MM vs. MC: Sonic Differences?

I've always owned low-output MC cartridges, but now wonder what, as a broad generalization, are the sonic differences between these two technologies? For instance how might the ClearAudio Virtuoso Wood ($750 - MM) compare to the ClearAudio Sigma Wood ($1200 - MC)?

In other words, are the low output MC cartridges really worth the extra expense, requirement for a fairly sophisticated RIAA, etc.?

I know that this is an extremely subjective question. Please don't respond with "it depends." Instead, please educate me regarding your experiences. Thanks in advance.
Aren't both of the Clearaudios moving coils, one of them high output and the other low? It has been my experience that the low output moving coil sounds better than the high output version. But, you must have a preamp that has enough gain.
A good cartridge is a good cartridge whether it is MC or MM. I have a Virtuoso (mm) and a Sumiko Celebration (MC) and they both sound great. MC's are suppose to be a bit quieter and clearer in sound. They are but an extremely good mm will compete and even sound just as good . The Virtuoso is the best mm I have heard - I tried the Shure bigboy but it cannot compete with the Virtuoso. I also tried the Grado Sonato but I didn't care for its sound - a lot of people like it though. The MC needs more gain in the phono stage so you may have to buy an outside phono amp or a stepup transformer to supply the necessary volume for sound to be produced. A good many preamps come with a mm stage already to go. A friend has the Sigma and likes it a lot - in a little test we really could not truly tell which sounded better - the Virtuoso or the Sigma - but they both sound great.
I've owned both types, but they were sufficiently different that any sonic comparision couldn't simply be boiled down to MM vs. MC. From what I understand, the main theoretical advantage of MC design is lower moving mass, something that's easy enough to comprehend. The disadvantage, as stated above, is usually lower output, requiring greater phono stage gain which can impair S/N. From what I've heard (not nearly as much as some, I'll admit), I frankly think that if you correctly load an MC for smooth response and tight focus, rather than letting it run away unloaded to get "air" and bigger-than-life images, then the differences between it and an equivalent-quality MM can be fairly academic if each is mated to an optimally-matched phonostage. But if forced to generalize, I would say that a good MC can win on transient speed and harmonic detail, while a good MM can win on dynamic punch and tonal density. It might be interesting to hear the newer Grado MI carts (they are moving irons, right - not moving magnets?) with the ultra-low outputs, which presumably would have much lower DC resistance (that is, fewer coil turns - like an MC) than typical higher-output models. To me, as a guitar player, the whole question is roughly analogous to the single-coil (Fender) vs. double-coil (Gibson - known as "humbuckers") electric guitar pickup choice. A lot (but not all) of the differences in sound have to do with the ways lower (single-coil) and higher (double-coil) output voltages will drive a guitar amplifier's input stage, and whether the frequency response is more extended in the upper ranges (single-coil), or emphasizes the mid to lower ranges (double-coil).'s been already almost 3 years since i've started to use mc cartridges of high definition. before that i used only mm.
mm cartridges are eaiser to set up. you do not need neither to load them nor even vta sencitive.
mc carts demands a great deal of attention from listener and experimentation. every little move makes a difference and you can experiment with them an infinite amount of time.
i believe that i still need to try different vtas and loads but i feel that i've almost riched nirvana in my analogue playback.
to tell what are the differences is very difficult since there are different mc and mm carts on the market. we even know that there are low mc-like output mm carts but what is the point for mm to have low output?
the point in mc cart for the low output is the length of coil. the shorter the coil the faster, more trasperent resolving and even dynamic the responce will be and there is no limit in moving coil method. less flexible the possibilities to create mm cartridge since we're bounded by the speed of magnet.

so the main difference between mc and mm is the potential to be better.

the best for the value so-far mm cartridge i've heard is shure v15mxr. beyond that i see no point investing money into mm. finally i'm about to acquire one to be as a back-up cartridge that can even smoke mcs in its price range.

the new consept of mooving irons is very interesting. the main task of the consept i believe is to have the iron as pure as possible with the most-minimal carbone content >.02% than the magnetic field will be changed very fast.
My impressions/opinions- Firstly, with a handful of exceptions, moderate-priced MMs (under $400 to $500) are better than similarly priced MCs. I think that this could be because executing a MC design is a little more expensive and difficult, so an inexpensive price point may result in manufacturing shortcuts to keep the MC's price down.

Secondly, I think the MC design is inherently better, but a well-executed MM design will easily best a poorly executed MC design. (For clarification, "execution" means quality control over the entire manuacturing process so that the unit performs as designed.)

As supporting proof- There are darn few MM cartridges over $1000 just as there are darn few MC's under $200.

Find a good value cartride in a price/quality range that is appropriate with the rest of your system and make sure it is also compatible in compliance and has the desired output.

Just my opinion...


Just my opinion......

Marakanetz - Just a note: VTA sensitivity should primarily be a function of stylus shape, not generator type.