Benz Ebony TR or Lyra Kleos SL?

...or a custom 0.18mV Colibri XCW?
Some background, I have the old ARC Ref Phono that I've been running a custom H.O. Colibri XCP (1.0mV) into the MM input on. This because I found the previous = or less than 0.32mV cartrides I had to sound better into MM bypassing the Jensen SUTs in the MC input. From research I believe the reason to be that the SUT config might prefer carts of less than 5ohms or loading of ~100ohms. There might be other reasons, but I'm itching to revisit a LOMC and the 3 above are on my shortlist. The 3rd option (XCW) would have more than 15ohms resistance though, but VdH say they recommend ~100ohms thus its inclusion. Your thoughts?
Being few decades dedicated to analogue and building a record collection, I still don't get why people love super-low output carts. I'd always prefer cartridge that does not need any step-up device. There are electronic step-up devices sold that may make more sennse economically and with ease of set up vs. SUT, but I found even that unnecessary since there are so many cartridges with .4mv or above with competitive performance not requireing any step-up devices with right phono preamp.
I understand Cvarivey's point very well. The TR is extremely low output and is an extraordinary cartridge, but all the benefits may very well be lost unless you have a superlative phono preamp. If you are willing to get a great pre, you will love the Benz.
I have been using the Kleos SL for a couple months now and i love it. My chinook is all I need for amplification at 58db. Highly recommended
Dear Vusi_kumalo: Stringreen posted:

++++ " If you are willing to get a great pre... " +++++

IMHO means no sense to buy a top LOMC cartridge if your phonolinepreamp can't honor it or preclude that that top quality perfromance cartridge can shows you at its best.

The very low output VdH is a great cartridge ( I own and owned several Vdh Colibri. ) but you need an active high gain phonolinepreamp, same with the TR.

IMHO your AR item could be a limitations for those great performers.

Regards and enjoy the music,
What I want to know is how do you run a cartridge with an output of 0.32 mV or less into the MM input? How could it possibly provide enough gain?
Recently heard a Lyra Delos and a Skala into two different phonostages, one was a 47 Labs phonocube and the other was a Shindo Masseto in-built phonostage. The Shindo uses a custom Lundahl SUT inside while the 47 Labs is a clean active phono. I cannot say one had an advantage over the other, though the Shindo clearly had the edge when it came cartridge matching, especially low output impedance cartridges. The TR "desperately" needs a SUT though. Dont try to use the TR direct into the active phono, it is a very very tough route to go that way. Rather a nice Lundahl SUT into your ARC MM phonostage will be a simple and direct way to get very high performance out of the TR.

Anyway I prefer the Lyra to the TR :-).
I am happy to keep the Ref Phono at this stage. I love its sound and it is quiet enough with NOS Tele E88CCs for a 0.32mV into MM. I find it as Dynamic as with the 1mV, just less noise. I have auditioned phonos up to 4x its price and some were better, but not enough for the $5000 more that I'd have to spend. Some didn't even have the Mono/Mute/Standby switches like the Ref. Anyway playing with carts is more economical and fun for me, thats until I can afford $7000 plus phonos. I do take all your input into consideration by the way. I'm just wondering if I can find a LOMC that's a good match for the Jensen SUTs to give the MC input another chance. This at approx $1000 upgrade cost on the Colibri.
The best favor you can do to your ears is to go for an output which is right for your preamp. Benz has a good selection.
When you want to buy one of the carts above you need a SUT. There is a lot of inferior SUT's out there, most have bad datas and you can hear that. Unfortunately no one gives you a data sheet, you have to buy blind. Can be very frustrating. When you can afford a Kondo SF-z, that one is ok. Or try to find one of the older Fidelity Research units. Match its impedance with the impedance of the cartridge you want to use and that's it.
Hi Syntax

Which Fidelity Research models have you tried/recommend?

So in the end I went with a custom 0.18mV XCP instead of the XCW. Very very happy, beyond my expectations! Decision was mainly due to low cost and availability of the VdH. Went with plastic because some have been disappointed with wood's lack of bass slam etc. Also got comfort from an old review of a 0.17mV Colibri working well with the ARC Ref Phono. Thanks once again for your contributions.