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?


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. 

I was and still am an avid fan of the BM cartridges. Going back a few years, myself, along with a few others shared our stories and experiences on this very forum. I believe many are still enjoying them, have moved on, or experienced life matters. I have four of them; Benz LP, 2 Benz LP-S, and a Benz Ruby Z. All were mounted on SME V tonearms. I somehow ended up in the Soundsmith world and have a Hyperion MK2 and a Sussaro MK2. Now, I am playing around with an Air Tight Opus 1 that I acquired last year prior to moving. I also have the Transrotor TRA-9 gold tonearm. I am out of tonearm real estate, LOL. The BM was my standard for great sound and general 

I think the BM cartridges hit outside their league compared to other higher priced cartridges. It would be interesting to see a side by side comparison of the LPS Vs  Hana Red. BTW, when I was living in Europe, I sent my Benz LP to the Benz Micro  factory in Switzerland for a retip. The retip was done by Mr. Lukaschek. 

If a brand does not continue to advertise or does not develop new models, it is not at all indicative that the company is in crisis.
Unfortunately, there are many enthusiasts who, if they are not stimulated by new products and intense advertising, go through withdrawal and end up in depression, with enormous pleasure for psychologists.
I don’t like constant innovation, innovation is not always an indication of improvement, perhaps in terms of measurements but listening ears could say the opposite and I don’t appreciate factories that put new products on the market that replace older ones at an incessant pace, but I believe that a company is serious even if it doesn’t have anything new to show for some time.
Let me start by saying that I have never had a Benz but I appreciate manufacturers who keep their products in the catalog for a long time.