JVC MC1 Moving Coil Cartridge - Heritage?

I have one of these cartridges that I used for about 2 years(1980 - 1982). It has been stored since 1982. Does anyone know the history(design heritage(if any), how it was reviewed, good/bad qualities, value, etc.) of this cartridge? I believe it was a bit of a cult item when it was in production.
Dear Sheitert: I never had the opportunity to heard it but for its build design an specs seems to me that it is a good cartridge and you can confirm it when you hear it in your system.

here you can find some info about: http://www.vinylengine.com/library/jvc/mc-1.shtml

Regards and enjoy the music.
I own JVC MC-2 cartridge. Is is excellent, much better then the current Audio Technica crop of MCs. Excellent on jazz and small ensembles. I'm using it with matching JVC MC-T100 step-up transformer.

Here are some results from german stereoplay magazine:
JVC MC-2E 08/81 200 37-39
JVC MC-5E 06/83 300 37-39
JVC MC-L10 11/82 450 43-45

MC-L10 is the successor of MC-1.
The last column is the ranking

Here is catalog page:
Dear friends: Here you can see the MC-L10, very good indeed:


Regards and enjoy the music.
6 years later what can you say about JVC MC-1 catridge ?
I know someone who can sell a few boxed NOS JVC MC1
The MC-1 places its signal coils way out on the business end of the cantilever, only a millimeter or so away from the stylus. Since the coil position bypasses most of the cantilever's length, the MC-1 is a good performer with excellent dynamics and immediacy. But in return it is tricky to set up (body clearance is minimal and stylus visibility poor), and the 0.2mV output and moderately high self-impedance will pose a challenge for many phono stages.

When the stylus wears out, or if the MC-1 breaks, it may or may not be repairable. The signal coils are micro-circuit boards and delicate in construction (so are the lead-out wires, which run up the length of the cantilever), and their proximity to the stylus leaves them comparatively unprotected. Also, the magnetic circuit's nearness to the LP surface tends to suck up dirt, which over time can clog up the magnetic gap that the signal coils move in. Finally, the close proximity of signal coils to stylus may turn out to be a headache for retippers.

With all that said and done, if you own a low-noise high-gain phono stage and relish the thought of listening to something exotic and rare (I'd be surprised if there are many functioning MC-1s left, even in Japan), go for it.

Enjoy what life brings your way!

kind regards, jonathan
I’m happy to add some fresh info in this old thread:

After a brief experience with my NOS Victor MC-L10 i have to say i love this cartridge. Spend a night listening to records on my Luxman PD-444 with two tonearms and two LOMC cartridges. To my surprise the MC-L10 on Victor UA-7082 with subweright was very impressive compared to my long time favorite FR7fz or FR-64fx with N-60.

I think now i realized what is a top of the line Victor system sounds like.  
UA-7082 toneam was designed for Victor LOMC, so it’s a perfect match with MC-L10. It’s been said many time how good is the Victor tonearm, but before my favorite was shorter UA-7045 (still amazing for MM), now i’m using a long UA-7082 with MC-L10 MC (superb) on Ortofon Resonance Free headshell.

Direct Couple Victor MC-L10 (30 Ohm impedance) impressed me the most with a silver toroidal SUT (Luxman 8025 for 3-40 Ohm) between the cart and my Gold Note PH-10 in MM mode. It seems like the 8025 SUT is Rare (it was the latest in a bunch, released 1981), i’ve seen only 8030 and 8020 before. I have 8025 and 8030 to cover any cartridges with impedance anywhere from 1,5 to 40 Ohm.

For some reason the LUX 8025 SUT opens up the sound of the MC-L10 to surreal level. It’s pure magic!

I must say that MC-1 is not far in performance, i have it for a long time too, but never tried with the SUT, because my 8085 SUT has arrived only in May, 2019.

I don’t know what to think, because my phono stages are all have more than enough gain for LOMC, but the LUX silver SUT really does some magic!

To reduce the moving mass micro-circuit coils are used with very
weak signal wire connections. Those break very easy by soldering
''points''. As J. Carr suggested broken coils connections are not  reparable. The actual invention was to glue the stylus near the cantilever ''nose'' avoiding this way the influence of the cantilever. However  the genius Ikeda san invented ''cantileverless'' MC kinds
 in his series 9C cartridges. This is much better and ''simpler'' solution for the  involved problem with cantilevers. My first was Ikeda 9 C II but I  now own his (latest) REX of the same series which is in my opinion the best MC cart ever produced. Anyway the most dynamic and musical MC kind. 
I haven't tried my IKEDA 9 III , but it's here waiting in line, looks cool on its original IKEDA headshell (superheavy combination). Will be on my FR64s with B-60 one day. 

However, the price for Ikeda 9 III and related cantileverless models are much higher than for Victor direct couple MC.  

This thread is about Victor and Victor toneam is the most underrated (imo), it's incredibly cheap compared to FR tonearms. Maybe it's not easy to find a perfect sample, but it is well worth the effort (imo). I really like the Victor 7045/7082 arms.  

I have no problem with Victor MC-L10 (luckily), i wish to run one of my Victor TT-101. 

A brand new ($5k) Audio-Technica ART-1000 based on Victor's Direct Couple MC principle. Audio Technica's Mitsuo Miyata interview here.  
My dear Slavic brother, The English have this curious saying:
"I am not rich to buy cheap stuff''. The suggestion is that ''good
stuff'' is never cheap. However you are always trying to prove
the opposite. I nearly got the impression that you are ''some
poor Russian'' in need for financial support. But your enumeration
of new gear that you have ''just'' bought is such that I think that you
must be at least in some close relation to Putin or Medvedev
who seems to be in the same hobby as we are. 
I posted my first JVC MC -1 to Axel because of those ''soldering
points'' I mentioned. Axel wrote to me that the ''thing'' was 
not reparable.  But I also own an functional sample but there
is no comparison with Ikeda Rex. The best ''direct drive'' there
is. I am not sufficient  brave to install this ART 1000 on any
of my headshells. Those coils on ''the outside'' look dangerous
and threatening to me.  

I posted my first JVC MC -1 to Axel because of those ''soldering
points'' I mentioned. Axel wrote to me that the ''thing'' was
not reparable.  

You posted it to me, lol 
Anyway MC-L10 is not exacly MC-1 or MC-L1000
MC-L10 is in between and probably the most balanced in this DC series.

I'm in this hobby to try things, i don't know a better way to learn, personal experience is what i need. 

Honestly i was shocked how good is MC-L10 on UA-7082 with LUX SUT and Gold Note PH-10. I could not stop listening to records for the whole night. This is rarely happens, only if i really like the cartridge. Another reason is tip-top condition of my sample. 

Dear chakster, Speaking about prices. For some unknown reason
a cart without box is cheaper and otherwise; with the original box
more expensive. You needed the JVC-MC 1 box for this reason
while my sample was ''without function'' because the cart was
defective. So I posted both to you because giving presents is a
joy . Anyway as assertion. However I was stunned by the posting
price. I had no idea that NATO sanctions against R. Federation 
have anything to do with post prices. Those should imply no
postage possibility to Russia at all. So you should not think that
I don't like you anymore because what I don't like are postage
prices to Russia. Even enjoyable 
The higherst possible postage price to Russia even for 1 single record is from Norway for some reason.

It is true that i like original boxes and everything in vintage Hi-Fi i’m trying to buy in original box for collection like this Victor UA-7045 tonearm in the box (NOS). Your box for MC-1 was a donor for another MC-1 i found later without box. 

And later i found next model in this series (MC-L10), also in original box (NOS) and to my surprise it was a stunning performer. Now a complete Victor system is here in NOS condition with MC-L10

I ended up with 3 different MC-1 including your donor.

Only one MC-1 is working, another one have a problem with one channel and the last one is completely dead (for parts or as a visual model only). However, i asked Peter at SoundSmith regarding those two samples, he said he could work on it. Maybe his tech skills is higher than Axel’s? But you know i don’t like refurbished cartridges when i have working original, so i never shipped anything to him.

My latest MC-L10 is an inprovement over my working MC-1 which is also good.
Dear chakster, I made an big mistake by description of the ''direct
drive'' technology.  The coil circuit is glued behind the stylus 
while the signal wire from the coils are glued on the cantilever in
the opposite direction. This way two objectives are reached:
reduction of the moving (parts) mass and avoidance of the cantilever
influence. This is actually ''micro technology''. To get access to
the coil (wire) in order to (re) solder the wire ''soldering point'' 
the whole cantilever/coil construction must be removed. In my
opinion impossible task. 
BTW Yamaha also used ''printed circuit'' coils for their MC-1 S 
model. They claimed the lowest (moving) mass for this cart
in conjunction with the ''fastest reaction'' to the record signal.
But I can't remember that anybody in our forum even mentioned
this cart. So those who think that there ''must be one single cause''
which explains the ''quality'' of an cart and refer either to the
''motor'' or the cantilever material or the stylus shape are  starting
with the wrong proposition or premise. If the premise is not true
than deduced statements from the premise must also be not

For anyone who is curious about "Direct Couple" design by Victor Laboratory READ THIS blog written by Japanese enthusiast. This dude comparing popular vintage cartridges (MC and MM), an interesting read (imo). 

Thanks, Chakster. The author of that piece is a wise man, even when his English is translated from Japanese. His experiences as a general rule parallel my own. Which is why I am loathe to make definitive statements about anything. Related to Audio, that is.

 I also agree with Nandric, and I have written this many times before. It seems to me you cannot dissect a phono cartridge  and declare what parts or structural elements make it exceptionally good or bad. You have to take the whole thing as it is. 
Dear Lew, Part of this problem is (simple) grammar with ''subject
connective and predicate'' which is focused on description of
objects. This kind of sentences is not suitable for description of
relations. Say, ''brother'' whom I address regular in this forum
is not about some properties but a marking of an family relation
''place''. We all have assertions about what a ''good brother''
means but differente cultures may have different ''places'' in
the family row or order for brother. One of my Dutch friends
visited my beloved Serbia and say to me: ''you have greetings
from your brother in Serbia''. He was very confused when I said
to him: ''I have no brother''. But then I realized that brother in
Holland does not mean the same as in Serbia. In Holland there
is ''mom ,dad and kids'' so those kids are brothers and sisters.
In Serbia the family relations are much brother because ''family''
includes much more people . So we lack the expression ''cousin''
or ''nephew'' but use ''brother from uncle or aunt side'' instead.
This btw was the reason for Frege to construct ''scientific language''
because ordinary language was not sufficient precise.
I am happy about Victor cartridges, long time ago Victor’s MM became my favorite (definitely in top 15) since i discovered NOS samples of X-1 and X-1II. This year i finally managed to buy a NOS X-1IIe and this model is also great for the money. I’ve tried many samples of them looking for perfection, and i think the X-1 is the most problematic, suspension often softened, so personally i prefer X-1II series, because i’ve never seen a sample with softened suspension (i had many).

Then i had to try Victor’s MC (Direct Couple):

My second try with MC-1 was fortunate enough and i was impressed by the quality of this Direct Douple type, Nikola tried it too and told me the sound is more like MM :)) After a first try i quickly realized what i have missed when my Spanish friend offered a bunch of then NOS, at that time i missed the deal for rediculous low price (my mistake). The reason whas a lack of info about this cart here on audiogon and else where online.

After reading J.Carr’s comment i realized i need something like MC-L10 and finally it’s here. This is a very very nice cartridge, no doubt! I really like the sound of MC-L10 (Beryllium/Shibata) on UA-7082 arm with my silver SUT.

... And now i want MC-L1000, the only problem is the price which can be up to $2k (definitely not my category).
Dear chakster, My remarks are about MC-1 not MC-L10 which I never owned. The problem according to me is the connection
between printed circuit coils and signal wire which are glued on
the cantilever to be further connected to the pin connectors.
Those wire are very thin and consequently  very vulnerable.
So there two weak points involved. The (soldering) connection
to the circuit and the breking possibility of the output wire.
Despite its low price the danger that one of those ''points'' will
collapse is pretty obvious. I assume that you know what kind
of frustration this causes irrespective of the cart price.
I hope you will at last try your Ikeda 9 C3 and compare the
involved technology as well as the sound.

I had the MC-L1000 Chak....and it was a STUNNING CARTRIDGE 😘
Amazing concept of the COILS NEAR THE STYLUS gave sound that was unlike any other cartridge I have experienced.
The midrange and particularly the HIGHS were stunning and close to ethereal 🧚‍♀️

The only problem I found, was that despite the FR Chart showing flat response all the way down to 20Hz......I simply couldn’t get a decent bass output from it, no matter what I did.
I really wanted to keep this cartridge, but for me......unsatisfactory bass is a ’deal-breaker’ so I sold it....😢
Digging for the specs of my Victor gear i've noticed something that i missed before. The material of the armtube of my Victor UA-7082 is aluminum-magnesium-silicon alloy, not just an aluminum as i expected. Strength is three times that of conventional pure aluminum. This greatly reduces resonance. Tubular arm containing shock absorber: A light shock-absorbing material is packed inside the tonearm to prevent resonance at certain frequency. So UA-7045 and 7082 are very well damped. Migh the one of the reasons i love my UA-7082 + MC-L10 Direct Couple combo. 
Dear chakster, Dertonarm was the first who advised me to
get those FR-7 kinds with low impedance FR SUT's. My
problem was the assumption that one needs different SUT's
for different carts impedance. I own many MC's with different
impedance  but I was reluctant to collect SUT's next to the
carts. His theory was/is that not only impedance but also
inductance need to  ''correspond' with each other. I give up
because of the involved complexity or, to put this otherwise,
my technical inability to deal with the issue. But after some
time I discovered Denon S1 SUT which can be used for all
MC carts irrespective of their impedance. I see by your Luxman
8000 + 8025 proposition the same possibility as by Denon S1.
But ''your Luxman 8000'' has also additional transformers 8020
and 8030 which are in accordance with  say, ''the old theory''. 
8020 for low impedances and 8030 for high impedances. 
If one has no idea about which theory is ''true'' one should
of course choose this possibility. The most of my MC carts are
low impedance but I also own some very good carts (Benz LP
and Magic Diamond) which are 40 Ohms. So if I can get this
''combo'' of 8000+ 8020 + 8030 I can't go wrong?
@nandric i think you can’t go wrong with Toroidal Silver SUT like Luxman, the price is more than reasonable (imo). For my cartridge i don’t need 8020 (40 Ohm), but i have 8025 and 8030 to cover everything. I never tried Denon SUT you have, so you can compare and tell me :))
I have zero respect for JVC after a horrendous experience with one of their products that never worked properly despite four trips to their repair depot. At that point, in complete frustration, I threw it in the trash bin and never looked back. 
I have zero respect for JVC after a horrendous experience with one of their products that never worked properly

What was that? Your jvc VHS camera ? 

Chalker if you must know, it was a car stereo. The reputation “Junk Very Cheap” was certainly deserved by JVC. The replacement Alpine deck served tremendously well, and was transferred to my next car. 
Ok, we're talking about high-end products released under the Victor Laboratory brand, actually a high quality stuff, but made 40 years ago. Victor tonearms and cartridges is what i like a lot, buy my experience is much wider with MM. Personally, i've never owned any cartridge, tonearm ot turntable under JVC brand, only Victor (for japanese market).