Benz-Micro SLR Gullwing MC

Need a new cartridge and have been researching best options. The SLR Gullwing looks nice but wanted to verify which one to get and if it will fit with my system. I see there is a low and high output and think the SLR is the way to go.

My system is:

Preamp: Adcom GFP-565 (bought around 1995)

Turntable: Pro-ject RM9.2

Is the Benz-Micro SLR Gullwing MC a good choice and is it the right one for my preamp/turntable?


Is the Benz-Micro SLR Gullwing MC a good choice and is it the right one for my preamp/turntable?


Unfortunately, the only one who can really answer that question for you is you. Other folks will tell you what is right for them, but what is right for them may or may not be what is right for you.

In my opinion though, that would be too much cartridge for your table and preamp. I don't know that you would get your money's worth out of the SLR unless you are also planning on upgrading your table and preamp too. In my experiences, the best systems are well balanced systems. Pairing an expensive cartridge or speakers with inexpensive electronics usually does not provide optimum performance. Of course, as usual, YMMV.

Benz carts have been very hard to aquire for the past year or more.
If you set your heart on one and then cannot get it....
I own a nice Benz Glider.. and pity I cannot replace it with another.
For you, the Gullwing ($3,000) is a rather expensive cart for a lowly Adcom!
I have a $3,000 phono separate and use a $1,000 cart.
The phono bit in your Adcom is a two dollar chip.
If you do not want to buy a better phono box, then any MM cart will do well with your Adcom.
I would suggest a Shure M97XE for about $100. It is not as good as your tt. but your Adcom?? $100 is about perfect.
Thanks for your replies but I'm a bit confused by the Adcom comments. My 565 (from 1995) has a class B phono stage rating from stereophile (bypass). Would it not be better to go with a blackbird than a $70 M97XE? Or, another cartridge?

Any suggestions on a ~$2K phono pre to go with a blackbird-level cartridge is also welcome.
The Adcom 565 is not a bad little preamp in a modest system, but it will not be up to the task of a $3000 cartridge, IMHO. I have not heard the M97XE, but the Blackbird is a pretty good cartridge, I owned one for a while.

As for a $2K phono preamp, a used Herron VTPH-1 would be a very good start, but I wouldn't do that if you are just planning to run the phono preamp through your Adcom 565, that would put you back to square 1. Personally, I prefer tubes over solid state, and I would recommend looking for a full function preamp to replace your 565, not just a phono preamp. You should be able to get a used Cary SLP-98P for ~$2K. I don't know what amp you are using, or if a tube preamp could be an issue. If you wish to stay with solid state, I would look for a used full function Klyne or Jeff Rowland preamp. Full function simply means that the preamp has both line stage and phono stage in one unit. Happy hunting.
The criticism of your preamp is overblown. The Adcom has a very nice phono stage noted for its low noise/distortion, but unfortunately it does not have the gain required for the Benz Gullwings. The Adcom recommend 2mv input and the Benz Micro highout only outputs .7mv.

What is your current cartridge?
Appreciate all of the feedback.

Current cartridge is a Sumiko - Blue Point Special EVO III (speakers are Martin Logan Ethos with audioquest interconnects all around and a Adcom GFA-555 amp (from 1995).

The issue is my cartridge was damaged over Christmas (I guess someone knocked into my tt and it bent/broke the stylus (it was parallel to the floor when I went to play a record and saw it was damaged...uggh).

Was looking for a nice replacement cartridge and have no idea what was a good match for my system in terms of an upgrade. The Bluepoint is very nice but if I move up to a Blackbird would it be worth it? I guess I'm limited by my pre/amp (and maybe the pro-ject 9.2?).

I'd like to get into tube since I have the room where it would all be placed but it is a bit daunting to choose since there are so many opinions. I mostly listen to classic rock/acoustic/alternative.

One thing at a time though...I need a new cartridge and don't mind spending upwards of 1K on one if it will really improve things. Of course, I could always get something in that range and then work on the pre/amp as next steps. Any suggestions on a matched cartridge is welcome.

I will say, this is a blast to have as a hobby.

Once again, appreciate all of the help.
yeah you will regret purchasing any low output MC Cartridge period. Many Mc's have an output rsting of 0.3 mv to 0.8 mv. Having said that, I know for sure that Dynavector and Benz have high output units to compliment their lower output counterparts. As Elizabeth had mentioned earlier on, purchase a cartridge within the means of your system. However, I would suggest something better than the Shure 97XE mm. Clearaudio Virtuso or the Maestro are very nice MM's at around the $700 to $1,100 mark. Dynavector DV 20 X2 Highoutput MC is a highly recommended unit. I believe it has an output rating of 2.8 mv. I own a Benz Micro wood L which also has a High output counterpart. The problem with Benz is supply. From what I understand acquiring Benz products is virtually impossible. Also Ortofon 2M series MM cartridges are available for under $1,000 budget. I own a 2M black for my back up TT and do like the sound overall. A little on the harsh side sonic wise compared to the Benz micro but am quite impressed with the overall performance. Good luck with your search. Keep us posted as to what you have auditioned or researched.