benz ref 2 or sumiko celebration

hi currently own the benz, but it's in for repair, and i have the celebration for a loaner. i love it, and i've read some very flattering things about it. i'm running it with a vpi scout/jmw-9 table/arm combo. i have a tube pre and a ss amp. i listen to mostly acoustic jazz, folk, classic rock, everything except for classical. so should i keep the benz, or trade it for the sumiko? my ears tell me sumiko is the way to go hear, but maybe it's not the match with my rig as the benz is. or maybe it's better?

would love to hear opinions. thanks.
Dear Sberger: The Sumiko Celebration is a " killer " cartridge. It is the century bargain. It is a top music reproduction performer and compete ( shoulder to shoulder ) with cartridges that are in the 3K to 4K prices.

With out any reservation: keep the Celebration.

Regards and enjoy the music.
thanks raul. i think i probably will.
Sherber, does the Celebration produce a more transparent sound than your Benz. And are the highs open clear and extended. I find the Benz cartridges lean towards bass power and rolled off highs. Something between a Benz and the Japenese "house" sound would interest me.
I've commented here previously about the wonderful attributes of the Celebration; especially at it's price point. I'd go with what your ears are telling you and never look back.
reb, yeah you pretty much described what im hearing. much more transparancy. but the bass is terrific as well. there really is a noticeable refinement to the overall sound. i'm really enjoying it.
I am a huge Sumiko fan. Not really of the BPS, but the older Talisamn S, SHO, and my current Celebration. I switched to a Benz H2 after the SHO started to go, than traded the H2 in for a L2 for a time, then to my current Celebration. Definitely more transparent than all the above here. A little more dificult to install as it has a shorter cantilever, and the Wallytools were easier to use on the Benz's. Check your cart loading as well, as the Celebration loves a 1k load here, with both SS or Tubes, 1k seems to be right every time - keeps all the "air" and hall info of 47k, but the bass focus, transparency, dynamics, really come "alive" here. Less than 1k and you loose that "life" with the more loading applied. But to each his own, cart setup (vta,azimuth,vtf....), room, and system synergy are all goofy bedfellows!!

Sberger, I always trust my ears. They generally get it right. I may ignore my instincts, but in the end - they were usually right. I find the Celebration has a boogie factor none of my Benz's could come close too.
thanks monk. i agree with your statements. im wondering what break in will do for this? this is a demo, but according to the dealer it probably only has a couple of hours on it. any thoughts?

im also using a dynavector p-75 phono, and use the phono enhancer which determines input sensitivity and gain by the celebration's internal resistance. i assume this is the same thing as "internal impedance", which, according to sumiko is 30
Ohms. would this be correct?

i'm also tracking at 2.2g, which is the upper limit. i have a vpi scout and best results, according to my ears and vpi, seem to come when the cart's tracking weight is set in this manner. i can always experiment, but would be interested in what anybody else might have experienced with the celebration.

again, thanks for all the comments.
Well, having sold a Benz Ruby "3" and also a Shelter 901. I am looking for a new cartridge. Problem is how can I hear a Celebration before buying. Neither the Benz or Shelter (both opposites IMO) worked for me. One guy I know is pushing me to buy a Transfiguration Temper W. I want to get off the cartridge merry-go-round. But again, I not buying without hearing first. I live in NYC area.
Sounds about right to me! 2.2, p75 phono enhancer is the way to go there. Right at 2.2 does seem to be the most used as well. That P75 is a sweety for the $$$.

Funny thing, is the Celebration really seems to work well with unipivots. Everyone who has a Celebration and Unipivot of some sort(a Basis Vector here)really digs it. jmw9, Graham, Vector, Moerch,... probably nothing, but a slight coincidence?

The killer setup manual as well! Pay close attention to Azimuth - If you feel the soundstage leans more toward one side or the other - or the center vocalist leans more toward one side or the other - or you hear more hall info on one side or the other, just adjust the azimuth to center it all back up. Its the stylus shape used - you can really dial it in if your picky like me. It sounds great when perpendicular, but just a hair to one side or the other can really make the images "POP".
Dear Sberger: Your analog rig works fine with the Celebration, but if anyone want to have the Celebration at it very top performance we have to mate with the SME IV/V tonearms ( static balance way ). The SME tonearm was what Sumiko used for do the Celebration voicing.

Monk, I use around 700 ohms of load impedance and the Celebration really shine.

Regards and enjoy the music.
i'd call or email sumiko. there has to be a dealer in nyc.

Just FYI,My Ruby 2 bettered the sumiko celebration on SME20/IV/iV.

If you really want to upgrade from Ruby3,you should demo Dynavector X1's or the new Rua. (Both are much better than Ruby2)

Unfortunatelly,i haven't heard the Ruby3,but US distributor told me that mine is the same spech with Ruby3 except for the label.

Hope this is help.

Which one do you like better in your system,Ruby3 or 901?
Audio999: ***** " My Ruby 2 bettered the sumiko celebration on SME20/IV/iV. " *****

I own both and I think that both are differents music sound presentation cartridges. I think that your statement has to be more with what you like or maybe do a better match with your audio system that if the Ruby 2 " bettered " the Celebration.

I own, too, the Dynavector XV-1 and here I agree with you: hands down the Ruby 2 or the Celebration.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I agree with you that they are different animal.


After listening to the Ruby 2 and changed it to sumiko celebration,do you think it was an upgraded? I was not.

Anyway,i'm in love with both XV-1's and Rua right now.

I have a benz ebony high output and love it. Remember the higher the output, the less the head amp has to do. I hear no hum or noise and absolutely wonderful 3 dimensional effortless sound.
Dear Audio99: ***** "After listening to the Ruby 2 and changed it to sumiko celebration,do you think it was an upgraded? I was not." *****

I agree with you. We only have a different sound reproduction.

Stringreen: I own, too, the Benz LP ( I think is very similar to the Ebony ) and I agree with you: its a great contender.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul,what's the main sonic different between your LP and Ruby2? Is it justified the $$ differents?
Dear 999: These two cartridges has a different music presentation: the Ruby 2 is more relaxed and natural music performer, the LP is more alive more at the edge in the high frecuencies, more up front presentation. The low bass on the Ruby 2 is a little on the soft side ( very little ) and the LP is more thight and precise.

It is hard to say if the $$ difference is justified, because this depends on what are our music priorities.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul: What is your opinion of the Transfiguration Temper W as compared to the Benz LP.
Thanks for the info.
Dear Reb: I really like the Temper W: it is a dead neutral cartridge, very good tonal balance, bass pitch right on target ( no overhang ): great performer. Yes I prefer, slightly, over the LP.

BTW, if you are looking around this performance level, you have to take in count at least two other cartridges: Dynavector XV-1 and Van denHul Colibri. At a higher price: the marvelous Allaerts MC2 Finish.

Regards and enjoy the music.