MM or MC cartridge.....

Please explain the difference, I am new to analog. I have read that MC (moving coil) is the way to go, these are higher quality than MM (moving magnet). Any opinions? thanks...Mark
Look at the analog page for the "MC vs MM Apologize for the stupid question" thread.

Apparently you don't like to read much. If you even looked at the forum yesterday, or at the archives before you posted this thread, you would already know the answer to this, because I wrote half a book on it yesterday on a thread just like this. Are you really trying to find something out, or just make us all respond to your threads like barnyard animals? When someone has the type of site activity like you do, with many more threads posted than responses, it makes me wonder. Why don't you use the archives? That's what they're there for.

Sorry to be a little rough on you, but some of us that answer in depth, can't be writing dissertations 6 times a day.
Twl, as June Cleaver once said, "Ward, you were a little rough on the Beaver last night!" Seriously, I'm STILL discovering all the ways to use the Audigon site! (B.T.W., your post on the other thread was very comprehensive as well as sure put some time and effort into your response!) I do understand your frustration, though. Many people are just ignorant about using all the features of a particular website...others are just plain ignorant!
Be nice, guys...the coil moves in the MC, the magnet moves in the MM. That answers the question. Now go buy an audio book!
"Sorry to be a little rough on you, but some of us that answer in depth, can't be writing dissertations 6 times a day."

You fooled me. But, save-copy-paste might be worth considering.
Ohlala, you make a good point. I was in a bad mood. Here it is.

Allright, I guess it's technical time. There are several types of cartridges, with MM(moving magnet), MC(moving coil) leading the pack. Some others are MI(moving iron, or variable reluctance) which is most popularly used by Grado, strain gage(used by Stax),Electret(popularized by Micro Acoustics) and some Ceramic types used on the old 60's cheap record players. I can't think of any other types right now. Out of these, the first 3, MM, MC, MI, are primarily what you will encounter, unless you are specifically searching out the other types.

Although there are technical differences, MM and MI are usually lumped together. The MM has a small magnet mounted to the cantilever, and it moves between 2 coils in the cartridge body to generate the signal. The MI has a piece of iron mounted to the cantilever, and it moves between a set of coils and a magnet mounted in the cartridge body to generate the signal. They are typically categorized together because they have similar output characteristics. The generally accepted standard output characteristic for MM type cartridges is at least 2.5mv into a 47k ohm load in the phono section. Many are much higher, going all the way up to 6 or 7 mv. The average is about 4.5mv. These will require typically 35db-40db of gain in the phono section for useful listening levels. This is general info, and not intended to be specifically targeted at any one application.

The next one is MC cartridges. These use 2 very small coils of wire attached to the cantilever, and it moves between 2 or more magnets to generate the signal. These may have very different output characteristics in terms of voltage and load, depending on brand and model. The 2 main groups are High-Output MC and Low-Output MC.

The high-output MC will usually have 2mv-2.5mv of output. This is so they can be used in MM phono sections, without too much gain mismatch. They are a little on the low gain side, but most MM phono sections will handle them. They also are typically loaded into the 47k ohm standard MM-type loading.

The low-output MC has much smaller coils on the cantilever, and generates much lower voltage output. They may range from .1mv - 2mv. Generally they will be below 1mv. These require much higher gain in the phono stage, on the order of 45db-75db, depending on the output of the particular cartridge. They also require different loadings on the impedance scale, ranging from as low as 6 ohms, to has high as 47k ohms, with the typical around 100-1000 ohms. This is directly related to the brand and model of cartridge. In some cases a step-up transformer is used to bridge the gap in the gain needed for the phono stage, so a low output MC could be plugged into a MM phono stage, with the use of the step-up transformer, and the loading done on the transformer end.

Why would anyone want to use a low-output MC, when it has such difficult needs? The answer is that the low-output MC has a very light coil structure and it responds faster to the miniscule signals coming off the record. These are the fastest and most detailed types of cartridges. The high-output MC attempts to retain as much speed as possible, but has a larger heavier coil structure to increase the output. So the high-output MC is typically not as fast and detailed as a low-output MC, but it is easier to use in a standard MM type phono section. The MM cartridges use the heaviest system, which has a magnet on the cantilever instead of coils.

In all fairness, there are many very good MM type cartridges available today, and they can be as good or better than some MC types which may not be as well engineered,as Marakanetz mentions above. But in the high-performance area, a well designed and built low-output MC cartridge can have the very best sound of all.
No, aside from the victim, Mark, who has a lot on his mind, I thought the rant was cool. I just meant that you could stand to have a bank of standard answers saved on your computer. The 'you fooled me' refers "we"'s prolific posting. All my best points come by accident, oh well.

Post angry,
TWL....."Good Show"!!!!! ...... and good move. I was going to respond also but I wondered if you were in a "bad" mood. You're point was correct and people should try to use the system. But, people make mistakes and they also want "YOU to answer THERE question"'s important to them.

That depends...!

Some "NEW" members in Analogue, prefers the MM, as is EASY to change damaged needles...
And to my "Point" TODAYS some Good MM, sounds lovely also!


My 2 cents worth:-

As usual, TWL has enlightened us on the diff. between MC & MM (as he has on many other vinyl related issues).

To Mythtrip:

You can read an equivalent concise technical write-up at this website: (scroll to the very bottom of the home page & click link to enter).
On the left side, click "LP playback". Then click "The Cartridge".

You will see that the owner/designer of the Airtangent linear arm has write-ups of many other essential LP playback issues, which are key to understand esp. if you wish to indulge in vinyl.
Audiogon needs a FAQ section for each of its major discussion forum sections. Too often I have read threads like this where frequent contributors become irritated with newbies innocently seeking answers to legitimate questions but - lacking skills in using discussion forums - they don't know how to research their questions. I would suggest that Audiogon discussion forum managers compile the best responses to FAQ's and make the discussion forum experience more enjoyable for everyone.
Barnyard animals!!! Man now that was funny. I really laughed at that one Tom. also the "Ward, you were a little rough on the Beaver last night!" that was really clever as well Fatparrot, because Tom did sound a little like Ward.

like Tom says low output mc's RULE!!!

The Audio Technica atc oc9 or the Dennon 103
can be had for $300 and less brand new,so price is not an issue.
TWL-Whats the difference between a MC and MM?
Yes David, I know you know the difference, and you are enjoying a nice MC cartridge of your own. I'm glad you are. You should do a review of it, because most people are not aware of that particular version of the 103 that you have.