Best MM for the money or?

Are there any MM cartridges out there that rival the elite MC cartridges? I have in storage a VTL Ultimate with a MC stage but with my Monster Genesis 2000 cartridge(.02mv) I can only take the volume up to 12 o'clock before the back round noise is noticable. Should i go to maybe a .o4mv cartridge,would that solve the problem? Or should I just go to a MM cartridge and be happy with that. The VTL is magical with the CD stage which is why I never sold it and it meshes well with the Manley Tube amps I have in storage too.
Why not a step-up transformer?
FYI, it's .2mV, not .02mv.

As you may know, most MCs are in the .5-.8mV @5cm/sec. A .4mV output will gain you 6dB and a .8mV will gain you 12dB. No need to go to an MM for higher output. Of course, a step up transformer can be had for as little as $100 with some degradation. Whether that degradation is more important to you than the degradation of your wallet is the question, not to mention the question of what cartridge to upgrade to, and how much it will cost.

And by all means don't wait too long to retire the Adcom and get those VTLs back in the game.
Hmmm....this is very tough. I would start by verifying that the tubes are quiet and have not aged. There are a lot of MC phono cartridges that run to .5 or .6mv from great makers like Koetsu, Lyra, Clearaudio, etc. That may work for you. You cannot use a stepup into the MC stage since they require seeing 47K ohm loading, unless you can change the loading on your phono stage, or it is set to 47K. To answer the question, MMs are getting better, I had the pleasure of auditioning the Music Maker recently and it was quite good. The Clearaudio Maestro has had a lot of good press and the Grado Reference and Statement have their adherents as well. Very hard to recommend a cartridge when no system details are given. Best of luck.
I'm sure i can buy quiter tubes and have done that by purchasing some Mullards. VTL checked the unit out and put new tubes in just before i put it in storage free of charge in fact they upgraded the phono section for me. I think I need to go with a higher ohm cartridge.
I have been quite satisfied with the sound from my 2 B&O MM carts, 1 is an MMC2 and the other an MMC1. The MMC1 was hand-calibrated and tested at the factory. The response graph enclosed with the cartridge is the flattest I have ever seen, +- 0.1db from 20Hz - 20KHz

I won it in a sales contest back when I was selling a lot of B&O gear. They let me pick thru 30 carts to find the best one - it is phenomenal. Cost me $0 back then, they go for ~$800 now...Sounds really good on my B&O 9000 tangential tracking turntable.

Hi Qdrone,

There are a couple of obscure moving iron cartridges from the past that will rival many moving coils, but finding one in NOS condition at this point would border on a miracle. That said, Soundsmith's new "Voice" is a moving iron cartridge that is being incredibly well received. Frank Schröder, who makes the wonderful tonearm, commented that it is the finest, or near the finest, cartridge that he has ever heard. (I don't want to misquote him, but that is the gist of his comment on another forum.) In any event, that one may be well worth the effort to seek out.

I would consider a Moving Coil Transformer . I use an Ultimate [heavily modified ] with a Quicksilver [+23dB] or a homemade - Jensen JT-44K-DX based [+20dB] - MC Transformer into the MM Phono Input of the Ultimate . Both are rather inexpensive especially if you are handy and do your own construction . Do a Search of Audio 10 for construction details .

Background noise will be low enough for your Monster Genesis 2000 cartridge . A very fine sounding cartridge indeed . You could also set your MC Input to 47k and run a lower gain Transformer [+15dB?] . IMHO almost all Low Output MC Cartridges in general sound better than any MM Cartridge I have heard .
Actually, Chinese tubes tend to be very quiet in a phono section, but their life expectancy is pretty short. But for the price, you could pick up 10 or more for the price of a good pair of NOS tubes.

In my experience, I have also found that Chinese tubes don't have the "air" and openness or the high-end extension of NOS tubes.