The famous Benz Micro Glider features the Benz MicroRidge stylus and is available in three outputs: SL (Low), SM (Medium), SH (High).
Its open air design, medium compliance and 6.8 grams weight make it ideal on a very wide range of tonearms, one of the many reasons for its incredible success.
The SL is .4mV at 3.54cm/sec with a coil impedance of 12 ohms, perfectly suited for MC phono stages with 60dB or higher gain.
The SM is .8mV and 24 ohms, designed for less efficient systems and tube phono stages with gain between 45 – 58dB.
The SH (2.5mV at 3.54cm/sec) is among the best high output moving coils ever made, ideal for MM type phono stages, low gain tube phono stages and AV systems. 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.
Neil Gader in The Absolute Sound writes about the Glider SM, the 2009 Affordable Phono Cartridge of the Year:
“It’s not just the superlative tonal balance and unstoppable trackability of the medium output (0.8mV) Glider SM that allows it to cop the Affordable Phono Cartridge of the Year honors, there’s also the Glider’s addictive inner detail and reassuring dash of warmth and pure lusciousness in the lower mids and bass. Don’t forget a presence and a treble range that are enriched with air and harmonic delicacy but steer completely clear of the dreaded etch and dryness of many mc’s, past and present. For those searching for the business end of a playback system that’s as musically expressive as it is honest, the Glider will set any system soaring.”
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Great value for money - this replaced a tired Ortofon Kontrapunkt a in my SME 309/Gyrodec and it's lifted the overall SQ of my system quite considerably.
The bass is more articulate and the treble sweeter right off the bat compared to the Ortofon and the Denon 304 that was doing back-up duty. Soundstaging is very wide.
I would say that overall the character is neutral but very musical - it will get your toes tapping.
Other cartridges I considered when making this purchase were the Lyra Delos, Dynavector xx-2 II, Shelter 501 and Phasemation pp300. I wasn't able to audition them so had to jump in on the Benz based on reviews and recommendations.
Thanks to Cameron for helping with the set-up!