Benz Micro Ruby SLR/SHR Gullwing MC Cartridge

Benz Micro Ruby SLR/SHR Gullwing MC Cartridge


The Gullwing is a hybrid of the LP S class, Ruby and Glider cartridges.

TAS Recommended component

The Gullwing models include the SLR (S Class, L for low output (.35mV at 3.54cm/sec), and R for Ruby) and SHR “higher output” version (.7mV at 3.54cm/sec). Gullwing is Benz Micro’s homage to the Benz Glider symbol and the classic Mercedes Benz 300SL.
At first glance, it resembles the famous Glider, but the new Gullwing is derived from the highly regarded Benz Ruby and the new LP S. The Gullwing is the only Benz cartridge other then the LP S with a frame machined from solid brass. The Gullwing frame is Rhodium plated for enhanced electrical characteristics and as further homage to the silver 300SL. The generator uses the square Ruby plate and oversized neodymium magnet similar to the Benz LP and Ruby. The SLR low output is best used with phono stages offering greater than 60dB gain, loaded at 400 ohms or higher. The SHR at .7mV is ideal for tube phono stages in the 50-60dB gain range, less efficient systems, and prefers a 47kohm load.
The Gullwing open air design is based on the Benz Glider, but is almost twice the weight due to the much heavier brass material and the very large Neodymium magnet. This is the most powerful magnet used in any moving coil design and can only be used with the non-ferrous Ruby square plate generator as an iron coil cartridge would be overloaded by the intense magnetic field. The Rhodium plated brass frame and mega-magnet gives the Gullwing a 12.2 grams weight vs. 6.8 grams for the Glider. When designed in 1993, the Glider’s weight was based on use for a very wide range of tonearms, one of the many reasons for its incredible success. The Gullwing is designed for today’s best tonearms, those with advanced energy control (sophisticated bearings and damping) and that can handle a high mass cartridge. The Gullwing uses the new MicroRidge stylus, now found on all Benz Swiss-made cartridges.

How does it sound? Wayne Garcia in The Absolute Sound writes:
“…a stunning-sounding moving-coil cartridge…the SLR (“L” for low-output, “R” for ruby) again illustrates that we are currently witnessing a leap forward for cartridge performance…this is one sweet cartridge, as you’ll hear from the moment it touches down into your favorite grooves. One area is transparency. There is simply a lessened sensation of something—meaning layers of electro-mechanical fingerprints—between you and the music than you get from even excellent if somewhat less transparent models. So when Sinatra and company hit the downbeat, it’s as if the music somehow magically materializes out of the air in your room, as opposed to the air generated by all the gear sitting in it. That may be a long-winded of saying that it sounds immediate, more real, and more produced than reproduced…”

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