Replacement for my Benz Micro Ruby

Hi, I am close to having the funds to replace my old Benz Ruby. I have had this for something like 20 years. I did have it retipped a few years back.

My system

VPI TNT w/JMW Memorial 12" arm

Manley Chinook phono stage

Audio Research LS15 Pre

Proac Response 3

VTL tube monos

I would like to be at a price point for a new cartridge around $4K

I understand the Benz line isn't being imported any longer. I love the sound of my system and don't want to change the sound by buying a cartridge that has a different flavor.

Koetsu Standard Rosewood, Sumiko Palo Santos, Kiseki Blackheart, Kiseki Purple heart and Koetsu Black Goldline are all around my price point.

any insight is welcome. .Hard to know what your buying only based on ads and magazine reviews.


Benz are still being made, and better than ever, but their days of mass distribution into North America are long gone. Look at the dealer ads here on audiogon. "Kron" sells the modern Benz line, and they sound excellent. I’ve bought a few Benz from him myself - no affiliation, otherwise.

The new Zebrawood bodies sound better than the Bruyere wood did, and there are have also been other motor improvements along with a micro ridge stylus.

If you want to change brands (after 20years!) without totally getting into a different kind of sound than Benz offers, Koetsus are extremely lovely! However on a VPI you may want to look into the 3D arm with dual pivot for a Koetsu.

I had a ruby on a couple different VPIs.  Eventually, I upgraded to a benz ebony lps, with micro ridge stylus and still use it.  It was quite an upgrade; I found it to be a far better cartridge than the ruby, more neutral, more revealing, a greater sense of ease.  I don't have an opinion on the cartridges you mention but if you are able to source an ebony lps you will I am sure be very pleased. 

My Benz output is .3mv

Thank you everyone for the great input. I will look for a source on a new Benz.

I got a Ruby Z low from that importer last month. In stock and his and the dealer’s service was great.

Dear @linkoarc  : This is a great alternative, you can't go wrong with and it's at very good price inside your budget:



Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,



Btw, same seller " runs " the LPS too.

Yes, but I can totally understand JMW unipivot users wanting a wood-bodied Benz 🎶. That combo is undeniable with upper bass & lower midrange “meat-on-the-bone” and texture. Very engaging musically.