Call Musical Surroundings and get their opinion since they are intimately familiar with both. Report back what they say...that should be interesting.
10 responses Add your response
In less time than it took to post this reply, I came up with this:
http://www.musicalsurroundings.com/cartr.html where you'll find the correct prices.
There, you'll see that the Ruby 3H is $3,500, and the "S" class LP goes for $5,000.
The internet is an amazing resource. You might want to try using it to your advantage.
Is the real intent of this thread to explore the relative merits of the two cartridges? Now, that would be interesting.
Thom @ Galibier
My bad (Madfloyd) ...
Upon a re-read, I see that you were interested in the standard Ebony, with which I have no experience. I should wait until my first cup of coffee before posting.
I too was looking to open up the discussion on the cartridges.
It's interesting that the name that Benz once reserved for their top of the line Ebony LP, is now used for another cartridge (o.k. ... without the "LP").
The LP "S" class is BTW an astounding cartridge, and one of the few which would not make me cry if I had to give up my XV-1s.
My experience of the earlier Rubies (Ruby 2 and not the 3) is that they were very nice, but just the slightest bit warm in the mid-bass.
I described them to Frank Schroeder as a wonderful cartridge which was designed using good solid state electronics as a reference. I wonder if the "lesser" of the Ebony cartridges addresses this slight mid-bass bloat (emphasis on the word "slight").
Frank Schroeder and I commiserated about this a few years ago and were in agreement - that with the introduction of what was then called the LP Ebony, they hit it out of the park.
Thom @ Galibier
To further muddy the waters, I just set up an Oracle Thalia cartridge in my system, and it is built for Oracle by Benz. It comes complete with a Benz Ebony H spec sheet, and is identical in both specs and build, with body being made of ebony. It retails for $1.6K. So far, sounds good, very natural with very powerful bass. Anyone look into this?
I have a fondness for what Benz cartridges do well - especially their tonality, delicacy, quietness in the groove, and a general kindness to acoustic music. Their sonics are consistent throughout the frequency spectrum.
The Ruby-2 had a the minor weakness (I emphasize minor) of being a bit sluggish sounding in the midbass. I almost bite my tongue when I write this, because these are very subtle effects and tend to get magnified by the written word. The Ruby-3 may have addressed this issue. I haven't had experience of it in a familiar setting.
Note that Benzes are cartridges are fairly sensitive to tuning of effective mass of your tonearm. If you have a Moerch or Triplanar tonearm, counterweight experimentation really pays off with these cartridges. Small changes effect subtle but profound effects in the presentation.
Note: for a given tracking force, you can reduce the effective mass by using more weight, located closer to the bearing pivot (to maintain correct tracking force). The reverse is true as well (less weight located further from the pivot increases the effective mass.
You can experiment with this:
To increase effective mass, fun-tak a penny on the headshell, and move the counterweight to restore the correct tracking force.
To decrease the effective mass, add some weight to the counterweight (fun-tak and a quarter to start), and move the counterweight closer to the bearing pivot.
It appears as if from the comments about the "lesser" Ebony, we may well be hearing the effects of the resonant charactersitics of the two different woods.
Once we better understand the other differences between the Ruby and this cartridge, we may well be able to ascribe causality to what we're hearing.