Don't you love the nude body? I very much do!

I got this at the very last day of 2008, post titled "My Last Hurrah! For 2008" dated 31st December 2008. Yes folks, that's what holidays does to you! Make you splurge!

Like I said, I've always wanted an LP playing cartridge with a nude body design. I've found it in the rather affordable Benz Micro Glider L2. Not exactly a new model as it's been around for quite a few years by now. But my hifi choices are more about the tried and tested, and possibly leaning to more well documented products, owning to my rather conservative nature.

Tha package. Note the serial no. 21041, any folks here like to buy Toto or Magnum 4D?

As most vinyl junkies would be aware, cartridges require a fair bit of time to break in. In the mean time, the sound is inconsistent at best, and can be unbearable at times. Laws of physics, and nothing much we can do about it except to keep playing them until a point where the sound stabilizes and you'll know that's as good as it gets. My Benz Micro Glider have now broken past the 50 hours required breaking time. The sound seems to have stabilised and have consistency to it with every play.

The Glider L2 mounted to the head shell of the Rega RB600, set to run at 2 grams tracking force, and bias slider set to just half way below 1 marking, mated to my Rega P25, which has standard vdH supplied tone arm wiring terminated with Neutrik RCA, with the signal feeding a DIY Pass Ono clone phono stage with XLR balanced out put. The signal in the phono stage is loaded with a 200 ohm resistor and phono gain set to 66db, before passing it down to my Pass X2.5 pre amp and Pass Aleph 0 mono blocks feeding my Audio Physic Spark speakers.

Tracking beautifully.

The sound this system reproduces with the Benz Micro in front is smooth, grain free and very liquid. The "light weighted" signature sound of the Rega is still noticeable though, but with much more refinement, transparency and extension, compared to my previous cartridge, which is the Benz Micro MC Gold. However, the Glider L2 at RM$2.4K cost 3 times the price of the MC Gold, it self a very good and high value for money starter MC cartridge for beginners or budget vinyl junkies. From here on the law of diminishing returns really starts to set in and feels it too.

Stepping up from the MC Gold cartridge, the tonal balance of the system has never shifted, and remains very neutral, with a touch of warmness. The mids of the Glider L2 is very much more open due to it's nude body design, advantage having less body resonance to deal with. The Glider L2 tracks very well, and so far, so one extremely warped LP in my collection manages to upset it.

Another look at the nude body!

The staging and imaging aspect is superior in every way when compared to the less expensive MC Gold, where the imaging is flat and staging is clearly lacking in depth.

However, I just found out the torque driver tweak(mentioned numerous times in various postings on this blog) apparently works best on the cartridge mounting screws to the head shell of the tone arm. After re-torque ing the head shell screws with 3.2kg setting on the torque driver, the sound took on a certain free-ness to it. Whilst I did not detect a certain tenseness in the sound prior to re-torque ing the two cartridge mounted head shell screws, post torque listening exhibits that certain free-ness(or naturalness, perhaps?) to the sound. I whole heartily recommend everyone with a vinyl rig to mount their cartridges using a torque driver!, to get the best out of their vinyl play back. I last heard that Adrian of Audio Image bought a torque driver set, so if you're buying a cartridge from him, make sure you ask him to mount it for you using the torque driver.

Adrian says I shouldn't spend anymore cartridge upgrades to my Rega as I've more than crossed the point of diminishing returns with this Benz Micro Glider L2. See, we really need the advise of a good dealer! Don't we?

Benz Micro is sold by Audio Image. Tel: 03 79563077.


GCK said...

Panzer, what you should do next is upgrade your Rega to a Clearaudio TT. Then, the Benz Micro would fit in nicely. Now your bottleneck is the Rega,IMHO.

Ken said...


Do you think that it is safe to torque yr cartridge at such a high tightness of 3.2?

Have you tried a lower torque tightness? What is the difference between lower torque and higher torquing point?

Panzer said...


I know the Rega P25 is a light weight turn table, but certainly still can carry off the Benz Micro Glider for now. However, I am actually open for a turn table upgrade in the future. Let's see how it goes.


Firstly, thank you for sharing your torque experience with us. It is certainly much valued, I am sure.

As for the torque thightness, I'll tell you that 3.2 is actually a lot lower than before(which was hand thighten by Adrian), and is probably way above 4.0. I did try 4.0, 3.5 and 3.0 but end up prefering 3.2 on my set up. The higher torque setting gave a thighter sound, however, the lower torque setting tend to free up the sound some what. At 3.0 the sound became too loose, somewhat un focus and bass notes became bloated. At 3.5 or higher setting, while the sound imaging became more focused, with higher extension, it also came with a sense of tenseness. So the 3.2 setting was the best compromise between image focus and the overall naturalness in presentation. While 3.2 is my prefered setting for now. It's not the only setting I would recomend, but instead, it would be best to try a few settings and determine the best one for oneself, as each table, arm and cartridge combo will result in diferent setting to be considered optimsed.

Thanks again.

Y.C. said...


Getting a new turntable will be fun, no doubt. If you are a great fan of Rega's signature sound where you tend to bring out the air guitar and your toes start tapping along with the rhythm flow of music most of time, other turntables will be a compromise in this regard although they may project a more 3 dimensional sound stage, possess a much more expressive midrange or have better bass weight and whatnot.

There are some 3rd-party upgrade items available in the market although not locally here like tonearm weights, acrylic platters and precision-finished-alloy-sub-platters which will raise your enjoyment of Rega turntables a few notches higher. I've fitted a Michell Tecnoweight and acrylic platter to my P5 and been enjoying every minute of it. Read more at:

Panzer said...


Exactly, the Rega sound sugnature, characterised by foot tapping, air guitar play inducing, rythmic flow is what I enjoy most. In fact, the P9 was once my dream turntable.

However, the Linn LP12 must be doing something right as it's been around for so long, yet still loved by so many musicphiles.

Thanks for the tips to make the Rega a better table.

Panzer said...


A mighty fine blog you've got there.