Cartridge Loading

I just purchased a Benz Ace with .8mv output. The requirements are loading of > 200 ohms. I do not want to spend time trying to determine if 400 ohms sound better than 600 ohms If anyone has experience with the Benz and could give me a resistance that will work well I would appreciate it. Thanks Geroge
This may not be perfectly on point, but FWIW, I have a Glider medium output and had the ability to adjust impedence on the fly. I went thru values from 47K, way too bright, to 25ohms, way to dark, slow and muddy.

So if you like your system on the lighter brighter and crisper side of neutral go with 600, and for the obverse 200. And if you can't make up you mind go for 400. (FWIW I ended up at 2000 with my Glider).

The problem is that this is a sonic issue not a functional one and unless folks knew what you had and what you liked/wanted an intelligent answer might be hard to come by.
See if you can borrow an ARC Ph 5 or 7 pre. It is a great way to check out the loading since it can be done via the remote control.
I do not want to spend time trying to determine if 400 ohms sound better than 600 ohms
Then you will never know - because nobody else can tell you.

In addition to the factors mentioned by Newbee, the technically optimum loading for any LOMC depends on all the other components in the system, including the room. Anyone who tells you they know a LOMC's ideal impedance only knows it for their setup. Whether the same setting would be ideal in yours is anyone's guess.

If plug-n-play better suits your style, I'd suggest sticking to MM's. You'll save both money and time. LOMC's not only cost more, they take more work if you care about sound (and I assume you do, else you wouldn't have asked).

Sorry if that's not the answer you were hoping for - but IME it's the answer that's true.
Dougdeacon, so you consider the loading of an MC cartridge to be an "equalizer" or "tone control" to compensate for deficiencies in the system/room? What would be the correct loading assuming that your system is perfectly neutral and located in an acoustically perfect room?
There are those who believe that there is only one correct load and that is the one which achieves "critical dampening." From my own experience, the correct load is very much system dependent. Phono stages, in particular, seem to be quite dramatically different in the way they interact with particular cartridges. I agree with Doug that the only way to tell is to try different loading.

At a minimum, try something near 200 ohms, and almost unloaded (47 kilo ohms). Most of the big changes in sound will be down near the 200 ohm range. For example, the difference between 200 ohm and 300 ohms will probably be bigger than the difference between 1 kilo ohm and 47 kilo ohms). Keep that in mind if you are trying to minimize the number of trials.

As a pure guess, a manufacturer's recommendation for a loading of 200 ohm and higher means that the manufacturer thinks the cartridge works pretty well with very little loading. I would not be surprised if 47k works well in setups where there is no tendency toward excessive brightness or upper frequency distortion.
what is the suggested range from Benz?
You may want to start with 1k since that is the stock load from a Benz phono amp.
However, everyone above is right. MC cartridges can "potentially" sound the best, but only if the right work is done.They are not plug and play.This is one of the reasons that MC builders also make their own step-up or phono section. So if you bought a Benz Lukushek you would probably be alright, but not necessarily optimized.
Loading is all part of what I call "the charm of analog".
With a good analog rig, there is so much to do;VTA,VTF,azimuth,loading,are all part of the fun.And all worth the trouble.
Indeed, some of us, see this as a opportunity to experiment and strive for more knowledge and better sound.

If you want plug and play,get a CD player.
but you will lose the charm,,and the sound.

have fun it's a hobby

First, I also agree with Doug, Larry & others that a correct load is very much system dependent in which listening room is also a main factor. Though in theory for a cart with 25-ohm "actual" internal impedance(sometimes 25 ohms is just a nominal value +/- a few %), 200 to 300 ohms resistor loading seems a reasonable point to start with. With 0.8mV output, an SUT(with 25-35 ohms transformer loading?)/head amp may not be as neccessary as LOMC.

Second, if another Benz Ace M user says he found 300 ohms is the best, you have to see his system whether it is similar or totally different from yours. There would be a large sonic deviation between the one uses 1000w solid state mono blocks for his giant multi-ways floor standing and the other uses 8-15w tube amp for a Fortex 8" full-range speakers.

Third, different cart manufacturers seem to have different approaches for their productions. So it is always better to have several impedance resistor loadings, in your case, say, 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 47k ohms, etc.

If plug-n-play better suits your style, I'd suggest sticking to MM's. You'll save both money and time. LOMC's not only cost more, they take more work if you care about sound (and I assume you do, else you wouldn't have asked).
I hate to disagree (once again) with Doug:)...but he must have seen J Carr's reponse to the question of loading for MC cartridges 9copied below)
You are very crisp with your technical specifications, however, you openly offer a wide range for catrige loading (100 Ohms to 47 kOhms). Why such a range?

First, because the loading of a low-impedance MC is not really an issue for the cartridge itself. An MC cartridge is a mechanically-driven electrical generator, and a not-very-efficient one at that. Unlike loudspeaker drivers, the meager efficiency of a low-impedance MC cartridge implies that loading applied in the electrical domain will have relatively little effect in the mechanical domain (which is where you will see effects on aspects like tracking performance and distortion). Also, due to the very low inductance of the signal coils, electrical loading will have practically no effect on any signals in the audible range, and this has other benefits in keeping a relatively flat phase response in the audible domain (a general rule of thumb for good phase response out to 20kHz is that the electrical frequency range should extend to at least 200kHz). This is a completely different situation with high-inductance MMs and MIs, where changing the loading will affect the frequency response in the audible range, and the phase response even more so.

So, if electrical loading doesn't change the behavior of the phono cartridge in the audible frequency range by much, why does the sound change so dramatically? The answer is that the inductance of the cartridge coils will resonate with the capacitance of the tonearm cable (and distributed capacitance of the coil windings) and create a high-frequency spike. The magnitude of this spike can be extremely high, and may give many phono stages outright problems if it isn't damped with loading measures at the phono stage input. I don't have my lab notes at hand, but from memory loading a Delos with 47kohm can result in a 28dB spike at 6~7MHz. Some phono stages will have been designed so that they remain unflustered by this, but many phono stages will not be happy with such brutal treatment, and will not sound good because of this.
This pretty much matches my own experiences and is confirmed by the design of the Halcro DM10 Preamp which has a fixed MC loading of 220 Ohms but an infinitely variable resistance between 10K and 60K ohms for MM/MI and an infinitely variable capacitance between 70uF and 430uF also for MM/MI.
This may also have something to do with the philosophy of simplifying the electrical path for the extremely low output signals of LOMC and MCs in general.
Having played extensively with the adjustments of Resistance and Capacitance for my Garrott P77 MM cartridge and hearing the enormous differences, I can assure you that it is not a "plug-n-play" alternative to MCs and may in fact be the reverse?

I would love to hear Raul's opinion on this one?

Sorry Doug :)
Well Halcro,
now I beg to differ with you - and go with Doug KISS aproach :-)
I been chasing my tail with MC loading, SUT (with and without primary and secondary loading) and with every value you want to imagine --- result?
MM sound simply better going into 47k and using that +/- 100pF capacitance, that comes with my arm and phono-cable.

Now as you say: you may still get things yet better (one always seems to at least in ones own mind) but the simple "plug & play" as mentioned by Doug, so far has out performed all my MCs ---- quite that simple, eh.
Of course as always YMMV :-)
Well, Halcro, you know, the most important from all, is, that the cartridge fits to the tonearm.
Next is, copying something from a manufacturer is nice but more or less without any worth.Every one has his own religion. A horrible sounding preamp does not get any better with any load, one of the reasons, why these discussions are always endless.
Next, 100 ohms from Preamp A are not identical to 100 ohms from Preamp B.
That's one reason why there are so many different sounding units are out there.
Ernst Benz made all cartridges for 47kohms. Later the manuals were changed to 10-47kohms, it makes the sale much easier and the Dealer can say "yes" to everything the customer has at home.
Best is always to try with the given Preamp, when that one will be replaced the game starts again.
And you need a Turntable which can show the real difference, not a colored result based on its construction.
Happy Listening.
Agree with Halcro.

I have much experience with MM/MI cartridges and they are hardly plug and play.

Doug needs to walk before he runs.
47 kohm when you have a preamp which can do it without sounding thin, dead and analytical
1kohm when you have a normal preamp
below 200ohms when you have a very analytical and harsh sounding high end System and you want to soften it.
MM Phono and a matching high quality Step Up.
I loaded my loved Benz LP with 470 ohms inside Whest Audio PS30 RDT and it sounds wonderful

My cent!
Agree with Audiofeil. ;-)

Still, most MM/MI carts will perform satisfactorily (if not perfectly) into most MM phono stages at a standard 47k impedance, as Syntax said. You can't make that kind of blanket statement about MC's. That was really my only point.
Whether a certain cartridge with a certain load in a certain audio chain under certain conditions does sound wonderful or not to certain ears does not tell too much.
As cartridges too do suffer from the lack of real standardization of its electrical or mechanical parameters, we have to fine-tune each and any cartridge to meet its best performance in relation to its surrounding components and their very specific electrical/mechanical parameters.
This is true for MM, MI, MC and foremost LOMC.
Each is different - hey, - thats why we love analog don't we ?
Dertonarm is absolutely correct on this one. BTW I have yet to see a MM that actually loads correctly at 47K. Most are more like half that and I have seen Grados that are closer to 10K.
And we will run into some MI carts which will love 100k......... endless story. Wished we had a fraction of the standards we see in most other segments of technical life on earth.
I agree with Dertonarm.

I am currently experiencing my first go at loading with a lomc.
I have a Benz Gold on a VPI HMW 19/Audioquest-Jelco arm going to a NAD PP2.the rest of the system is:
Audio Alchemy DLC line stage
Hafler 220 power amp
Acoustat model 2 electrostatics
Morrow Audio MA1 interconnects
Anti Cable speaker cables

The NAD comes with a load of 100ohm.I did some research and found out that the load resistors are in R50 and R60 on the PCB. I replaced the 100ohm with 1kohm.The sound was immediately much better.So being the warm blooded American boy I am I tried 10kohms.
Now we are really talking good here. I know this gear is old and/or cheap, but my ears are not inexperienced and I think this is one of the best sounds I have heard EVER!
The inner details are as good as I have ever heard.
The dynamics are much more dynamic,there is so much more texture and refinement.Still smooth, still has bass heft and authority only more controlled and defined.
The sound stage is wider,taller, and much deeper.I believe that a big part of this is that the sound floor is significantly lower.
I call this, beginners luck.But never the less, if the charm of vinyl had not beckoned,I would never had done it, and had missed out on so much enjoyment.
This is why we do this hobby.

47 kohm when you have a preamp which can do it without sounding thin, dead and analytical 1kohm when you have a normal preamp below 200ohms when you have a very analytical and harsh sounding high end System and you want to soften it. or MM Phono and a matching high quality Step Up.

This short guide defines my experience to a tee: Jasmine LP2.0SE > DV10x5 > Rega P3.

The Jasmine has 4 settings (30ohms; 100ohms; 250ohms; 1Kohms). At the suggested cart load for the DV10x5 (1K) it's way to bright, highs distort and bass is muddy - in my current system. Same but to a lesser degree at 250ohms. 100ohms works best in my system. Well below the recommended load impedance but with the best over all results.
Listen and learn.
I decided to try going back down on the loading.I went back to 1k after going all the way up to 47k.
While listening to choral music;I started noticing that every time a word ended with "s" it had a strident snake like sound.So I went down to 10k then 1k.The snakes went away and the mids jumped right out!

Next stop 450k.

Just changed my whole setup. I just finished building a SUT MC tranformer(I plan on starting a string on DIY SUT). The setting that I am using comes to 200 ohm.
This transformer just took my analog rig to another level.
Much better dynamics,lower sound floor,more extended frequency response.Individual instruments and voices are much more coherent.
Micro and macro details like I have never had.
This is fun.
It feels like I have a whole new library of music to listen to.
Sorry for going a little off topic,but analog is so much fun.

George,I forgot to answer your question. Of course there is no simple answer but I will say that the Lukashek phono stage by Benz comes loaded at 1000ohm.So that might be a good place to start.

Hello George,

I have some experience with the Heed Quasar and a cloned XOno combined with a Benz ACE L and a Benz Glider L2 S. With both systems I ended up with 1k at the XOno and 470ohms at the Heed. I didn't like 20k or even 47k. Too much hiss in the highs.
I have been told by a friend with a Benz Lukashek phono stage that the stock loading is 22k.If so I stand corrected.