Press Release November 2014
|Benz Micro Switzerland celebrates 20 years under the leadership of Albert Lukaschek and announces a new focus on their upper end Swiss hand-made phono cartridges. Due to the changes in both the workplace and marketplace, Albert has re-organized the company to produce only its top four models in the favored low output versions, assuring performance that surpasses all previous versions. The company is also proud to announce its new website benzcartridges.com.Benz Micro cartridges have been in production since the 1980s, earning recognition throughout the world as one the top brands in the field. This July saw the passing of Ernst Benz, founder and designer of the original Benz-Micro cartridges. Ernst had retired in 1994 and sold the cartridge production to Albert, his close associate and designer of the Benz-Micro PP-1 phono stage. Albert relocated and modernized the factory, employed a highly skilled workforce, introduced many new models, and expanded his OEM cartridge manufacturing.
Now, 20 years later, Albert has reduced his workforce and stream-lined his factory, focusing on the most popular high-end Benz models: the LP-S MR, Ruby Z, Gullwing SLR, and new Zebra Wood. With the proliferation of many new high-performance, high-gain phono stages, such as the Musical Surroundings Nova II, all four models will be offered only in low output versions. Previous medium and high output versions have been discontinued due to lack of demand prompted by the availability of these modern phono stages.
Hand-building a phono cartridge is a highly developed skill, requiring specially trained technicians working with microscopes and ultra small-scale manufacturing. A competitive global business environment and technically demanding jobs have made finding skilled workers a major concern. On-going changes in the Swiss workforce, including the growth of both the high-end watch industry and high tech, have reduced the pool of these skilled technicians and the potential for new trainees. Benz Micro’s current production team represents the best of the best for producing state-of-the-art phono cartridges. These changes in the labor force, combined with further advances in design and materials, have resulted in new Benz-Micro models that surpass all previous versions in music reproduction. These factors have also led to the decision to focus on replacing older models with new cartridges, and to suspend re-building services.
Please visit benzcartridges.com to learn more about the current line-up. Also look for more exciting news about continued R&D, including a design as a tribute to company founder Ernst Benz.