Benz Micro Cartridges

Benz cartridges are a staple among music-loving audiophiles everywhere.

Ernst Benz was an engineer working and developing delicate instrumentation (such as accelerometers) for CalTech in the '60's, and later managed an industrial jewel company in Switzerland manufacturing timepiece and industrial jewels as well as sapphire phonograph needles. He formed his own company in the early '70's, with the desire to produce a superior diamond phonograph stylus. To further facilitate this, he developed a high temperature vacuum furnace for bonding diamond to sapphire (for which he was awarded a patent). Throughout the '70's, Benz Micro became one of the largest suppliers of diamond styli in the world, providing support for such companies as Ortofon, Philips, Pickering, ADC, Audio Technica, and Empire (which was later acquired by Benz).

In the '80's, Benz utilized his knowledge and specialized manufacturing skills in developing a series of extremely high quality moving coil cartridges. The introduction of the Benz Micro MC-3 in 1985 was pivotal for the company, as this cartridge was immediately recognized as one of the finest cartridges of its time. Benz then focused his energies on resonance control, the result being the Bruyere-wood bodied Benz Reference introduced in 1990 (now in "S" series as seen at right). Further investigation into non-ferrous moving coil formers lead to the design of the Benz Ruby (top left, now in its 3 incarnation), with a resolution and tonal richness and musicality that's rarely been equaled. Following this success, a series of lower-cost, wooden-bodied moving coil cartridges were produced, the Wood Body L2, M2, and the H2, each with specific outputs to match different phono sections, and all excellent in their price range.
The Benz Glider, (on the left), introduced 15 years ago, broke new ground in terms of performance for an under-$1K moving coil cartridge, and has become the benchmark standard at that pricepoint. It, too, is available (now in "S" configuration) in three different outputs to match the appropriate phono stage. On the right is the Benz Ebony Wood, (.35mV), a superb cartridge by any criteria. (There is also a high output version, called the Ebony H, at 2.5mV).
For those of you on a tight budget, Benz still produces the excellent MC Gold and MC Silver (left) at .5mV and 2.0mV, respectively. These are great for budget turntable combos and for folks who "just want to listen to my albums and not spend an arm and a leg". You know who you are...

As always, call us at 707-575-8626 for recommendations and pricing (including trade-ins!).

Home / Who We Are / Contact Info / News / Equipment / Accessories / Newsletter Articles