Record wear - MM vs MC

the thin end of the wedge
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Record wear - MM vs MC

Post by mvno_subscriber » 09 Dec 2019 09:12

Hi,

just wondering - since MM cartidges have more mass, moving the pickup requires more energy than MC cartidges. How does this translate to record wear?

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Re: Record wear - MM vs MC

Post by raphaelmabo » 09 Dec 2019 10:40

Can't say that I have experienced any noticeable differences, and I have been using both MM and MC cartridges. It's not really about the mass, it's about the tracking force. More tracking force means the stylus has more force in the groove. And tracking force is a factor of compliance more than MM or MC. I've used MM and MC cartridges with tracking forces between 1.5 - 2.3 and I simply can't say that I have noticed any real difference in record wear.

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Re: Record wear - MM vs MC

Post by billshurv » 09 Dec 2019 11:23

mvno_subscriber wrote:
09 Dec 2019 09:12
Hi,

just wondering - since MM cartidges have more mass
They don't. this is an old wives tale that keeps going around and around. Unless you are comparing the cheapest bonded conical with an ortofon anna. As for wear, as long as the diamond is not damaged this is really not an issue for anything modern (less than 1mg effective mass and VTF under 3g).

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Re: Record wear - MM vs MC

Post by Solist » 09 Dec 2019 11:50

Also, a VTF of lets say 2g, will have a different effect if the stylus is elliptical vs a higher type one, since the better stylus shapes have more contact area with the grooves.

I would worry more about the stylus not being clean. The wear will start to happen if you have any material build up on the stylus tip.

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Re: Record wear - MM vs MC

Post by wolfie62 » 09 Dec 2019 13:53

Yes, tracking force is a much bigger component of both record wear and stylus wear than tip mass, actual or effective.

My ADC 10E MKIV tracks at 0.75 grams. Just can’t seem to wear out the stylus! It’s the original stylus from 1970-1972. I have a spare, NOS. I’ve put another 200 hours on it since I got it, still plays as good as the day I got it.

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Re: Record wear - MM vs MC

Post by lenjack » 09 Dec 2019 15:11

Agree with wolfie and billshurv.

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Re: Record wear - MM vs MC

Post by BMRR » 09 Dec 2019 16:13

billshurv wrote:
09 Dec 2019 11:23
mvno_subscriber wrote:
09 Dec 2019 09:12
just wondering - since MM cartidges have more mass
They don't. this is an old wives tale that keeps going around and around.
There probably was a time when it was true, e.g. when MM and MC were both new technologies. If we used a time machine to go back to 1962, we might find that the newly-introduced Denon DL-103 has lower moving mass than its closest MM competitors such as the Shure M7D and Pickering 380. But as we all know, technology has come a long way since then. Moving Iron briefly had lower moving mass than both MM and MC, but then magnets got simultaneously lighter and more powerful, and MMs ended up with lower moving mass than MI and MC.

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Re: Record wear - MM vs MC

Post by wolfie62 » 09 Dec 2019 16:38

There probably was a time when it was true, e.g. when MM and MC were both new technologies. If we used a time machine to go back to 1962, we might find that the newly-introduced Denon DL-103 has lower moving mass than its closest MM competitors such as the Shure M7D and Pickering 380. But as we all know, technology has come a long way since then. Moving Iron briefly had lower moving mass than both MM and MC, but then magnets got simultaneously lighter and more powerful, and MMs ended up with lower moving mass than MI and MC.
I would have to see that proven to believe that MM has less mass, or even less effective mass than MI. Magnets have gotten tiny, but the magnets are still heavy due to the alloys used. Also, the magnets tend to be placed either at the end of the cantilever well after the center of rotation of the cantilever, or before that center of rotation; that increases effective mass. MI tends to be at the center, and just barely on either side of the center. Plus the iron used is is normally a hollow shell, not solid like a magnet.

MI still tends to have less mass, or less effective mass, than either MM or MC, from what I’ve seen of new designs and even vintage designs. But I’m sure there are outliers that can make even an MI design of higher mass, AcuTex and ADC TRX carts come to mind.

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Re: Record wear - MM vs MC

Post by BMRR » 09 Dec 2019 16:49

Just to be clear, I'm not saying all MMs have lower moving mass than all MIs; just saying that it's been true of certain cartridges at certain moments in time. Stanton/Pickering, for example, went from MM to MI to MM as they chased the lowest moving mass of the day.

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Re: Record wear - MM vs MC

Post by billshurv » 09 Dec 2019 22:53

BMRR wrote:
09 Dec 2019 16:13


There probably was a time when it was true, e.g. when MM and MC were both new technologies. If we used a time machine to go back to 1962, we might find that the newly-introduced Denon DL-103 has lower moving mass than its closest MM competitors
Closest MM competitor was the DL-107 which was an inside out DL-103. Very light disk magnet. Nice cartridge.

These days nothing MM/MI or MC even comes close to the moving mass of top of the line 80s cartridges. No one even bothers specifying it anymore as it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme unless you own an EPC205Cmk4 and want to lord it over the rest of us :). Anything lighter than an ortofon SPU is light enough.

GE VRs are heavier than I would personally trust but I've not seen reports of those obliterating vinyl when they have a good needle in them...

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Re: Record wear - MM vs MC

Post by wolfie62 » 09 Dec 2019 23:08

No one out there testing cartridges today. Manufacturers can put anything out there they want to. No referees, no umpires, no competent 3rd parting testing and reviews.

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Re: Record wear - MM vs MC

Post by lenjack » 09 Dec 2019 23:39

It's true there are no real tests of audio components anymore. Been this way for many years. Most turntable manufacturers don't publish real specs. Many will just give you dimensions, weight, speeds, and other, mostly useless info. Most will not give you speed error, w&f, rumble, etc. Didn't used to be that way.

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Re: Record wear - MM vs MC

Post by billshurv » 09 Dec 2019 23:58

yes but no one makes vapour deposited thin wall Boron cantilevers any more either. The days of specs selling cartridges are long gone as are the greatest cartridges, at least from a technical stand point.

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Re: Record wear - MM vs MC

Post by wolfie62 » 10 Dec 2019 03:44

A year ago I discussed vapor deposition with an engineer at the largest such corporation in the US. I was looking for vapor deposition for beryllium, and nickel-Teflon.

First, beryllium is not a candidate for the vapor deposition technology, in its current state of the art. Boron is.

Hate to disappoint, but boron vapor deposited on aluminum adds no, 0, zero strength to aluminum. It adds infinitesimally small amount of damping. It’s window dressing. Vapor depositing is not the same as welding, not the same as cladding, not the same as an alloy. It’s more like ultra-thin painting. But it sounds important.

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Re: Record wear - MM vs MC

Post by chgc » 10 Dec 2019 04:21

Were the boron cantilevers of old boron over aluminum or pure boron?

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