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MM vs. MC

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well its been awhile since I have posted anything, but it looks like the upgrade bug has bitten me and I will be wadding into the shallow end of the vinyl swimming pool. I have just acquired a Yamaha Yp-B4 TT which is probably just a regular old TT thats nothing special. My amplifier is a HK3480 and Im listening thru a pair of Aurum Cantus Moon Goddeses. My amplifier states that the phono stage inputs are strictly for MM type catridges. So my question is "are MC cartridges that much more superior to MM types? If so how can I connect my TT to the phono stage if I decide to move to a MC cartridge without changing my amplifier?"

Mahalo for your help
post #2 of 10
MC cartridges give out a lot less power than MM ones, so you can't plug it into your amp's MM phono stage. You'll need to get a seperate one that specifically supports MC carts.

However, there are some "high-output" MC cartridges which can be connected to MM stages I think.
post #3 of 10
Your phonostage has only so much gain and can only be used with high output cartridges. Most MC cartridges are low output and will not work.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick replys folks, looks like im gonna stay in the shallow end for awhile until I decide to swim out to the deep end.

post #5 of 10
If you want to learn more about vinyl and analog, just click the link in my sig. You'll be glad you did.
post #6 of 10
I prefer the sound of Moving Coils to Moving Magnets by a wide margin. I like low output MCs best, but a high-output MC will still sound better than a similarly priced MM, IMO, and your phono amp should be OK with it.

HOWEVER, there are two issues with MCs. One is the gain issue, mentioned previously. The other is loading. A MM phono stage will have an input impedance of 47k ohms. This is correct for a MM cart. However, good MC phono stages allow for variable loading, and many MCs want a much lower input impedance. So you'll need to get a MC that will sound good with a 47k ohm input impedance. My suggestion: get a Benz ACE. Just get the high-output version. It will sound great at 47k, and is, in general, a terrific MC cart. Not cheap at $500, but it is the true knee of the price-performance curve IMO.

MC carts are not cheap; if your budget is more constrained, stick with something like Shure's amazing little M97xE, which for $99 sounds just phenomenal.

Anyway, regardless of how you go it, just spin the black circle, baby!
post #7 of 10
bugsjr: Well, in theory, MCs have the potential to sound better due to lower moving mass - in practice, it always depends on the implementation (i.e. the actual product). And with the smaller choice today, MCs and MMs don't really compete with each other that much anymore, as there are only a few MM contenders over US$ 300 anyway - and as most available MMs are in the 20 to 25 µm/mN range in terms of compliance, whereas most MCs range somewhere between 10 and 15 µm/mN, the tonearm often enough already kind of pre-dictates the applicable cartridge type. MC's are available in more different weights, though - hence more or less only with medium heavy arms one still has a real choice between MM and MC. I couldn't find the effective mass for the arm on your Yamaha, but it looks like a medium heavy one to me. The table on the whole looks good, too - but probably not worth mounting a cartridge over 300 bucks. Hmmhmhm - I'd say, if you want a real MC for it, go for an Ortofon MC Nr.2. Then additionally you'll either need a separate phono stage or an MC step-up transformer (e.g.: to use the MC with your H/K's internal MM phono stage. Alternatively, a Denon DL-160 would be a good choice in the MC-HO category. And if you want an MM, I'd suggest to try a Pickering XV-15/625E.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by bugsjr View Post
Thanks for the quick replys folks, looks like im gonna stay in the shallow end for awhile until I decide to swim out to the deep end.
I think that's the right approach. I certainly wouldn't spend a lot of money for a cart on a deck like this although it is very nice indeed for a basic vintage deck. You'll have to get something like a VPI Scout to really make a big sonic improvment with today's decks.

The best MC for you to try would probably be the Denon DL110 or 160 which are available for around 150USD. These are high output so will work with your standard phonostage.
post #9 of 10
Good advice,
from Skylab,Lini and memepool.

I agree Skylab about MC prices but hav'nt Ortofon brought out some cheaper ones that are well thought of.

Lini - as I enthusiastically use a Pickering V15-625E, I'd have to agree with you. Also if you buy it from Ebay/UK you get two spare stylii for £69 the lot - that's around 6 years of listening pleasure. I rate this cartridge over DNM Reson Mica and the old Goldring 1042, I hav'nt heard the newer version, so can't give an opinion on it and the cheaper Rega MMs.

As memepool said don't spend too much yet, hang loose. As both Skylab and memepool have told you, if you buy a high output MC it will work with your existing equipment.

For the future if you want to go the low o/put MC route, I've heard good things about the Pickering PLZ step-up device which can be used with a lot of MCs and is simple plug'n'play.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

how things have progressed

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