While quite a ways apart in price they both had a characteristic Benz sound- very well balanced and engaging. Nothing hyped, nothing sucked out either. Moderate output so no troubles there either. Finally, when I was ready to upgrade I was able to sell each of them quickly and easily and for a lot more than I’d ever imagine an old cartridge to be worth!
Currently, as of late last year, running a Koetsu Black Goldline. Another super smooth performer. None of these I would classify as exciting, or use very many of the usual descriptors for. They all just sound very neutral or natural to me. As compared to a number of others I have heard that do not. The main thing that changes is the ability to hear deep into the recording.
The Benz Glider is a terrific little cartridge. It does after a long enough time leave you wanting a bit more. Which is exactly what you get as you go up the line. A bit more inner detail. A bit more "you are there" palpability. A bit more dynamics and extension, across the board.
That to me is the key. Too many guys, something catches their ear they get all excited and buy it. Never lasts. Whatever gets you excited, it usually turns out the more excited you get the faster you get tired of it. All of these cartridges I’m talking about, the improvements are of a nature it takes a long time to fully appreciate. I’m not talking about they need to burn in. I’m talking about they do things, at first you might think its the cartridge only to realize later its the recording. Gradually the realization sinks in that the very best components are the ones that do the least. Doing the least lets the music through the most.
Do not waste a moment's time on technicals like compliance. Output, sure. Needs to match your phono stage so you have enough gain and keep noise levels down. All the rest you can safely disregard.
A lot of guys are scared to death to buy a cartridge used or on-line. All my cartridges were bought on-line. Never a problem. Would not hesitate to try buying one used either if the right one came along. Very nearly did with some very high-end Koetsu priced very low due to being so old. When the price gets low enough what do you really have to lose?
Not that the others you’re considering aren’t good. As Fremer says, when you get up into the good cartridges they are all good, its more a matter of taste. For reasons of taste or whatever you are wanting a Glider. Well, go find one then! They are out there. Good luck!