— Generally, most very high performance magnetic
cartridges are indeed of the moving coil type.
MC's position at the top of audiophile pickup hierarchy is due to a combination of factors. They are listed below, in the order of relative importance.
- Low inductance, and thus low energy storage. MC coil inductance is 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than MM or MI's
- High body rigidity: MC cartridges are typically milled or 3D printed out of metal
- A nice and clear vibration path away from the stylus. The suspension is usually directly connected to the cartridge's body
- Reasonable moving mass: even when wound over an iron core, the coils do not weigh much
- Stable constant magnetic field around the coils
It's interesting to note that nothing really prevents anyone from building an MM or MI cartridge with the same attributes. But cartridge makers prefer to focus their engineering investment on moving coil ones.
Exceptions like the Top Wing
prove that the cartridge mustn't necessarily be of moving coil type to achieve remarkable performance.