Benz LP Rebuild

Galibier Design - Benz LP Rebuild - SRA View

(click to enlarge)

We've received quite a few recommendations about Andy Kim's cartridge rebuild service, and we had the opportunity to evaluate his rebuild of a good customer's original Benz LP.

The short story is, that this is the cartridge Benz should have built.

In our opinion, Benz "softened" the sound of their cartridges slightly, to play "nice" with less than ideal systems or suboptimal setups.

We always felt that Benz left just a bit on the table (pun intended) for a cartridge with such high aspirations (and price).

Benz is not alone in this regard.  I have a similar frustration with several highly regarded brands - builders who have a loyal following (dare I say a rabid one?).

Galibier Design - Benz LP Rebuild - SRA View

(click to elnarge)

Galibier Design - Jelco Arm with Counterweight Upgrade

Modified Jelco

Our Kuzma tonearms were otherwise occupied, and we pressed our trusty, hot rod Jelco into service to take this cartridge for a test spin.

The Jelco's effective mass is in the 12-13 gram range, and our experience with stock Benz suspensions is that they can be a bit sluggish (bloated) sounding in the bass frequencies with arms in this mass range.  

In general, they seem to benefit from tonearms in the 10-11 gram range.  Two exceptions are the Kuzma 4Point-9 and Schröder CB (both with effective mass in the 13 g. range).

Note that I have not played extensively with the "S" version of the LP, which is an apparent exception, but several other wood bodied Benzes exhibited this sensitivity to tonearm mass.

Well, this Jelco/Benz combination is an ideal match, for this modified Jelco.

Note that we've reserved our limited stock of SA-250 tonearms for turntable packages, but the arm stub/counterweight modification kit is available for purchase.

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Taming the Schröder


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