Dear David12: I can/could be wrong but anyway this is my experiences about: the Ebony was the very first cartridge that appear ( I owned ), then comes the LP ( Iown ) that looks similar and that in performance is a little better on tonal balance than the Ebony, finally the LP S that I never have the opportunity to hear it.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear David: Maybe, I can't be sure, the Ebony and LP were same different cartridges.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Thanks guys, I had forgotten about Audiofreaks being the UK importer, it does'nt appear when you google Benz Micro. Mind you I tend not to call Audiofreaks, unless I feel like being insulted.
From what Garth (of Musical Surroundings) had told me, I understand the hierarchy to be as follows....
Benz LP Ebony
Benz Ruby3 (Ruby 3 is basically the same construction using non-ferrous coil formers, but uses different wood body...preferences made to the Ebony body.)
Benz Ebony, Ebony TR, Ebony H are all three basically the same cartridges but each designed to be mated with the various different types of phono stages or step up transformers that individuals may use.
Benz Wood SL, Wood SM, Wood SH are the same as the Ebony, Ebony TR, and Ebony H but uses the Bruyere Wood vs. the Ebony Wood bodies.
I hope this helps.
The Ebony H and the Wood S H have the same internal ohms and output voltage, but the internal ohms and the output voltage of the Wood S L and Wood S M are quite different than for the Ebony TR and Ebony M. Could the wood account for those differences? Also does a $2,000 difference make sense just for a change from ebony to bruyere wood?
Looking into this a little more, I think the new Wood S H, S M and S L are the new S design whereas the Ebony H/L/TR are an older design. So, I think there is more than just a wood change between the Ebony and Wood lines. But is hard to figure out the exact details.
"Albert Lukaschek of Benz Micro and Garth Leerer of Musical Surroundings announce a new series of phono cartridges, the S Class. Led by the new flagship LP S cartridge, introducing the SLR Gullwing and joined by new versions of the Wood Body, Glider and ACE cartridges, the S Class furthers the performance, selection and value of the Benz Micro line."
More details here - http://www.musicalsurroundings.com/benz.html
I wanted to edit my previous post but didn't know how. Everything I had said is accurate except for this sentence...
"Benz Wood SL, Wood SM, Wood SH are the same as the Ebony, Ebony TR, and Ebony H but uses the Bruyere Wood vs. the Ebony Wood bodies."
The outputs and internal impedances are different from both the Ebony TR and the Ebony L and therefore different from the Wood SL and Wood SM. However, Garth did tell me that the only difference between the Ebony H and the Wood SH is the type of wood body and that Mr. Lukaschek prefers the sound of the Ebony body.
I hope this clears up my previous post.
All very helpful, but it still seems a pretty confused way of building a line of cartridges.
They cover a wide price range - from $250 to $5,000 with 8 price points. Like the vast majority of companies with a wide product range, they change part of the line at a time. In doing so, they end up with mixed technologies across the line. Compare that to a speaker company or a turntable company with a wide range of offerings. At any one time, they generally have a mixture of new and older products in the line, with varying technologies. In general, Benz provides 2 or 3 output levels at a given price - something a lot of cartridge companies do not do. The exceptions are the flagship Ebony LP (only 1 option) and the $3,500 line where they have wood (Ebony TR/M/L) and non-wood (Ruby). Although it takes a little more research to find the right product, I like the range of options they provide, especially since they have trade in/trade up pricing options.
Well, I have ordered a Benz Ebony LP from the UK importer, with a good dicount at the moment. Thanks for your help.
I think that you'll love your choice. Please report back after it's broken in and let us know how you like it on your Raven.
No-regrets, well the LP has been in place for a few days and I have to say, I could'nt be more pleased, even though it is still breaking in of course. There is always a risk with 2 components, that it sounds better, because it is new, but the LP seems a big step up from my Zyx Airy 3.
In many ways they are similar, neutral, not coloured, with good detail and soundstaging. Howver, the LP seems better at imaging, better soundstage depth which is something I value very much and digital seems to lack. Base is certainly better defined ? deeper.
Two aspects particularly please me, first the LP is a better tracker. I had real problems with the Zyx, particularly on the inner grooves of Decca SXL's. It could be set up, but it has been on different tables, the second set up by a very competent dealer, so I do'nt think so. The LP is much better, no tracking problems to date on difficult records. Secondly, dynamics are a clear plus. I do'nt think I noticed before, but the Zyx is a tad slow. The second LP I played was Art Blakey and the Jazz messengers. The first track, "Moanin", some of the intro's almost made me jump.
In the UK, the Zyx Airy3 and the BenzLP are about the same price, around £1800. I know, because of the vagaries of currencies etc, the LP is more expensive in the US, I do'nt know about other markets. I think the LP is a real find, well for me anyway, others found it first. As others have said, Benz do'nt seem to get the respect they are due, in comparison with other more popular cartridges, like the Dynavector DV 1S. I am not saying it is as good, but for the money, it is very impressive. Another important consideration, is the reasonably priced rebuild service, Benz offer.
Usual disclaimer, I have no financial interest in Benz Micro, though if they want to send a few hundred Switz Francs for this feedback, well I wo'nt send it back
Thanks so much for your update. I'm glad that you are pleased with the new Benz. I'm sure your fondness of it will grow even more as it continues to break in. I've been a lover of the Benz cartridges for a long time now and believe that they reproduce music in a very natural way and portray the harmonics of various instruments as they sound in real life. And yes, the other benefit is their generous trade in/rebuild programs.
Do someone made a comparison between a Benz LP S and an Ebony S TR? Or maybe between the former versions with Fritz Gyger stylus, the LP and the Ebony TR?
I have already some good stepup transformers here for my other cartridges (A23 T1, Lyra Erodion, Lundahl 1941), so that is not an issue.
I had a dream visitor from Switzerland for a week. An technician by Benz and close friend of Lukatschek. He had 5 MC carts with him but I was only interested in the LP and
Ruby 3S. I forget the names of other three. BTW The LP S was introduced 2 or 3 months later. We both prefered Ruby 3S as more 'neutral'. According to him both were 'identical' except for the wood kind. But the price difference was more convincing to me then the 'neutrality'. The styli are Gyger S .The third kind designed by Van den Hul for Gyger. The Gyger I and II being the first two but very difficult to produce. BTW Gyger S is also used by Jan Alaerts for all of his models. I am not sure if Gyger is still in styli business
anyway Lukatschek is using micro ridge at present. Axel in Germany (schallplattennadeln.de) still has Gyger II styli available at present. After the Japanese huge price incrise for their cantilever/styli combos, this Gyger II become a very interesting proposition for an upgrade.