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Benz Micro Phono Cartridges



The latest LP S ($5,000 MSRP) incorporates a higher mass brass frame for improved coupling to tonearms, evolved ruby square plate generator and Ebony body. Brass, an alloy of copper and tin, complements Ebony, materials used for building musical instruments. The LP S has 50% more mass than the previous model for enhanced vibrational and resonant characteristics, thus revealing greater dynamic contrasts, deeper bass and increased resolution from all records. The latest LP S Class was the first Benz to use the new MicroRidge stylus, now found on all Benz Swiss-made cartridges.
Here is an excerpt form the latest phono cartridge survey from Harry Pearson of The Absolute Sound:
“I don’t think we yet have developed the language to capture what the Benz itself does, and, believe me, I have been wrestling, mentally, to find a way to see (hear?) if I can convey a sense of what makes it so special.
The Benz captures every sound, and does so with any particular emphasis on “presence” or aliveness (as we have described those characteristics in this essay). The longer you listen to the cartridge—and the more it warms up—the more revealing it becomes in the sense of warmly inviting you in to listen more deeply to the textures, harmonics, and little subtleties that make up the basic foundations of the music itself.
Everything you hear reproduced by the LP S-MR is translucent. Whatever it is that keeps you, the listener, on the outside looking in, vanishes here, to be replaced by a kind of intimate relation with the music—not “intimate” either in any erotic or gushy sense, but rather the kind of intimacy you might strike up with a vintage wine, perfectly aged.”

Here is a post from Jonathan Valin of The Absolute Sound from AV Guide:
“First, yes, there has been a changeover with the LP S. Benz has gone to a micro-ridge stylus (thus the “MR”). Second, so far I think the Benz LP S-MR is one of the two or three best cartridges I’ve had in my system. It is outstanding. Third, I think the Benz sounds best loaded either at 500 or 1000 ohms (at least, via the ARC Ref Phono 2). And finally, there is something “musically right” about the LP S-MR (and about the Da Vinci Grand Reference Grandezza, which is a lower-output, reduced-coil-winding, iron-magnet version of the same basic cartridge). These two cartridges sound, to my ear, more like the real thing because they lower the sound of the mechanical thing--in other words, they get out of the way of the signal more completely. HP will also have some (very favorable) words about the Benz LP S-MR in our upcoming analog issue.”
http://www.avguide.com/forums/benz-lp-s-vs-clearaudio-goldfinger-v2



The S Class models of the Wood Body SL (low), SM (medium) and SH (high), ($1,500 MSRP), Glider SL, SM, SH ($1,000 MSRP) and ACE SL, SM, SH ($700 MSRP) all incorporate the Benz Dynascan S stylus coupled to improved generators using new coil windings and refined pole pieces/damper designs. Albert Lukaschek began researching increased performance and uniformity of his crosscoil designs while developing the Benz Ebony H, L and TR models. Experimenting with the length of the solid Boron cantilever revealed how the elasticity of this very stiff material contributed to compliance and trackability. Development of a grooved rear pole piece for countersinking the o-ring damper, first introduced on the Benz Ruby square plate cartridges, was then adapted to the cross coil designs, given their lower contact area and damping characteristics. The lower mass coils and matched cantilevers of the new S Class retain their real world output levels and with their improved styli, offer higher performance. Music lovers are getting the best performance/value ratio in phono cartridges, regardless of output level. We offer industry leading programs in upgrading previous Benz models to the new S Class.
Benz-Micro S-Class Cartridges
x
Output
Voltage
3.54 cm/sec
Stylus
Shape
Internal
Ohms
Loading
Range
Weight
Compliance
Tracking
Retail**
Retip Exchange*
LP S-Class
0.35
Micro-ridge
38
>400
16
15
1.8 - 2.0
$5,000
$2,750
Ruby ZH
0.7
Micro-ridge
80
>800
9.6
14
1.8 - 2.0
$4,000
$2,100
Ruby Z
0.35
Micro-ridge
38
>400
9.6
15
1.8 - 2.0
$4,000
$2,100
Ebony H
2.5
Micro-ridge
90
>1000
10.7
14
1.6 - 1.9
$3,500
$2,100
Ebony L
0.26
Micro-ridge
5
>50
10.7
14
1.6 - 1.9
$3,500
$2,100
Ebony TR
0.1
Micro-ridge
1
>10
10.7
14
1.6 - 1.9
$3,500
$2,100
SLR Gullwing
0.35
Micro-ridge
38
>400
12.2
15
1.8 - 2.0
$3,000
$2,100
SHR Gullwing
0.7
Micro-ridge
80
>800
12.2
15
1.8 - 2.0
$3,000
$2,100
Ref S Copper
0.26
Micro-ridge
5
>50
9
15
1.6 - 1.9
$2,500
$1,625
Wood SH
2.5
Micro-ridge
90
>100
9
14
1.6 - 1.9
$1,600
$1,150
Wood SM
0.8
Micro-ridge
24
>240
9
14
1.6 - 1.9
$1,600
$1,150
Wood SL
0.4
Micro-ridge
12
>120
9
15
1.6 - 1.9
$1,600
x$1,150
Glider SH
2.5
Micro-ridge
90
>1000
6.8
14
1.6 - 1.9
$1,200
$900
Glider SM
0.8
Micro-ridge
24
>240
6.8
14
1.6 - 1.9
$1,200
$900
Glider SL
0.4
Micro-ridge
12
>120
6.8
15
1.6 - 1.9
$1,200
$900
ACE SH
2.5
Micro-ridge
90
>1000
8.8
14
1.6 - 1.9
$900
$720
ACE SM
0.8
Micro-ridge
24
>240
8.8
14
1.6 - 1.9
$900
$720
ACE SL
0.4
Micro-ridge
12
>120
8.8
15
1.6 - 1.9
$900
$720
MC Gold
0.5
.3 X .7 mil
20
>200
5.7
15
1.7 - 2.0
$425
$325
MC Silver
2.0
.3 X .7 mil
120
>1200
5.7
15
1.7 - 2.0
$425
$325
*Factory rebuild program is currently not being offered.
**Prices effective May 1, 2011


* Price is for re-tip at Swiss factory (6-8 week turnaround). Exchange price for new LP is $2,000.
** Price is for re-tip at Swiss factory (6-8 week turnaround). Exchange price for new Ruby, Ebony, or SLR is $1,500. Exchange price for new Ref S is $1,200.
*** Price is for re-tip at Swiss factory (6-8 week turnaround). Exchange price for new Wood S is $900.
^Price is for re-tip at Swiss factory (6-8 week turnaround). Exchange price for new Glider S is $600; exchange for new ACE S is $525.
^^Exchange for new cartridge price.



The LP Ebony
The "Flagship" in the Benz line.
$5000
Ruby 3, Ruby 3H
The pinnacles of Benz engineering and performance.
The New Ebony H
World's best high output cartridge
Ref 2 Silver
The H2, M2, L2
Three output levels to match any system requirements, with the famous Benz wood-body sound.
The Glider
The price/performance king in affordable high end audio is now available in three output levels, the L2, M2, and H2.
The New ACE
Advanced Cartridge Engineering. Cost/performance breakthrough.
The MC-Gold, MC-Silver, MC20EII
Budget performers that retain more than a little of the famous Benz musicality and accuracy.
Benz Mono Cartridges: Now all Benz Swiss-made cartridges can be ordered in mono. The Lukaschek PP-1 T9 Phono Stage
Truly incredible performance approaching the best, in a compact package that will fit anywhere.

The new Benz Titanium Watch
Swiss precision, style and it's analog!