Moving Magnet or Moving coil.. Why do you pick one over the other?

gfonggfong Posts: 1,048
Almost time for me to change out the cartridge on my Rega RP-6... it has a Rega Exact 2 on it from the factory.

I have two choices.. either purchase a new Exact 2 or go with a Rega Moving Coil Ania. (I have the Rega Aria phono stage that can accommodate MM or MC)

(I love the sound of the Exact and do not want to stray form the Rega lineup. There may be better brands of carts out there but I am not interested in them at this moment. Ease of setup and already loving the sound my table and cart make are my reasons for staying with Rega, oh yea and that mystic thing called synergy! :) )

I do not have a chance to hear the Ania MC cart so that is a negative, reviews say it is a nice cart but it is the low end or entry level for Rega's MC lineup.

The Exact is the high end or top MM cart in the Rega lineup so I am at a loss at which to pick. Price difference is $200.00 and not a factor in my decisions.

So.. I have laid out my thoughts and am curious how 'you' come to decide what type of cartridge you use on your rig other than from factory or what was on it when you bought it?

Is there any merit in my high end vs low end thoughts or almost equal money for a MM vs a MC? Do I have to pay a lot more to realize the MC advantage vs MM? Is there a advantage over MM? Lots of questions and just curious what you all think and what process you use.

Thanks for reading and happy 45/LP listening! :) Greg
2 Channel Setup: Unison Research Simply Italy Tube Amp, Klipsch La Scala speakers, Rega RP6 Union Jack Edition w/Exact Cart TT, REGA ARIA phono stage, Sony SCD-CE595 SACD, APC-H10.

A/V Setup: Sony STR-5400ES AVR, Emotiva XPA-3 Amp, Polk Audio RTi A9's, CSi A6, FXi A6,s, SVS PB12-NSD Sub, Sony KDL52W5100 TV, Sony BDP-S770 BluRay.

Connections: Atlas Navigator All CU, Atlas Voyager All CU & Atlas Equator MK II interconnects, Audioquest sub-3 sub-woofer cable, MIT EXp 2 speaker cables, AudioQuest NRG-2 power cords, Sennheiser HD 598 Headphones.

gfong aka Greg Fonger
True North Strong and Free... Canada

Comments

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 17,622
    edited June 10
    Just my opinions, of course:

    Pick based on sound and taste therein, first and foremost.
    Next level of assessment:

    Can you manage (i.e., do you want to deal with) low output and a step-up transformer or an additional active gain stage (or higher level of gain, if available already on your preamp)?

    How will the cartridge (i.e., compliance) match with your arm?

    For my money, on the average:

    MCs sound better than MM ("more lush", more musical -- more real).
    Low output MCs (ahem) trump higher-output MCs.

    This being said, in terms of higher output level cartridges:
    MI ("moving iron", sometimes known as "variable reluctance") cartridges - again, on the average - sound better than MM cartridges.

    All in all, one gets what one pays for :)

    PS There are many, many other options than Rega's branded cartridges. Taste will play a big role in picking one -- as may budget ;)

    In terms of MM (again, more to the point, MI), I like Grados and the "Soundsmith" (rebooted b&o) cartridges.

    In terms of MC, give a look at/listen to Denon and Benz. Some of the Ortofons sound quite good to me -- but I cannot really afford the ones I like (i.e., I cannot rationalize the expense).

    Just a bunch of idiosyncratic - and predictable - musings on my part; hope this is interesting, if not necessarily useful! ;)

    "It's like watching a roomful of people who couldn't get through college algebra discussing the flaws of quantum physics theory. I guess it could be fun, but it's ultimately a waste of time." -- seen on audiokarma

    "Some amps run on self bias, some amps run on fixed bias. But his amps run on confirmation bias." -- seen on audioasylum

    "Writing about hifi is like dancing about architecture" -- paraphrasing some wag (possibly Frank Zappa)
  • halohalo Posts: 4,014
    As Mark mentions, I think a MC cartridge would be the way to go but you may need a SUT (step up transformer) and that will add $300 + to the cost in addition to the cost of the cart itself. It's something I'd like to try with the Denon DL-103 but I can't cover the costs of the cart + a SUT. For now, I will stick with the ridiculously good sounding MI cart from Nagaoka that I have now (MP-110). I also have the Grado Prestige1 Black & Red and they aren't even in the same ballpark as the Nagaoka. This is, of course, my humble opinion and this is based on how those respective carts sound on my gear and in my room.

    Long answer short, if you have the means, give the MC a shot. A STU in the chain will work far better than the built in MC selector on your phono pre alone.
  • gfonggfong Posts: 1,048
    Thanks for the input on this. Appreciated.
    2 Channel Setup: Unison Research Simply Italy Tube Amp, Klipsch La Scala speakers, Rega RP6 Union Jack Edition w/Exact Cart TT, REGA ARIA phono stage, Sony SCD-CE595 SACD, APC-H10.

    A/V Setup: Sony STR-5400ES AVR, Emotiva XPA-3 Amp, Polk Audio RTi A9's, CSi A6, FXi A6,s, SVS PB12-NSD Sub, Sony KDL52W5100 TV, Sony BDP-S770 BluRay.

    Connections: Atlas Navigator All CU, Atlas Voyager All CU & Atlas Equator MK II interconnects, Audioquest sub-3 sub-woofer cable, MIT EXp 2 speaker cables, AudioQuest NRG-2 power cords, Sennheiser HD 598 Headphones.

    gfong aka Greg Fonger
    True North Strong and Free... Canada
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,450
    If I were you I'd just purchase a replacement Rega Exact 2. Shrug. You liked how it sounded previously, right?

    How did you know it was worn out and time to replace it?
    Got Dayens?
  • gfonggfong Posts: 1,048
    Clipdat wrote: »
    How did you know it was worn out and time to replace it?

    Thanks, Had it since late 2014 and figured the playing hours on it were up there and time to upgrade or move on with the same. Have not noticed any bad issues with sound or anything like that.

    Will keep it for a back-up if needed down the road sometime.
    2 Channel Setup: Unison Research Simply Italy Tube Amp, Klipsch La Scala speakers, Rega RP6 Union Jack Edition w/Exact Cart TT, REGA ARIA phono stage, Sony SCD-CE595 SACD, APC-H10.

    A/V Setup: Sony STR-5400ES AVR, Emotiva XPA-3 Amp, Polk Audio RTi A9's, CSi A6, FXi A6,s, SVS PB12-NSD Sub, Sony KDL52W5100 TV, Sony BDP-S770 BluRay.

    Connections: Atlas Navigator All CU, Atlas Voyager All CU & Atlas Equator MK II interconnects, Audioquest sub-3 sub-woofer cable, MIT EXp 2 speaker cables, AudioQuest NRG-2 power cords, Sennheiser HD 598 Headphones.

    gfong aka Greg Fonger
    True North Strong and Free... Canada
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,450
    Interesting. Was just curious if you heard any audible degradation. Back when me and my roommates were DJing heavily, we would "go through" needles every 3-4 months. But we were doing things like backqueueing which put more wear on them.

    I would always be the one who would say "Ugh, the needles sound like crap! We need to go buy new ones!". But looking back, I'm not so sure that they ever did sound that bad, or if it was just an illusion.

    Anyway, let us know what you end up going with.
    gfong wrote: »
    Thanks, Had it since late 2014 and figured the playing hours on it were up there and time to upgrade or move on with the same. Have not noticed any bad issues with sound or anything like that.

    Will keep it for a back-up if needed down the road sometime.

    Got Dayens?
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