I was told that this replaces the Ruby 3.........got it instead of the Ruby 3 and it is amazing even with only a few hours on it.
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I love this cartridge so far....a lot of break in left to do............seems to have a very short cantilever so I have to be careful with the first cut when using the VPI ring..a little bass shy, but excellent dynamics.....will experiment more with VTA.....very clean and open in mids and highs..which is critical for my B&W 802's......will let you know more
I have been using this cartridge for a little over three months now and absolutely love it. The Ruby Z is closer to the S-class cartridges than it's Ruby 3 predecessor. The Ruby Z's frequency response is very flat minus a slight dip at about 30 Hz (Benz provides a printout with each cartridge) and the treble, although very detailed, is extremely smooth. The Z is not quite as colored as the 3, however, the mid-range does seem to lean to the slightly warm side. I feel that this cartridges' ability to portray acoustic instruments is unrivaled in it's price range. The Ruby Z tracks perfectly and throws a deep holographic soundstage. I am running mine through a Modwright SWP 9.0 loaded at 1000 Ohms with amazing results.
Hi I just got the Z and while I only have 3 hours on it, it seems to make lots of noise for loading above 500 - 47K ohms. On my Pass XONO (DIY) all loadings from 10 - 470 are fine, I think it actually sounds great at 470, but I wanted to try 870, 1k and 47K, but when I change the loading to these values, I get lots of loud "rustling" noise as I cue to the tonearm over the record. Is that just strange? I noticed you load it at 1000 ohms and everything is fine. Wonder if my has a defect?
I acquired the Ruby Z a few months ago and absolutely love it. I experienced a similar issue about amonth ago. I found that in my particular instance it was due to the routing of the cables and shielding. I moved to a new house and during the setup process I must have routed my cables differently than before. I tried different phono cables and switched to different IC's between the phono pre, Aesthetix IO Sig with default loading of 47K, and the Octave Jubilee preamp, all with differing results. For instance, the rustling noise would dissappear, however, I ended up with distortion in one or both channels, like it was a drop out. It was really frustraing as I thought something may have happened to a piece of equipment during the move. On a long shot, I wrapped some polyeurethane pipe wrap around the phono cables and all was normal again.
I guess in my particular sitution, going from 220 volts to 120 and moving into an enirely new house, albeit, only temporary for now, added to the complexities. I never thought to consider the shielding of the cables to cause as many problems as it did, especially since I never had this type of issue before. It may only be a small amount of EMI/RFI leakage from a component or cable and finding the culprit will entail isolating components and cables until you find it. The cables or equipment may only need to be adjusted a few inches if it is leakage of signals. I hope this helps you, it sure helped me.
BTW, the Ruby Z is completely broken in now and sounds fantastic, very impressive and lively sounding. I will add a review shortly.
I too am loving my Ruby Z. I had thoughts of the SLR Gullwing but stuck with the Ruby Z...the wood body alone is beautiful!
I'll let you know my impressions as I get more listening of it, but I found the rustling noise to be an issue with the grounding of the tonearm to the table/phono preamp. In my case, with the bent bearing on my VPI JMW arm, when the arm moved, the ground connection was not consistent and would drop in and out, that was the problem...but only with the Pass Xono and not the Tom Evans I borrowed.
Using the Benz re-tip / exchange program from Musical Surroundings the Ruby Z is a substantial upgrade from my previous Benz Wood L. As I understand it the Ruby Z is an S-Class cartridge very similar to the LP-S. The Ruby Z's lighter mass simply allows a wider tonearm compatibility.
I have no direct in home experience with cartridges at this level to compare. I am very satisfied with the Ruby Z
I find the lower you go in resistive loading the farther back and smaller the center image. It gets to be very good sounding at 500 ohms or over. I use 1K and it images nicely and sounds very balanced using a PASS LABS XP-25 and VPI classic 3.0 table.
The capacative loading seems to have little effect, so I use 100 pF + the tone arm lead capacitance so figure another 60 pF for my 5 foot Belden ICONOCLAST RCA's.
The RUBY Z is a very natural sounding cartridge, without the hi-fi "zing" so common to many cartridges. The mid range is especially refined although JUST better than the bass definition and treble smoothness. This MC cartridge makes stuff just sound "right" verses trying to change the music to what it wasn't originally.
If you want some ZING type of thing, or a more aggressive attach speed this isn't your cartridge. For that I use a SUMIKO Blackbird. A LYRA DELOS would be a second choice for a nice but more lively sound. I say second on the DELOS ONLY because it is more expensive, not that the LYRA isn't better overall.