The latest LP S 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:
“First, yes, there has been a changeover with the LP S. Benz has gone to a micro-ridge stylus (thus the “MR”). Second, so far I think the Benz LP S-MR is one of the two or three best cartridges I’ve had in my system. It is outstanding. Third, I think the Benz sounds best loaded either at 500 or 1000 ohms (at least, via the ARC Ref Phono 2). And finally, there is something “musically right” about the LP S-MR (and about the Da Vinci Grand Reference Grandezza, which is a lower-output, reduced-coil-winding, iron-magnet version of the same basic cartridge). These two cartridges sound, to my ear, more like the real thing because they lower the sound of the mechanical thing--in other words, they get out of the way of the signal more completely. HP will also have some (very favourable) words about the Benz LP S-MR in our upcoming analogue issue.”
From the 6 Moons January 2011 review click here to read it:
In general terms, if the Benz LP-S is any indication of a new performance standard then I think we may have entered a new golden age in moving coil cartridge performance. In my tenure at 6moons, I have developed a bit of a reputation as being harder to please than some of my colleagues. That may be true but when I come across a really great product and proclaim it so, I would suggest you can take it to the bank. In short, this cartridge paints a vivid and complex tapestry of sound that is so beguiling and exciting to be truly addictive. Every morning I came downstairs wondering what I was going to play first. The Benz LP-S cartridge was such a revelation that I cannot resist buying one. While this will be the most expensive cartridge I ever purchased ($5,000.00) A Blue Moon Award is definitely in order.
Benz LP-S Specifications
Body: Vented machined Ebony wood
Cantilever: Solid boron rod 0.28mm diameter
Stylus: Nude line-contact diamond, mirror polished
Stylus tip radius: 5 x 120mm
Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA): 20°
Coil: Square ruby jewel plate
Weight: 16.4 grams
Output voltage: 0.34 mV at 3.54 cm/s
Internal Impedance: 38 ohms
Frequency response: 10 – 50,000 Hz ± 1dB
Channel balance: Better than 0.5dB
Channel separation: Better than 35dB at 1kHz Dynamic
Tracking ability at 315Hz at a tracking force of 2 grams: 80mm
Dynamic compliance: 15 mm/mN
Recommended loading: 500 – 47,000ohms
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°C
Break-in period: 40 hours
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