Dear friends:The main subject of this thread is start a dialogue to find out the way we almost all think or be sure about the thread question :  " true " answer.


Many years ago I started the long Agon MM thread where several audiophiles/Agoners and from other audio net forums participated to confirm or to discover the MM/MI/IM/MF/HOMC world and many of us, me including, was and still are" surprised for what we found out in that " new " cartridge world that as today is dominated by the LOMC cartridges.


Through that long thread I posted several times the superiority of the MM/types of cartridges over the LOMC ones even that I owned top LOMC cartridge samples to compare with and I remember very clearly that I posted that the MM and the like cartridges had lower distortion levels and better frequency range quality performance than the LOMC cartridges.


In those times j.carr ( Lyra designer ) was very active in Agon and in that thread  I remember that he was truly emphatic  posting that my MM conclusion was not  true due that things on distortion cartridge levels in reality is the other way around: LOMC has lower distortion levels.


Well, he is not only a LOMC cartridge designer but an expert audiophile/MUSIC lover with a long long and diverse first hand experiences listening cartridges in top TT, top tonearms and top phono stages and listening not only LOMC cartridges but almost any kind of cartridges in his and other top room/systems.


I never touched again that subject in that thread and years or months latter the MM thread I started again to listening LOMC cartridges where my room/system overall was up-graded/dated to way superior quality performance levels than in the past and I posted somewhere that j.carr was just rigth: LOMC design were and are superior to the other MM type cartridges been vintage or today models.


I'm a MUSIC lover and I'm not " married " with any kind of audio items or audio technologies I'm married just with MUSIC and what can gives me the maximum enjoyment of that ( every kind )  MUSIC, even I'm not married with any of my opinions/ideas/specific way of thinking. Yes, I try hard to stay " always " UNBIASED other than MUSIC.


So, till today I followed listening to almost every kind of cartridges ( including field coil design. ) with almost every kind of tonearms and TTs and in the last 2 years my room/system quality performance levels were and is improved by several " stages " that permits me better MUSIC audio items judgements and different enjoyment levels in my system and other audio systems. Yes, I still usemy test audio items full comparison proccess using almost the same LP tracks every time and as always my true sound reference is Live MUSIC not other sound system reproduction.


I know that the main thread subject is way complicated and complex to achieve an unanimous conclusions due that exist a lot of inherent differences/advantages/unadvantages in cartridges even coming from the same manufacturer.


We all know that when we talk of a cartridge we are in reality talking of its cantilever buil material, stylus shape, tonearm used/TT, compliance, phono stage and the like and my " desire " is that we could concentrate in the cartridges  as an " isolated " audio item and that  any of our opinions when be posible  stay in the premise: " everything the same ".


My take here is to learn from all of you and that all of us try to learn in between each to other and not who is the winner but at the " end " every one of us will be a winner.


So, your posts are all truly appreciated and is a thread where any one can participates even if today is not any more his analog alternative or is a newcomer or heavily experienced gentleman. Be my guest and thank's in advance.




Ag insider logo xs@2xrauliruegas

Dear @soix @billstevenson  :  Both are rigth as is @knock1  ( please read wmy answer posted to him.

The issue is only these:


How do you know a flugehorn kind of sound, or the kind of sound of a double bass or a piano instrument if you never heard it live?

In this thread what we will try to find out is which kind of cartridge design/cartridge motor ( everything the same that is a premise on the OP. ) performs faithful and accurated to MUSIC.


Tha's all. I'm not trying to analize live MUSIC and all its implications involved or the recording proccess: NO.



Dear @dogberry  I can live with the LP-S or London Decca but not the MP 500 that's a good cartridge but nothing more than that.



Dear @rdk777  : " the MI technology. It has become my favorite cartridge now. "


Perhaps you need to listen the Atlas Lambda SL in your system ( really nice system you own. ) against the Hyperion that I know why you like it.

The thread is not a competition but to talk about first hamd cartridge experiences in between. An agoner posted  in the last few weeks his preference of that Lyra over the Hyperion, he owned both along the Orton Diamond that he like it too.


" haven't had the need to try MM's . " well I think that it's not necesssarily a " need " but only an additional experience when you own two respectable phono stages to listen MM cartridges. 




How do you know a flugehorn kind of sound, or the kind of sound of a double bass or a piano instrument if you never heard it live?

How do you know what a flugelhorn or piano recorded in another venue as interpreted by the recording engineer sounds like if you weren’t there and/or were the recording engineer?  Hearing a flugelhorn or piano live on certain occasions in various venues doesn’t mean that translates to or what was captured on a certain recording nor what you should expect.  It’s by definition a moving target and thus hearing something live somewhere is an unreliable and unrealistic reference point as to what you think you should hear on a recording.  I play drums but don’t use the sound of my drums as the standard by which I hear drums on a given recording — there are just too many variables involved to make that a viable standard or useful benchmark for reproduced recorded music at home.  Anyway, I’m otherwise very much enjoying the various takes on the sound of different cartridge designs — very interesting and educational.

As Raul wrote, the key is extensive exposure to live music.  No offense intended, but those who oppose using live music as a reference are copping out and/or are listening to the wrong things when (if) they spend much time attending live performances.  There are aspects of live sound that can be appreciated no matter the venue, musician, your seat in the venue, etc,; all those “variables” that for some invalidate the use of live as a reference.  

**** So why apply a standard of live music when it doesn’t even apply to a lot of music we listen to? ****

Fair question, but the answer is simple: because live unamplified musical sounds have the most information available to the audiophile.  And, yes, those who listen to amplified music primarily are at a disadvantage in this regard.  Sorry, but true.  Dynamic, rhythmic, timbral and textural nuance are there to be heard on a level much richer and finer than in amplified/processed music.  Nothing wrong with not using this as one’s guide and simply striving for a sound that is liked, just as there is nothing wrong and certainly not a “farce” to believe in using it.  However, to not use it is the reason that so many “audiophile” systems make sounds that one never hears live, while some which are assembled with this in mind can get reasonably close.  And that is a worthy goal for some.