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Author Topic: Benz Wood Cart  (Read 946 times)

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Offline nickgregory

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Benz Wood Cart
« on: April 17, 2016, 04:26:40 PM »
Got a ridiculous price on a low hours unit used for demos...thoughts on sound to come...


Offline nickgregory

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Re: Benz Wood Cart
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2016, 08:26:22 PM »
ok, spent a few hours listening...this cart replaced my benz gold.  Obviously this is my first wood cart...soundwise, I am hearing more...if that makes any sense.  On the Allison Kraus live album I heard a vibration of a bass string...a scrape up the fretboard...stuff I never heard before.  It also delivers a defined bass punch that is very different than its predecessor.   Really happy with this purchase...

Offline raymonda

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Re: Benz Wood Cart
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2016, 02:14:53 PM »
I have the M.09, which is very similar, albeit, medium output. Much of your sound will be dependent on the ability of your phono amp to match it's needs. Once that has been settled you will rewarded with sound that, as you are already experiencing, will give you a greater sense of what is in your grooves. So, yes, your resolution will increase. Once you get past this change you will then be able to focus on its strengths and weaknesses. IMO, it has a punchy upper bass, nice high end and a midrange that has a bit of a spotlight on vocals. It is a good all round performer, should serve you well and give you years of enjoyment. It will also let you know how things are working down stream and provide a baseline for future down stream upgrades.

The stylus will last between 1200-1500 hours and may even reach 2000 before retipping. The good news is that when it needs retipping send it in to Soundsmith and get the ruby cantilever upgrade. This will elevate your cartridge to another level. And, IMO, be hard to beat at any price level. The difference being that the organic dial will be turned up two notches. It will also help with, what at times, seems like too much midrange bloom.

Anyway, stock or hot rodded, it is a great cartridge and hard to beat. However, in full disclosure, I'm a big Benz fan!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 02:23:06 PM by raymonda »

Offline raymonda

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Re: Benz Wood Cart
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2016, 02:31:58 PM »
BTW, this cartridge rates in at around 75 of the top 1000 cartridges ever made, if that means anything. So it is in the 92 percentile. I would add that the Soundsmith upgrade pushes it up to, and past the 95 percentile. If my memory serves me correct, your Gold is somewhere around 350.

The Gold and Silver are nice budget performers but remember that these are cartridges that are subcontracted out to a Asian manufacture and are not handmade by Benz. FWIW, Benz bought out Empire back in the late 70's, which then was bought out by  Lukaschek in the mid 90's. The hand off from Benz to Lukaschek was seemless and the basic design has remained intact. Which is a very good thing!

Offline nickgregory

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Re: Benz Wood Cart
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2016, 03:28:10 PM »
Appreciate the input Ray.  What pre are you using with your cart?  I am using a phonomea ii and I know that is my weak link at this point so I am currently looking at upgrading in the musical surroundings line...

Good to hear that soundsmith retips them...I knew that benz had stopped so good to have the option..and to get an upgrade to boot is gold.

I need to do more listening, but the biggest feeling I got yesterday is how relaxed the presentation was...without it in your face, but with significant detail...if that makes any sense....

Offline raymonda

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Re: Benz Wood Cart
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2016, 05:51:12 PM »
The baron cantilever as well as the low number of coil windings sets your cartridge up for some sweet results.

I use an Acoustech ph1. It is basically a Sutherland preamp. I have an op amp upgrade that Ron recommended and that gives great results.

Offline nickgregory

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Re: Benz Wood Cart
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2016, 11:32:03 AM »
Nice pre from what I can find on the web about it...I am currently talking to my audio guy now about what he has access to for me to run some tests in the home....the scary thing is once I upgrade the pre, then I think the next logical point will be to look at my speakers (currently VR-2s)...endless cycle...but loving the results I have gotten so far.

Online kindms

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Re: Benz Wood Cart
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2016, 02:17:41 PM »
Nice pre from what I can find on the web about it...I am currently talking to my audio guy now about what he has access to for me to run some tests in the home....the scary thing is once I upgrade the pre, then I think the next logical point will be to look at my speakers (currently VR-2s)...endless cycle...but loving the results I have gotten so far.

Nick what color are your VR2s ? Just in case you decide to move away from them  ;D (have black ones now)
AKG414 XLS/ST> TCM-Mod Tascam HDP2
Musichall Mambo > VR-2's

Offline nickgregory

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Re: Benz Wood Cart
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2016, 09:55:31 AM »
African hazelwood.  though if I end up moving away from them I have a local buddy who will likely get dibs...

 

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