I paid attention, and I want to thank you for the benefit of your experience and research. I don't ever expect to be setting up a Decca again, but you never know.
I did see a couple of years back that someone in Europe had NOS Decca International arms for not much money, and it was almost tempting enough to make me order one. Maybe this time I would get the horizontal alignment right ;-)
My God! A response! Thank you! Actually, concerning the Decca International tonearms, I used to live in Europe and tried in all kinds of ways to get one of them. The company which is sitting on them - if they still have them - is Tjoeb Ah! They never answered any of my requests for information. Maybe they still have them. Though the arm is largely plastic, like the cartridge it is quite brilliant: it is a unipivot stabilized by magnets, with a bubble level in the headshell. If you can get one, then let me know.
As to the horizontal leveling question, I have to report a strange thing. Some time ago in my desperation, I acquired a Mayware tonearm to try with my cartridge. My Decca's diamond is actually glued crookedly onto the cantilever, and so does not hang straight down. The Mayware does not have any stabilisers of any sort, the counterweight does not hang below the pivot point, and so it is perfectly centred. Well damn me if the tonearm doesn't actually tilt precisely in response to the diamond's orientation, tilting just so so that the diamond points straight down! And it sounds perfectly centred and so on and stays stable without wobbling, giving the perfect imaging only a Decca can give (mine is a Super Gold with VdH stylus). Here is an unexpected "pro" in response to all the "cons" the Mayware is accused of. Of course, if the Mayware had the outriggers and the low-slung counterweight everyone makes such a fuss over, then my Decca wouldn't work. Hmmm...
Another 'table which works well with the Decca is an early Maplenoll air-bearing 'table with fluid damping trough. The headshell is held with a hex-nut, and so can be tilted to the required degree with the use of a small mirror to observe the diamond. After a helluva lot of wheeling and dealing, I have recently re-acquired this particular Maplenoll, which, by the way, is considered a Class A or B 'table by the incomparable Salvatore, though I have no idea if he is trustworthy (but he seems to be on the ball). The linear-tracking Maplenoll tonearm plus Decca gives the best imaging it is possible to have, with the added bonus of all the usual Decca attributes. But the Decca is noisy and will hum in some circumstances (I am still fiddling with the Maplenoll, and will report on this if there is interest), and so I keep a variety of MMs and MCs and 'tables around, "for I sip analogue rigs like wine," as there is no perfection in this world.
This is very interesting, the talk of Decca pickups. something you don't hear much of on this site. My father used to be into analog years ago and always swore by Decca, London, and if memory serves, Stanton. I was too young to pay much attention and am not sure what specific pickups he used. Then, our house burned to the ground and, along with it, all of my dad's gear which he never replaced (not to mention a jazz LP collection, the extent of which would make you cry). I have seen listings for some of the Deccas in recent years and have wondered about giving one a whirl. Wish I had the dough to personally have a half-dozen or so pickups, arms, and tables in rotation.
Sorry to hear about your father's jazz collection: I'm crying already. The Decca is like whitewater rafting: exhilarating you while at the same time you are asking yourself why the hell you are doing it. Do not try this in your home. They are a bitch, need fluid damping, prefer unipivots (but will work with others if there is fluid damping) can buzz or hum (though I hear the newer ones are better). But its zero-compliance means the most direct, in-yer-face experience there is in vinyl-land, making everything else moot. But I always keep an easier cartridge to live with around, pulling out the Decca when I want to live dangerously, just like sometimes only a whiskey will do, and to hell with beer. Maywares work fine with Deccas, have a bad reputation and so can be had cheap, when you can find'em. There is also the Tjoeb hoard of Decca International tonearms: they were selling them for $25, if I remember. As to my record player collection: I have stripped down my stereo system several times (so I could go travel, drink and sleep in), but never had the heart to sell any of my vinyl spinners, or my vinyl.
I had many Londons early in my audio career. As you say they are a love/hate relationship. I don't really recall what caused me to move away from them, probably MCs, but I do firmly remember that a knife edge bearing tone arm was unusable. I did have a Decca International and actually recall that I got better performance from another arm, the Keith Monks. I would imagine that an air bearing arm would be tight enough and massive enough for the cartridge. I have a Schroeder arm and am thinking of buying a Decca Jubilee. Frank Schroeder told me that he knows of several dedicated Decca lovers using his arm with great success.
In Europe and the UK you will find many Decca users.
If you do buy a Decca Jubilee for your Schroeder, I hope you will post a review, as this has got to be one of the most interesting match-ups I've ever heard of. In my Maplenoll, the Decca simply will not track without damping, and I'm still working on the damping. It worked for me once, I can make it work again...back to the basement to try.
I've had to strip down and completely re-build my recently-acquired Maplenoll, but soon, hahahahahaha....Damn, I hope it works.
P.S. I just ordered a Decca International Tonearm for peanuts, NOS.
Interesting thread. I own a "London" that has been sitting in a drawer; I bought it out of curiosity years ago.
It gave me some of the most dynamic and detailed sound that I have ever gotten out of my turntable, it sounded like music!; but I could not get the thing to stop humming (typical grounding-problem noise). Yes, I strapped the two ground wires of my tonearm; nothing helped. I used it in a Syrinx PU3 and an ET II with damping trough.
Any suggestions for solving the noise problem would be appreciated. By the way, while not perfect, tracking was reasonably good in the ET.
Interesting you should bring up the issue of hum, which I conquered just last night! The Decca tracked quite well in a Mayware I had mounted on an AR-XA, and given it is a Decca, even in this modest 'table it matched or beat my two "high-end" spinners with other cartridges, one being a Maplenoll, the other being an Audiomeca. But on the AR it hummed, a problem which, once the music started, disappeared into the background. On the Maplenoll, however, not a bit of hum, and though there is a ground wire to the arm, I have not connected it to ground, an unexpected result.
My Decca has four pins (the ground wires connected together via a looped wire), does yours? The Maplenoll has a lead platter, and so perhaps this is shielding the motor. As with some head-amps and phono stages, you just have to move things around, connect and disconnect ground wires, try your tonearm wire in different positions and so on (this is the "bitch" and "hate" part of the Decca experience). Without knowing what your 'table is I can come up with nothing else. But there is a turntable mat made out of graphite, the Boston Mat1, which might double as shielding of some sort. It also sounds - from a design point - superb. The Maplenoll also features a damping trough at the headshell, with the result that the Decca tracks perfectly (so far) in this set-up, sounding like a "normal" cartridge (now I have to play with viscosity and so on).
If you want your Decca to track superbly, then get yourself a Decca tonearm! While this is dissed as cheap, it is quite a brilliant piece of engineering (pre-empting the Platine Verdier and Schroeder tonearms), and Ken Kessler, for instance, keeps his Decca set up in one, which he considers still superior in the usual Decca ways to his Koetsu Urishi in SME 10 turntable! Don't give up! And thanks for contributing.
My Decca only has three pins, that's why I strapped the two ground wires for the arms. The noise is more of a very loud buzzing, along with some hum; precisely the sound a normal (four pin) cartridge makes when one of the wires is not connected to one of the pins. I have tried strapping the two ground wires, NOT strapping the two and connecting only one of them, moving the wires around, not gounding the table, grounding the table. Nothing helps. Physically, the cartridge seems to be intact, and it does make great sounds; but combined with a level of noise that makes it unusable. Thoughts?
BTW, my table is a VPI HW19 MkIV.
Damn those Deccas! In my Mayware one of the tonearm wires is contacting the walls of the tonearm inside, giving the occasional loud buzz as the tonearm travels across the record, and so I must re-wire. If you have another tonearm, connect the Decca to it and see if the buzz persists (just tape the two negative cartridge clips together for contact for purposes of this experiment). I also get buzzing from the transformers from my tube amps, which, however, disappeared when I mounted the Decca on the Maplenoll. Once, I used toothpaste to clean the contacts on the plastic bracket as well as the pins. This is not as stupid as it sounds, as nothing removes oxidation from metal as quickly and thoroughly as toothpaste, and it smells good! This you should try first, as it is the easiest to accomplish and perhaps there is no contact. Also pry the little copper tabs in the bracket out a bit for better contact. If all else fails, then buy a Decca International tonearm, which is being sold for 40 Euros including shipping! Man I hate those Deccas. Man I love those Deccas. If we can get interest up on these then we can create an organization for the betterment of Deccas!
Now I remember a similar experience with a three-pin Decca which belonged to a friend. At first it sounded fine, in fact quieter than mine. But it suddenly developed this loud buzzing which I couldn't get rid of. Since it didn't belong to me, I simply disconnected it and went back to my own Decca. I never did find out what was wrong with it, but I have heard that the armature of older Deccas can rust: they do eventually die. I hope this isn't the case with yours, but if after all of the previous experiments it still buzzes, then slide the cover back and see what you can see. If it's toast, then I'd try something desperate like opening it and pouring an anti-rust agent in it, or something like that. Ken Kessler of HiFi News is probably the world's leading expert on Deccas, maybe you could e-mail him. Or ask London/Decca themselves, I think a refurbishment is much cheaper than buying new. Is it worth all the trouble? I think so, but mine is now working perfectly, and my previous one, which I foolishly sold, also worked very well. The problem with Deccas is that once you hear one working well, you never forget. Good Luck! Let me know how it goes.
All my experience with Deccas is very old. (But by George, this thread is tempting me... agh!) I too remember it did well in the Keith Monks (you hardly ever saw one of those). It also worked in the ERA tt's stock arm, a plastic girder-shaped device, and of all things it worked in the Sugden Connoisseur belt-drive's gimbal-bearing arm. I hate to think of how sloppy those bearings were, but the design did not frighten a Decca.
Come to think of it, I have a BD2 in the horrible crawl space that serves for a basement. No, no, no... !
I too have a Connoisseur for the Collection (mine is a limited-edition chrome jobby ), but man do those things rock: they make all cartridges sound like Deccas! Beware, plugging this in might make your high-end rig sound wimpy. I'm telling you, something is missing from much of the new designs - cartridges, tonearms, turntables - which the old guard understood: music. And I'm not that old! The Connoisseur arm is very massive (practically solid stainless steel) which probably overrode all the Decca's objections. Now that you mention it, perhaps I should try this combo too! I can report, though, that so far the Decca works best in unipivots. I just ordered two NOS Decca International Tonearms for 75 euros: magnetic suspension unipivot with a jeweled bearing and fluid damping...tasty...
Oh boy, I had to jump in!!! Yes, I remember this cartridge! I had two..(the London Gold). They were fabulous!!!! I connected the wires (3) and left the forth one just suspended. I had no problems with hum?? I was using a Formular 4 arm. This question sparked some curiousity....I may look for a used Decca soon. I am wondering if it would mate with my VPI 10.5??
Also, what is the best way to deal with the 4th tonearm cable?? Do you let it float like I did??
The Decca works well (I think best of all) in unipivot tonearms, so it should work a treat in your VPI arm: please let us know how this works out on this thread, as personally I would love to know. And make it a detailed review! Do VPI make any sort of damping available for their tonearm, as this too helps? As to wiring, you'll just have to experiment, as it behaves differently in different set-ups. I own a four-pin Decca, and I have used three-pin Deccas by simply transfering them to my four-pin bracket. Food for thought: buy any four-pin Decca you can get cheaply even if broken, just to get that four-pin mounting bracket. Have fun and good luck!
Now the problem is to find a good used London Gold resonably priced!
They're hidden in closets, basements and drawers all over the world, but people aren't even aware of them, more's the pity. If I find a stash, I'll post it on this website. But the new Decca Super Golds have an improved stylus profile, four pins, and can come factory-installed with Decapods, which is why I was hoping someone had experience of these, before I dive in. And then there's the Jubilee and cheaper versions as well. Some prefer the conical stylus of the Maroon, which I haven't tried, only having tried the Gold and the Super Gold, which sounded pretty much the same in my rig, VdH stylus notwithstanding. A new Maroon might be a possibility after all.
I still have my Deccas - a Maroon and an original Garrott Bros Decca Gold. The Garrott rebuild was just fantastic. I now use an Allaerts MC1-B which is more subtle, less slam, sweeter at the top end and tracks sooo much better.
I used my Deccas on a Hadcock 228. Back in the 80s when the Deccas were more in vogue, most people used them in unipivots. I used to sell them in the UK when I worked with a much younger Ken Kessler.
By the way, although the Garrott Bros were killed in an accidenet almost 20 years ago, the firm is back in action with rebuilds reputedly to the same standard. Won't be as cheap (mine was 65 GBP in the early 80s!)
You don't ever get the temptation to set it up again for that famous Decca slam? And I take it the Garrott Bros. rebuild didn't improve the tracking? Thanks for the info: the Hadcocks are back in production, so another possibility.
Yeah, I will some time. Had it on about 6 months ago. But I get plenty of slam from my current setup - Platine Verdier, Hadcock 228 (soon to be replaced by Schroeder model 2), Allaerts MC1B, Verdier control B valve preamp, rebuilt Quad IIs and Avantgarde Duos. In fact with the Duos, almost everything plays with slam!
I can see your point, with a Decca in that set-up you'd likely get blown out the back wall...You'd have to wear protective gear! I applaud your choice of high-sensitivity speakers, you're obviously after the excitement of music, which explains why you had a Decca in the first place. Fascinating record deck combination, too bad you're so far away, I'd love to hear that. If you look further up this thread, you will see that someone with a Schroeder is thinking of buying a Jubilee, which is apparently a popular combination in Europe. But I think he isn't using Avantgardes, and so it is not such a dangerous proposition for him.
So tell me......is it best to look for a London Decca (gold) that is used, say on e-bay or go with new? I see Needle Dr. sells Decca's. I assume they are new versus used.
Of course it's better if you go for a new Decca: then you can report to this post and let us know all about it! But seriously, Decca claims that the new stypus profile - available only on the Super Gold and Jubilee - makes it much more tonearm-friendly and improves tracking. Also, all new Deccas (they are new) come with the non-bitch four-pin bracket, and can be ordered with factory-installed Decapod mounts (a more rigid metal bracket). Though I have a Decca that works very well in two turntables, I still keep a baker's dozen of other cartridges around for when I want to relax more, a Grado Platinum being my mainstay for now (in a low-mass tonearm, the Grado comes close to the Decca in overall dynamics, but not in slam), until I get a new stylus for my V15 (play and forget). The VPI does have removeable arm-wands, doesn't it? This would be a great - though fairly expensive - set-up, a Decca for that roller-coaster feeling, and another cartridge for a less intense experience. If you can source a used four-pin, then maybe it's wiser to go this route to see how it meshes with your system. I don't want to be held responsible for whatever happens - unless it's good: then praise away! Whichever route you take, let us know how a Decca works out on the VPI. In the meantime, I'm waiting for the Decca International tonearms I've ordered, assuming they come, which I'll mount on my Audiomeca, which I'll report on. Currently, I'm fiddling with the fluid on my Maplenoll.
I started with the London Super Gold and moved up to the Jubilee. It was really quite easy to set up and tracked fine on my Gyrodec with a Stax tonearm. It has incredible detail and slam. It really helps to clean your record and like all the deccas it likes to be cleaned. The two middle pins go to a common ground so polarity cannot be reversed. Hence I think I need to return to my Benz Ruby II. Less detail but nice and allows me to reverse polarity so that TT and CDP (Mephisto IIx) can both be in phase, because of Joule phono and line stage. But there is no denying there is something special in those London Deccas. Oh yes it tracks nicely anywhere around 2 grams give or take..
Thanks very much for your report on the new cartridges, Sjy425, it gives me great anticipation of the future possibilities with a better Decca! And I guess Rwd, you have your answer. I love this forum. Over here I can report that the Decca, in my collection of various tonearms, still works best of all on my fluid-damped unipivot, set for upper-medium mass. I can't wait to get my new Decca International tonearms, assuming the money gets to Europe! I'll be re-wiring them almost immediately. Hmmm, the Jubilee...
My memory of the fabulous Decca London Gold just keeps on fluttering in my mind!! I remember listening to it in a word class system. The speakers were Infinity Servo Static 1-A's and the electronics were ARC SP 3A-1 and D 76A & 51.
I was never able to get the Servos (anyone have an idea where I can find a pair??) but I CAN get a Decca!! However, I think I want to stay with the Gold or Super Gold.
I have two arm wands for my VPI 10.5 and I could mount the Decca on one and keep my Helikon on the other. I'm searching e-bay for a deal on a used Decca. If I can't find one then I get a new one for the Dr.
Rwd, The Super Gold is a more practical cartridge due to its construction, the flat-bottomed Gold often unable to play the intro grooves because of its flat bottom. Plus, the Super Gold comes with the improved stylus. However, I can vouch for the sound quality of the regular Gold, but if it were me, I'd either get the Maroon (which I suspect is damned good anyway, built like the Gold but cheaper), or jump up the the Super Gold or Jubilee. I look forward to reading of your experience with it. Though I have a Maplenoll with fluid damping trough at the front of the headshell, I have to say the Decca performs better, so far, in the damped unipivot I have. So use the VPI damping! If your experinece works out, I may start saving for a VPI myself, though those Decca Internationals are coming, I hope...
I've just received the Decca International tonearms, at a total cost of roughly $40 each including shipping and taxes. They look like beauts: watch this space all those of you who have a sense of adventure, nothing touches a Decca for excitement! Ordering from Tjoeb really works! Ken Kessler uses this tonearm for his own Decca.
Can you give us details for ordering?
Rwd, where did you hear the Decca on ServoStatic 1A's? In Tallahassee? If so, it was mine. I too wonder why I don't have the Deccas anymore. I know why I don't have the SS-1As; I could not keep them running.
I just bought a Jubilee, however. It will go on my new Schroeder.
No...the servos that I heard were in New Jersey and were owned by the great Jim Foley. He had a magnificent set up and a wonderful ear for listening. What a great experience that was!!!
Tbg, I went to this particular Tjoeb website, http://www.hifi-notes.com/ah1-en.htm, where I posted my request for info. A man called Herman contacted me, we worked out our order (mine was for two arms for me and one for a friend), which came to a total of 110 euros cash (very small profit, if any) for payment and shipment, registered mail. It took about two weeks. I have to say that on auditioning it sounded quite punchy, balanced and detailed with a Grado Woody, but it will definitely benefit from a re-wiring job which I will do presently. In the process I discovered that my Audiomeca's main bearing is shot. Time for a new 'table!
I think my Decca needs an overhaul, having that difficult VdH stylus profile which may now be worn. The Decca International, a damped unipivot, is in the same ball park as my Maywayre damped unipivot for extracting performance from the Decca. Strangely enough, I mounted my Grado Platinum on it and it has never sounded better. In fact, it reminded me quite a lot of the Decca on this arm! The Decca International majors on Prat, seems good from the frequency extremes to the mid-range, making everything very musical. Last night I said "the hell with re-wiring, I'm just going to enjoy my records!" There is a tweak available right away for the Decca tonearm. I had ordered a replacement metal headshell for my Connoisseur BD1's plastic headshell years ago, and so immediately recognized the headshell. I tried the metal headshell and it fit perfectly. Also, the plastic plug can be glued into the tonearm tube with glass epoxy, which should be a significant imporvement, and if the metal headshell is an improvement over the plastic headshell (you never know with a Decca), I will report on this. I ordered two tonearms, so I can compare a stock arm, (the one which had me mesmerized already last night), to a re-wired arm, which if it is an improvement, I will eventually totally mod as I've described. The place to order the metal headshell is Technical and General in England, which can only be done by phone or mail.
Johnnantais, I have a Jubilee on the way because of you and others reminding me of the Deccas. There is an English firm that has new wiring for the Decca International. I had forgotten the crappy headshell.
Try a Garrard tt!
get your Decca rebuilt by Garrot Brothers. I have an original Garrott Bros Decca and it is much better tha the standard. Following the Brothers' tragic death in the 80s, the tooling was retained and is now used by their surviving partner.
The Garrott rebuild included checking and adjusting the cantilever suspension and other important mechanical matters as well as a retip. If you need details, you can get a price from GT Audio in the UK.
Thanks for all the suggestions guys. In fact, I did try the Decca on an idler-wheel drive, though not a Garrard, (instead a Lenco L75, an overlooked engineering marvel which just needs the Garrard treatment of heavier plinth & etc. to boogie) and the dynamics were too much! I mean really! I thought my tweeters were going to vaporize from the PLUCKED guitar strings! And I will have my Decca rebuilt, thanks, Topox, though it still sounds good, must experiment. The fluid damping made a HUGE difference to the performance of the arm, and there are all sorts of friction-fit connections in the arm which I've already glued with glass-epoxy. The re-wiring is almost done, as I use my own recipe here. I'll be testing it tonight to see how the arm is with the mods. It's difficult work because of the very powerful magnets in the main bearing housing, which makes a Platine Verdier-like magnetic cushion for the unipivot to rest on: probably why the thing sounds so good even with the crappy wiring and friction-fits. I didn't have the heart to replace the headshell, because of the perfect geometry I can achieve in my Lenco, and because with a Decca who knows? I mean, the bracket is friction-fit plastic, isn't it? And there's that cool bubble-level, a very good idea with a unipivot, non? And I hope the Jubilee makes you happy, Tbg, I've never heard a Jubilee so I hope you post a thorough review of it here. I may follow in your footsteps! Vive la Decca!
Thanks for the tonearm tip. I talked to Herman today. He said I am the last person they will let buy more than 1.
I owe ya!!!
You're welcome, Joe. Out of curiosity, how many did you order? I've been working on mine all night tonight, and while incredibly cheesy, it's also brilliant! I mean the tonearm and unipivot floats on a magnetic cushion ferchrissakes! There's a bubble-level in the headshell! The azimuth is adjustable by micrometer at the back of the tonearm! The antiskating is magnetic! And I've got to say it again: I don't think I've ever heard better Prat! On the other hand all that plastic, all those friction-fits (with little screws) and that crap wiring! But even plain-jane this thing makes MUSIC, so much so, I wonder why I went to all the effort of modding it. And I've never heard my Platinum sound better! I hope I didn't ruin it, as sometimes these things are better left alone. Good thing I ordered two. You'll be hearing a report in both threads!
Johnnantais and Joe, I got this message. Was yours the same? What is CE, the European Community?
For CE Euro 25 + Euro 10 = Euro 35,- prepaid in cash by registered letter as
all other ways of payment are too expensive. Outside CE 25 + 15 = 40 Euro.
Please send by registered letter Euro 35,- or 40,- to:
DUROB AUDIO BV
5251 XJ Vlijmen
We send the arm after receipt of money by registered mail to your address.
Tbg, yep, that's the European Community, at least in meaning (Communauté Européene?). And yes, that's the message I received. And they duly arrived.
Me too on the message. Money sent today.
Where did you guys get the Euros?
I bought them at a Money Exchange for tourists. The major banks sell them as well.
What kind of hole does the Decca International need? I wonder about mounting the Decca on my Garrard 501.
Tbg, Garrard 501! I'm a total idler-wheel convert (well, almost total, as the classic 3-point suspension does give excellent Prat): please send me your impressions re. build and sound quality, as well as price! I have just mounted my Decca International, with every friction-fit glued with glass epoxy and re-wired with my favourite formulation, and I am pleased to report that the Decca's excellent Prat (perhaps the best I've heard) is intact, and that there was a consequent increase in control and detail at all frequencies. The arm is "forward," however, with everything moved up in your face, but it still layers the soundstage and so forth, and that Prat is addictive! It's now set up permanently in my own idler-wheel creation, currently set up with a Grado so I can have a reference when I test it in someone's high-end system tonight. I'll be trying the Decca cartridge after the test (early impressions being that EXTREME dynamics which made me fear for my tweeters). The tonearm mounting hole is 1 1/8", and the stylus to pivot point is 8 3/8". I do believe that the Mayware (which was actually an attempt at re-creating the Decca to more stringent engineering standards), is a better arm overall for the Decca cartridges, as it has higher (variable) mass, but I wouldn't want to bet on this (as the Decca tonearm has that cool magnetic suspension). I don't think I'll ever make this comparison, as I'm happy with the Decca where it currently sits, and so I'll mount the Mayware on another 'table, and then compare. Happy listening!
Ah, yes, extreme dynamics! I remember it well! I think I am just going to mount the Jubilee on the Schroeder as I already own it, and Frank Schroeder says he has close friends using Deccas on it. With the decline of the dollar, the Loricraft/Garrard 501 is over $20k!
Don't ask the cost of the Schroeder. Much of this is the low value of the dollar.
I won't ask the cost of the Schroeder, but I am looking forward to your report on the sound of the Jubilee, which I assume will have less of the mistracking problems of the Deccas of yore. I once had a Super Gold which tracked everything perfectly in my damping-trough Maplenoll, which is why I am puzzled at this one's recalcitrance in the same Maplenoll. I might have better luck in the Decca International, as this one has adjustable azimuth via the micrometer wheel at the back, and I think this is the problem - a crookedly-glued diamond. It could also be viscosity of the fluid: so many parameters. I believe the sample to sample variations are wiped out in the new "London" brand, and especially in the Jubilee, the flagship product. Good Luck!