Stanton CS-100 WOS and Pickering XSV-5000 can do that. Both are oustanding MM, very rich and sweet sound.
68 responses Add your response
Dynamics. Absolutely. If you are a rock fan than a fixed coil cartridge is the only way to go. MCs as a group are too polite. Some of the ultra low impedance MCs with current mode phono stages might be a match. But , way more expensive. I have not had the pleasure of hearing this set up yet. The other problem in the cartridge world is that MC cartridges are frightfully over priced. Thank you Koetsu which started this trend in the late 70s.
Dynamics... is it *just* this?
I hear differences in timbre/tonality of practically all that's going on.
My Quintet Black and Cadenza Black sound good, but there's always something sort of 'engineered' about the sound, and even other items like PW Windfeld or its predecessor... whether using an SUT or straight into 100-200 ohm loading, this MC charcteristic remains.
As for CD, when comparing identical recordings to LP running an MC, it sounds so very much the same, good, practically indistinguishable - but just like ultra high tech engineered. Best I can put it.
Like a bit say the difference between a mechanical piano (perfect) and one played by a person, both perfect - yet one more filled with life, the other somehow a bit - sterile? 🤔
All this can't be said when I'm using any of my MM cartridges, and it has more to do with timbre and TIMING... , than higher/better resolution.
Micro-dynamics in proper scale with macro-dynamics for MC carts is generally a function of low moving mass combined with low output.
This, with the least amount of added noise, which tends to exclude active MC head amps, due to very low signal levels vs the unavoidable relative added noise via transistor, component (caps, resistor,) power supply, layout, circuit board, (stray inductance and capacitance, environmental sourced noise), etc effects.
A well matched step-up transformer will alleviate all of that to some notable degree. This, if the person attempting... is looking to lower the static and dynamic noise floor in the system... and sees things this way. Via hearing and listening, not by the numbers, per se.
The other way (while engaging in due diligence) , is via a low self noise MM cart, one with excellent mechanical, electrical, and EMI/ RFI noise control.
One of the best in these categories, is the Teo CBP and CC cartridges. Probably the lowest complex self-noise cartridge around. Dynamics come from improving the complex noise floor, first and foremost. This is especially true with phono cartridges.
It's the only cartridge available (to my knowledge) where the basic unit has a 'no cost' trial period.
If a person likes it, then they can upgrade the stylus any time they want, to a nude elliptical, micro-line, shibata stylus. To do so on their own, at minimal cost.
Best of all worlds, in perpetuity.... is the aim.
"Micro-dynamics in proper scale with macro-dynamics for MC carts is generally a function of low moving mass combined with low output..."
That sounds like the ongoing ’mantra’ for MC cartridges, now doesn’t it?
Now there’s something else, than just coils and their windings at work...
The fewer the windings (to reduce moving mass) ok. BUT now to stay within reasonable output limits (~0.2mV), stronger / bigger magnets are called for, eh?
Talking strictly about MC right now.
(If an MM uses a tinier moving magnet to reduce moving mass, you add windings and, ok, get a bit more induction... ).
Back to MCs now and my thinking - dynamics - vs MM.
What do magnets have if their magnetic field is changed? Hysterresis - loops.
The more rapid the change the more Hysterresis (resistance to magnetic flux change in simplistic terms)
EVERY magnet has a hysterresis effect, the bigger/stronger the more notable, give or take.
This, my suspicion, is causing this ’micro-drag’ that makes MC’s presentation different to MM’s.
The only reasonable explanation I can come up with.
This what I call ’mirco-drag’ is what I’m hearing, I think.
And it doesn’t end there, as it will create ’micro-phase-shifts’ and thereby also affect timing.
This as all gets minutely dragged out of the original ’timing position’.
Correct me if I’m ’hanging too far out of the bus’ with this, and then kindly give a sensible good alternative explanation, please. 😏
The funny thing is, no one seems to mention magnets, ever it seems, as if it was only induction and coil windings being of any import.
Afraid, I'd need a Father-Christmas to get one at their price!
£ 1879.00 and then some I'm sure... 😥
The heavy income days are over by now...
But thanks for bringing it up as some more exceptional alternative to either MM or MC.
Though judging by my two MF/I cartridges' susceptibility to electro-magnetic interference - I can only guess, even this item will have some tricks going, apart from superior dynamics, eh? 😉
Debate about MM vs. MC is pointless, just like those Digital vs Analog pointless threads on audiogon.
When you asking an MC aficionado about MM cartridges it's like asking Digital aficionado about Analog (waste of time).
It's better to have an MM and MC and compare in your own system.
I have both types of cartridges, also some exotic ones (cantilever-less design from Ikeda, Direct Couple design from Victor ... ).
Moving Magnet or Moving Iron cartridge can be as good or better than some of the best MC, it depends on a cartridge, not on a type of cartridge. What is important in this search is to ignore mainstream, and then it will help to find something very special that people are not talking about on mainstream hi-end media. Here is an example of two MM and one MC, even the cheapest of those 3 is absolutely amazing and it's an MM design from Pioneer for their Exclusive series.
I like LOMC cartridges from my collection, but I also enjoy an MM and MI and practically they are definitely better, replacement stylus is a huge benefit, look at this original Grace Ruby LEVEL II The sound of the best MM is addictive.
Inexpensive SONY MM comes with exotic and very expensive cantilever.
I'm just trying to say there are so many amazing MM cartridges (and MC too) out the numbers of mainstream models offering today.
If we don't know the classics how can we judge new products?
The roots of high-fidelity in analog is somewhere in the 70's and it was a Moving Magnet era, high compliance carts and lightweight tonearms. With the right cart on the right tonearm you will be blown away by the quality of MM for sure (even if you like an MC like myself).
All good points, yet I'm not talking about which is *better*, if you read my post again.
Though I get your point. I do.
If one is, according to my experience, more into high/ultra-high resolution, total possible detail etc. and leave aside... what? 🤔
A certain 'naturalness', a perceived 'artificialness', top MCs (and digital?) will 'kiss the sky'.
No doubt, very cerebral all that.
But as I mentioned 'goose-bumps' (goose-flesh in American English?) which is instantanious, non-intellectual, having nothing to do with that deeper 'relating to the intellect' but more with some simple primordial (basic and fundamental) reaction!
Such it has squad to do with any technical, electrical, physicist's analysis.
In a way quite uneducated, deeply enjoying e.g. some classical piece of music vs reading a musicological analysis into such a piece.
The latter (normally?) would not result in getting a goose-bumps reaction, but simply stimulating ones intellect if it sufficiently resonates being not perceived as 'boring'.
To me that's the difference here, getting an instantanious (unsolicited by intellect) goose-bumps reaction is giving me more joy of listening, than some cerebral sound analysis...
So... to say it again and as memory serves me, MCs and digital hardly, if at all, produce the former but rather the latter.
So, this made me reflect why the heck this was so?
It's sufficiently intriguing I find, bothering to ask.
Maybe give the Hana moving coils a try. They seemingly provide all you describe. Outstanding mc cartridges at great prices. I step up my Hana EL (with elliptical stylus and Alnico magnets) with a jensen mc 2RR-L transformer (1:10 ratio/20db gain/430 ohm load impedance) into a Tavish Design tube phono preamp, the sound is divine. Using three tubes, Ge jan 5751, Tungsram 12ax7, and a Ge 12au7. I got an RCA 7025/12ax7 and an Amperex bugle boy 12ax7 in reserve to try as well.
But as I mentioned 'goose-bumps' (goose-flesh in American English?) which is instantaneous, non-intellectual, having nothing to do with that deeper 'relating to the intellect' but more with some simple primordial (basic and fundamental) reaction!
This reaction can be caused by everything, often it's music itself (no matter what quality). If you can feel it only with MM cartridges as you said earlier then it's just you and not necessary anybody else on this forum. But if you're interested in MM cartridges (high quality performers) I recalled some of them. You can't go wrong with top Stanton and Pickering, those are emotionally rich cartridges with very sweet tone.
If you like MM so much then continue with better MM or MI and you will find what you're looking for (in terms of sound).
@mijostyn I posted so many times about my current mode (current injection) phono stage (called 47 Labs Phono Cube) I like a lot with my MC cartridges.
I also posted how exactly I came to the best vintage MM after using modern expensive LOMC in $2-5k range.
The only modern LOMC I have today is Miyajima Kansui, my Ikeda 9 III is a bit older, but my favorite LOMC are much older (FR-7fz, Miyabi Standard and Miyabi MCA ... ). All LOMC works perfectly with Gold Note PH-10 phono stage.
One cartridge I use a lot these days is Fidelity-Research FR-7fz on FR-64s tonearm with B-60 vta base on my Luxman PD-444.
Current mode phono stage from 47 Labs is great!
Ok, thanks for all those cartridge suggestions.
Though if I left the impression of needing any more than the 6 MM/I cartridges I already own, this was not intended. Sorry.
According to Russian psychology (at least) as I now learned, goose-bumps an be caused by most anything, even a good motion? 😝
Never mind an experience of well presented analogue music.
So what we have here, is a phenomena strictly experienced by myself, if it’s suggested?
If that’s the case, it doesn’t explain really anything, other than having asked the wrong question, no? 🤔
Stuff happens, no harm done.
Thanks again for all the kind feedback.
Though if I left the impression of needing any more than the 6 MM/I cartridges I already own, this was not intended. Sorry.@justmetoo
It’s OK, after my first high-end LOMC I was pretty sure that it is the last cartridge, but then I bought 60 more somehow over the years, because of the curiosity.
According to Russian psychology (at least) as I now learned, goose-bumps an be caused by most anything, even a good motion? 😝
Some people even crying when the music is good, they don’t need a cartridge for that, emotional contact with the music can be settled even if you’re playing a song from iPhone.
Playing music from vinyl records for the people for over 20 years I’ve seen a lot, been traveling worldwide with my records. For majority of people Music is the key, not a cartridge, not even a sound system!
Neither the best resolution CD or MC will give me goose-bumps.
Audiophiles are strange.
Sitting alone in front of the speakers we have to hear what was recorded mixed and mastered by professionals in the studio. In other words we have to hear the truth. If it was analog master then it must be Reel to Reel or Vinyl, and this is where digital doesn’t work.
This is what you have to read to understand why an MM (you’re not alone with your impression):
* Interesting point of view from TAS magazine (back issue) article called "Assessing the State-of-the-Art in Storage Media" (Issue 40). In this, J. T. Henderson reports on a listening session comparing digital master tape, analogue master tape, direct-to-disc lacquer and the "live" mike feed; the report consists of a long conversation among J. Boyk, Keith Johnson, Doug Sax, and JTH himself.
Those people were top sound engineers if you don’t know:
"On the one hand, we have assurances of the leaders of the High End recording industry that the best Moving Magnets are very close to the Master Tape and that they are capable of "uncanny" resolution. On the other hand, we have the prevailing perception, amounting almost to a shibboleth, of the High End listening community, that only Moving Coils are realistic in some sense of that word and that Moving Magnets are incapable of sonic truth. While it is clearly beyond the scope of a single review to resolve this conflict entirely, a couple of points come to mind. In direct comparison of two "sounds", tonal balance differences show up very conspicuously. Good Moving Magnets can be very nearly neutral tonally, as well as being low in the kinds of distortion that are audibly significant. Moving Coils are low in distortion, too, but typically they are quite far from neutral tonally, with a "presence range" suck-out followed by a high frequency rise."
Their choice of monitoring cartridge during the disk mastering process was Stanton 881s mkII, Audio-Technica AT-ML170 and Technics P100c mk4. All cartridges are Moving Magnet type.
BUT not every MM cartridge of today can give you what Stanton, Audio-Technica, Technics ... top models can do!
P.S. I can imagine how many great TAS articles about classic MM or MC cartridges I have missed, they are not available online sadly.
Thank you dear man, always find your posts of greater interest, even if by some sensibilities - also my own - you can come across a bit 'strong' flavoured at times, eh?
And many thanks also for sharing this TAS article!
As for me, now never mind the underlying technicalities (I'm still nosy...) , it explains my ongoing preference for MMs in particular. Even though I have tried *so very many times* to 'love' MC's sound presentations - to no avail as yet.
I'll bear in mind your cartridge suggestions (alas, SA is a *notoriously bad* country for ordering and RECEIVING goods these days!).
Once my currently owned MMs give up the ghost 👻, who knows?
You're a ⛲ of experience and derived knowledge.
I’ve played with the exact aspects you speak of and it is tied directly to the chakster illustrated points.
and I’ve fixed them.
At which point a good MC done this way starts to sound more like a high quality MM, with the majority of all the remaining MC faults in situ, obviously. Then I went to work on those....(and that remains an unfinished project out of dozens of similar ones)
Point is, that the MC faults are what people are living off of re falsified detail that they cannot mentally parse out.
to parse out the point or fact that all sequenced conversions of prior signal, in the mechanical to electrical conversion sense...are going to have dynamic and living faults and specifically losses.
losses or alterations in correctness that will do exactly as chakster implies. To put it country simple, the MC is noise shaping, and the MM does less of this, but still does it.
The trick is to remove as much of the components that mask this, as is possible. In either the MC or the MM.
In the MC world, one way to lessen the one poorly realized issue, is to use Alnico magnets. Their hysteresis is minimal compared to most.
This will be heard as a clarity to some and a loss of detail to others.
Depends, literally, on how the person listens.
Sadly, the norm of hearing and learning to hear in the audio world, can generally encompass the wrong direction, due to how much noise is inherent in the given systems as a sum total chain. Thus punching specific distortions (realized or unrealized) above this complex noise floor can be and generally is -- mistaken as detail.
the Teo audio cables and the cartridges and the unpublished circuit refinements, unpublished teo loudspeakers, etc are all designed around fixing these problems.
What we end up with is a startlingly noise free and warmly detailed system with insane transients and huge gobs of harmonic delineation, just like live signals have.
The Teo Audio MM carts are designed in such an environment, one where the window (for the designers) is exceedingly clear so these problems can be tackled and be resolved. And thus removed correctly.
What we end up with is world class MM with the least amount of self noise that you can find in a MM cart and probably most MC carts, for a huge dynamic range and richness of signal retrieval unfettered by self noise and additive/cumulative distortions. Where groove distortions become uncannily resolvable.
The window of the motor proper is brutally clean, Where the mechanicals left at fault in the moving components are the last part of the puzzle. When the stylus is upgraded from the basic bonded versions with thick-walled heavy cantilevers (03x0.7 elliptical) ..to the nude and light versions with a better suspension (Microline or shibata), the differences, the gains.. become shocking and unexpectedly potent.
As.. the key thing is, most people realize nude mounted styli, on superior cantilevers, they show their advantage in a notable way..well... with the Teo MM carts, there are no other conflations that obscure their effectiveness. The perceived differences, the gains, become notably greater.
Getting people to understand that is going to be a frightfully long process, it seems. Unless people take us up on our 30 day free trial for our basic phono carts. and then upgrade the stylus at their own leisure and self selected costing and pricing.
A scenario where they are in the drivers seat, not the cartridge producer (MC re-tipping, special styluses that are limited in availability and source points, etc). Even there, we’re giving them what they want.
The trick is getting enough people to understand this simple seeming MM in a crowded world of competing pricing, truly does stand head and shoulders above the rest. and I do mean the rest. Hence the 30 day free trial. For a cartridge. That is the gauntlet which has been thrown down.
Come on people, figure it out.....The only known cartridge with a 30 day trial (on the basic versions). A trial period that has to exist for a REASON. It’s not a game.
It’s a gauntlet thrown down, a stake in the ground, a proclamation nailed to the wall.
A combination that everyone begs for, which is the highest quality available at the lowest price possible with the highest level of the buyer being in the drivers seat.
You all wanted this... so please realize that someone did their best to bring it into existence. As, if enough people don’t give it this essentially free shot, then what might be the best MM’s that people might ever hear, will die on the vine... and never get the chance to grow into a real force to be reckoned with.
@justmetoo AT ML 170 and AT ML 180 OCC have been known to make people go insane upon hearing. Not me, I was already there. My modest collection of vintage NOS MM carts from Pioneer, Argent, Sony, AT, Victor, Stanton, FR and Grace transport me to the rings of Saturn each time I drop the needle. MM or MC, doesn't matter regarding best sound. Both will give you time travel if you purchase correctly.
IMHO - I only have a Pickering Xsv4000 - but it has a certain body and grunt that my mc’s don’t have. It is very satisfying and creates a body that is very enjoyable. U may simply prefer that type of sound as ur MC cartridges are pretty damn good. My MC’s do have a certain finesse and sparkle which are also enticing.
Yes, I hear you.
I’m right now running my Empire S1000 ZE/X-ERD, .2 x .7 mil original stylus.
Sounds like you point out, also when compared to my 2 Ortfon MCs (Cadenza Black and Quintet S Black).
But my OP was really about WHAT IT WAS exactly that produces this difference...
There surely is a Physical/EEngineering explanation - and not JUST: "one moves a coil and the other a magnet". Hah! 😝
If a slab of chocolate tastes different to some other (say Cadbury vs Lindt) it has a REASON!
Not just: ha, I like this one better, no?
lohanimal said....."IMHO - I only have a Pickering Xsv4000 - but it has a certain body and grunt that my mc’s don’t have. It is very satisfying and creates a body that is very enjoyable. U may simply prefer that type of sound as ur MC cartridges are pretty damn good. My MC’s do have a certain finesse and sparkle which are also enticing."
Dear @justmetoo : Your inquire is interesting and my take is that both kind of cartridges can give us goose-bumps but in different way in different " gradation ".
MUSIC per sé has as main characteristic that moves human been feelings/emotions. If we listen MUSIC through a Walkman, home system or in a live event: things happens.
I owned and still own " hundreds " of MM/MI/LOMC cartridges and through my first hand experiences in my system and other friend's systems I learned something about what you posted and that makes the differences :
"" it has more to do with timbre and TIMING... , than higher/better resolution. ""
Our MUSIC perception is a complex issue but my take is that what defines in first place what we are listening belongs mainly to the " "speed transient response "/attack of the media we are using/listening.
Transient response is responsable of the immediacy/impact feeling of the MUSIC and its harmonics.
The transient attacks in LOMC cartridges and CD are faster with a faster decay time than what we can perceive in almost all MM cartridges.
That transient attack we can easy aware through the bass range where exist a real difference between LOMC/CD and MM cartridges and only the very best MI/IM ones as the ADC 26/27 performs as the LOMC/CD media.
Transients are the ones that modulates all the frequency range affecting timbre/timing and the bass transients/attack are the ones that modulates the more or at least is more easy to be aware of it and to be aware if the system has good bass range response.
: I started in audio owning MM/MI cartridges coming from AT, B&O, Empire and AKG and were several years latter of those early years that an audio distributor introduced me to LOMC experience through the 103 followed by almost all Denon models to the 305 and from there and for many years I just listened in exclusive way LOMC cartridges from Dynavector, Ortofon, Fulton, FR, AT, Supex, Highphonic and the like.
So for years my ears were accustom to LOMC cartridges. Suddenly I remember that I had MM/MI cartridges that for all those years were seated in the closset and I mounted one of them and I like it what I was hearing ( move my emotions. ) and then I just followed with and buying " hundreds " of MM/MI cartridges and decided to share my experiences with through the MM thread that started several years ago.
In those years I was really exited about and living the same kind of experiences you are talking about and in those times I was thinking that MM/MI was a superior media ( more emotive. ) than LOMC cartridges with lower distortion levels but J.Carr posted in that thread that my statement about distortions was a misunderstood due that in reality is the other way around: MM has higher distortion levels no matters what.
Well even that I was in love with those higher distortions: moves me more than CD or LOMC cartridges.
Sudenly ( after some years. ) I switch to LOMC again and found out that the sound puts me nearer to the live MUSIC. Gives me a different perspective.
During all those years I always ( as today but the pandemic. ) attended each week to listen live MUSIC and I had the opportunity to listened in several ocassions seated at true near field position.
My room/system is fine tunned in that way and my tests/evaluations are doing seated at near field.
Is clear for what I said at the begining that I love MUSIC and all those 3 medias moves me. I enjoy it.
Returning to the bass range the MM is a little in the " fat " side compared against LOMC or CD and with little higher overhang and not to fast transient attacks.
There are other issues about. Normally MM cartridge has flat frequency response 20hz-20khz ( and beyond it. ) when LOMC cartridges has a peak at high frequencies, so here exist another kind of frequency/harmonics modulators because we have to take in count that the inverse RIAA eq. comes with around -20db at high frequencies and beyond it: exist a lost in the high frequencies that some way or the other is " compensated " in the LOMC cartridges for the developed high frequency peaks.
Even Ortofon after several tests with different Ortofon cartridge models and from other manufacturers through its Golden Ear testers ( blind testers that's a group of different kind of MUSIC listeners experience. ) arrived to the conclusión that +2db-3db at over 20khz peak was the way to go because that Golden Ears pannel was what they liked the more.
You own very good audio system however MM characteristics is what goes with you. For what you posted I could assume that when you attend to a live event you seat not at near field position, I really don't know.
Here I think that the issue is not exactly about quality level of one media or the other but how each media handle ( transducer. ) the recording information in the LP grooves and how we perceive the reproduced signal.
Again, that transients attack is what makes the differences. Why LOMC/CD failed to moves you is another matters and unfortunatelly personal/subjective. Each of us are different.
I'm sorry not to help you in more specific way but the issue is not an easy one as we can think. To many parameters invloved there.
Anyway, only an opinion that still leaves open the OP.
Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
What is it in MM that can give me goose-bumpsI cant answer that, MM's give me haemorrhoids, which is not something I like to scratch.
LOMC's are the only cartridges which give me goosebumps, with one exception - the Moving Iron London Decca Gold ( modded by Garrots ) or London Decca Reference. I also enjoy the Soundsmith Paua MI, beautifully balanced and effortless on classical music, but not quite goosebumpy.
Speed and coherence are important to me and MM's cant do the business here.
Thanks for all the various feedback(s).
Haemorrhoids from listening to MM cartridge(s), eh?!? 🤔
Well, listening to my CD playback right now, I could get mixed up, sound wise, with listening to my Cadenza Black.
Meaning also, if you fancy CD per se, a good LOMC will take your fancy. OK ✔️
What I do not agree with is, that this sound presentation is closer to near field LIFE listening. Not ever in my life music listening would that have applied. Exept, when e.g. a modern ballet, by say Stravinsky's music, was played during the life ballet performance ON A SOUND SYSTEM!
Life music, even in the best theatre/concert hall(s) is 'blessed' by it very own form of 'distortion' actually the flavour of the very hall's specific acoustics.
This is my experience, and to a very much greater degree when we listen to Rock music life, with all the amplified instruments!
Long story short, it is my experience that CD/LOMC is more cerebral, deeply detailed, and MM/MI etc. is more emotional, life like, which is more likely to give be Goosebumps.
Why the MM (mostly) technology can get that right is still open to my full understanding.
If I play music on my LG (digital decoder fed) OLED TV, it fine like 'elevator music' but never ever would it give me some emotional prickle.
Maybe not the best comparison, but it is definately closer to CD playback and hardly close to anything like more beautiful life music 'distortion' 🙏
Dear @jasonbourne52 : Yes the MA are really good I still own 2-3 of them like the 630.
Now, Nagatron designed a ribbon very special cartridge that was the 9100 model, I never had the opportunity to own it and there is an Agoner that owns it and posted about years ago.
Yes, @dover is rigth when talked about speed/coherence that MM can't achieve at the same levels than good LOMC designs.
I mentioned the IM/MI ADC 26/27 that along the AKG P100LE and Astatic MF2500 ( no one is MM. ) are " there ".
Dear @justmetoo : " What I do not agree with is, that this sound presentation is closer to near field LIFE listening. "
My mistake because no media can really puts us nearer to live MUSIC event.
What I was thinking in that post is that " puts me nearer to the recording " where normally the recording microphones are " seated " at near field position.
You posted: " deeply detailed.. " well MUSIC at near field position as where recording microphones are " seated " is exactly that: deeply detailed and I can add with brigthness, agresiveness and even sometimes harsh.
Between the MUSIC source and microphones is nothing but air.
Transients defines the timbre/tone/color of the MUSIC, its natural color and for whatever reasons the MM tone is the one that moves you the more.
It's not about room/system or kind of MUSIC or the media you are listening but the overall tone/color what moves you the more.
It's something deep personal/subjective. The " color " of CD/LOMC quality performance is not what moves you.
I don't know what kind of explanations you was waiting to read when posted this thread.
Again, sorry but I can't help to give you the rigth answer to the OP. At least not to satisfy you.
Dear @justmetoo : I try to figure out what you are hearing in your system. I know very well your electronics and analog rig but the Burmester quality level performance is totally unknow for me.
I can see that you don't use a TT clamp, that you have behind the rigth speaker " something " that looks as a " speaker ", at your seat position I don't know at what level are your ears against the midrange/tweeter drivers, I can see a reflecting glass table just in front of " you ", etc, etc.
Perhaps the best way that any of us can help you could be that you choose 3-4 tracks of 3-4 LPs/CDs and tell us what is the kind/characterisitcs of the sound you are listening then maybe some one of us couild own a LP/CD of the ones you named and we can make comparisons of your description against what we listen in our system.
Ya know, @noromance is right.
In asking about MM's, I take it the op is thinking of such cartridges in terms of their high output voltage compared to that of MC's, correct? Well, the Decca and London cartridges are MI's (Moving Iron), and have extremely high output---5mV!
If it's goosebumps you're looking for, nothing beats a Decca or London. No cantilever (in his early-mid 70's Stereophile reviews of various Decca's, J. Gordon Holt used the term "cantilever haze" to describe the sound of non-Decca cartridges), no rubber suspension. Their sound is extremely dynamic, explosive, immediate, alive, and robust. Yes, lots of "textural density" ;-) . It's sound in relation to other designs is like the sound of direct-to-disk LP's in relation to those pressed from tape sources.
However, Deccas and Londons are not for everyone. Their design presents a serious challenge to the tonearm they are mounted on. They produce a lot of mechanical energy (none of it lost in the cantilever and rubber suspension as in "normal" cartridges), and the arm had better have a very stiff & non-resonant arm tube and rattle-free bearings to deal with that energy. Of course, ALL cartridges benefit from such an arm, just not to the same degree.
Thanks for all new thoughtful responses.
I can relate to the differences I hear, mostly to do with 'higher naturalness' of timbre.
Meaning MMs appears more matched to my hearing (timbre-memory of natural instruments) then even very good CD/LOMC.
Maybe sitting in a music hall/theatre the sound also is not all that 'immediate' than it is 'heared' (and recorded) by microphone(s).
Is it this 'beyond natural' listened-to microphonic-immediacy, reproduced by both CD/LOMC true to the recording, making the difference to the MM's reproduction?
Also, the more 'sensitive' the reproduction equipment, the more this difference would be apparent, wouldn't it?
So, possibly the mentioned 'slower' impulse-speed of MM cartridges might simply compensate for these near field microphone positions, most always preferred to avoid too much 'hall information', too much reverb etc.
This is just my unscientific best guess of what might be at work... 🤔
There always can be just - too much of a good thing - one might call it 'over-definition'... creating a less 'natural' presentation of timbre.
PS: Burmestet 961 are quit bass strong to 35Hz, by 8" side firing, light membrane, glass-fibre woofers, very detailed carbon-fibre weave 5¼" mid-woofers (AUDAX HM130CO), and Air Motion Transformer (JET1 ATM) tweeters.
Hearing position is near field and seated with ears between mids and woofer levels i.e. below tweeter height.
ATMs have more lateral and vertical dispersion than do dome-tweeters.
Dear @bdp24 : I posted " my take is that both kind of cartridges can give us goose-bumps but in different way in different " gradation " and digital alternative too.
Seems to me that what justmetoo perceives is a room/system acoustical phenomenon ( in that " scenario "/stage. ) and personal preferences.
Digital, MM/MI or LOMC have the real and true capacity to recreate in almost any one ( not biased to one or the other media. ) of us that: goose-bumps at a media gradation levels.
Differences always exist and each one of us are unique about " emotion develops " levels.
What is the musical instrument that moves me the more: female voice followed by piano and the level of performance of any musical instrument has a gradation levels.
I'm not a music player but I know that not all violins or cellos or double bass sounds the same, it sounds different coming from different manufacturers and the player not only makes the instrument choice but the kind of chords to use with but any of those instruments has the same capacity to moves our feelings/emotions at different levels.
MUSIC is just that MUSIC.
Cartridges with user replaceable styli are the best (practically), they are more user friendly and if we can find the one, that can sound really good, it can be the last one. It’s challenge to find one that can sound better than others including more expensive LOMC. But when you will find one, you will be happy! In this process some other snobs opinion is irrelevant, it’s a personal thing, only your own opinion is important when it comes to your own cartridges.
As for preferred instruments I much like solo cello and violincello passages and it maybe just also the MM bass performance that tickles my spine (and fancy).
That 'box' you noted behind the right hand speaker is the side wall of a quite narrow 1' wide only, nine drawer maple wood cabinet.
Since the woofers are side (inside) firing I have not noticed any issue with this arrangement.
What you do not see in my system pictures is the 20' ceiling height, at the roof ridge, and comprised of a 'open' thatch construction with numerous gum-pole beams to support it all.
This, in my experience, and compared to previous domiciles, has a much better outcome on room acoustics.
However even in the lesser acoustic environments my MM cartridges always showed this now at length discussed difference to CD/LOMC presentation.
Dear @justmetoo : I think the main issue belongs not exactly to your room/system/ears ( at least I can't be sure because I don't know for true its quality level performance. The Burmester is a bass-reflex design and the bass woofers are side firing: the rflex in the design too or at the back?. I have some hyphotesis about the overall issue that I only figure out. ) but a psycho-acustic phenomenom about the kind of whole " color " of MUSIC that moves you the more and LOMC/CD have not that kind of MUSIC color, that's all and this is my take.
So, enjoy it and enjoy what moves you.
Burmester 961 bass reflex port is in rear of the speaker, 20" off the ground, also not straight but curved, about 30° down inside the speaker and covered with 3mm damping felt layer around outer-side (inside the speaker enclosure).
Side firing 8" woofers at centre point, are 27" off the ground.
This, as I understand it, is to reduce floor reflections...
Hi, nice discussion, your passion for sound and music shines through.
My experiences with MM and MC are different and summarizing I believe the key is to find the right MC.
I agree that really good MMs can convey an emotional sound that seems to go beyond just playing back recorded music. Pitch and tone along with the smoothness of vinyl can be mesmerizing.
The problem that I have heard is that it isn't consistent recording to recording, can sound unrefined with challenging ones and lack ultimate dynamics that the best MCs seem to possess.
If you ever have a chance I recommend trying the Audio Technica ART series MCs, the XA if you have 64db min gain, or the XI if you have 56 to 60 db of gain. These to me have the best of both MM and MC.
Ultra refined, dynamic yet with a slightly warm smooth character that is engaging.
Currently using Pickering XSV/5000 (Stereohedron mkII stylus) Moving Magnet cartridge from the late 80’s. Two turntables connected, here is my system, two tonearms on each turntable. Some killer LOMC are here (FR-7fz, Miyabi MCA) on very nice tonearms like Lustre GST-801 and FR-64s with b60. Speakers are Tannoy System 15 mkII.
Pickering XSV/5000 (MM) cartridge is the cheapest of them all (replaced by Grado Signature XTZ), tonearm also much cheaper (Denon DA-401 for high compliance cartridges). I must tell that this XSV/5000 cartridge is amazing.
I like my expensive LOMC too, but MM is a different flavor, 4 times cheaper price than any of my LOMC, same about Denon tonearm for this cart. And I have everything for LOMC (SUTs, high gain phono stages, headamps, current injection phono stages... everything).
There is NOTHING to loose with the right MM, it’s amazing sound for 4 times lower budget, because all you need is MM phono (100k Ohm loading option is a must) and the right tonearm. I prefer high compliance MM.
What you can get for $700 with MM you can’t get even for $3k (including SUT) with MC.
And user replaceable stylus for MM is a great bonus instead of that crazy third party re-tipping service that ruin the originality of your MC.
@chakster and all
Very dedicated responses, oh yes!
Also the sharing of set-ups for perspective.
My system is by far more 'stream-lined', far less dedicated, far less high-end, and more to my current room (and finacial) abilities.
So, only one tt, one tonearm - and all SS from the ML 326S preamp included phono boards, (mostly surface mounted devices including op-amps for 40dB and 60dB options, all via internal jumpers, and lowest loading std. 49k ohm, also by tiny jumpers - no viable 100k, more open, loading) to the X350.5 power amp. Amen!
Living in South Africa, and 'suffering the 25th year of 'liberation' and now Covid changes - typical African corruption - the local currency has gone to hell in a hand-basket.) Amen!
In short I had to learn to do with what I have, aquired some time back in better days, when mail, postal services were actually still functioning, and deliveries not being stolen or 'lost' as it's simply called.
It's all kindly called 'The New Dispensation' and all the world so much happier for it. Amen!
It will give you some idea, why other than desperate measures, prevent one from purchasing anything other than what's locally still available - and any hi-fi highend kind things are by now 'scarce as chicken teeth'. Amen!
Why choose to live here?!
That's too long a story to relate, truly - or why chose people to live in the USSR at the time?
Maybe less complicated, in general.
Ok, back on subject now.
I most resently mounted my Ortofon M20FL super, and in better days also had purched the E super insert (all NOS from Germany).
I'd just followed some positive AGONE block comments on the endlessly long 'Who needs MCs when we have MMs' by Raul...
Though I wasn't aware at the time, of the 40cu compliance, more like Jello (or Wackelpeter in German :) despite the borderline compatibility with my SME V t-arm, working really great and yet again, sounding noticeably more 'real' than the more 'hyped-up' MC presentations - in my system.
In closing, maybe it is simply a case of synergy and equipment set-up, as e.g. apparently the ML326S phono-boards where based on the much older reference ML35 phone-pre, add-on unit...
I surmise this to be so, as some time past, I had a chance to test and compare this stand-alone unit. It sounded absolutely the same when compared to my build-in phono-boards.
So I'm currently enjoying once again the magic sound of an MI cartridge, the M20 E super, at a VTF of 1 gramm! (on a medium effective mass t-arm, 10-11g) and anti-scate force of 0.5 pond, no less!
This is like the funky 70s - just with better gear, eh? 😅 👏
Dear @justmetoo : As you I really like it those Ortofon MI vintage models. I don’t know why Ortofon detour to other direction and even that its today MM are good performers I think they should be to return with a today new MI be based ( not exactly same one. ) on those vintage ones. I think they can do it.
Today I will start to re-listen to really top vintage MI/MM performers and over the time I want to listen again to those Ortofon that I still own.
Today I will start with the best of the best the: ADC 26/27. No one MM vintage cartridge can even approach its quality performance, not Audio Terchnica, Grace, Stanton, Pickering, Ortofon and the like. The ones that approach that very high quaility levels are MI too: AKG P100 LE, Astatic 2500, Empire 4000D3 and yes exist one MM and is the Technics 100C MK$ stand alone model not the headshell integrated.
Follow enjoying your room/system, this is all about.
Ok, back on subject now.
That one is the most affordable of them all and for this reason it's great cart, I owned several samples, but only FL (FineLine) diamond.
Remember there is no "best" or "perfect" cartridge, so when someone telling use about one cartridge that better than others it's fake news.
There are dozen of excellent vintage MM cartridges and it's worth to try all of them.
Technics is the most problematic of them all, because here we have to deal with the worst rubber damper formula ever made, it could be a serious problem for someone who don't know.
P.S. I just received my NOS Technics P-205 mk4, gonna try it in a few month when I'll get adapter for p-mount carts.
I forgot two ecellent vintage ones: Nagatron 9600 ( IM ), Azden P50 and Grado Tribute.
Btw, Iown several vintage cartridges, I'm not a seller so stay with me. Fortunatelly and through the MM thread I hade the opportunity to listen the best top MM, MI, IM, Electrect cartridges. You can name any and you can be sure I own or owned and certainly test it /evaluated/listen It.