Moving Coil Vs Moving Magnet Cartridges

by Helen Appling | Updated: September 6, 2022

Moving Coil Vs Moving Magnet Cartridges

moving magnet vs moving coil

Moving coil and magnet cartridges have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Learn the pros and cons of each technology and decide which is right for you. Moving coil cartridges are more lightweight and have fewer moving parts, which makes them ideal for portable audio equipment. Magnets, on the other hand, require contact between the coil and the wires at the back of the cartridge to transmit vibrations to the speakers. Moving coil cartridges are also better able to control pressure and angle.

How Does a Moving Magnet Cartridge Work?

Moving magnet cartridges use a pair of small permanent magnets to convert mechanical energy into an electrical signal. The tiny magnets are positioned between two sets of fixed wire coils. The vibrations created by the cantilever are transferred to the magnets by a diamond tip. The coils then transmit the signal to the turntable, phono preamp, or other device that uses a phono input. Moving magnet cartridges are less expensive than moving coil cartridges and tend to have user-replaceable styli.

The MC phono cartridges are much more expensive than their magnetic counterparts. They require additional ancio equipment, and are generally reserved for audiophiles. The moving coil cartridge's smaller composition and delicate coils make it difficult to manufacture. However, audiophiles prefer it because of its better performance and sensitivity to low-level signals. The downside is that it produces a low output level and needs additional gain to play music at high volumes.

Moving magnet cartridges are easy to use and can work with almost any type of amplifier. Compared to moving coil cartridges, they are easier to maintain and are cheaper. However, it is important to remember that you still need to use a preamplifier to properly enjoy the sound.

Advantages of Moving Magnet Cartridges

Moving magnet cartridges have a few advantages over their coil-based counterparts. For starters, they maintain good tracking scores at lower prices, whereas moving-coil cartridges have variable performance. Hi Fi World's technical reviews confirm this fact. And the sound produced by a moving-magnet cartridge is far warmer and punchier.

The moving coil cartridge also has some advantages over a moving magnet cartridge, including its higher cost. However, the price of a moving coil cartridge can be prohibitive for most consumers. These cartridges are typically reserved for audiophiles who can afford the extra expense. Additionally, moving coil cartridges use more delicate coils and have a smaller, more expensive composition.

Moving coil cartridges tend to be quieter. They have a higher sensitivity and lower noise level. They are also less prone to worming. Moreover, moving magnet cartridges can be used with higher volume systems and can work well in rooms with higher noise levels.

Disadvantages of Moving Magnet Cartridges

Moving magnet cartridges (MC) have several advantages over moving coil cartridges. First of all, they can deliver high volumes. This makes them ideal for large venues, such as concert halls. However, they have a few disadvantages. One of them is their smaller output impedance. For example, a typical MM cartridge's output impedance is 5 mV, while an MC cartridge's is 0.2 mV. This difference is due to the different coil characteristics.

Another drawback is the cost. Moving coil cartridges cost more to maintain than moving magnet cartridges and require specialized equipment. These cartridges also require a separate phono preamp and step-up transformer, which boosts the signal voltage. This can be expensive, but it is the only disadvantage of moving coil cartridges.

Moving magnet cartridges are less expensive and easier to maintain. Compared to moving coil cartridges, they have fewer moving parts. They also have fewer intricate coil windings. Despite their disadvantages, they are perfect for beginners and represent an accurate representation of their record collection.

How Does a Moving Coil Cartridge Work?

A moving magnet cartridge is a type of cartridge that is used in turntables to produce a steady sound. These cartridges are compatible with most stereo components and are relatively easy to maintain. The internal magnets of these cartridges can be replaced easily, if necessary. This makes them an excellent choice for beginners.

These cartridges have many benefits, including low noise and a lower self-noise. The coils used in moving magnet cartridges have lower self-noise and do not require 47 kOhm termination. However, they do need additional amplification. This means that they are not as effective for high-quality sound reproduction.

Moving coil cartridges are more expensive and require specialized repairs. They are also more delicate. If you have a broken coil, you should contact the manufacturer and get it replaced.

Advantages of Moving Coil Cartridges

Moving coil cartridges are generally much less efficient than moving-magnet cartridges. These cartridges have low output, and you need a dedicated phono preamp for them. They also require a step-up transformer for boosting their signal voltage. Moving coil cartridges are more cost-effective than moving magnet cartridges, but they don't outperform them. The following are some of the advantages of moving coil cartridges.

Moving magnet cartridges require more precision. The angle of the stylus is one of the most important factors that affects sound quality. The cartridge must be incredibly precise to within a few degrees, and if it's too far off, the sound quality will suffer. Moving coil cartridges, on the other hand, require very careful assembly. Because magnetic gaps vary, the accuracy of the stylus angle is critical.

While moving coil cartridges are heavier than MM cartridges, this does not mean they are inherently inferior. In fact, a modern MC cartridge can track difficult grooves more accurately than an MM cartridge.

Disadvantages of Moving Coil Cartridges

Moving coil cartridges are more expensive than moving magnet cartridges, but they provide richer, more nuanced sound. They also reproduce highs and lows with more precision. Moving coil cartridges are also more delicate, requiring more intricate coils and higher manufacturing costs. But if you have the budget, you might want to consider buying a moving coil cartridge instead of a moving magnet one.

To get optimum performance, you should match the impedance of the load and the cartridge. This is done with a matching resistor in the secondary winding of the transformer. In practice, however, this method results in an inaccurate load impedance. Moreover, it is a misguided theory that a moving coil cartridge's impedance is the same as the load impedance of the source.

Another disadvantage of moving coil cartridges is that they are heavier than their counterparts. Due to their large weight, they require a higher tracking mass. This is especially problematic for high frequencies. Additionally, moving coil cartridges are less powerful than their MM counterparts, which is why dedicated moving coil preamps are needed to make them work.

Which Cartridge Design is Right for You?

If you want to improve your sound quality without spending much money, then you'll want to consider a low-maintenance phono cartridge. These are ideal for areas with limited maintenance, such as campgrounds and public places. However, you should keep in mind that not all cartridges are created equal. There are many differences between the different designs and the best one for you depends on your preferences and the type of faucet you use.

Another option for a low-cost cartridge is a refilled cartridge. These are used cartridges that have had the toner refilled, but are usually of low quality. These cartridges often leak or fail to produce the best quality copies. They can also damage your printer.

Which Cartridge Should I Buy?

When it comes to phono cartridges, there are two main types: moving magnet and moving coil. Both of these types of cartridges are designed differently and offer different features. If you're a dedicated audiophile, you'll probably want to buy a moving coil cartridge. The reason is simple: these models produce more accurate sound. They also go well with higher-end speakers and record players. On the other hand, if you're looking for a cartridge for a cheaper, non-audiophile sound system, you may want to go with a moving magnet cartridge.

Moving coil cartridges produce a unique musical sound. The principle of a moving coil cartridge is based on the same principle that animates cutting heads on a record. As a result, this type of cartridge provides exact complement to the music that's played back. Moving coil cartridges are considered the best in the world for this reason.

Depending on your system, the right cartridge will sound better than the other. The best type of cartridge will also depend on the type of music that you listen to. For example, a high-output MC cartridge will require less gain than a normal one, which is perfect if you're using a phono stage with a MM input. However, it's important to note that a high-output MC cartridge won't sound as refined as a low-output MC cartridge. Some of the most popular high-end MC cartridges include those manufactured by Ortofon and Dynavector. Hana also manufactures high-quality models that offer great value.