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

I've myself attended many live performances, Choirs, Choristers, Orchestral, Acoustic, Rock.

Some of the Venues visited have been wonderful to listen to Music, with even the Albert Hall included, which has had extensive work carried out to enhance the Venue for live performance.

A HiFi System can't do it, it can't encapsulate an individual in the expanse of the sound.

The Sound at a Live Venue is usually omnidirectional and expands to envelope the listener.

A Rock Venue not so much, as this is expansive sound but directional.

A Sound produced from a Audio System is directional, it is here where all similarities are lost to a live performance.

I don't disagree with the idea, a particular instrument when heard on a Audio System, can create the perception there is an honesty to the sound being produced, bit the lag between a Instrument Heard in one location, the exposure to endless ambient sound from the local environment, and then listening to a recorded music on the home system, even if achieved in the shortest of timeline, leaves a individual with a corrupted hearing.

I suggest anybody with the notion on board, they are able to have equivalent of a  Live Music Encounter, as a match for a Recorded Music Audio Experience, has a little fantastical attached to their notion and inaccurate assessment.

The best explanation came from J. Peter Moncreiff (IIRC) who said that moving magnet/moving iron cartirdges impart a fuzziness to the instruments that is missing from a moving coil.  The effect is subtle, but noticeable as an overall cleaner, more transparent sound.

@jhnnrrs He made a lot of claims but his studies (like you see in IAR #5) lacked the provenance to really know what was going on. For example, for MM cartridges to work right you have to deal with the high inductance they have. That inductance is high enough that the cartridge can ring at audio frequencies, and the inductance in parallel with the tonearm cable can set up an electrical resonance just at the upper end of the audio band or barely ultrasonic. This can mess with phono sections if they don't have a good HF overload characteristic.

So for the study to be valid, the phono section used, the tonearm cable capacitance has to be stated along with the inductance of the cartridge and what was done about it.

If LP playback has a strong weakness against digital, setup is arguably it- with digital its nearly plug and play but if you want the best out of an analog system it has to be set up right/you have to know what you are doing.


IME the ability of the arm to properly track the cartridge is far more important then what cartridge you have. Some arms are a lot better at this sort of thing than others!

FWIW as reference I use recordings that I recorded, some of which I also mastered to LP.

Dear @mglik  :I don't own the Epoch 3 but I own severalvintage Grado ones where the  TLZ is from where the your cartridge came on design and main difference is that the TLZ does not usegold wire and its cartridge body is plastic where cantilever is not made by ruby material.

The Grado TLZ series was the Joseph Grado cartridge motor design and the next model a tophad a 1K price in those old times.

So, I think in good " hands " with. The main characteristic I remember ( I still own the TLZ ) is that is a performer that just refuse to distort no matters what.I like it but " to musical " for me and different to the London Decca you owned.

Good that you enjoy it so much.




Dear @daveyf  :I can see in your system the Kleos and I think the BM Ruby.

Permit me ask: why have you preference for the LOMC cartridges?.Btw, I own the Kleos and owned all Ruby versions.



@rauliruegas   Raul, I no longer own the Benz.To answer your question as to why I prefer LOMC’s, it is one word…resolution. I find in my system that the better MC’s resolve more detail than any of the MM’s I have owned. Same goes for the MI’s. I have not heard a really good optical in my system, but the one’s I have heard are very nice…for a very high price. One thing that has not been discussed is the impact on the cartridge of the phono stage, and the arm, both of which make a very large difference, IME.