I have a Benz LP and the SME V, not the S version and do not have any mechanical and/or resonance issues. Of course the original LP is lighter and therefore does not have the mass as the newer version. Have you already purchased the LP S? If so, what kind of problems are you experiencing trying to set it up? The LP was so easy to setup and dial with the SME V that I was able to play LP's in less than 30 minutes after screwing down the headshell screws.
Based on your inquiry, I am assuming you are gathering information. I am going to a dealer to today who is an SME V specialist and was ironically going to ask his opinion about the new LP S on an SME V. Stay tuned.
Actually, I am gathering information before purchasing to avoid a potential problem. I'm aware the LP is lighter than the S version. In fact,if it was still available(new), I would very seriously consider buying the LP. Though I called Sumiko(the SME distributor)I received no definitive information regarding compatibility with the heavier LP S. Of course, I'm interested in hearing the comments of the dealer/SME specialist you're visiting today. Thanks, Audioquest.
I just came back from the dealer and have good news, the SME V and new LP S are within tolerance of keeping the resonance below levels. The original LP fits in the scale at about 6.9 and the newer LP S version fits at about 7.9, the play room for resonance tolerance is anything lower than 9 and higher than 2. The dealer had a chart where we plugged in the weight of the toneamr and the weight of the cartidge and then it tells you what range it falls in.
With all of my homework done, I am returning tommorrow with my LP and doing the trade in for the LP S. They have it on hand, so I will take it home with me, yeah. I will let you know how it goes.
I think you may have inadvertantly erred on the resonance frequency of the original LP. You are correct about the resonance frequency of the LP S being 7.9, however, considering the approximately 6 grams lower weight of the LP version,the resonance frequency should be about 8.9, not 6.9 as you indicate. This makes the LP a better "fit" than the LP S, which shows as marginal in relation to the desireable gray area of the chart. However, that may not be a serious issue, since things don't appear to be really critical. I'm perhaps a bit more concerned about any stability of the tonearm insofar as cuing, tracking and handling with this heavier Benz fitted to the slightly light SME. I might again contact Sumiko to see if they supply a heavier or added counterweight for the SME, but I'll wait first for the report on your experience. Incidentally, I have the IV.Vi. Its effective mass is identical to the V's.
You are are right. My bad. I thought the chart I was shown stated 6.9 for the older LP. I found this chart at Vinyl engine useful after I last posted:
I do see some confusion about the Internet about these two very products. At the SME homepage they show 10/11 for the SME V tonearm weight, and at Musicalsurroundinsg they show 10 for the Benz LP S and 16 for the LP. On a few other web sites I have seen figures of 10 grams for the LP DS as well.
You said that you were concerened about the weight of the MC versus the tonearm, the SME series IV.V and V allow you to add viscous damping and have ample headroom (adjustment wise) for such a heavy cartridge.
BTW, what turntable is all of this supposed to be setting on. Mine is a Transrotor Apollon mass loaded turntable, and is pretty heavy, about 100 plus pounds of platter, motors and assembly than another almost 300 pounds of Clearaudio MontBlanc tunrtable rack. I have never experienced any wow and flutter or excessive woofing due to resonance, now I am keeping my fingers crossed that I still will not.
Your chart doesn't show anything for 16 grams cartridge weight, only up to 15. The resonance chart I use can be found at www.resfreq.com/resonancecalculator.html Yes, the effective mass for the SME V or IV.V is 10/11, but when I look at the Musical Surroundings site, no information at all is given for the discontinued Benz LP, but 16 is given for the weight of the LP S. It's actually 16.4 though.
I do not have the optional viscous damping trough/fluid for my IV.Vi arm. My turntable is the discontinued VPI HW-19 MK3 with the lead and cork platter.
Thank you for the link, that is a good one, already bookmarked. I like that one way better than the one at Vinyl Engine. The sums for the LP S an V arm are okay looking to me. I understand your concern about damping though. VPI was my first choice until I saw the Transrotor at the High End Show a few years back.
I am going to play some last tunes and try to (really) benchmark into my memory some reference music I use and then remove the old Benz, sigh. At this time tommorrow I should have it mounted and will be able to give initial impressions. I always start at the lowest recommended settings and then boldy move to the max and try to establish the signature sound of any cartridge. After that, it will be lots of fun, yeah right. I will probably stay up late trying to get as many hours as I can on it.
"...it will be lots of fun, yeah right." I had to laugh at that. Okay, I'll look forward to hearing your first impressions. Best of luck.
The wait has been extened another day. Sadly the LP S was mailed out today from the distributor. I will hopefully pick it up from the dealer tommorrow afternoon. Man, the wait is rough. I have a backlog of LP's to spin already. I do not want to screw in the Transrotor Merlo Reference (a fine MC also)as a stop gap for only one or two days.
Ok the wait was worth it. This is not a review, yet. Just an initial informative update about the new Benz LP S. If you can adjust the longitudal balance as I can on the SME V, you will not have any problems matching and setting up the cartridge. I did have to turn the rotating knob a ways back, almost got scared until the arm balanced out. This is my 3rd Benz LP series I have setup on my SME V.
I used a Mobile Fidelity Geodisc and a German brand tonearm template to also check settings. The SME V and the Benz LP S was easy to setup. After balancing the arm and cartridge I set the tracking force to 1.9 and that is where it is tracking right now. No sibilance or any distractions. Just great music. Obviously you will have to set both VTF and anti-skate to zero before you balance the SME V arm.
Initial settings, anti-skate zero.
VTF, 1.9, right between the recommended setting of 1.8 and 2.0. The rated output is 0.35mv compared to the older LP's 0.33mv.
The spec sheet shows; LP S, an MR and TRS written as well as either the designation of the tip or S model or both.
Phono amp settings (Aesthetix IO Signature), set at the same as the old LP, 10,k ohms. I find that wide open is hit or miss and below 1000 on my system is way to mellow, so I settled on that number.
Initial sounds, well all I can is wow. There is more of everything, except the bass, which in my opinion was already excellant. The bass is the same, excellant, no changes for and the quality of intitial thwack of the opening part of this song is as thunderous as ever. The mids and higher frequency seemed to be a bit more detailed compared to the older LP as the music is more harmonious, has more pickup and the delineation of recording room acoustics are picked up better compared to the older LP. What I mean by this is that the LP S has more energy that makes for rich textures, a trait that already existed in the LP, but even more. I am using the Chuck Mangione Children of Sanchez as my referenece LP and it is much more musical than I remember compared to the Benz LP. I can honestely make this statement as I mentioned this is my reference LP, because of the trumpet, cymbals and drums, they exult a great variety of musical character and thus my reason to use this LP. Both depth and width are increased with the added benefit of instruments floating even more in space.
Even though I have only about 4 hours on the new LP S, it is better than the LP, despite that being a great cartridge already. It is the increase of micro and minor dynamics and the more robust harmonious nature of the LP S that makes music seem more alive compared to the normal LP. The trumpet actually seems a bit more defined and in character to what a trumpet would sound like if you played it in the room. I play trumpet, okay sometimes, that is why I also like this LP as a reference. The acoustical space is captured even more than before as I stated previously, but this adds to the realism of the music even more and increases your listening pleasure to another degree.
If you are happy with the benz LP, don't listen to the newer LP S as you will crave it because it is addictive.
The SME V mates well and do not have any regrets. On to the musical voyage.
Well, congratulations. Sounds so far like you did make the best decision going for the new S version. From what I gather, the original LP might sound a tad subdued or at least not as lively as the S, which seems to be a bit more open on top. Would you say there's any change or slight shift toward the treble region in terms of overall tonal balance? Is the sound tighter, cleaner and/or more neutral in contrast to the original LP? Thanks for any information/impressions on these things.
I would not call the original LP subdued but I would say it is not as revealing as the new Benz LP S. The older Benz LP has brought me many hours of beautiful satisfying music and all with the same attributes I describe with the new LP S, but only less. Maybe you can call it warmer. The tonal balance of the new LP S sounds linear on my system with the added benefit of additional presence. This might be due to the better needle and assembly but the presence does give the LP S a livelier sound compared to the LP but not at all bright or accenuated in either the midrange or treble regions. Adressing your question about the new LP S being tighter, cleaner and or neutral compared to the older LP, I would say that the signature trait of the LP series is there, beautiful midrange, shimmering highs and excellant bass, but the LP S adds an element of robustness that makes all of these qualities, with the exception of the bass, seem much better. I guess the sound of the LP S is what I just described, it is neutral in character without any over accenuation's in the frequency spectrum. When I played my reference LP's, I discovered that the Benz LP S was not only conveying the life and soul of the music, but going deeper as well. Going deeper into the music while keeping all of the excellant traits that the LP series is known for really has propelled the LP S into a cartridge that once you hear it, and setup properly, you will not mistake the characteristics of the LP S, especially comparing to the older Benz LP. There is more treble and midrange, but not at the sake of being hyperextended. I would call the the Benz LP S a more awake LP rather than hyperactive kid, ha. The Benz LP will probably sound somewhat closed in compared to the new LP S, but that is because the new LP S is only doing those things the old Benz LP does great, even better.
I do not not or will not ever have to think about switching cartridges, and when the time comes to replace the needle, it will be another Benz LP S. I do not have the desire or time to even try and research any other brands of cartridges when this one does all I need it to, beautifully.
"From what I gather, the original LP might sound a tad subdued or at least not as lively as the S, which seems to be a bit more open on top. Would you say there's any change or slight shift toward the treble region in terms of overall tonal balance? Is the sound tighter, cleaner and/or more neutral in contrast to the original LP?"
You've been most helpful with your well considered comments, and I wish you the best in listening enjoyment...Ciao!
I have been following this thread because I have a 1-year old LP and I am curious what types of improvements the S might provide. Audioquest4life, I appreciate your taking the time to share your preliminary reactions to the LP-S. From what you said in your most recent post, I do have to wonder if some of your reactions may change with further breakin. Here's why I raise that point: when I first tried my LP, it had a lively and extended treble range, not at all soft or rolled off as I had feared. After using it for a few weeks, the high frequencies changed and it is now more like you describe---a bit subdued and closed in. I suspect that I might react much the same way as you described if I compared my LP to another brand new LP. So I will be more interested in how your reactions to the LP-S hold up after a few more weeks and months.
I certainly agree with you that the LP (and I'm sure the LP-S) sounds great. I say that as a loyal Benz customer having started with a Glider M2 about 10 uears ago and moving to the Woodbody L2 before making the jump to the LP.
I am glad to be able to provide some real world information about the new Benz LP S to others. I agree that some of the newness of the new LP S is probably aiding in some of that Benz magic I am describing. I do remember distinctly from owning the LP when it was new and getting it retipped once, that the soundstage was not as wide and not as holographic as the new LP S, however. In addition, one of the musical factors that has wowed me since installing the LP S is in the way that it is able to convey a sense of space and hold instruments in that space. That has captured my emotional psyche several times. I already have about 10 hours and another 30 to go before the official Benz 40 hour break in period.
What started me in the Benz line was when I was at one of the European audio shows in Germany, it was part of the Analog Audio Association and we heard the Benz LP versus the Koetsu Onyx and a Clearaudio. I had also heard many others that day, but the Benz was closer to portraying what the Onyx conveyed, and that is a fine cartridge. For us folks not willing to fork up the cash or spend that kind of money, the Benz LP is a real value in regards to competing with a cartridge costing two times more. I really think that Benz manufactured into the new LP S some of the things that some people complained about, too syrupy, too slow or laid back, but I thought it was just playing beautiful music and I never seemed to miss anything. The LP S is just better at capturing all of the fine details that make music listening more enjoyable.
The sound of the Benz series is great to me and thus compared to other moving coils I have heard, even other Koestu series, I will remain with the LP series. Who can go wrong with the upgrade path and retip options.
I will keep posting more updates as soon as I have reached the 40 hour mark. Lets see, there are 48 hours in this weekend, and about 3 more until midnight, hmm.
I have improved my Resonance Calculator
by allowing three decimal resolution to your results -- please take a look...
When I traded my LP for the LPS, I was prepared for an upgrade but not to this extent. The LPS does everything the LP did, but much better. The things that really get to me is how fast the LPS is. Percussion has a start and stop that the LP didn't come near. This quickness also reveals what's going on in the background that warrants relistening to the record again to hear what never came out with the LP. There is also a dramatic increase in dynamics...both macro and micro. Also, there is nothing this cartridge can't track. SSSSS's and TTTT's are crystal clear. Enjoy your new S.
Cport: Please correct the typo below ("waring"). Also, you indicate "Figures of C coming from Japan usually are measured at 100 Hz, so they should be multiplied by 1.5-2." Does this mean, for example, that the compliance quote of 10 that is given for the Dynavector XV-1S is misleading, and that the more accurate figure should be between 15 and 20? or that the quote given of 7 for the Miyajima Kansui should more accurately be in a range from 10.5 to 14? Also, the difference in resonance frequency one gets as a result of multiplying anything between 1.5 and 2 could indicate a pretty significant variation, so what rf figure should the layman accept ?
A Wally Malewicz inspired "three-way" tonearm/cartridge resonance calculator
Wally has suggested that this "waring" may be bogus -- stand by
Assumes that the quoted cartridge compliance references 10Hz.
[Often (sadly) not published by manufacturers]
Read this following statement, then read here.
"There is one snag about it. The manufacturers of cartridges do not always state a useful value for C(ompliance). (It should be started at 10 Hz). Figures of C coming from Japan usually are measured at 100 Hz, so they should be multiplied by 1.5-2. Figures of C coming from USA often are static values, so they should be halved. Most figures of C coming from Europe are OK (stated at 10 Hz)"
Also, forgot to mention: where it says, "Read this following statement, then read here", when one clicks on "here", a NOT FOUND screen pops up.