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Notice that it's out of stock and very difficult to find currently, hence the question. I have been told that Benz cartridges have not been readily available in the US for many months now, and the US distributor has even substituted another brand of cartridges that they handle for warranty claims or trade-in value.
Wow. I had no idea. I listen to an LP-s every morning and I had no idea what a privilege it is. To be honest, I found the cartridge hard to implement. The combination of high weight and high compliance was hard for me to tame. Thankfully, I had a lot of tonearm combinations on hand to try. Now that it's working it can be ethereal. It also finds every flaw there is to find. Some of my vinyl just isn't good enough for this cartridge.
Like Stringreen, I use my Benz LP (not S version) every day. I had it retipped by Soundsmith once already and will probably do so again within the coming year. The Benz cartridges are so good it's a crying shame that they have abandoned the US market. Surely there is enough demand to support a presence here. I just don't understand it.
One should not confuse Ernst Benz with Lukatschek. Lukatschek bought the company from Ernst and is the moving force by Benz since. But Lukatschek is not a young fellow
anymore and my have some helth problems. This may explain the shortage of the supply as my comrade Don put it.
Regarding the LP S (aka 'mr'). The cart is 16,5 gram so only suitable for the tonearms with extra weights or very heavy counter weight. Among my 14 tonearms only Triplanar
VII with its 4 weights and FR-64S with its 240 gr.counter weight can balance the LP S. Other tonearms will need extra counter weights for correct adjustment.
Successfully using the Benz LP-S with a SME V arm with no counterweights. Balanced almost at the limit of the counterweight; however still some room to adjust slightly more. I would seriously consider the extra heavy counterweight that SME offers for cartridges weighing at least two (2) grams more than the LPS, maybe even one gram more.
The other peculiarity one should be aware off are the
very strong magnets. The so called 'iron core' does not
allow strong magnets. That is why Lukatschek uses ruby
plates for the coils. One should be very careful with
(fastening) screws as well the nearness of other carts.
Because of the open bottom a screw can get 'fastened' to
the coils instead to the threads . My comrade Don broke
the coils of his ,uh, Ruby 3 by traing to get his screw
back while my (small) Hiyphonic MC-A3 was nearly killed
by 'embrace' of the 'big' LP S.