Benz Wood SL Very lean from the start

Does anyone know if and when the Benz Wood SL will truly break in? I just installed it with new phono cables from Zu, Bob's Cinemag SUT and the BAT VK-P5 phono. I realize that all these are brand new and in need of breaking in, but the Benz seems weak in all areas compared to my Ortofon Rondo Blue that I have. Any help and suggestions would be appreciated. Also, did I make a mistake in not getting the Benz Glider and saving money? Thanks.
I currently have one and it took about 100 hours to break in.
The cartridge has alot of bloom and is not thin at all. Some people might find it too warm.
Lean,thin,a little bright are common for any cartridge when you first play it. Benz recommends at least 40hrs to break it in. I prefer Wood SL over Glider most set up but without knowing the rest of your system (turntable,arm,SS or Tube amp,speakers) it's not simple to recommend either one. The Glider is much lighter weight than Wood SL so that would be another factor to remember. Glider is an open-aired design and very dynamic cartridge and could provide more energy than a bright speaker would need. Wood SL's character is slightly warm in the mid range and a little more musical in my opinion.
Taters, thanks for the info. What is your set up, btw? Curious to see if I have a weak link someplace besides the Benz.
ksl 822,

I have a VPI aries with a JMW 10.5 tonearm. My phono stage is an ARC ph-5. I'm also running an ARC tube amp and pre-amp.
I've owned two Benz Cartridges in my life, the original Benz Glider HO, bought in '97, and the Ruby 3, bought in '07.

While I cannot recall the Glider sounding so thin, and horrid upon first fire-up, the Ruby 3 almost sounded like nails on a chaulk board.

So bad in fact, that the next day after installation, I was on the phone with both MusicDirect, the dealer, and Garth Leerer, at Musical Surroundings, the USA distributor, from where it was shipped to me from.

I actually thought the Cartridge was defective. The Glider that it replaced actually sounded much better, fuller.
I wondered "how can this be, a much more expensive offering sounding worse?"

Garth of course kindly offered help, and suggested if these issues continued, send it back, they will look at it, and go from there.

I even had bought a new Cardas Sweep&Burn LP, and ran the Ruby 3 on the 3 Burn in Tracks, a period of 20 minutes each, for a total of one hour. Absolutely no difference was noted. The cartridge was sounding truly horrid at about the 3-4 hour mark.

The other problem I was experiencing, was auto turn-on, and shut off with my Sutherland PhD Phono Stage, which up until that point had operated flawlessly for a period of a good year prior to the purchase of the Ruby 3.

The Sutherland, which should activate instantly upon Stylus contact, was taking 20-30 seconds to then come to life. And normal auto shutdown for the Sutherland is about 1/2 hour. With the Ruby, three hours later, the PhD was still on! Only unplugging the Phono Cable permitted the PhD to shut down.

Then, at about the 6-7 hour mark, when I went to try the Ruby 3 again, things were then coming around, and not subtly either. It was like a different cartridge. Like I literally threw a switch, the Ruby 3 began to sound lush, warm, clean, pure. Bass extension was getting deeper, and deeper by the track. Voices were beginning to have realism, and fullness.

I should note that Gain, and Loading all along on the PhD were set at 60db gain, and 1000 ohms.

I am unsure if this would be experienced with all higher tier Benz offerings, but I cannot honstly say if my Ruby 3 was a brand spanking new, never used cartridge, or one that was re-built/re-furbed by the Benz people in europe?

The ZYX Airy 3X that was thrown into the system shortly after, did not exhibit these wierd anomalies that the Ruby 3 did.

I would say at 10-20 hours, things should change with the sound, and the Benz at that point should start showing some promise. I hope this helps you. Mark
Ksl822, I do not know about Wood but my Glider turned 180 degrees to better in sound quality when climbed over mysterious 40 hour mark. So just keep spinning.

You did not made a mistake, I did a mistake getting Glider instead of Wood. Wood is considered sweet spot. I ran Glider for 200 hours but dropped it for a Denon DL103, Denon gave me so much meat on the bone, that it was embarrasing (for a Glider). Maybe its all in system matching, but I do not how people enjoying Gliders, its still a good cart, and plays certains record very fine, is amazing tracker, but IMO overpriced. The old MSRP $799 represents Glider value better.
Thanks for your input and help everyone!

The Wood is opening up more, as you had said. But the surface noise is considerably far greater than the Ortofon Rondo Blue it replaced.

Happy listening!

I have not had experience with any Benz cart, how does the benz wood sound in comparison to Koetsu, SHelters or clearaudio carts ? would like to hear some inputs.