experiencing distorted playback with Benz Ruby 2
Hi everyone, this is my first post here, hoping that some of you awesome audiophiles might have some insight to help me out.
I just received a Benz Micro Ruby 2 (LOMC)cart that I purchased here on Audiogon. The seller seems reputable (300+transactions, great feedback, etc), and has told me that the cart sounded beautiful when he had it set up. So I am hoping it is somehow the setup I have.
During playback, pretty much everything is distorted, crackling, etc. It's horrible. Prior to this, I had a Grado Gold MM cart, and it sounded pretty darn good. I changed over to the Ruby 2, and added a stepup transformer. The transformer is the only new part of the setup besides the Ruby 2. Here is what I have for gear:
Turntable is a VPI, essentially a HW 4...has had just about every upgrade available
Graham 2.2 tonearm
Bellari VP130 phono preamp
Bellari MT502 transformer (this is the new one, figured it made sense since I have the phono preamp already)
Amplifier is a Classe 75
All interconnects are decent quality.
I initially tried the cartridge without the transformer, basically to see how it sounded without it. I immediately noticed the distortion and chalked it up to a low-level signal coming from the new cart. Then I hooked up the transformer...much louder now, but the distortion is unbearable. It's not just an annoying thing that can be tweaked, it sounds horrible. I have played with the ground settings, A-B preference switch on the xformer, different tracking setting., etc.
Any ideas here? If I need to provide additional info, etc., just let me know. Thanks in advance!