Benz Micro Glider Cartridges

Glider

  • Output (Low): 0.4mV
  • Output (Medium): 0.8mV
  • Output (High): 2.5mV
  • Stylus: Micro-ridge 5x120µm
  • Impedance: 90 ohms

User Reviews (16)

Showing 1-10 of 16  
Carlos C.   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 18, 2012]

I have it at home for a few days.
I'm going to install on my turntable REGA P5, but I have two elevators metal 2mm.
I have to raise the REGA RB700 arm is well adjusted to ...

Has anyone had this experience lifting arm REGA turntables?.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
jofecoma   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 13, 2010]

The cartridge Benz Micro Glider L2 is a winner.
She has the ability to create a fluid environment of music, the tone is correct, very dynamic, and completely transparent.

I use a turntable REGA P5 and adaptation of the cartridge arm is excellent. The resolution is fantastic for a cartridge of less than 900 €.
The sound also has a large stage and the stereo separation is great.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Joe Czentnar   AudioPhile [Jun 29, 2009]

Review of Benz Glider SL by Joseph Czentnar

Let me first start off by stating that I’m not one of those guys that can’t actually hear the difference between a guitar and a trumpet. I am a guitar player/musician that actually owns a studio, (1” tape-all analog) and have been in bands all of my life, and now also do my own mastering. My day job is in the technical field of testing, so I get to play with a lot of technical widgets.
A lot of my colleagues think that it’s funny that I am so into vinyl. I call it my “nerd” hobby, and I think that everyone should have at least one nerd hobby, or something to escape to.
For me, it has always been about “tone”. As a guitar player, nothing beats a good guitar plugged into a good tube amp that’s cranked all the way up. Your guitar provides at least 33% of the tone, and the amp the other 33%, and the player himself at least the other 33%. The phono cartridge is a very similar device, and operates almost identically as a string vibrating over the magnetic pickup. It can be said that very small differences can and do make a huge difference in devices such as these, which is why the phono cartridge selection process is so cool and unique to the person listening and FEELING the music at that point in time. People like what they like, for whatever reason, and that’s ok, because that is what music is all about. Nobody is right, and nobody is wrong.
So, all that being said, this is my humble setup:
1) Fatman 18-2 class A integrated tube amp ( I absolutely love this amp)
2) ITUBE iPOD D to A converter ( Came with Fatman amp)
3) Creek OBH-9SE phono stage for MC cartridge
4) Conrad Johnson PV-3 (used for MM cartridges)
5) Adcom GCD-575 CD player (this thing just won’t die, also has very warm tone for digital.
6) Vintage JBL C-35 cabinets D130/075 w/custom crossovers (super tweeters coming soon)
7) Bob Carver Signature Sub
8) Merrill Heirloom “B” turntable with Eminent Technologies 2.0 tonearm.
9) Benz Glider SL ( newest addition to setup)
10) Some relatively cheap Audioquest cables from tonearm to preamp.

Today I want to talk specifically about the new Glider SL cartridge that I picked up to replace my AT-150-MLX. I first heard the Glider about 10 years ago, and fell in love with the TONE immediately. There was one problem at this time with this cartridge-it had a different stylus on it that really had problems tracking the inner groove. The tone was always awesome, but distortion was a problem on the last song of just about every record. My ear is very sensitive to this type of distortion, and I had to find something else, and I believe I settled on either the Shure V-15 or the AT 440 ML, both of which had micro line contact stylus’.
Well, here we are today 2009, and I regularly check out the Benz line. I noticed that the newer Glider had the same stylus shape as the higher price Benz models. I figured that the tracking would be better than before, so I decided to give my friends up at Elusive Disc a call. They got the cartridge out that day, and it arrived the next day. The Cartridge went in without any problems. IMMEDIATELY I remembered the tonality of this cartridge. To my delight, there were no harsh highs, but a gigantic midrange and heart thumping bass response. The separation of this cartridge is also quite spectacular. I believe the spec is around 35 dB, but your ears need to be the judge of this, as there isn’t a spec for depth of presentation. Now, I have not heard some of Benz’ $10,000 Benz cartridges, but the sound stage is something to behold on this Glider. If you do A/B comparison’s of the identical LP against the same CD, the difference would be so incredibly obvious. I won’t get into mp3’s too much, but let me just say that I am downloading 16 bit .WAV songs to my iPOD now that were recorded off of my turntable, as the mp3’s just loose way too much (yes, even at 320k the ambience is gone).
My wife Trish who is deaf in one ear noticed the incredible tonality immediately, and made mention of how dead quiet it is in the groove between tracks, another huge benefit of the micro-line stylus, and probably the low output design.
The next test for me was the inner groove-distortion-tracking test, which is something that EVERY cartridge should pass in this day and age. I immediately went for Diana Krall’s best of LP. The last song on side one (Frim Fram Sauce) always distorts on some of the louder parts of that song. It also did this with the Glider, AT-150-MLX, V-15 etc. I’d always believed that there was/is a problem with this pressing ( I have 2 copies of this) and not the fault of the cartridge, and now I am convinced of it. It’s actually not cut that far toward the center of the record either. Regardless, on all other LP’s I have played, I have not heard any inner groove distortion to speak of.
Ok, I’m not great with all of the buzzwords, but I’ll do my best:
This cartridge is analytical but without being bright. I would think this is due in part to the silent background, and killer stylus. To me this means that the subtle detail of little things like piano tonality, and stand up bass slap are dead on in volume and presentation.
Bass response is over the top without being boomy. Standup bass slap detail is also something to behold. The frequency response card that comes with this cartridge seems to be right on with what I would expect.
The midrange is the best I have yet heard, and the vintage JBL’s don’t lie about this. They are 110 dB at 1 watt. If there is ANYTHING exaggerated, it WILL stick out like a sore thumb.
My final comment on this cartridge is TONE. I put on the DCC pressing of Van Halen’s 1st lp, and was just blown away by his guitar tone. Eddy called it the “brown sound”. I am quite familiar with what this is SUPPOSED to sound like, and it was right on the money. By the way, this cartridge is not even close to being broke in yet. I maybe have 10 hours on it, and it is very impressive now.
If I can make any recommendations, I want to say this:
Let your ears be your guide. There are some components that some people call “mid-fi garbage” that I call a bargain.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
eagertrader   AudioPhile [Dec 06, 2005]
Strength:

Low noise: almost none and in new or mint condition records none at all. It brings out the texture, tridimentionality and realistic feel of the original performance. Silky smooth presentation. Price/performance ratio especially when purchased pre-owned.

Weakness:

You better be careful when mounting, setting up, and handling the Glider, as there is no shield to protect the stilus.

I can't add much more to what has been already said by previous reviewers. I use my Glider on a Rega P5/RB700 and the musical presentation is superb. A world class bargain when purchased used and in good condition. The Glider brings your analog listening experience to a new level, to the point that you forget that you're listening to vynil, as it will beat many good cd players. Very revealing it craves for comparably good turntable, cables, amplification and speaker equipment in the same or above leagues.

Similar Products Used: Grado Black, Denon DL-60, Denon DL-160
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
robinliebrechts   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 14, 2004]
Strength:

Sound Tracking Looks

Weakness:

None for me

I bought the Glider m2 with medium output so that it integrated better with my Holfi Ellipse phonopreamp, higher output. I set the Holfi to 1000 ohms. This is recommended by critics. I use a transrotor Porcino turntable and the combination with Benz Glider M2 is excellent. With a good record the sound is dynamic, clean, detailed and attractive with an excellent midrange and pure highs and pounding lows if required. Tracking ability is also excellent. For me 875 euro's is a lot of money but the Glider m2 is certainly worth it. The break in period is quite long, about 100 hours. Robin

Similar Products Used: Benz Ace mc low output Rega Super elys mm
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Phil   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 13, 2002]
Strength:

Price performance

This cart is OK for the price. However, I would like to let everyone know, don't buy from Topclass in HK. Mr. Cheuk sold things higher price & inferior quality to new or look like poor customers.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Tommy   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 02, 2000]
Strength:

Sweet and musical.

Weakness:

Nothing that isn't ameliorated by the (relatively) moderate cost

Very nice cartridge. I've about 100 hours on it and the Glider seems to be hitting it's stride. Fresh out of the box it can sound both hard on top and loose on the bottom..
just give it the necessary run-in time.

I have the HO version and using it with VAC amplification and Joule Electra pre. I had read of the slightly laidback presentation, so dynamics were a concern with tubed gear. It turns out to not be a concern **in my system** due to the inherent dynamics of the VAC/Joule combination, which are incisive. A very lush system might prove too much of a good thing for the Benz...should be a great cartridge for a solid-state system also.

Plenty of detail, extension, etc. etc,...it makes music which can't be said of too many $750 components. A decent value considering what you'd spend to really whip it.

Similar Products Used: Grado, Audioquest
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Duane Barker   Audiophile [Jan 31, 2001]
Strength:

VERY natural midrange;excellent trackability;imaging and soundstage very nice;very low record noise

Weakness:

not the ultimate in dynamics or bass punch

I bought this cartridge used by placing an ad in rec.audio.marketplace.This cartridge is the .9 mv output model and supposedly had about 50 hours on it when I acquired it.I bought it to replace my Talisman Alchemist which had suffered a broken cantilever.
First off,the other reviewers who said that this cartridge has a great midrange and excellent trackability are correct.My own sample has a warm,palpable quality on vocals that equals or exceeds the Talsiman,but with less record noise (tics and pops).Compared to the Talisman,the Glider has slightly less air and is less dynamic;however,it out-tracks the Talisman and seems to image better.It is also a MUCH easier cartridge to align due to the square body.
Piano music is very realistic with this cartridge,as are vocals and most other instruments.The midrange is superb;the bass is clean but somewhat light;the treble has air and delicacy,if not the ultimate in airiness.Classical music is reproduced with excellent separation of instruments and symphonies are done with the large scale that they require.Imaging is first-rate and both depth and width are excellent.
I have to give this cartridge 4 stars because I can't swear that I've ever heard a better cartridge,but I'm sure there are better ones for more money.It isn't perfect,but it does more things well than any other cartridge I have owned and has fewer flaws.

Components

Turntable: Merrill modified AR EB-101
Tonearm: Morch UP-4 with yellow (medium heavy) arm
Preamp: MFA Magus A2 (1988 model) with 2 12AX7s and a low noise 12AT7 in the phono stage and 6DJ8 in the line stage
Amps: MFA M75 monoblock tube amps with GE 6550A output tubes
Speakers: PSB Stratus Gold biwired
Cables: Kimber interconnects between preamp and amps;stock tonearm cable with Morch arm;Aural Symphonics speaker cable on treble and midrange and Kimber 8TC on bass

Similar Products Used: Sumiko Talisman Alchemist IIB,Sumiko Blue Point,Shure v15vmr
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Richard   Audiophile [Sep 28, 2000]
Strength:

Gets the midrange essentially right.

Weakness:

Upper bass

For the money, a nice MC that is good in the mids. I load mine at 22k ohms but have experimented with loading from 100 ohms to 47K. With the proper VTA the top is extended and smooth. The deep bass is detailed and powerful. The upper bass falls off and then the cartridge seems to "come back" from the mid bass on down. Here lies it's weak point. None are perfect in this price range but this is surely a keeper if you must have a moving coil and $750 is your price range.

Similar Products Used: Over the years a bunch-Denons,Grados,Dynavectors,Fid.Research.....
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Paul Guy   an Audiophile [Jul 20, 1999]

For me this was a VERY expensive cartridge. Happily they were(and maybe still are) accepting your old cartridge as a credit for
several hundred dollars toward you new purchase.
This is a fussy cartridge to set up, and is very exposed and
fragile. It also has an extremely powerful magnet in it that
caused a few near mishaps that almost soiled my underwear. While
installing it on my steel workbench, the magnet in it made it
flip over and stick nose down on the bench, nearly crushing
the stylus. Another time while on the arm, it 'grabbed' a steel
straight edge that I was using to align its angle to the record
surface. Missed the needle by a few millimeters. Take the time
to adjust the overhang, vertical tracking angle (22 degrees),
sideways tilt (vertical within 1 degree), weight(2 gms),
skating, etc.
The effort is worth it (better to get a proffessional to install it).
I used to own a Grado Platinum Reference, but this cartridge has
a much cleaner sound, and the mid ranges and highs are considerable
easier on your ears. It tracks extremely well, if you have difficult
albums, 2.0 - 2.25 grams should do the trick. On a test record, it
tracks 80 um at 315 Hz without problems. At very high velocities the
music will start to sound dirty, but there is no catastrophic breakup
from mis-tracking. There is very little hum pickup, especially
compared to the Grado line of cartridges.
About a third of my albums I really hated listening because of
distortion. This cartridge makes just about all of those worth
listening to.
If I had to assign a character to the sound, I'd say that it is
a bit laid back, very smooth and doesn't bite! That character does
not overpower any music from your record, so you are getting much
closer to what's really in the grooves, without any ADDED artifacts.
It does not 'sanitize' the sound - if it's rough music, you'll get
just that.
If you own a lot of vinyl, and you'd really like to have those old
albums to compete with your CD's, this cartridge is a fine choice.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 16  

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