As with most things audio, your ears (likes) and the implementation is far more important than the format.
- 19 posts total
- 19 posts total
One thing is for certain. MM and MI cartridges are extremely under rated. Because MC cartridges have become the fad, pushing prices up into the patently ridiculous zone MM and MI cartridges are a much better value and the do some things better than MC cartridges. I might prefer a MC cartridge on chamber music and string quartets but for large and loud symphonic pieces like Beethoven's Fifth or Stravinsky's Firebird a MM, MI cartridge may well be superior. There have been several respected mastering engineers that have related that MM cartridges sound more like their master, more accurate. Accurate does not necessarily mean sound better. I have a preset that I boosted 6 kHz over one octave just 2 dB. I can switch immediately from flat to the rigged response. I just ask which do you think sounds better? Every unsuspecting last person I have pull this trick on says the rigged response sounds better. Louder and brighter always seem to sound better. Brighter is not accurate. It works on some recordings but on most it makes voices seem smaller and more distant. It does not take more than a couple of dB here or there to change the character of a system. This is why people gravitate towards certain speakers as there response pattern varies quite a bit as does individual taste and what the person is use to listening too. If the person has a bright speaker he or she is going to think a neutral speaker sounds dull.
The same holds true of cartridges. For a time MC cartridges were getting the best styli and cantilevers but that has changed and there are many MM, MI cartridges with the best styli and cantilevers. IMHO these cartridges are just as detailed and in some instances, like with rock and fusion jazz definitively produce a more dynamic performance.
There are many fine MC cartridges out there but IMHO Koetsu is not one of them. But, it is probably psychological because I think their thing with a multitude of stones and finishes (Using exactly the same motors) is silly.
They certainly are not the best trackers and yes, I have owned one, a Rosewood Signature Platinum which I sold because I discovered low compliance cartridges and monster arms were not my thing. Actually, multiple cartridges is not my thing anymore. I find that I only listen to the one I like best so now I keep only two cartridges, the last one I liked best for backup and my new favorite. The others get sold off ASAP.