Best Moving Magnet Cartridges

A magnetic cartridge or is an electromechanical device that is used to play records of music on a turntable. It is commonly used by disk jockeys to produce good and soothing sounds. They can also be called phono cartridge or phonograph, it usually contains a mounted stylus that can be permanent or temporary at the tip which makes physical contact with the record groove.

The stylus shapes vary in shape and have different characteristics that can further be divided into Nude diamond and Tipped diamond.  The spherical stylus shape is simple and cheap and it is also considered the most robust design and economical to maintain due to the cost-effective nature of the replacement. The second is an elliptical shape that is able to follow the groove’s oscillations on a record player more accurately than spherical styli.

They are generally affordable and cheap to buy than other models, they also work with turntable cartridges or phono input in the amplifier.  The moving magnet cartridges models give space to change the old, damaged, or broken stylus instead of getting the whole phono cartridge. It is cost-effective and has a long life span with a substantial proposition.

Below are the examples of the best and inexpensive various types of moving magnet cartridges models, such as Audio-Tecnica, Sumiko, Cartridge man, Grado mobile, Fidelity, Nagaoka, and Ortofon respectively.

BEST MOVING MAGNET CARTRIDGES 2021

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AUDIO-TECNICA MOVING MAGNET CARTRIDGES

The Audio-Technica MMC model is manufactured in China and is top-notch in designing the best phono cartridges. They design phono cartridges that are high in sound quality, standard performance, and durability. The cartridges are a great choice and extremely versatile for different purposes like listening to music, streaming, and playing games. Audio-Tecnica models are also a great choice because they are affordable and can last longer than the rest of the other models due to their durability. Examples of Audio-Tecnica models include Audio- Tecnica VM540ML, Audio-Tecnica VM670SPMM, Audio- Tecnica VM760 SLC, Audio- Tecnical 740ML, Golding 1012GXMM etc.

Audio-Technica AT-VM95E Dual Moving Magnet Turntable Cartridge Green


Pros

  •  It has a detachable cable
  • Closed-back design allows good bass response without sacrificing clarity
  • Elliptical diamond stylus
  • Good tonal balance
  • Sturdy build and durability
  • A large and proud Audio Tecnica name boldly printed on it
  • Cheap and affordable
  • Predominantly made of plastic


Cons

  • Scarce in a lot of brick and mortar stores
  • Few colors choices available
  • Design is not really fashionable.
  • Rolled off in the low bass and have a peak in the upper treble

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SUMIKO MOVING MAGNET CARTRIDGES
Sumiko Rainier Phono Cartridge

Sumiko models are low output moving magnet cartridges with 0.7MV output with an exotic pearwood body. It is one of the best moving magnet models designed with a conical stylus and offers an extremely nuanced and refined sound that very few models can offer. Examples of this model include Blackbird M/C Cart, Amethyst MM, Pearwood celebration, etc. The best of these Sumiko’s models is Amethyst because it is one of the affordable cartridges and creates impressive resolution and intriguing rhythm with such efficacy that will move the listener to an emotional state. It also generates a good output which enables the moving magnet to perform well by producing quality sounds at a cheap and inexpensive price. 

Model description

The Amethyst M/M Cartridge has an aluminum cantilever that is 0.5mm in diameters and weight of 6.5gramms, with an output of 2.5mV at 1kHz loading compliance of 47k Ohms and a recommended tracking force of 2.0gramms.


Pros

  • Good quality sound
  • Easy installation process
  • Durably designed
  • A good record groove
  • Agood tonal balance
  • Packaged in a protective case


Cons

  • Commonly underrated
  • Relatively scarce
  • the output is low

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CARTRIDGE MAN MOVING MAGNET CARTRIDGES

The Cartridge Man MMC is one of the best cartridges with a good price tag and good frequency range. It also produces warm, solid, and soothing sounds to the listener’s ear. The top-notch of this model is the Cartridge man Musicmaker III due to its effective production of sounds. It is also an effective two-way filter that is basically designed for the purpose of breaking the mechanical feedback loop and improving the sound quality of most turntable cartridges. It is a sturdy built and durable MMC that produces beautiful sounds to the listener’s ear. 

Audio Technica AT85EP Dual Moving Magnet Cartridge with Elliptical Stylus P Mount for P-Mount Turntables Bundle with Blucoil Carbon Anti-Static Vinyl Cleaning Brush


Pros

  • Easy to  install and use
  • Punchy sound quality
  • Inexpensive and durable
  • Reduced surface noise
  • Maximize sound quality than other cartridges


Cons

  • None observed to date

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ORTOFON MOVING MAGNET CARTRIDGES

Ortofon MM cartridges are fast, dynamic, and uniquely presented to drag heaps of details of the disc. It presents the musical information in a sonorous and spectacular way, and it is also designed to have a dynamic bass tone and superb sound quality that connect the heart and soul together bringing incredible tone to the ear. Examples of Ortofon model are Ortofon 2M Black LVB 250, Ortofon 2M Bronze and so on. The Ortofon 2M LVB 250 consists of a Nude Shibata diamond on a  Boron cantilever which allows an exceedingly wide contact area to the groove walls and ensures notable high-quality reproduction of sounds. The Boron cantilever aids remarkable transparency and speedy responsiveness. This inexpensive moving magnet weighs 7.2 grams with a tracking force range of 1.5-1.7 grams and 1.2 kOhms of internal impedance. Its frequency response is 20-20.00 + 2/- 1 dB with an output voltage of 5 mV.

Ortofon 2M Red Moving Magnet Cartridge


Pros

  • Universal fit for most turntables
  • Dynamic sound with a slight touch of warmth
  • Easy to  install and access


Cons

  • Expensive to purchase
  • Quite heavy
  • It produces the lowest and a bit bright bass

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MOBILE FIDELITY MOVING MAGNET CARTRIDGES

A Fidelity MM cartridge is a well-damped billet aluminum body that controls its tracking ability, resonance and its productivity.  Due to the good channel separation, the cartridges produce accurate bass sounds and stable vocals for the listener. It is basically designed to produce natural and intriguing sounds. Examples are Fidelity research FR-6 and Mobile fidelity studio phono.Audio-Technica AT81CP Replacement Phonograph Cartridge with Conical Stylus for P Mount Turntables


Pros

  • It has the ability to control resonance
  • Produces natural and intriguing warm sounds
  • It is cheap and affordable
  • Good tonal accuracy
  • It generates good output and frequency response

Cons

  • Relatively scarce
  • Harsh surface sounds

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GOLDRING 2500 MOVING MAGNET CARTRIDGES

These models have a threaded base that gives space to fix it to the arm thereby being of the best cartridges. Goldring 2500 is a high-frequency cartridge that is commonly used on the best turntables and is also required where there is a high output. Goldring 2500 is a great choice because the tapered cantilever with 2SD diamond gives it smooth and well-detailed sound to the listeners, while the metal body gives a good and quality bass definition. Examples of these models are Goldring 2300, Goldring 2400, etc.

Goldring Moving Magnet 2500 Cartridge


Pros

  •  Contains a good tracker
  • Works best with medium to high-mass arms
  • Relatively cheap


Cons

  • Has a fussy setup
  • The stylus does not track inner grooves.

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NAGAOKA MOVING MAGNET CARTRIDGES

Nagaoka MM cartridge is also one of the best cartridges models manufactured in Japan,  it has the ability to reduce vinyl noise while tracking the inner groove. It is designed to be a solid performer with several pulses and is highly compatible with current and vintage turntables.

This model is relatively cheap and provides good musical performance at its peak. Its level of accuracy goes as far as keeping all the details of the music separate so that they can be heard clearly. Examples of Nagaoka cartridges models include Nagaoka MP-500 and  Nagaoka MP-110.

NAGAOKA MM (MP) Cartridge MP-110


Pros

  • Has high-frequency bass extension
  • Digs lovely warm bright sound with excellent imagery
  • Retrieves the lost grooves
  • Easy to fit into turntables
  • Good tonal control
  • Good phono preamps


Cons

  • Alignment is a bit tricky
  • Takes much time to set up

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CONCLUSION

Moving magnet cartridges are competitive and more suitable to purchase, due to their lower and cheap price points. These models are particularly capable to unlock the potential of music and get your vinyl collection working at its best. The cartridges deliver absolute large and high outputs, especially when compared to the moving coil models.       

They should be adequately maintained and cleaned especially the elliptical diamond stylus part, to improve the sound quality and performance of your cartridges. For the cleaning, a stylus brush is an ideal instrument to clean the records in order to ensure a clean connection between the stylus and the record.

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