Benz Micro M2 loading

What are people using to load their Benz M2s? On my Pass Labs XOno I've tried 47 kOhm (too bright), 1000 Ohms (not right), and 5 Ohms (no). Right now I'm on 475 Ohms. Any feedback is appreciated.
When I had this cartridge, the loading was 800 Ohms via Audio Research PH3SE, on a VPI Aires 12 arm. It was just perfect.
The better the cart. the lower the loading.
I was once advised that loading a cart at about 9 times the cart's output impedance is a good starting point... so for the M2 with 24 ohm output impedance, that makes the loading just a hair under 220 ohms.

I own a Benz Ace Medium with the same .8mV output and 24 ohm output impedance, and I'm presently loading it at 220 ohms. I have also used 380 ohms (using some home made loading plugs).

You might try a little lower than 475 ohms and see what you think.
"The better the cart. the lower the loading."

I don't know where you heard that but it is definitely not true. Loading has to do with electrical resonance damping and cannot be systematically approached even on the basis of impedance matching. Some designers would even say the opposite in that if the cartridge needs to be electrically damped it isn't designed properly. Of course, that's one extreme opinion. Your new Goldfinger is a high output, high impedance design that will not do well with a low load impedance.


What was "not right" about 1k? That or there abouts ought to work.
I've also heard 25 times, which puts it at about 600, but neither are necessarily
so. Where did you get the 24 ohm spec? I thought it was higher.
06-23-08: Piedpiper
I've also heard 25 times which puts it at about 600, but neither are necessarily so.
Yes, I've heard that, too.

I'm using 220ohm loading of the Heed Quasar (presently auditioning), and it sounds better to me than the 470 ohm option with the Benz Micro Ace Medium (.8mV) cart. Top end energy is more balanced and less aggressive.
Ok i will try a higher impedance tomorrow. I was going by the manual and it states 47 ohms. The tests for the Golfinger was done at 38 ohms from the manufacturer.

go with your ears, as you are.


In your other thread you said you were loading it at 47k not 47. The internal
impedance of the Goldfinger is 32 ohms which is relatively high compared to
many MCs. This is how the Goldfinger achieves the relatively high output of
.9mV. This would typically require something around 300 to 1K, but again,
that's a theoretical guide.

Just as an example, I was advised to run the extremely low impedance
Transfiguration Orpheus wide open at 47k as it does not require to be
damped down even though its internal impedance is 2.5 ohms. George
Cardas advises to run the Cardas Heart, which has an internal impedance
more like your Goldfinger, at 47k or even higher.

Once your 'finger breaks in you might find that it can stand a higher load
resistance without sounding rough or bright. In the mean time I would think
that something in the area of 300 to 1k would be a likely range.
I was wrong. I just loaded it to 1k. WOW-WOW-WOW. The Steinway plays from top to bottom with aplomb. It is worth every penny to me. You have to hear it to be-able to believe it. I have found one of the Golden Grails. I chose this cart without even hearing it.

Just Amazing,

Boy, here's a can of worms I can relate to. I share in your pain!
I have to ask you 1st, is this a new cart.? What was your previous cartridge and setting. Is Benz broken in? Is the Benz a recommended match for your arm?
Now I can ramble...
There are many variables that dictate what loading works best. I've had a big learning curve on this one. Benz's own Lukaschek phono preamp is set at 22K. I have a Benz LP and had a Ruby2. For a long time they were run at 470 ohms, only cause it was a fixed setting. Every time I tried a different SS phonostage and tried loading at 47K or 1000 ohms it was horrific. I even had a XOno in my system a long time ago. Then I tried a tubed unit and use 47K or 1000 most often. My room is brutal on HF so it took many cable trials and phono preamps to find a good match. I'm still looking.
I would try changing either the XOno-preamp interconnect in combination with alternative load settings, 1000 or 475 will probably be the best. No one ever really explained, or was able to explain to me what happens sonically when you add/remove resistance in a cart. circuit. I always assumed that increasing the loading would be better for me since it reduced HF output. What no one explained to me was it also reduces the bass and the overall signal output. I noticed the same effect when I had a resistor placed on a 2nd set of ouputs on my DAC cause it was a bit "hot" for my preamp. In my case reducing treble seemed like the way to go but doing that killed the bass as well making the HF seem worse. But then again, reducing the loading only worked with a non SS phonostage, and I use all SS! If the Benz is a different cart. for you, you may need to play with VTA/VTF.
Thanks for all your responses.

In response to a few...

My current M2 has relatively few hours but it is my second one on my Basis 2001 so I should have VTA/VTF dialed in. VTA is as near to level as possible. VTF is about 1.9 grams. I don't dial in anti-skating force on my Rega RB-300. The XOno is new to me. I used to have an ARC PH3. On the PH3 I loaded the M2 at 22K, which was nice. On the XOno such high loading is nasty, way too bright, like a bad 80's pop music CD. So, the tube unit and the solid state unit are different regarding loading. Don't know why but it's true.

I'm sure many will think Rega 300 arm on a Basis 2001 with Pass Labs and ARC amps is a weak link. I'm open to affordable suggestions.
Keep your 300 until you can spring for a serious arm. The Basis Vector ought to be in your cross hairs.
"The better the cart. the lower the loading."

Pure audio genius.
In the mean time, the Michell Technoweight and Riggle VTAF are cost effective upgrades. As you point out, the rest of your system is worthy of better in the long run.

dealer disclosure.

get your test freq. LP out. play the 10k and 15k tracks with a resistor. Select a higher value resistor. play the same tracks. note the change in hi freq. output level and run the calc to determine where you need to be.



Hi, I am new to analogue and intrigued by:

"06-24-08: Gerardff
I always assumed that increasing the loading would be better for me since it reduced HF output. What no one explained to me was it also reduces the bass and the overall signal output."

Could someone advise if the above is generally correct? And how does it work?
First of all, increasing the loading means lowering the value of the load resistor. Since this "loading resistor" is between the hot and ground, lowering this value increases the "load" on the signal, thus reducing high frequency resonances and, in extreme cases, reducing bass and overall output.
When we say increasing loading we are saying using a higher impedence value (towards 47K ohm), right? or is it the other way round. My dealers always told me higher impedence means higher HF output and brighter sound.
other way around. read my post again. Increasing the load means decreasing the load impedance. Your heard your dealer correctly.
I read this thread with interest because I am using a Benz ACE M (0.8mV) with a Meridian 101b equiped with a MM RIAA.

This RIAA loads the cart with 47k ohms.

Sometimes I feel the sound to be a little thin but I would not like to loose any high freq details and attack.

Should I load the cart with 220 ohms ?


I would try it at 220 ohms, yes.
I'm using the Benz MO.9 which has impedance of 21ohms and an output of .9mV I've been giving it a load right around 250 and it loves it.
In my meridian 101 MM amp, I replaced the 47k ohm by a 1.82k ohm resistor. The bass gained in detail but lost weight and the trebble is a little less proeminent. I also noticed that the output level is lower. I like the bass but now sound lacks a bit of space and transient power.
There is a 100pF cap in parllel with the loading resistor... should I modify this value (or remove it) in order to regain transient power in high freq ?



based on your experience it sounds like you might prefer a higher value like 4-10k