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Newbie confused about cartridge choice

labjr1

Member
Jun 19, 2020
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I keep reading messages suggesting that newbies like me choose MM cartridges instead of MC. I am confused as to why. I am just getting into vinyl for the first time in 40 years (back when a Zenith changer was hi-tech for me). I ordered a new turntable and phono stage and it will arrive today. However I ordered a MC cartridge to be factory installed on the turntable (Rega P8 with an Aphetta 3) and an Rega Aria phono stage. Did I make a mistake as a newbie by going to a MC cartridge? What is the appeal for newbies to go MM instead?
 

Al ears

Moderator
I keep reading messages suggesting that newbies like me choose MM cartridges instead of MC. I am confused as to why. I am just getting into vinyl for the first time in 40 years (back when a Zenith changer was hi-tech for me). I ordered a new turntable and phono stage and it will arrive today. However I ordered a MC cartridge to be factory installed on the turntable (Rega P8 with an Aphetta 3) and an Rega Aria phono stage. Did I make a mistake as a newbie by going to a MC cartridge? What is the appeal for newbies to go MM instead?
Welcome to the forum.
That's not newbie type kit.... :) Most newbies would not commit that sort of money.
Most starter turntables come with cheap moving magnet cartridges that are there to keep costs down and may even be upgradable to a degree.
The issue is normally cost of construction and replaceability.
I don't think that a Moving Coil cartridge makes sense until you've prepared to spend over £400 and can afford to buy a new one if it is damaged or worn out. Whilst moving magnet cartridges tend to have a user replaceable stylus moving coils do not.
If you damage it you throw it away most of the time....
So the appeal of Moving Magnet cartridges are user serviceable, generally cost, and you often don't need an expensive phono preamp or often one at all if you have a suitable amplifier.
 
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labjr1

Member
Jun 19, 2020
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Thank you!! That makes sense and that was the part I had not seen explained anywhere. I will certainly be careful with the stylus to make sure I am not out the cost of a cartridge. I did not realize the stylus was not replaceable - hadn't really given it any thought so that is good to know.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Thank you!! That makes sense and that was the part I had not seen explained anywhere. I will certainly be careful with the stylus to make sure I am not out the cost of a cartridge. I did not realize the stylus was not replaceable - hadn't really given it any thought so that is good to know.
No problem. You realise really quickly when you accidentally trash one as I did and then find the cost of repairing it outways the cost of a new one....... :)
 
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