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 @mervo  : I don't know what you mean: " removed by the OP ", I did not.


You are totally right with your last sentences:


"  our collective audiophile hobby has no price points, just the desire to appreciate music and seek the respective affordable way to attain one's maximum output. "


That's the best each one of us can do. Thank's for share your opinion.



@rauliruegas It is very true that none of our modern day cartridges are near as compliant and track as light as cartridges back in the 70s and 80s, nor should they. The contact patches of modern styluses are far larger and the pressure loading even lighter than it was in spite of the lower compliance and higher VTFs. We discovered that those featherweight tonearms of yor do not sound near as good as modern, stiff, intermediate mass arms which require a lower compliance. I am very happy with the performance of modern cartridges and tonearms and have no desire to live in the past.  Mike

Dear @mijostyn : I don’t know why you are following posting no-sense information almost false and un-true.

Medium mass tonearm " require lower compliance ": totally false at any audio standard.

I own amodern mediummass tonearm and several vintage medium tonearms, I know what I’m talking about. You can ask lewm how good performs and with which kind of quality high compliance cartridges in his FR64/66.

" contact patches of modern styluses are far larger ", false again. MSL uses a semi-line contact, Ortofon still today uses Shibata/FG 70/FG80 y FG 100 not even the FG 110/120, Etsuro Gold 80u Micro-Line similar to the old AT cartridges.

Where is the problem then? that today LOMC cartridges are to heavy: your MC Diamond 17.5grs, MSL13grs, etc, etc.

The other problem is that today does not exist the heavy and very hard competence that in the old times cartridge market.

Matsudaira designer MSL cartridges designed too ( example ) Luxman vintage LOMC cartridges with a lower weight than 6grs. and with high compliance as other cartridges as Miyabi or Audiocraft that were not so diferents than the Luxman ( I owned severalof his cartridges including Supex. )

You love analog and tubes so you are living in the PAST not only me, difference is that I truly know how achieve maximum MUSIC enjoyment with that really archaic analog medium.

You know that I respect you but certainly not the false information you are sharing with us.





@rauliruegas Raul. you have to be kidding me. The styluses with the largest contact patches by far are the Replicant 100, The Soundlabs MR and the Gyger S. Not far behind are Lyra's Stylus, the MSL stylus and the Soundsmith OLC sylus. These are all modern styluses. I have studied all of them under the microscope and you have seen the pictures. The end result is that even with higher VTFs the actual pressure (PSI) the record is subjected to is lower, in some cases, much lower. Another factor is modern styluses are much smaller and mounted in ways that lower effective mass. All this improves tracking. The lightest assembly is definitely on the Hyperion MR.  

Matching the Effective mass of a tonearm to the compliance of a cartridge is a very simple matter. Just measure the resonance frequency. Nobody today that I know of makes a tonearm like the Infinity Black widow or the Michell Vestigial which in my mind is a good thing. They are way too flexible. The Syrinx PU3 proved in most minds that stiffer tonearms perform better. Thus you have arms like the SAT and the 4 Points. I never liked FR tonearms, they are beautifully made overpriced garbage, but that is me. You like them and a lot of people like them. I also do not like the SAT arm. The Kuzma 4 Point is a much better value. 

Again you have to be kidding me. My entire system is operated digitally including the turntable. The turntable's RIAA correction is digital which is way more accurate and better sounding. Most of my listening is done with ALAC files. The only reasons I listen to records are I have thousands of them, the habit is burned into my brain and I enjoy F-ing around with turntables, bicycles, 911s and Motorcycles, things that go around and around.

 @mijostyn :  No,I'm not kidding you the subject is that you think that because you have a " super-microscope " that makesyou a cartridge expert but certainly you are far away from be a cartridge expert not even with decent knowledge levels.

" contact patches " : Replicant 100 is the FG 100 ( Gyger ) that came in the Ortofon Bronze/MC Diamond with VTF at around 2.5grs. but the Cadenza Blue comes with a way smaller " contact Patch " FG70 and VTF is exactly the same Ortofon recomendation.


I heve not time right now to completemy answer that I will  latter but the anterior information says that:" Are you kidding me? ".