MCs: to load or not to load, that is the question?

I'm looking to upgrade my phono stage and need a primer on the merits of being able to resistively load down MCs or to run open at 47k ohms as part of my selection process. (FYI, I have a std. Lyra Helikon - .35mV, JVC TRS-1007 Std.).

A number of reviewers/cartridge maufacturers have said one should run relatively low output MC cartridges like my Helikon "wide open" at 47k ohms to get the best air and extension. And some suggest some mild resistive loading to say 10,000 or 1000 ohms to take out an MC's rising high-end frequency response. (I currently run the Helikon at 10,000 ohms; 47K ohm proved a bit strident up top and trying 1000 and 100 ohms ended up being too muddy).

However, a number of well-regarded phono stage manufacturers have designed their MC phono stage input impedence as fixed or with a limited degree of selectability in the 0 - 500 ohm range. These folks appear to believe that this is the way to achieve the most linear frequency response and potential of the cartridge. They would also add that if the only way to obtain the best sound from a low output MC like mine is to run it near to or wide open at 47K ohms, this indicates there is a high frequency roll-off somewhere else in the system that one is off-setting.

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Having a preamp that allows you to change values is, for me, indispensible. This allows me to tailor the sound of a cartridge to my system and allow me to use different cartridges with out being limited by the pre amp. My experience running an MC at 47k ohms is similar to yours. I have a Benz which i run at 10K which i can't stand at 47k. I think it would even sound better at a different value but haven't spent the time yet to find it.
Trying different values, as you are doing, is about the best way to go. Many people can make recommendations based on their own systems, but you have to decide what sounds best to you.
I always use the cartridge straight in and get loaded myself; that usually makes all of the tunes sound just great.
Marty has the right idea! Load at about 100 proof! LOL
HAHAHA... you guys are cracking me up.

I think experimentation is what works best. Due to the differences in capacitance and resistance via the tonearm cabling, interconnects, phono stage loading and the tonal balance of the rest of the system, one really needs to "tweak" things a bit to get them dialed in. The hard thing is finding discs to use as a reference. If you dial things in on one disc, it might not sound "perfect" with another disc. Selecting something that is a "good compromise" is about all that one can do. Sean