What is the difference between MM and MC Cartridge?

MM (Moving Magnet)

Ortofon 2M Blue

The term moving magnet refers to the method used to regenerate the music signal from the record grooves. A tiny, powerful magnet is attached to the diamond tipped cantilever, which actually traces out the music signals from the record grooves.

The movement of the cantilever is transmitted to the magnet, which moves in a coil formed from very fine wires.

This movement of the magnet in the fixed coils generates the tiny electrical signal, which is then input into a special phono circuit to amplify it to a usable level. Typical output of this type of cartridge is 5 mV.

This allows the turntable output to be fed directly to a basic phono input. This type of cartridge is usually quite robust and is thus suitable for use by a beginner.

One of the advantages to using a moving magnet cartridge is a high output delivery. This typically means it is compatible with most any phono input on a stereo component. Many moving magnet cartridges also feature a removable and replaceable stylus, which can be important/convenient in the event of breakage or normal wear.

It generally costs less to replace a stylus than the entire cartridge itself.

One of the disadvantages to using a moving magnet cartridge is that the magnets tend to have higher weight/mass when compared to that of a moving coil cartridge. This greater value generally means that the stylus can't move as quickly over the record, which inhibits its ability to track the subtle changes within the groove's surface. This is where a moving coil cartridge has a performance advantage.

MC (Moving Coil)