I don't think its a MM vs MC problem. You would need to listen to a lot more samples to be able to say that's the case. I can think of 2 things that might cause your problem. First is the shape of the stylus. I know that has an effect on how much surface noise you hear. The other is break in. Phono carts break in a lot. Way more than any other type of component. They almost always sound bright/harsh when they are new. As it breaks in, the highs tend to smooth out and not be so pronounced.
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Sounds like maybe too much loading capacitance. Read the Hagerman Cartridge Loading paper. Too much capacitance interacts with the cartridge inductance to make for a resonance peak at the upper bound of the audio band. This would enhance the amount of noise heard.
In fact, I do not find your premise to be true. Check out John Tracy's recommendation.
However, I suppose it's conceivable that if a previous owner of a "used" LP habitually used, say, an elliptical stylus that was not properly aligned, and if the next owner of the LP used a cartridge with an elliptical stylus and compared that to a cartridge with e.g. a line contour stylus that rides in a different part of the groove wall, then the latter cartridge may appear to transmit less surface noise. (I don't know whether this circumstance is applicable to your observation.)
For the record, both the Ortofon Blue and AT 120 were recommended for the Rega RB301 tonearm. I was pleasantly surprised at the AT120's sound. Its main limitations were the highs, and the soundstage was nether wide nor deep. AT has a lot of MM's out there, especially ML440A which gets good reviews and is compatible with the Rega arms.
To Stringgreen, I will check it over, but will not purchase the tweeks suggestd by Rodman9999; the three devices would exceed the price of both cartridges. The GeoDisc may be old popular analog tech, and not as refined as some products, but it generally gets the job done with more than acceptable results
The Foz is an important MUST for VPI owners, but not for Rega owners. I had a device for my Rega arm that permitted me to raise/lower the back end. I forgot where I got it, but I'm sure you can find it. I don't remember it being expensive, but it worked well and gave the arm the flexibility it needs. There is also a rear weight that hangs down instead of coming right off the rear end of the arm....this made a very big difference. The biggest difference was getting the table off of those rubber feet that mine had (maybe yours is different) Put 3 Cardas blocks, or 3 dominoes, or 3 tomato sauce cans under the table...1 in front, and 1 left, 1 right. You will thank me.
Taking account of all the previous posts can I just add that all things being equal, it may well be that it is due to MM's having higher compliance meaning that they react to noise more. View it as u would suspension, and that softer suspension on a car reacts more to bumps in the road.
In my experience I find that there is little difference in noise from either MM or MC. You could be having set up issue. There is a bit of a one size fits all approach to arm cartridge arm compliance matching - whereas if you use a Moerch DP6 you can get proper compliance matching
Thanks to all who responded to the thread.
To Stringreen. Rega P3-24 table has two front rubber feet that stand inch high, and one rear middle leg. I placed the feet on 3X3 inch rubber squares that have a dense cork center sandwiched between two serrated black hard rubber material. I doubt that is negatively reacting with the Ortofon Blue. I had the table on the same blocks when I used the AT120 cartridge. Nevertheless, I will try your suggestions less the sauce cans
I concur with Stringreen's entire post, including on rubber footers of any kind. At a minimum, bypass them for the support structure of the TT. If feasible, remove them altogether.
Rubber absorbs vibrations and releases them after a time delay. While this process reduces each vibration's frequency and amplitude, the result is always sonic mud.
Of course Stringreen's tongue was in his cheek (along with the sauce, no doubt) but sauce cans would probably act as an echo chamber and do something similar, especially if they were empty. Still, their rigidity would be sonically better than rubber and you could experiment with different flavors. ;-)
Solid blocks of a dense metal would be better. Solid blocks of very dense hardwood would be better still. Best of all are well designed and engineered footers that reduce the frequency of incoming vibrations to below the audible range (e.g., Stillpoints). This lowers a TT's sound floor without introducing sonic mud. They sometimes soften transients and micro-dynamics so it becomes a trade-off, but rubber introduces sonic negatives that can be avoided altogether.
I also had a VTA adjusting sleeve and a suspended c/w on my old Origin Live Silver (Rega clone tonearm). They both made a nice improvement, but eliminating rubber anywhere on a vinyl rig will make a much bigger one.
Doug, I use small cans of Mandarin Orange slices in water, Del Monte brand only. The secret is to place a tiptoe between the bottom of the can and the shelf. Two of my turntables that are mounted in slate plinths are supported in this fashion. I'm just sayin'. In fairness to Stringreen's tongue, have not tried tomato sauce.