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Nekked As a Jay Bird

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  • Nekked As a Jay Bird

    Where ever did that saying come from? Hmmmm.....

    van den Hul Colibri Colibri XGW Stradivarious

    VTF 1.35 - 1.5 gms

    Output: 0.38 mv @ 5 cm/sec.

    Click image for larger version

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    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers, cj ART300 40th Anniversary monoblock Amplifiers; cj GAT preamplifier Series 2; Doshi V3.0 phonostage; VPI Vanquish turntable/12-inch 3D tonearm/Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Fuuga cartridges; Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads/Doshi V3.0 tape stage run balanced; Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords. Stillpoint Aperture panels, MPod Magico feet, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC. Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks; Audiodharma Cable Cooker; Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    Audio birthday suit? Au naturel? Free bird? Exposed?
    Room 1, Room 2, Office

    Comment


    • #3
      When I purchased my Rockport turntable from Andy Payor, he was also the importer for van den Hul cartridges and as a result I purchased a Grasshopper for my new turntable. It was a match made in heaven (blazingly fast, tracked everything I threw at it and provided a wealth of detail particularly in the top end) but I always worried that the exposed stylus and cantilever would get snagged on something and break.
      Rockport Sirius turntable, Lyra Atlas SL cartridge, Ypsilon Phono stage, Audio Note M10 (Signature) linestage, EMM Labs TX2/DA2 digital, Audio Note Balanced Kegon amps, EMM Labs MTRX amps, Acapella Triolons, Jorma Prime and Odin 2 cables, Stage 3 Kraken power cords, HB Marble Powerslave, Finite Elemente Pagode Reference stands and Cerabases, Halcyonics active isolation bases, Loricraft and Audiodesk vinyl cleaners, Yamaha CT7000 Tuner.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by fcrowder View Post
        When I purchased my Rockport turntable from Andy Payor, he was also the importer for van den Hul cartridges and as a result I purchased a Grasshopper for my new turntable. It was a match made in heaven (blazingly fast, tracked everything I threw at it and provided a wealth of detail particularly in the top end) but I always worried that the exposed stylus and cantilever would get snagged on something and break.
        Yes, I guess it's the half full vs. half empty glass of water. The nude body makes it one of the easiest cartridges this side of the Atlas to setup and align. That is once gets over the shakes of having no stylus guard while setting up. Or at all. The cartridge is a little on the light side so a small change in the CW results in big VTF changes. But the Colibri should be a good match for the VPI 3D arm as the cartridge works best in arms with an effective mass of 10-15 gms. Don't think I've played with a cartridge that tracks at around 1.35 g (I am using 1.4 g right now) for over two decades.

        Nor have I really heard a vdh since Gindi's Grasshopper IV back in the '90s. Did hear the vdh though at the last two Axponas and they did sound good in the Graham arm (as well as the Funk Firm on another table) on the AF3 table. (Andre and I both commented on the sound in our reports; Andre even has a Colibri in his cartridge collection.)
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
        ________________________________________

        Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers, cj ART300 40th Anniversary monoblock Amplifiers; cj GAT preamplifier Series 2; Doshi V3.0 phonostage; VPI Vanquish turntable/12-inch 3D tonearm/Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Fuuga cartridges; Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads/Doshi V3.0 tape stage run balanced; Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords. Stillpoint Aperture panels, MPod Magico feet, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC. Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks; Audiodharma Cable Cooker; Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

        Comment


        • Rob
          Rob commented
          Editing a comment
          can't wait for your impressions. To Fred's point, the VDH's work great in arms like the Versa and Rockport. AJ also makes a 'special' just for the Forsell, I've heard it in a Air force and it WAS all that.

        • MylesBAstor
          MylesBAstor commented
          Editing a comment
          Gindi had his Grasshopper was back when in first the Versa and then the Forsell. J-10 had his Hopper in a Forsell too.

          Years back I was going to review the White Beauty for Ultimate Audio but in the end the cartridge was reviewed by one of my staff members.

          So far no problems tracking at 1.4 gms.

        • jonathanb
          jonathanb commented
          Editing a comment
          Hmmm, just noticed the comment about J-10. If it wasn't clear enough from my hint below, the RG-8 in the photo I posted was acquired from J-10 many years ago (when I needed a new cartridge to replace the Clearaudio Accurate that had been de-cantilevered by a clueless third party.)

      • #5
        When I bought my very first super TT, a used Versa Dynamics 2.0 (from a dealer who was selling it on behalf of a client who had committed suicide!), he took out a little box and said I could get a really good deal on a slightly used super cartridge, a van den hul Grasshopper Gold III. I opened the box, looked at the cartridge and said, "Where is the stylus?" Sure enough it had broken off. He sent it back to Mr. van den Hul who replaced the stylus, and I eventually got my great deal on both the TT and cartridge.

        Larry
        Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0 BottleheadPhonoPre
        Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,MykerinosCard,PacMicroModel2
        Dig Play-mch NADAC, Emotion, HQPlayer, Oppo95
        Electronics-Herron VTSP3APre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
        Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
        Other-ArtKelmGroundOne IsoTrans,AudioDiskeSystemVinylClea ner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects, Power Supply
        Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by astrotoy View Post
          When I bought my very first super TT, a used Versa Dynamics 2.0 (from a dealer who was selling it on behalf of a client who had committed suicide!), he took out a little box and said I could get a really good deal on a slightly used super cartridge, a van den hul Grasshopper Gold III. I opened the box, looked at the cartridge and said, "Where is the stylus?" Sure enough it had broken off. He sent it back to Mr. van den Hul who replaced the stylus, and I eventually got my great deal on both the TT and cartridge.

          Larry
          AJ retips, according to Randy Forman the new US vdh distributor, about 400 (IIRC) cartridges a year.
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers, cj ART300 40th Anniversary monoblock Amplifiers; cj GAT preamplifier Series 2; Doshi V3.0 phonostage; VPI Vanquish turntable/12-inch 3D tonearm/Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Fuuga cartridges; Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads/Doshi V3.0 tape stage run balanced; Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords. Stillpoint Aperture panels, MPod Magico feet, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC. Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks; Audiodharma Cable Cooker; Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

          Comment


          • Rob
            Rob commented
            Editing a comment
            over the years I acquired a few AJ re-tips incl a Koetsu Rosewood using his stylus profile. it sounded wonderful then and is probably on its 3rd owner by now.

        • #7
          I had Soundsmith retip my VdH Grasshopper I: the cartridge sounds quite lovely now. Now that there's a domestic VdH presence again, I'll look into that the next time I have to retip/repair the Grasshopper.

          Comment


          • jonathanb
            jonathanb commented
            Editing a comment
            Turns out it wasn't a Grasshopper i: it's a Symphonic Line RG-8L.

        • #8
          Since Rob asked for an update. I've been able to put some more hours on the cartridge though I've yet to really begin dialing it in (SRA, loading, VTF). Curiously, the distributor says it sounds best with the back up a little bit; at the moment, the headshell is level to the platter. So we'll see how much of a difference raising the arm up will make in the cartridge's sound.

          I've just been impressed by the cartridge's overall balance and it's a real contender for the price. It doesn't have the old etched quality of the vdh Grasshoppers I remember from the '90s and early 2000s. Very easy to listen to and very faithful to the music.

          So far out of all its qualities, it's the Colibri's midrange naturalness and ease and resolution especially in the upper octaves have impressed me the most. It definitely isn't etched sounding like older Colibris. Plus the specs call for an arm with an effective mass of 10-14 grams and the VPI 3D arm is a perfect match.

          The one thing that has been a little bit of an issue--because of it's low tracking force (?)--is dealing with a couple of records with medium to nasty edge warps. Ones the outer ring clamp won't fix. Maybe won't or wouldn't be an issue with vacuum hold down platters.

          Ron can even comment here as he heard both the Colibri and Atlas SL in my system on Sunday.
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers, cj ART300 40th Anniversary monoblock Amplifiers; cj GAT preamplifier Series 2; Doshi V3.0 phonostage; VPI Vanquish turntable/12-inch 3D tonearm/Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Fuuga cartridges; Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads/Doshi V3.0 tape stage run balanced; Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords. Stillpoint Aperture panels, MPod Magico feet, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC. Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks; Audiodharma Cable Cooker; Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

          Comment


          • Rob
            Rob commented
            Editing a comment
            thanks for your initial thoughts. I've been trading emails with my guy in the Netherlands who I get VDHs from and AJ makes to order a special Colibri with a different compliance to deal with the higher lateral mass of the Air Force arm. per Fred's comment as well, he also thinks it will mate perfectly with the Rockport 6000 arm I'm using.

        • #9
          I used a naked Van Den Hul EMT cartridge back in about 1986. A neighbor was the Van Den Hul importer.

          Thiel 7.2s, Manley NeoClassic 250s, Wadia 850, MIT Oracle V3 speaker cables, MIT MI-350 Oracle interconnects, Black Diamond Racing Shelves and Cones in a dedicated room with ASC Tube Traps, Room Tunes and 3 X 20 amp dedicated circuits.

          Comment


          • Rob
            Rob commented
            Editing a comment
            one of my sources tells me VDH uses EMT motors in his carts.

        • #10
          My VdH/Symphonic Line RG8L--recently retipped by Soundsmith--mounted on a JMW 10" 3D armwand:
          (This cartridge was once mounted on a Forsell that lived in Chelsea.)

          Click image for larger version  Name:	2017-02-14 14.59.51.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.73 MB ID:	43413

          My body-less Ortofon Quintet Mono:

          Click image for larger version  Name:	SAM_4546.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.68 MB ID:	43414

          Comment


        • #11
          Just to expand a little further on my comment about the Colibri's midrange. Some cartridges that have passed through the system seem to lose a bit of midrange presence and tonality/harmonic envelope in their quest to achieve neutrality. Bodies just don't quite have that viscerality and fullness that singers possess live. The mids, despite tuning SRA and a host of other factors, just seem a little sucked out. Not with the Colibri. Everything is here in its proper proportion. More so, the tone is pretty amazing. Take wood blocks for example. Many cartridges unnaturally harden this instrument. Not here. Blocks maintain their dynamic impact yet at the same time maintain their woodiness.
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers, cj ART300 40th Anniversary monoblock Amplifiers; cj GAT preamplifier Series 2; Doshi V3.0 phonostage; VPI Vanquish turntable/12-inch 3D tonearm/Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Fuuga cartridges; Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads/Doshi V3.0 tape stage run balanced; Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords. Stillpoint Aperture panels, MPod Magico feet, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC. Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks; Audiodharma Cable Cooker; Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

          Comment


          • #12
            VAS Nova Signature:

            Click image for larger version

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            • #13
              So just a little further update on the Colibri as it's reached that 100 hour or so mark. At this point, have been focussed on dialing in the SRA/VTA as well as the loading. Right now, as suggested by the importer and AJ, the cartridge's back is slightly up. I've been playing with the loading and subject to further changes am running it at 150 ohms into the Doshi phonostage, At 150 ohm, there's a level of low level inner detailing and sense of a musical envelope around instruments that is just missing at say 100 ohms. I've gone as high as 200 ohms but that seemed to lose just a little of the magic. So the sweet spot may even be in between these two points.

              The thing that really sticks out above all qualities about the new vdh Colibri is its midrange. There's just an absolute lack of tension to the music. Voices and instruments are rendered as few other cartridges can do. I've done a couple of swaps back and forth between the Atlas SL and Colibri too. The Atlas is a little more refined and pure but there's just something about the realism of the vdh that is addictive. Like everything the Koetsu promised but didn't deliver. Wonderful midrange rendering without techicoloring.
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers, cj ART300 40th Anniversary monoblock Amplifiers; cj GAT preamplifier Series 2; Doshi V3.0 phonostage; VPI Vanquish turntable/12-inch 3D tonearm/Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Fuuga cartridges; Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads/Doshi V3.0 tape stage run balanced; Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords. Stillpoint Aperture panels, MPod Magico feet, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC. Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks; Audiodharma Cable Cooker; Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

              Comment


              • #14
                van den Hul Colibri XGW Stradivarius Moving Coil Cartridge review
                Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                ________________________________________

                Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers, cj ART300 40th Anniversary monoblock Amplifiers; cj GAT preamplifier Series 2; Doshi V3.0 phonostage; VPI Vanquish turntable/12-inch 3D tonearm/Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Fuuga cartridges; Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads/Doshi V3.0 tape stage run balanced; Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords. Stillpoint Aperture panels, MPod Magico feet, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC. Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks; Audiodharma Cable Cooker; Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                Comment


                • #15
                  Hello Myles, great review. May I ask how you would rate it's microdynamics compared to Atlas SL and Koetsu Azule? Also, how does it compare to the Azule in terms of detail and bass definition? Finally, would it be suitable for SAT? I am currently using a custom VdH Frog with gold coils that AJ built for me after I met him at Munich a few years ago so this could be a perfect upgrade for me. Many thanks

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