replace it, would a move to a comparatively priced (£150/£200) MC cartridge be an upgrade or just a sideways move with a different sound/presentation?

 

Am I right in thinking that unlike a MM one,  you cannot replace the stylus in a MC cart? Once its done, you need to replace the whole unit.

 

I'm thinking long term here, not in the immediate future, but generally speaking does a good MC beat a good MM. Probably too general a question but I'd be interested in your thoughts on the merits of both.

 

Dave

 

 

 

 


Creek/ProJect/SBT/Epos

Anonymous
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RE: Turntables and LPs

I'd say you'd gain little from moving to MC, and the Ortofon is about the right level for the rest of your system.

If you want to try it, the Denon DL103 is the one to go for.

Yes, you're right, you can't change stylus on MCs.

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RE: Turntables and LPs

Hi Dib

The general view back when I was into TTs (25 to 30 years ago), was that moving coil was superior.

The MM was used in cheaper decks like the Rega Planar 2/3 or the Dunlop Systemdek.
The more expensive TTs from the likes of Linn, Roksan or Michell were usually paired wth MC. The Linn Troika/Asak/Karma were the most recommended in their day.

I had both, and the MC (Asak) was far superior, but it was also much more expensive than the Regas and Ortofons that I had previously.

If I remember right,my amp needed different boards fitted to handle the lower output of the MC. If this is still the case, then MC may have gone out of fashion.

I suspect MC is probably superior, but I've been out of this for so long that my knowledge is probably out of date.

Hope this helps

Cno

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

Anonymous
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RE: MM vs MC - Pros and Cons.

I would stay with the 2M Blue for now as I have not heard any decent MC's below £200. It would be better to upgrade to a 2M Bronze. Out of interest we once compared the Ortofon Vivo Blue against the 2M Bronze, both the same price, the Vivo is a very low ouput MC. The Bronze was far superior musically due to its better stylus profile.

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RE: MM vs MC - Pros and Cons.

as a general rule, you could say that MC overtakes MM at around £300.  the cost of a replacement stylus is around 75% of the total cost of the cartridge.  to offset this, some manufacturers of MC carts give a 25% trade in off the cost of a new MC which helps balance the books.

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RE: MM vs MC - Pros and Cons.

I would say that £500 is about where MC starts to better MM, thinking carts like the DV20XL, and then it depends on your phono stage. Carts like the Denon 103 just leave me cold. Over the last couple of years I have been lucky enough to have used denon 110, 160, 103, Dynavector 20, both XL and XH, Ortofon Blue, and bronze, Benz Glider and Apheta. Stages have varied from Rega MM & MC phono, Dyna DV75, Dino, and apheta.

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RE: MM vs MC - Pros and Cons.

respe wrote:

I would say that £500 is about where MC starts to better MM, thinking carts like the DV20XL, and then it depends on your phono stage. Carts like the Denon 103 just leave me cold. Over the last couple of years I have been lucky enough to have used denon 110, 160, 103, Dynavector 20, both XL and XH, Ortofon Blue, and bronze, Benz Glider and Apheta. Stages have varied from Rega MM & MC phono, Dyna DV75, Dino, and apheta.

interesting. I see you've got some experience with different brands. how would you rate the Benz-Micro and Dynavector? those are the two I would be most interested in buying at a later date.

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RE: MM vs MC - Pros and Cons.

Both are good, the dyna has a slightly darker tonal balance than the glider. The glider gives a little more 'sparkle' and attack to the higher part of the band, but I would not describe it as overly bright. It also has more attack, when a drum kicks in, it kicks in. I could quite happily live with either long term, and would suggest that the stage you are using will have as much effect on which one you prefer as anything else. The glider seemed in my system to prefer 400 loading, the dv20 100. I would list my preference as Apheta, Glider, DV20, which I suppose given the price would make sense. The ios certainly let the DV20 be heard in a much better light than the DV75 stage did.

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RE: MM vs MC - Pros and Cons.

respe wrote:

Both are good, the dyna has a slightly darker tonal balance than the glider. The glider gives a little more 'sparkle' and attack to the higher part of the band, but I would not describe it as overly bright. It also has more attack, when a drum kicks in, it kicks in. I could quite happily live with either long term, and would suggest that the stage you are using will have as much effect on which one you prefer as anything else. The glider seemed in my system to prefer 400 loading, the dv20 100. I would list my preference as Apheta, Glider, DV20, which I suppose given the price would make sense. The ios certainly let the DV20 be heard in a much better light than the DV75 stage did.

thanks for the reply. my phono stage has only fixed loading for the MC - 100 Ohm. I'll have to take this into consideration. interesting you rate the rega so high. maybe I should change my preferences?...

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RE: MM vs MC - Pros and Cons.

You need to keep in mind that the apheta is bolted onto a P9, and feeds a ios. If ever a system was designed as a complete vinyl front end...

Anonymous
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RE: MM vs MC - Pros and Cons.

Hi,

I'd just posted a link to a blog post I'd just written about my experiences moving from the 2M range (I was lucky enough to test them all ) to MC when I saw your post.  My experience is of the Denon 103R and Ortofon Rondo Red, both a little above your price but may still be of interest.

 

Link to my post is below:

http://tinyurl.com/6unpvgv

There are reviews of the whole 2M range also on my blog if you're considering the move to a Bronze of Black.

Red and Blue - http://tinyurl.com/7h2tpyh

Bronze and Black - http://tinyurl.com/85xm6qv

 

Cheers

 

Alan

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