Curious Why Benz Micro Slid Into Obscurity

I remember there was a time when Benz Micro was one of the more prominent cartridge manufacturers out there. The Ace and Glider sure were popular cartridges. Then there was a hiatus in production. The company recognition seems to have never recovered. There are still new cartridges for sale on the various sites. But none of ther upper tier cartridges seem to gather the same recognition or praise that the earlier cartridges did. 

Is perception of them changed that much, or is it the fact that the brand has aged out? Are the designs that dated to where people no longer believe quality and value are there?


So if you used a 1:10 SUT, that would work because you would still be OK as far as the ratio of output R to input R. (If the MM phono stage provides a 47K ohm resistance at its input, a 1:10 SUT would result in the cartridge seeing a 470 ohm load, where the load is equal to the MM load resistance (47K) divided by the turns ratio squared, which is in this case, 100. 47,000/100 = 470 ohms, which is a bit more than 10X the 41 ohm internal resistance of the cartridge. However, the phono stage would then have to handle the nominal 9mV output of the cartridge plus SUT. Actually, most MM stages can do that, but beware of overloading the phono stage, because 9mV is correct for a specific stylus velocity. On complex music or during crescendos, the output of the cartridge might far exceed 9mV, and the stage might overload on peaks.

Spec sheet indicates velocity as .9mv at 3.54cm/s. In any case, this does help, math aside :) Now, if I wanted to hit the recommended loading of 1000 to 47Kohms, would a 4x sut be better (if I'm understanding, it would hit about 3Kohm load)

47,000/16 = ~3000 ohms.  Difference between 3000 and 1000 ohms should not be audible BUT I don't know where you are going to find a SUT with a 1:4 turns ratio, unless you have it custom built, the cost of which is in my opinion exorbitant if you are specifically trying to make a Glider work properly.  But that reflects my medium opinion of the Glider.  Actually, why do you need any SUT at all?

Good to know I got the math right lol.

Just looking into ways to get the best out of the cartridge based on what I've been reading and what the specs are. Could be that I'm hearing the best (per your opinion of it) and it's just not meeting expectations!

Thanks for your help, and apologies for hijacking the thread.



Electrically, your OG Glider 0.9mV is similar to output of a modern Glider SM (or M2) at 0.8mV, but with almost twice the coil impedance: 41 ohms versus 24. It's still an OK match to a SUT, but not as good as a newer SM or SL, and kind of in the awkward zone where your ideal ratio would be 6x - 7x.

Bob's Devices makes a switchable 5x/10x Sky SUT. I've owned a Sky 40 and Sky 20/10 - they are excellent. However, given their price tag, a newer cartridge might be warranted too (Benz has improved over time). Lundahl LL1931 is switchable 8x/16x. They're not my favorite flavor, but are quite good, and less expensive than Bob's. 

@lewm 's concern with MM stage overload at 10x * 0.9mV = 9mV is warranted (especially since max level will exceed this), but I've never had a problem with a good tube MM stage at these levels, or even a bit higher. Some solid state stages may be more sensitive to overload. 

All that said, a 0.9mV output is pretty friendly to active-gain MC phono stages in the 54dB - 62dB range. Benz's own PP-1 is pretty good, for not too much money used. I've also used and liked Sonic Frontiers Phono 1.