Benz micro glider cartridge loading advice needed.

Hello! I hope you are all doing well!

I just purchased a new phono pre amp.

I have an older Benz micro glider moving coil cart with 1.1 mv output.

The pre amp has gain of 45db (mm) up to 65bd (mc).

Load settings for moving coil are: 10, 22, 47, 100, 220,  470, 1k, 22k, 47k.

I know that I should listen for myself to determine the best setting. But can someone with more experience than myself give me a range within which to start based on having used gliders in their systems?


Thanks !


I have an early Glider, it was my first higher-end cartridge.  You should use the MC gain setting or things will be pretty quiet, if you like to listen at volume.  Benz cartridges work best with the higher load settings.  I would suggest trying 22k at first.  IIRC the Benz phono stage is fixed at about that setting.  Of course you may prefer something else but it's a place to start.



Please note that when you switch your SFP1 to MC it inverts phase.

You will need to invert the cartridge connections plus to minus and vice versa on each channel.

Personally I would try 47k and work your way down. I have run this cartridge into 47k with excellent results.


@wbs ​​@lewm ​​@dover 

Thank you very much for your replies. You guys gave me all of the info that I will need.

@dover You saved me, BIG TIME. I totally forgot that the SFP1 required inverting phase on MC carts (which I always found confusing). I would have driven myself crazy trying to figure out why things would have sounded a bit flat and dull. You saved me from lots of stress. 

Thank you for being so astute as to catch that.


Enjoy the weekend everyone.



In my systems, absolute phase makes no audible difference. But that’s a different discussion. 

If you have or had the low output version then 100-200 ohms might suffice, because it would have lower inductance than any HOMC cartridge. But the OP has a high output version.

@lewm  thanks for checking in again. This whole phase issue is confusing to me. You had mentioned that it didn't make any audible difference. I have to be honest that I have not had any experience with hearing it in my system while out of phase.. But I'm still shaking my head as to why Sonic Frontiers requires inverting it for mc carts, which is the preamp prior to my new one. Will have to say though: the SFP1 modified at parts conexion sounds fabulous. The only problem is if you want to change carts you have to take off the hood and do calisthenics to set loading values. Modified vintage is great, but give me dials on the front panel, please.😊

Best regards 

Some gain stage topologies just naturally invert phase. Some don’t. You can judge for yourself by experiment in your own system whether that makes a difference to your listening pleasure.

If you have no “phase” switch on your preamp, then just reverse the speaker wires on BOTH speakers. Thus both speakers remain in phase with each other, which is vitally important for stereo imaging.

I should have added that, for those who can hear differences in absolute phase, the optimal phase might be different for each LP, or even for different tracks on the same LP.This is why I’m grateful that with my dipolar ESLs, absolute phase makes no audible difference either to me or to others who are younger and have better hearing.


I should have added that, for those who can hear differences in absolute phase,

You should be so lucky.

Unfortunately I hear inverted absolute phase even in foreign systems. David Fletcher of Sumiko the same.

Sadly there are many records where instruments/vocals are out of phase relative to each other - eg you can have clean vocals with fuzzy sax or  vice versa.

Can be annoying.

ESL's are less pronounced than cone speakers.



Your last bit about instruments vs vocals being out of phase with each other in a given track is something I didn’t dare mention for fear of scaring the OP. A good reason to just pick a polarity and live with it unless one has a preamp with a phase switch that permits convenience in choosing absolute phase per each recording.

Years ago I ran a blind test of my wife, my then teenage son, and a friend, using the phase switch on my Atmasphere MP1 and listening to my full range Sound Lab ESLs. I stood behind them, out of their fields of view, and flipped the phase switch on several recordings. Neither they nor I could hear any effect.

Not to hijack this fine thread... I wish someone could, in a new thread explain why in the heck phase inversion is used in the first place.  I have a system full of CJ equipment and it gets confusing about weather to flip the speaker wires or not..

@quincy No hijack at all. I totally agree with you about this whole phase inversion issue. Color coded wires on the carts are there for a reason and are universal. So, if a manufacturer needs to invert it for some reason, why don't they just insert a toggle switch internally? Would be a heck of a lot easier than to have to deal with tweezers and changing the wires. And I don't know about you, but if you look at my virtual system, it is not so easy to change the polarity of my speaker wires. Maybe someone can tell us why the phase inversion is necessary at the cart. 


@judsauce @quincy 

Absolute phase.

Think of it this way - 

If you have cone speakers and absolute phase is correct the drivers first inpetus is to push out and then back as the signal is applied.

If the absolute phase is reversed the cones first inpetus is to suck in instead of out when the first signal is applied.

When the absolute phase is correct with cone speakers I generally hear a more natural sound, when it is wrong I generally hear a slightly flattened soundstage, and at worst slight compression in the mids.

With electrostatics such as @lewm runs, his speakers, unlike most  cone speakers, are pushing sound both frontwards and backwards so the effect is less apparent.

The problem with Conrad preamps is that most of them invert absolute phase in the line stage, so you simply reverse the + and - connections at the speaker.

However if you have a phono stage that inverts phase ( and the line stage does not ) then you can't reverse the + and - at the speaker because the CD or digital will then be out of absolute phase. In this case the best solution is to reverse the + and - connections on the cartridge for each channel.






Here’s a way to think of it. No one is “using” phase inversion. It’s simply a fact that some gain topologies invert the phase of the incoming signal, and some don’t. Designers choose a gain topology based on their personal beliefs about how to realize maximum gain, linearity, bandwidth, etc, with lowest distortion, regardless of how their choices affect the phase of the amplified output signal with respect to the input signal that must be amplified (and for phono, which must be RIAA filtered in the process). Then they inform the end user that the circuit “inverts phase”. That means input vs output. I personally think it’s a tempest in a teapot for most of us. If you’re as sensitive to absolute phase as Dover, there’s a 50-50 chance you’ll prefer the phase inverted output to a non-inverted signal, for a given track on a given LP. Because the phase characteristics of recorded material are all over the place. But if you want to worry, I’d look for a preamp or phono stage with a “phase” switch, unless you enjoy crawling on the floor to swap speaker wires or, god forbid, swapping cartridge connections for every track.

@dover ​​​


Thank you both for extremely informative and well written posts. It totally shines a light on a subject I knew very little about. I'm going to have to normal up the leads on my cart for my new phono preamp. I don't look forward to it. I first inverted the leads years ago for my SFP1 preamp, but I did it before I set up the cartridge for the table. This time I'm going to swap and normal up the leads while the cart is still on the arm. Wish me luck! 🙄


Thanks again 

If you read my last post carefully, you will see that on of my points is that although you may swap speaker leads, etc, to create a situation where the phase of the output signal from your preamplifier is the same as the phase of the input, that alone is no guarantee that you have "solved" the issue for once and for all. This is a consequence of the variability of recordings with respect to phase, which is to say (again) that for some recordings, reversing the phase of the input signal is may be preferred, for those who can hear any difference in the first place. The first thing you might want to do is to experiment back and forth with a single recording to establish whether phase makes any audible difference to you in your system in your room. (The listening room probably also plays a role in how easily one can discern an effect of changing absolute phase.)



Thanks for the extended explanation!

At the end of the day it's the call of the designers of the particular equipment!