August 2, 2009

Benz Micro Glider L2.

This is an old post of ours in the blog we previously contributed to.

Don't you love the nude body? I very much do!

I got this at the very last day of 2008, post titled "My Last Hurrah! For 2008" dated 31st December 2008. Yes folks, that's what holidays does to you! Make you splurge!


Like I said, I've always wanted an LP playing cartridge with a nude body design. I've found it in the rather affordable Benz Micro Glider L2. Not exactly a new model as it's been around for quite a few years by now. But my hifi choices are more about the tried and tested, and possibly leaning to more well documented products, owning to my rather conservative nature.

Tha package. Note the serial no. 21041, any folks here like to buy Toto or Magnum 4D?


As most vinyl junkies would be aware, cartridges require a fair bit of time to break in. In the mean time, the sound is inconsistent at best, and can be unbearable at times. Laws of physics, and nothing much we can do about it except to keep playing them until a point where the sound stabilizes and you'll know that's as good as it gets. My Benz Micro Glider have now broken past the 50 hours required breaking time. The sound seems to have stabilised and have consistency to it with every play.


The Glider L2 mounted to the head shell of the Rega RB600, set to run at 2 grams tracking force, and bias slider set to just half way below 1 marking, mated to my Rega P25, which has standard vdH supplied tone arm wiring terminated with Neutrik RCA, with the signal feeding a DIY Pass Ono clone phono stage with XLR balanced out put. The signal in the phono stage is loaded with a 200 ohm resistor and phono gain set to 66db, before passing it down to my Pass X2.5 pre amp and Pass Aleph 0 mono blocks feeding my Audio Physic Spark speakers.

Tracking beautifully.


The sound this system reproduces with the Benz Micro in front is smooth, grain free and very liquid. The "light weighted" signature sound of the Rega is still noticeable though, but with much more refinement, transparency and extension, compared to my previous cartridge, which is the Benz Micro MC Gold. However, the Glider L2 at RM$2.4K cost 3 times the price of the MC Gold, it self a very good and high value for money starter MC cartridge for beginners or budget vinyl junkies. From here on the law of diminishing returns really starts to set in and feels it too.


Stepping up from the MC Gold cartridge, the tonal balance of the system has never shifted, and remains very neutral, with a touch of warmness. The mids of the Glider L2 is very much more open due to it's nude body design, advantage having less body resonance to deal with. The Glider L2 tracks very well, and so far, so one extremely warped LP in my collection manages to upset it.

Another look at the nude body!


The staging and imaging aspect is superior in every way when compared to the less expensive MC Gold, where the imaging is flat and staging is clearly lacking in depth.


However, I just found out the torque driver tweak(mentioned numerous times in various postings on this blog) apparently works best on the cartridge mounting screws to the head shell of the tone arm. After re-torque ing the head shell screws with 3.2kg setting on the torque driver, the sound took on a certain free-ness to it. Whilst I did not detect a certain tenseness in the sound prior to re-torque ing the two cartridge mounted head shell screws, post torque listening exhibits that certain free-ness(or naturalness, perhaps?) to the sound. I whole heartily recommend everyone with a vinyl rig to mount their cartridges using a torque driver!, to get the best out of their vinyl play back. I last heard that Adrian of Audio Image bought a torque driver set, so if you're buying a cartridge from him, make sure you ask him to mount it for you using the torque driver.


Adrian says I shouldn't spend anymore cartridge upgrades to my Rega as I've more than crossed the point of diminishing returns with this Benz Micro Glider L2. See, we really need the advise of a good dealer! Don't we?


Benz Micro is sold by Audio Image. Tel: 03 79563077.

1 comment:

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