Best of the Gliders, or?

Hi Folks,
Been thinking lately that my Benz Glider may be nearing the end of its useful life, and have considered the possibility of trade-in.

Mine, is an original hi-output Glider bought in 1997.

Some questions I have are: Of all the new model Gliders, which output would provide the best sonics? I'm using the Sutherland PhD, so it doesn't appear that output would be an issue with this Phono Stage with its gain adjustability.

Another question I have, if I use the trade in program (Undecided if this is actually the best course?) would I perhaps be better off for a slightly higher investment in $$$ to bypass the Glider, and move up to a better Benz model? (I'm not made of gold though!)

Any recommendations on who's the best for trade-in?
The low output version is more transparent. The wood body cartridges are better (smoother, even more transparent) if you budget allows.
In addition to what was previously written, so others can perhaps give a better recommendation-suggestion for a Cartridge, is that my original HO Glider is being used on an upgraded VPI HW-19 Jr, with MK-IV Platter, AQ PT-7 Arm (AQ Emerald Cable) Expressimo Counterweight, VPI SDS.

I might be able to spring the additional funds for the L2, M2, or H2 model on trade-in (I believe this would be about $800 plus my Glider) Thanks, Mark
I have listened to both the Glider M2 and the M2 in my system. I'm pretty stingy with funds, but thought the M2 was far more enjoyable in my system. It just had a more easy-going, evenly balanced flow to it with a sweeter and more full-bodied midrange, crisper (and less "glassy") top end and warmer bottom. You could, however, tell that both cartridges come from the same family. My system is different from yours - I'm running a Michell Gyro SE Mk II and Graham 1.5tc (IC30 cable) tonearm and the very basic Musical Fidelity XLP phono stage. So the results may be different in your system.

WRT output...that would depend on your phono stage more than anything, and I'm not familiar with yours. If it has sufficient gain and stays quiet enough, everything I've read suggests to take the low output versions of the Benz cartridges when possible. I actually have the L2 on the way and just have the M2 as a dealer loan until the L2 arrives.
I truly do thank you folks for the comments so far, and you have all "reconfirmed" my thoughts, that low output would be the way to go with Benz.

Being here for a couple of years now, I've read literal 1000's of posts, and I thank the A-Gon folks very much for providing an archives, in which one can search a specific topic-subject-product.

Of course I was a neophyte when starting into the "MC" world when I purchased the Glider, relying on reviews, and what others had said.

My impressions are that the HO Glider, being known as a "Moving Iron" Cartridge is perhaps not what many consider to be a true in the sense MC Cartridge.

This Cartridge has been a fun (And enjoyable) ride the last 10 years, and I would naturally like to continue this enjoyment. Every time a tweak was employed to the Turntable, or new Phono Stage, or acquisition of SDS, etc, the old Glider got better, and better.

I imagine in this price range, so much more has come along in the last 10 years. There is many directions I could go should I choose.

Should I decide again to go with a Benz product, are there any recommendations who I should do business with? I was thinking the Needle Doctor? Any better choices?

Most likely at this point I am seriously considering the Wood Body L2, a step up from the Glider.

I would think my Sutherland PhD should be able to provide a good Phono Stage for whatever my funds can cough up for a cartridge.

I reckon I can always charge, and make a few payments (99 payments, and she'll be mine! lol) Of course a Lyra Titan is out of the question! hee hee Mark
When I upgraded to the Benz Ebony, it was a jaw dropping difference. Squeeze out as much as you can and get the highest performing cartridge you can possibly get. You will enjoy the upgrade for many years.

Since you're obviously open to making a change, can you state what aspects of the Glider's sound you'd want to change or improve? What do you love about it? What do you find maybe a little lacking?

Sharing what you like/dislike might lead to more useful recommendations than the usual, "I like this" and "I like that".
Hello Doug, To start out, I'd like to say thank you for responding, and also to thank you for your countless posts, and contributions to this group, which many I have read.

I've read numerous archived posts regarding many of the top highly regarded brands, such as Benz, Koetsu, Lyra, Dynavector, ZYX, etc.

I guess what I seek is not too different from what others do, when they wish to climb the Analog Ladder.

I'd like better retrieval from the LP's Grooves, and hopefully with it, a quieter, darker background. Things like better, more authorative bass, midrange magic, smooth, but extremely detailed highs, and a more holographic Soundstage-presentation.

While I have mentioned two earlier candidates in the Benz line (New Glider or the Wood Body right above it), I'm certainly not overlooking brands-models such as the Lyra Argo, and the Helikon.

I've read much good with the Argo-Helikon, and I'm sure either would be an impressive step up from my 1st version HO Glider.

The ML Stylus the Lyra possesses sounds like the way to go for these attributes-qualities I seek. My Sutherland PhD should be up to the task, and able to make good use of the increase in quality with one of these Lyras, as one of my good personal friends Thomas M. Back uses uses the Lyra Titan, and Clearaudio Master Reference with his Sutherland PhD.

The only one possible downside I see going to the Lyra (hopefully the Helikon) would be that I don't believe any Lyra Dealer takes Benz Cartridges in trade, so that would most likely mean selling my Glider perhaps here on Agon for a reasonable price, to help offset the cost of the new Cartridge.

I have no precise knowledge of hour's of use on my Glider, I'd probably have to "guess" 300-450 hour's of use, so it's probably not worn out just yet. Mark
Mark, I'd probably spring for a better tonearm first, since any serious cartridge upgrade will likely be limited by the PT-7 (which I think is a Jelco design). Since you already have a VPI, maybe you could add a JMW? I see that there are two JMW 10 versions available now on Audiogon in the 700-buck range, and there is a 12.6 advertised for 1100.

This will almost certainly give you improved sound from your Glider, and will also be a better platform for future cartridge upgrades. Moving to a better cartridge now will give you better sound, but the extent of the improvement will be limited by the PT-7, and that limitation will still be there when you want to make subsequent cartridge upgrades.

As long as you use a RCM and also are gentle when you lower the cartridge's cantilever onto the LP surface (and the anti-skate setting doesn't unduly bias the cantilever), your Glider should be good for at least 1500 ~ 2000 hours.

hth, jonathan carr
Second Jcarr. If you find yourself upgrading the cart though, for not much more than you're considering check out the new Transfiguration Axia although it would outclass your current rig and would only make sense if you were planning on an upgrade there as well. I don't think the Lyra would be the ticket for your stated desire for smoothness.

Dealer disclaimer.
I'm certainly not in disagreement with your assessments of the AQ Arm JCarr/PiedPiper.

While a very good "what I call entry level audiophile Arm", there's not much path for improvement for upgrades/tweaks with this Arm.

Why have I never heard/read about a Cardas-Incognito rewire to this arm? Is it because they stuffed the arm-wand like a freaking cannoli, and nobody can inside this arm to do the required Mods? This is the impression I get.

I'm limited to Arms, as I'm still using the 19-Jr MDF one piece Plinth. Linn, and a couple of others I understand will work for a quick, painless swap out. Trying to find a new Acrylic/Stainless Plinth, and Separate Armboard to be drilled for Arm of choice will not be an easy task I'm afraid. VPI has appeared to cease all support with this model.

I do understand that there are other very important qualities to an Arm besides just wiring. There's certainly no comparison of an AQ PT Arm, to a TOTL Graham, or SME.

Yes, in a ridiculous, insane sense, one could mount a $4500 Lyra Titan to a $44 Plastic Garrard Table, but as we all know, the Lyra would suffer a very horrible existence on such a Table.

I'd actually like keeping my 19 Turntable. It's got soul, and personality, even though it's meager to much that's out there now. How I wish years ago, I would've at least sprung for the VPI Aries, which was within my budget then, but I flinched. Is it too late? lol Mark
never too late...
I do understand folks that a better Tonearm than the AQ PT-7/8 would no doubt imporve performance. Since I'm already drilled for the AQ, that still does leave a few options.

Basically, the AQ Arm is not a bad one. I've probably read literal 100's of posts about this Arm, an as I've menetioned before, am running an original AQ Emerald Cable, which I believe was Silver Plated Copper, cost me $250 new, back in '97, and I've also recently added the Expressimo Counterweight from Elusive Disc.

Downsides to this arm besides the obvious Bearings, which are no doubt better in more expensive Arms, are the seeming lack of an internal wire Upgrade, and also lack of Azimuth Adjustment, but from what I can see, my Arm's Azimuth is essentially nuts on. (No I haven't done an testing with Meter, etc)

There are two improvement paths I see, that would no doubt help, and that is one, a SAMA, and two, a better Cable. Of course, jumping from the Glider, to the Lyra Helikon should be a substantial improvement, and these other tweaks I mention above should help the Helikon perform better.

Isolation of Motor Vibration should help any Cartridge, as well as my ole Glider. Mark
Until recently I used a Shure V15vMR, and I wanted to move up to an MC cartridge. I ordered a BM Glider from Elusive Disc, but they didn't have one in stock, and offered me a BM H2 Wood for $900 instead. This page shows the trade price as $800 so I guess they can do this rather than charge the suggested retail price of $1295 (did Benz Micro _really_ mean to make that information public?) Naturally, I jumped at it and have enjoyed the Wood H2 very much since!