Benz Slr Gullwing vs Lp s

Hello to all,

I need help in choosing one of these cartridges. Has anybody compared these two cartridges? In two german reviews they say that the Slr is even better than the Lp s !? My turntable is a Garrard 301 with a Graham Phantom B-44. I had the Clearaudio Concerto which i broked and it wasn't the sound i was searching for. I want something more musical.
Thank you to all
Well both are very good cartridges and the share a 'house sound'. In my system, with my tastes, I preferred the LPS. I'll be interested to see what others have to say...
thanks jazdoc,

have you heard both? If so, which difference did you notice?
I have a small room and when i play something with many instruments at the same time, like rock or classic it is difficult to hear them all and that´s what the german review says about the slr. The slr does it better. And the lp s is warmer and has more bass. I also don´t know if it´s better or worse for me to have more bass because of the small room (3mx5m). I wanted to hear more opinions, maybe the german like more analitycal sound!? I had enough with the clearaudio.
Agucela... The LPS is the better cartridge. Its not too warm, cold, this, or that. Its simply wonderful. Before you get one, realize that it is a VERY heavy cartridge, and you better know for sure that your arm can properly balance it. I would say that it probably can not as is, so you might want to contact the Graham for a heavier counterbalancing weight.
I had the counterweight on the front top and had to change the screws for longer one because the counterweight was to heavy for the concerto. I think it should work.
many thanks
Did you hear both cartridges?
I've been told by a dealer who was told by Musical Surroundings that the two cartridges are identical but for the bodies. This dealer owns both in his system and loves them but says the LP-S is tonally a little richer.
The LP S is a very nice cartridge. It does have a hint of warmth. This is very evident when compared to more neutral cartridges. As I state this, it is important to know that the LP S has many other characteristics that set it apart for other cartridges that are possibly considered more neutral. Having said all that, I could own and would not mind having an LP S in my cartridge collection. Not at all...

But! The SLR Gullwing is the cartridge that has most of my curiosity. Additionally, it is most likely the cartridge I would want to own over the long haul. The construction is mostly that of the LP S without the wood body. Lucascheck, rightfully so, says the LP S is the better cartridge. However, there is a bit of extra warmth I've observed in the 5 or so systems where I've personally setup the cartridge, including my own. I have a sneaking suspicion I'd prefer the SLR Gullwing by a hair. I would speculate the SLR Gullwing will loose some of that smidgen of warmth, which is very beautiful and slightly softens transients while giving all music a very slightly warm glow. This personal preference of mine or anyone else’s should have no major bearing on your decision because we don’t have to live with your selection – you do. Make sure your choice is what you want and not anyone elses.

The individuals I know that own the LP S are extremely happy with it and they should be. Two of the owners, I personally recommended the LP S cartridge to over others that would catch the favor of many due to the name of those cartridges alone, are not second guessing their decision.

The Benz cartridges do extremely well at trackability, as they have in the past. The addition of the new micro-ridge stylus improves all of the Benz S class cartridges (including LP S as well as the SLR Gullwing) in the area I had always felt they could use improvement - Traceability. The new S class cartridges have very respectable traceability.

You have a tough choice ahead of you but the choice is among two excellent cartridges. The task for you is to get a handle on your current setup and decide if the additional warmth of the LP S will be an issue for you. This added warmth of the LP S is not overly noticeable but it is there.

Both cartridges should be more than capable of providing excellent sound that will keep you satisfied for some time to come. Additionally, your arm is a design that will allow both cartridges to mate and perform well.

Dre does a great job summarizing what I hear in these two cartridges. The key is deciding for your taste and your system which would work best. Stringreen is also correct: the LPS is one heavy cartridge!
10-30-11: Jazdoc
Stringreen is also correct: the LPS is one heavy cartridge!

The 16g weight won't be an issue in the Phantom with the stock counterweight. I use a 15g cartridge and there is still plenty of adjustment.
That said, since the SLR has virtually the same motor as the LPS (but is almost 4g lighter without the body), there may be some sonic gains from having the counterweight closer to the pivot. This could be a contributing reason why some prefer the SLR(?).

Can you describe the difference between trackability and traceability?


Many thanks to all,

The slr gullwing only exist with the micro-ridge stylus as it is new? I don't want to make a mistake buying it!
Thanks again
Agucela, I own Ruby 3S which also has the same 'motor' as
the LP but in the measuring paper, by stylus, there is the
abbreviation 'FG' wich means Fritz Geiger. According to Fremer in his review of the LP this stylus is similar to the Ortofon Replicant. BTW by the Dutch 'retip service'
this is the most expensive stylus kind.


Many thanks to all,

The slr gullwing only exist with the micro-ridge stylus as it is new? I don't want to make a mistake buying it!
Thanks again
The first S class Benz cartridges were using Geiger stylus. Benz later changed over to the micro-ridge. I believe all new S class cartridges come with a micro-ridge stylus.

Nandric, If what you say is true, Fremer reviewed the post micro-ridge version of the S class Benz. Based on your chart, you have the post micro-ridge version as well.

One of the things I tell anyone purchasing the new s class Benz cartridges is to tell the dealer to make sure you are getting the new micro-ridge version of the cartridge. It traces better and sounds better overall IMO. I do not think that Luckaschek would not have switched over if it sounded worse - especially on a flagship series of cartridges. My experience says it sounds better and is more truthful to the source as well.

Any Benz owner of an s class cartridge will know what they have by checking the frequency response sheet provided with the cartridge. If the letter written in the left hand side say "MR", you have the micro-ridge. If it says "FG" or "FG2" you have the Geiger stylus.

I'm pretty sure all new s class Benz carts now have micro-ridge stylus. The last LP S I purchased was in May of 2011 and at that time was told they all have the micro-ridge stylus now.

Dre_j, I checked the data included by my Ruby 3s. The technical paper (aka 'specification' Ruby3) mentioned by stylus: nude line -contact diamond,mirror polished ,tip radius :5x120um. But on my, what you call 'frequency response sheet', the abbreviation 'FG-S' is writen by the stylus (kind).
I assume that the 'technical paper' is the old one (Ruby 3
without sufix S). I also assume that 'FG-S' means Geiger II
because this stylus is already in production for some time. Designed by Geiger and Van den Hul if I am well informed. By the mentioned Dutch retip service the prices are: rebuld Shibata 179 Euro, nude contact line 195 Euro and Geiger diamnod 265 Euro. The micro-ridge stylus is not offered so I have no idea about the price difference with the Geiger.

Hmmm, I may need to try the Benz Slr Gullwing. Seems like a great value compared to the LP S...and many other more expensive carts for that matter. As an A90 owner, I would think this cart would be a good fit for me in the speed, dynamics and neutrality dept.
You can tell if you have the Micro Ridge stylus by looking at the enclosed frequency response chart. I think all Benz cartridges have the MR stylus now. I had the LP and now have the LP-S. Although they are similar, the LP-S extracts things from the record, I never heard were there before. Tacking is phenomenally better. When you cue the tonearm onto the leading groove, it just falls into sliding around before it finds itself. The cartridge sounds faster than the LP (which was no slouch) Many pros find this cartridge the cartridge of choice (Harry of VPI, etc) for their own personal pleasure.
I agree with Stringreen 100% regarding the LPS. I also went from the LP to the LPS and have been in musical bliss ever since. The bass on the LPS is very dynamic. The Micro Ridge stylus change alone may be one of the main factors adding to the improvement to the entire S line.


Your tech paper is probably correct. The original S class cartridges introduced in 09' did have the 5x120 um stylus. This is the same stylus type that was used on the older Ruby 3 if my memory isn't failing me. I remember that cartridge very much. It had good sound and slightly less of the LP non-S warmth but also slightly less of the LP non-S control.

I checked my stylus archive and didn't find a picture of the LP-S. I must have just aligned it in real-time without archiving the photo. Maybe next time I set one up I'll snap a photo of the new micro-ridge stylus.

Regardless of the stylus type you still have a good cartridge. Which I'm sure you already know.

I think the newest version of the Ruby now carries the Z tag and is now covered with what Benz calls Zebra wood.


I didn't want to muddy the thread. I'll send you the response via e-mail.

Dre...j, I already mentioned the discrepance between my
'tech paper' and 'frequency sheet'. Aka 'line contact' versus F.Geiger S stylus. But if micro ridge is superiour 'kind' than we will have no other choice. Ie every producer will
use micro ridge stylus.Ie I am not aware that micro ridge is more expensive than Geiger. But than why is Ortofon using the same Replicant in the new Anna cart?

I have an LP-S and run it on a phantom II with the stock counterweight with no problems. I upgraded from the LP. The LP-S is spectacular, much better than the LP. I couldn't be happier. My vinyl rig sounds phenomenal.
The SLR has a gyger stylus? Then it's not the same as a nude LP-S.
Nandric said: “But if micro ridge is superiour 'kind' than we will have no other choice. Ie every producer will use micro ridge stylus.Ie I am not aware that micro ridge is more expensive than Geiger. But than why is Ortofon using the same Replicant in the new Anna cart?


- I never said the micro-ridge is superior to all other stylus types. I simply stated in context that the total of the new Benz LP S, the subject of the thread, has performed at a higher level than the previous versions based on my experience with both. Basically the whole of the assembly which includes the micro-ridge improves upon the previous generation by a good margin based on my many observations of the LP and LP S. I think it’s safe to say that an expensive stylus does not always equal a better performance in all situations…

- You have to ask Ortofon that question about their stylus choice. Just maybe it’s because they feel it’s the best match for their designs.

Regarding he Geiger was/is made by a Dutch company which couldn't supply Benz with their needs. Benz rejected many too many because Geiger tried to rush the supply. In MY opinion, the microridge shape is better than the others....listen to a Shure with a spherical, an eliptical, and a microridge stylus... you get much more information with a microridge.
Stringreen, The Geiger styli are produced by Geiger in Switzerland and the 'Dutch company' involved by both ,Geiger and Benz is Van den Hul. The styli (Geiger I and II) are designed by Geiger and Van den Hul while the Dutchman has an exclusive contract with the former owner of the Benz company which he sold to Lukatschek. Ie Lukatschek got Van den Hul with the company. You don't think that Van den Hul produces all his carts by himself?