I would be interested too. But, for some reason, Van den Hul does not have the standing on this board that other manufacturers do. Or perhaps its adherents pretty much keep to themselves.
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I found that arm synergy is the most important parameter as the compliance is 35. I would wager that most people who complain about the cartridge have it on an arm with too high effective mass. I tried it on a jmw12, et2, ms505 and a SMEseries 3. The sme was the best by far but most people wouldn’t put it on that because the sme is not expensive or new enough. Mine is rewired all the way thru with a straight shot to the pre via male connectors. Best sound I’ve heard.
I run it at 1.4 vtf with level vta and no extra loading into a Herron 2 which has infinite loading. I always find I get better sonics on the lighter end of the vtf scale.
Also you really have to have patience with this cart, for the first 100 hours it had some sibilance and was edgy. I was actually so disappointed I was trying to trade it off but then I got it on the sme and it settled in and I am soooo happy with it! It is a truth machine though that will still show sibilance if it is on the record. But a good pressing will sound like heaven. The best highs I have ever heard with deeeep tight bass.
i have the XGP.
Dear @analogluvr : Even that this thread comes from 2008 let me to add that the Colibri is a quality performer very hard to beat and a real/true challenge for any today top/premium LOMC cartridge.
Set up is the name of the game ( as always ) especially on the Colibri. I agree with you that we need patience for over 100 hours of playing for the cartridge settle down and always take advantage of the 300 hours VDH fine tuning the Colibri ( we can with no charge return to VDH after those 300 hours of play for the FT. ).
After this fine tunning when we listen again we can't just belive the unsurpassed quality performance. That fine tunning makes a paramount diferences.
I owned/own at least 4 diferent Colibri cartridges and normally I load it at 100 ohms with even VTA. I never had problem with tonearm diferent effective mass.
Again, very sensitive to minimal changes on cartridge set up parameters and we need patience with this little gem.
regards and enjoy the music,
IMHE, I have to agree with @rauliruegas, especially regarding that it's worth the time and trouble to send it back to VDH after 300 hrs or play. When I first considered getting a Colibri, I asked H.W. at VPI if any/which Colibri would work well on my JMW12.7 arm (on TNT6HR table) and he confirmed that the light weight version of the Colibri that I was considering would be an excellent match. Perhaps it is a bit more finicky than some others about setup parameters, but overall it's very dynamic with an extended treble performance that it rare and exceptional in its price category. On the downside, it might not gloss over imperfections in LPs as well as other carts I've used, but IMHO with most setups if your records aren't in great shape, your experience won't be great anyway.
Dear @sbank : """ overall it's very dynamic with an extended treble performance that it rare and exceptional in its price category. """
Agree and I would like to add that the Colibri quality level " treble performance " is just second to none, at any price. Overall a great cartridge.
""" it might not gloss over imperfections in LPs as well as other carts I've used, """
as always that could be system dependent specially how good damped is the tonearm and the tonearm stability during playback.
Anyway, I love the Colibri.
Regards and enjoy the music,
In past years, some of my VDH Colibri's have demonstrated different characteristics, which makes sense due to the many different iterations of the cartridges. The latest SPED.2 Colibri Grenadille Blackwood XGW in my system is a true standout and stands head to head with my Lyra Atlas, the main difference being the Atlas offers quieter tracking with tighter bass on classical recordings, especially those larger works having below 30Hz low frequency information. I typically prefer the Colibri Blackwood cartridge to my Allaerts MC1B and Lyra Atlas.
Somehow, the Colibri manages to be fast, dynamic and resolving but still retains an instruments tonal and timbre structure whereas the Atlas remains more neutral, clean and clear, even dry at times.
Forget about regular SRA settings with the Colibri, as each one is a little different, most of mine are riding a little low at the tail if examined by eye. Patience is key and listen carefully every step of the way.
Thanks. On my XGW I tried to measure SRA with DinoLite USB microscope but I am not sure what line I should take. Some say that the flat cut line which is at the back of the stylus should be taken but I am not sure about it. It is hard given the stylus shape to find the right line. And this is critical as you get different results. So I am trying to set the angle just going with my tonearm up and down and let my ears to be the judge. This is quite a process. With my Audio Origami PU7 tonearm you need to raise the tonearm by hand so to know where I am I am using the ruler and magnifying glass measuring each time where exactly the tonearm is. I move each time by 1mm then align the cart with Dr Feickert protractor (Baerwald), check if VTF didn't change and then use Adjust+ for azimuth. Then I rip specific piece of music and have a listen and compare with the same piece ripped at different arm position. At 1mm above the level I noticed quite a change with the surface noise being more visible and the sound getting more dynamic and better soundstage. Then I moved up another 1mm and noticed that drums became more apparent but the other instruments went away slightly. Clear imbalance. That was I sensed moving away from the best sound so I went down with my tonearm by 0.5mm. The sound became overall better but some elements like cymbals work, bass sound when comparing the rips were telling me that it was better at 1mm above the level. So I got it down by 0.25mm and that was it. All elements in the right place, the best sounding cymbals, guitars suddenly became more apparent with dynamics being really there. This way I ended up with the tonearm being 1.25mm above the level having at this level sound quality the best to my ears. Adjust+ shows me the crosstalk in both channels at the same level of 33.8 and phase at 156/166 level respectively. So with the phase it is not truly ideal but close. Some say that the SRA optimum setting as seen in Adjust+ is reached when crosstalk and phase in both channels match perfectly so probably I will have to lower the arm very very slightly maybe 0.10mm to get really perfect level
I measured SRA from my Frog with USB-Microscope
It sounds so good, that i think a inspection in Netherlands is not needful. Never touch a running system....
Channels seperation is 35 and 36dB - LR identity ist 0,2dB - Phase is 82 and 85°
I never tested another SRA. Not each vinyl is cutted with the same angular.
Temperature and VTF affect it too.
Only one vinyl from 500 hisses a little bit.
at minute 1:02
Really nice rip. Here is some of my rips done with my XGP LW. Played on LP12
(Cirkus/Radikal/Kore) w/AO PU7 tonearm. What did you play it on yours?
Yes, your rip has hot s-tones and sound a bit bright. A lot of today masters sounds to bright with pushed treble. I don´t know if this is the reason or the cartridge.
If you want a cartridge which is unsensitive with sibilance, go for EMT
This is a rip from me
But the Frog sound so much more natural and with more resolution. I have sold the EMT
OK. I went through your collection and I have some of these pressings. I will try to rip something of this and post the sample so we can compare. Interesting that you have Gwrman pressing of Van Halen 1984 which I just ordered as I am not too happy with Rhino 2010 and 30th Anniversary from 2015. Rhino is very bright and sibilant while 30th Ann. Is about right but Hot For Teacher is quite sibilant. I hope original German press is free of this.
Here is the sample from Suzanne Vega st German pressing. Very good example of the my major Issue with my Colibri - sibilance in the right channel. I think I dialed all antiskating possibilities yet it is still there. Does your copy have that sibilance?
I know this AJ recommendation. He also says that the optimal antiskate is at 1/3 of VTF. But in my case AO PU7 does not have the scale but the weight that you can slide up or down the metal stick with no scale. So my settings could be wrong yet I do not know where I am with these settings in terms of measured value. I think I would have to use some math formula to measure it. I measured all the elements of this mechanism and this is as follows:
Metal Stick length: 17mm
Wheel diameter: 20mm
Weight mass: 0.73g
Metal stick weight: 0.30g
I think having the right formula I could measure specific antiskate force but I can't find that formula. Maybe that is physics formula.