BENZ MICRO LP S
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The latest LP S ($5,000 MSRP) incorporates a higher mass brass frame for improved coupling to tonearms, evolved ruby square plate generator and Ebony body. Brass, an alloy of copper and tin, complements Ebony, materials used for building musical instruments. The LP S has 50% more mass than the previous model for enhanced vibrational and resonant characteristics, thus revealing greater dynamic contrasts, deeper bass and increased resolution from all records. The latest LP S Class was the first Benz to use the new MicroRidge stylus, now found on all Benz Swiss-made cartridges.
Here is an excerpt form the latest phono cartridge survey from Harry Pearson of The Absolute Sound:
“I don’t think we yet have developed the language to capture what the Benz itself does, and, believe me, I have been wrestling, mentally, to find a way to see (hear?) if I can convey a sense of what makes it so special.
The Benz captures every sound, and does so with any particular emphasis on “presence” or aliveness (as we have described those characteristics in this essay). The longer you listen to the cartridge—and the more it warms up—the more revealing it becomes in the sense of warmly inviting you in to listen more deeply to the textures, harmonics, and little subtleties that make up the basic foundations of the music itself.
Everything you hear reproduced by the LP S-MR is translucent. Whatever it is that keeps you, the listener, on the outside looking in, vanishes here, to be replaced by a kind of intimate relation with the music—not “intimate” either in any erotic or gushy sense, but rather the kind of intimacy you might strike up with a vintage wine, perfectly aged.”
Here is a post from Jonathan Valin of The Absolute Sound from AV Guide:
2005 The Absolute Sound Golden Ear & Editor's Choice Award Winner!
The LP S Class incorporates a higher mass brass frame for improved coupling to tonearms, evolved ruby square plate generator and Ebony body. Brass, an alloy of copper and tin, complements Ebony materials used for building musical instruments. The LP S Class has 50% more mass than the previous model for enhanced vibrational and resonant characteristics, thus revealing greater dynamic contrasts, deeper bass and increased resolution from all records.
"The LP S met or exceeded my sonic expectations... the LP S never sounded too polite of constrained for rock. However, if you mostly listen to classical and/or jazz, the Benz-Micro LP S will give you lush yet realistic and well-balanced orchestral timbres, with believable string tones and profoundly well-developed instrumental textures. Brass glowed, and the string sound was a brilliant balance of grit, sheen, and woody warmth." - Michael Fremer, Stereophile Magazine, December 2009
Introducing the Benz Micro S Class! The S Class furthers the performance, selection and value of the Benz Micro line. The continued evolution of the Benz cartridge line and the culmination of years of research and manufacturing refinements, the S Class incorporates new materials, advancements in moving coil and suspension design, and upgraded styli on the Benz Swiss hand-made moving coils.
Albert Lukaschek began researching increased performance and uniformity of his crosscoil designs while developing the Benz Ebony H, L and TR models. Experimenting with the length of the solid Boron cantilever revealed how the elasticity of this very stiff material contributed to compliance and trackability. Development of a grooved rear pole piece for countersinking the o-ring damper, first introduced on the Benz Ruby square plate cartridges, was then adapted to the cross coil designs, given their lower contact area and damping characteristics. The lower mass coils and matched cantilevers of the new S Class retain their real world output levels and with their improved styli, offer higher performance.
All models of Benz Cartridges feature the new improved pole pieces featuring a machined insert for the damper O-ring resulting in greater mechanical linearity of the suspension. Benz cartridges also feature the Gyger S stylus precision bonded at the Benz factory to a 5.5mm solid boron cantilever.
Music lovers are getting the best performance/value ratio in phono cartridges, regardless of output level. Benz offers industry leading programs in upgrading previous Benz models to the new S Class.
The MC LP Ebony Wood S Class is Benz Micro's flagship cartridge. The Benz Micro MC LP Wood S Class, True to its name, the LP is designed to be a "Long Player" with the Benz cost-effective re-tipping service. It also means "Limited Production" due to the scarcity of aged Ebony wood available to machine the outer wood body of the cartridge.
The MC LP Ebony Wood S Class is also named in recognition of Luis Pires, the Portuguese Benz distributor. Luis, born in Africa and trained as a Mechanical Engineer, has been instrumental in sourcing aged Ebony wood from Mozambique for the cartridge's outer shell. In addition, he has worked closely with Albert Lukaschek of Benz and Garth Leerer of Musical Surroundings regarding refinements to the cartridge's design.
Body: Vented machined Ebony Wood
Cantilever: Solid Boron Rod: 0.28mm diameter
Stylus: Nude line-contact diamond, mirror polished
Stylus Tip Radius: 5x120 um
VTA: 20 degrees
Coil: Square Ruby Jewel Plate
Weight: 10.7 grams
Output Voltage: 0.34mV at 3.54cm/s
Internal Impedance: 38ohms
Frequency Response: 10-50,000 Hz +/- 1dB
Channel Balance: Better Than 0.5dB
Channel Separation: Better Than 35dB at 1 kHz
Tracking Ability at 315 Hz at a Tracking Force of 2 grams: 80um
Dynamic Compliance: 15 um/mN
Recommended Loading: 500-47,000 ohms
Recommended Tracking Force: 1.8-2.2 grams
Optimum Tracking Force: 1.8-2.0 grams
Recommended Tonearm Mass: Medium to HIgh
Optimum Working Temperature: 23 Degrees Celsius
Break-In Period: 40 Hours
2 Years Manufacturing Defects
"The Benz [LP] captures every sound, and does so without any particular emphasis on "presence" or aliveness... The longer you listen to the cartridge - and the more it warms up - the more revealing it becomes in the sense of warmly inviting you in to listen more deeply to the textures, harmonics, and little subtleties that make up the basic foundations of the music itself." - Harry Pearson, The Absolute Sound, October 2010, Issue 206
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