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Best MM Cartridge | Top Budget and Premium Moving Magnets for Your Turntable

Who doesn’t want the best cartridge for their record player with an amazing sound system which they can enjoy with their friends and family? We all want the best sound system to listen to our favorite music. But buying the best cartridge is quite a daunting process. To begin with, these don’t come cheap and there is so much you need to know about before you make a purchase.

Which features do you need and should not compromise on? Which features can you do without?

Which company has the best products? Which model is best suited for your tastes? Should you go for the latest model or an older one?

And the most important is the budget. Cartridges can be quite expensive and you want them to last a while.

Overall Best #

Overall Budget #

Sumiko - Pearl MM Cartridge
  • Cartridge Type: MM
  • Frequency Response: 12Hz – 30KHz
  • Channel Separation: 30db
  • Stylus Size: 0.2µx0.8µ
  • Stylus Shape: Elliptical

But don’t worry about that now. Just read on to know all you need to know about the best cartridges available in the US market right now.

1. Sumiko – Pearl MM Cartridge: For Most Refined & Best Sound

best mm cartridge

Key Features

  • Cartridge Type: MM
  • Frequency Response: 12Hz – 30KHz
  • Channel Separation: 30db
  • Stylus Size: 0.2µx0.8µ
  • Stylus Shape: Elliptical
  • Product Dimensions: 3.4 x 2.6 x 2 inches
  • Item Weight: 1 pound
  • ASIN: B00C6IBH7E
  • Item model number: Sumiko Pearl High Output

Feature overview

If you are looking for the most elegant cartridge with the most beautiful sound, Sumiko – Pearl MM Cartridge is the one for you. It is truly the best mm cartridge by far. Moreover, it also available at a very reasonable rate- an added benefit.

The Sumiko Pearl offers the most refined sound. It is smooth, does not have grain, and has low surface noise. Sumiko – Pearl MM Cartridge is the perfect choice for any kind of music you listen to.

The bass and rhythmic drive of this cartridge are top-notch, as is the propulsion of three lower frequencies.

This particular Sumiko model is even better than the excellent products Sumiko always delivers. The stylus of the Pearl has an elliptical grind that delivers high tracking property and low noise. Taking advantage of this property, they created a system that generates high power without winding it as much as MM designs are traditionally winded.

All these amazing properties truly make the Sumiko – Pearl MM Cartridge a jewel among all cartridges.

Pros
  • Fits any standard tonearm.
  • Suited for all kinds of music.
  • User friendly.
  • Reasonable price.
Cons
  • Flaw in the stylus elliptical cut which distorts inner tracking.

2. Audio-Technica VM540ML MicroLine: High Quality Dual Moving Magnet Stereo Turntable Cartridge

Audio-Technica MicroLine Dual Moving Turntable Cartridge

Key Features

  • Type: VM
  • Frequency Response: 20 to 27,000 Hz
  • Output Voltage: 4.0mV (1kHz, 5cm/sec.)
  • Channel Separation: 28dB (1kHz)
  • Output Balance: 1.0dB (1kHz)
  • Tracking Force: 1.8 to 2.2g (2.0g standard)
  • Coil Impedance: 2.7k ohms (1kHz)
  • DC Resistance: 800 ohms
  • Load Impedance: 47k ohms
  • Load Capacitance: 100 to 200pF
  • Coil Inductance: 460mH (1kHz)
  • Static Compliance: 40×10 -6 cm/dyne
  • Dynamic Compliance: 10×10 -6 cm/dyne (100Hz)
  • Stylus: Nude MicroLine (2.2×0.12mil)
  • Cantilever: Aluminum tapered pipe
  • Vertical Tracking Angle: 23°
  • Dimensions: H17.3×W17.0×D28.2mm
  • Weight: 6.4g
  • Replacement Stylus (Sold Separately): VMN40ML

Feature overview

The Audio -Technica VM540ML MicroLine Dual Moving Magnet Stereo Turntable Cartridge by Audio-Technica is reminiscent of the company’s early days; back when they used to manufacture high- end phono cartridges. The new VM540ML MicroLine is the same but built by incorporating the advanced technology of today.

Like every classic VM cartridge, this VM540ML MicroLine also had dual magnets. These magnets are positioned in a way so that they match the channels on both sides of the stereo record. This extends the frequency response and gives excellent channel separation.

The MicroLine stylus of the cartridge traces the record groove with outstanding accuracy. This delivers the most genuine sound experience which is impossible in the case of conical or elliptical styli. Another great amenity that makes it one of the best moving magnetic phono cartridges is the multilevel shape of the stylus which makes sure that your records don’t wear out.

Pros
  • Paratoroidal coils for better-generating efficiency.
  • Reduced crosstalk by centre shield plate.
  • Durable cartridge housing.
  • Amazing sound quality.
Cons
  • Not suited for Microline stylus
  • 2Will not fit a Denon turntable

Also read: Best Turntables under $100

3. Ortofon 2M Blue Moving Magnet Cartridge: Best Fit for most of the Turntables

Best Magnet Cartridge

Key Features

  • Universal fit for most turntables
  • Upgrade to the Ortofon 2M Red
  • The Ortofon 2M Blue adds more dynamics and resolution, sounds more open and reproduces more details
  • The 2M Blue features a Nude Elliptical diamond
  • Stylus is replaceable

Feature overview

With the Ortofon 2M Blue Moving Magnet Cartridge, you do not need to look elsewhere for the best moving magnet cartridge. This 2M Blue delivers a greater output that is close to 5.5 mV due to its improved engine. Even the sonic accuracy and sound reproduction are of far better quality.

The stylus has Nude Elliptical diamond and split pole pins with copper wire. The 2M Blue also eliminates unwanted resonance and at the same time ensures high rigidity. This is possible due to the advanced Hopelex design of the cartridge body.

The 2M Blue model is so much better than the 2M Red as it delivers a more dynamic sound with more details and openness.

Included with 2M Blue:

– Stylus Brush
– Screwdriver
– Screw M2.5 x 5
– Screw M2.5 x 7

Pros
  • Improved engine for optimized sound.
  • Sleek design.
  • Moving magnets to allow flat frequency response
  • Over 1000 hours of continuous use without degradation.
Cons

Read more: Best Turntable under $200

4. Schiit Mani Phono Preamp MC and MM Cartridges: Reasonable & Best

Schiit Mani Phono Preamp Cartridges

Key Features

  • Can be used with moving-magnet (MM) cartridges, moving-coil (MC) cartridges, or high-output cartridges
  • Consistent sonic performance, super low-noise. 115VAC, USA Plug.
  • Four switchable gain modes: (30, 42, 47, and 59dB)
  • Accurate, quiet, passive RIAA Network
  • Designed and assembled in the USA from high-quality components
  • Package Dimensions: 12.4 x 9.7 x 6.9 inches
  • Item Weight: 2 pounds
  • Department: Unisex adult
  • Manufacturer: Schiit
  • ASIN: B07P8WYX6N
  • Item model number: SCH-18-FA

Feature overview

When you are buying the cartridge for your record player, it is always wiser to buy one that provides you with the flexibility and ease of both moving coil (MC) and moving magnet (MM). And for that purpose, what better than Schiit Mani Phono Preamp for MC and MM Cartridges. As per phono cartridge reviews, it is the best cartridge that offers both MC and MM properties with perfect ease.

A phono preamp with the goodness of both moving magnet and moving coil is not very common. Most of them are good only the traditional moving magnet cartridges. But for a phono preamp to have the flexible high output of moving magnet and the required gain for moving coil is pretty rare and that’s what makes the Schiit Mani Phono Preamp so great.

The Schiit Mani has a more consistent sonic performance due to reduced poles in the feedback loop. And when you add to that, 0.5% thin-film resistors, 2% film capacitors, and super low-noise gain stages, you get the best cartridge ever.

Pros
  • Reasonable price.
  • Advanced engineering for better sound quality.
  • Both moving magnet and moving coil.
  • Four switchable gain modes.
Cons
  • It does not come with ground wire.

Related article: Best Turntable under $400 & $500

5. Audio-Technica AT-VM95C: Dual Moving Magnet Turntable Cartridge for Best Sound Experience

Audio-Technica Moving Magnet Turntable Cartridge

Key Features

  • VM95 Series dual Magnet cartridge with 0.6 mils Conical stylus
  • Aluminium cantilever
  • Specially wound coils increase the output voltage
  • Durable low-resonance polymer Housing
  • Threaded inserts in cartridge body enable the cartridge to be mounted to headshell with just two screws – no nuts required
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 1 x 3 inches
  • Item Weight: 1.44 ounces
  • Manufacturer: audio-Technica
  • ASIN: B07JL2RTBX
  • Item model number: AT-VM95C

Feature overview

Hype up your new record player with a top-notch mm cartridge available in the market at present. Audio-Technica AT-VM95C Dual Moving Magnet Turntable Cartridge of the VM95 Series comes with a 0.6 mil conical stylus which will fit turntables of half an inch mount. The coil design of this cartridge is specifically designed to deliver a magnificent output level which is 4.0 mV.

The other features like all quality, low distortion, and channel separation are also on point. It has a low resonance housing and contains threaded inserts. This allows easy mounting of the cartridge on the headshell without any nuts and just two screws.

This cartridge comes with a conical stylus and the benefit of using a conical stylus is the fact that the ball surface touches the groove of your vinyl record perfectly, even though the cartridge is “lean”.

The cartridges of the VM95 Series come with two M2.6 threaded inserts and that allows the cartridge to be installed on the tonearm. Each cartridge had a couple of pairs of 8mm M2.6 screws, a pair of 11mm M2.6 screws and a couple of plastic washers.

Pros
  • Conical bonded stylus.
  • Nuts not required.
  • Best sound experience.
  • Reasonable price.
Cons
  • Not designed to match the phono stage.

You may also like: Best Turntable under $300

6. Clearaudio Concept MM Moving Magnet Phono Cartridge: Amazing Quality & Reasonable Prices

Moving Magnet Cartridge

Key Features

  • Item Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 5.4 x 3.4 inches
  • ASIN: B006HL7A5E
  • Item model number: Concept MM

Feature overview

The Clearaudio Concept MM Moving Magnet Phono Cartridge is one of the best cartridges for record players. It has an aluminum body and is a magnetic phono cartridge. Clearaudio has two high-performance phono cartridges, both available at a very reasonable rate. They are the Concept MC (Moving Coil) and Concept v2 MM (Moving Magnet).

Both of these designs are available on the Concept turntable, pre-installed, at special package prices. The v2 moving magnet and v2 moving coil can also be bought separately and used on any turntable of any brand, including Clearaudio.

This high-output moving magnet cartridge is built on an aluminum body. All these add to the beautiful and inviting sound that this gadget produces which can be seen in any phono cartridge reviews.

Pros
  • Amazing sound.
  • Both moving magnet and moving coil available.
  • Works on the turntable of any brand.
  • Reasonable price.
Cons
  • Does not come with RCA cord.

Read here: Best Turntables for Sampling & Digitizing Vinyl

7. Audio Technica AT-VM95E/H Headshell/Cartridge Combo Kit: High Sound Quality

Audio Technica Dual Moving Magnet Cartridge

Key Features

  • Item Weight : 8.4 ounces
  • Product Dimensions : 4 x 1 x 3 inches
  • ASIN : B07SZ9FYH8
  • Replacement Stylus : AT-VMN95E | Compatible Replacement Styli: AT-VM95C, AT-VM95EN, AT-VM95ML, AT-VM95SH, AT-VM95SP
  • Vertical Tracking Angle: 23-Degrees | Tracking Force: 1.8~2.2g
  • Stylus Construction : Bounded Round Shank | Stylus Shape: 0.3 x 0.7 mil elliptical
  • Cantilever : Aluminum Pipe
  • Mount : 1/2″
  • Frequency : 20Hz~22kHz
  • Channel Separation : 20dB | Channel Balance: 2dB (1 kHz)
  • Output : 4mV (1 kHz, 5cm/sec)
  • Recommended Load Impedance : 47 kOhm | Coil Impedance: 3.3 kOhm
  • Weight : 6.1g
  • Accessories : 2x 11mm Installation Screws, 2x 8mm Installation Screws, 2x Washers

Feature overview

This excellent Audio Technica AT-VM95E/H Headshell/Cartridge Combo Kit: AT-VM95E Dual Moving Magnet Cartridge and AT-HS6BK Headshell Bundle with Blucoil 2-in-1 Vinyl Record and Turntable Cleaning Kit is exactly what you need to hype up your record player and can have a great time listening to the vinyl of your favorite musician. Everything in this kit comes pre-assembled.

The AT-VM95E Dual Moving Magnet Cartridge has been pre-mounted on the AT-HS6BK Headshell. It ensures better transfer of signal and minimizes magnetic loss which promises the best audio performance. It has an elliptical bonded stylus which is better at following the modulation of the record’s groove and gives better performance than a conical one.

What makes this the best mm cartridge is that they are user-friendly. The cartridge can also be very easily installed and the headshell easily removed. You don’t need to use nuts and all necessary pieces of equipment required for installation are included in the AT-VM95E kit.

Pros
  • User friendly.
  • Comes pre-installed.
  • Elliptical bonded stylus.
  • Amazing sound quality.
Cons
  • No option for different power supplies.

8. Ortofon 2M Bronze Moving Magnet Cartridge: Perfect Fit for Most of Turntables

Moving Magnet Cartridge

Key Features

  • Universal fit for most turntables
  • Upgrade to the Ortofon 2M Red and 2M Blue
  • The Ortofon 2M Bronze adds even more resolution and details in an evenhanded way
  • The 2M Bronze features a nude Fine Line diamond
  • Can be upgraded with an Ortofon Stylus 2M Black
  • Item Weight: 0.32 ounces
  • ASIN: B002SDY2OC
  • Item model number: 0560021

Feature overview

With the Ortofon 2M Blue Moving Magnet Cartridge, you do not need to look elsewhere for the best moving magnet cartridge. This 2M Blue has an improved engine that delivers a greater output that is close to 5.5 mV. This design of the stylus is best suited in the case of demanding applications.

The stylus is a Nude Fine Line diamond and it has split pole pins with copper wire. The 2M Blue also eliminates unwanted resonance and at the same time ensures high rigidity. The Fine Line stylus has a slim profile which helps to track down even the information of the highest frequency and that is what makes it a necessity for discerning listeners.

This great performance of the Ortofon 2M Blue Moving Magnet Cartridge is possible due to the advanced Hopelex design of the cartridge body.

The 2M Blue model is so much better than the 2M Red as it delivers a more dynamic sound with more details and openness. Even the sonic accuracy and sound reproduction are of improved quality.

Included with 2M Blue:

– Stylus Brush
– Screwdriver
– Stylus Pressure Gauge
– Screw M2.5 x 5
– Screw M2.5 x 7.

Pros
  • User friendly.
  • Advancement in sound.
  • Can give up to 1000 hours of performance if taken proper care of.
  • Fits most turntables.
Cons
  • Might take as long as 100 hours to adjust the stiffness of the cartridge.

9. Ortofon 2M Bronze Moving Magnet Cartridge: Magnificent Quality

Ortofon Moving Magnet Cartridge

Key Features

  • Universal fit for most turntables
  • Upgrade to the Ortofon 2M Red and 2M Blue
  • The Ortofon 2M Bronze adds even more resolution and details in an evenhanded way
  • The 2M Bronze features a nude Fine Line diamond
  • Can be upgraded with an Ortofon Stylus 2M Black
  • Item Weight: 0.32 ounces
  • ASIN: B002SDY2OC
  • Item model number: 0560021

Feature overview

Level up your new record player with the best mm cartridge available in the market at present. Ortofon 2M Bronze Moving Magnet Cartridge of Ortofon’s 2M series comes with a 0.6 mil conical stylus which will fit turntables of half an inch mount. The coil design of this cartridge is specifically designed to deliver a magnificent output level which is 4.0 mV.

The other features like low distortion and channel separation are also on point. It has low resonance housing and contains threaded inserts. This allows easy mounting of the cartridge on the headshell without any nuts and just two screws.

The Ortofon 2M Bronze Moving Magnet Cartridge has a Nude Fine Line diamond stylus. This kind of stylus is the best when it comes to demanding applications. The stylus has a very slim profile and that is best suited to track the highest frequency information. On top of that, it has a larger footprint and that ensures better durability and reduced distortion.

Included with 2M Bronze:

– Stylus Brush
– Screwdriver
– Screw M2.5 x 5
– Screw M2.5 x 7
– Stylus Pressure Gauge

Pros
  • Fits every turntable.
  • Easy to use.
  • Greater durability.
  • Reasonable price.
Cons
  • Not designed to match the phono stage.

10. Ortofon 2M Red PnP Moving Magnet Cartridge: Best & Affordable

Ortofon Moving Magnet Cartridge

Key Features

  • Universal mount fitting a wide range of S-shaped tonearms
  • Upgrade from stock cartridges
  • The Ortofon 2M Red is an all-purpose cartridge that delivers open, dynamic sound with a slight touch of warmth
  • The Ortofon 2M Red features an Elliptical diamond
  • Can be upgraded with an Ortofon Stylus 2M Blue.
  • Package Dimensions: 4.61 x 3.46 x 1.18 inches
  • Item Weight: 2.22 ounces
  • ASIN: B07BK72WDS

Feature overview

Ortofon cartridges are known for their excellent performance and the 2M series is especially mention-worthy due to the perfection and accuracy with which it retrieves the information in the groove of the record. The cartridge is designed to produce the most authentic sound without coloring it.

The Ortofon 2M Red PnP Moving Magnet Cartridge features the traditional split pole pins which allow the moving magnet cartridges a flat frequency response with that of a moving coil cartridge. The split pole pins of these best 6.5 mm cartridges which were invented by Ortofon are optimized to fit almost any turntable.

Pros
  • Direct and easy mounting.
  • It is a combination of 2M headshell and 2M series cartridge.
  • Reasonable price.
  • Sleek design.
Cons
  • Does not come with RCA cord.

Difference between MM cartridge and MC Cartridge

MM cartridge

  • Regenerates the music signal from the record groove.
  • A diamond-tipped cantilever traces the grooves for musical signals.
  • The cantilever movement is transmitted to the magnet.
  • The magnet moves in the fixed coil, generating tiny electrical signals.
  • These electrical signals are amplified to a usable level by the special phono circuit.

MC cartridge

  • The magnet of the MC cartridge is fixed. The coil is fixed to the cantilever.
  • The coil vibrates due to the movement of the stylus and tracks the grooves.
  • The coils have fewer turns than mm cartridge which makes them lighter with lower inductance and impedance.
  • They have greater bandwidth.
  • Retrieval of lower-level information is better.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the mm cartridge?

MM cartridge, also known as moving magnetic cartridge has a cantilever. It picks up the mechanical vibrations from the record groove and transfers them to the magnet of the cartridge.

2. What vaporizers hold a 10.5 mm cartridge?

Ceramic Cell cartridges.

3. How long does an mm cartridge last?

When taken proper care of, mm cartridges lost for around 2,500-3,000 hours. With scrupulously clean records, they last for 1000 hs.

4. How can I tell if a phono cartridge is mm or mc?

You cannot tell the difference between an mm cartridge and an mc cartridge just by looking at it. You need special types of equipment to use mc of low output. But an mc of high output will work with any mm input.

5. What is the velocity of the 5.56 mm cartridge?

3,250 ft/s, that is, 991 m/s is the velocity of a 5.56 mm cartridge.

6. Which is the older version of cartridge mm or mc?

MC cartridge is the older form of a cartridge.

7. Which blank cartridge is better- 9 mm or 8 mm?

8mm cartridges are better.