It is not the mass of the cartridge that is critical but the complience of the cartridge, which is a quite different thing.
20 responses Add your response
No, definitely not the ideal arm for the VDH Colibri LW. Try a high quality tonearm with a lower effective mass. We use a Colibri XGM (Gold coil/metal body) with a weight of 7 grams and the same static compliance of 35 Micron/mN mated to a tonearm having an effective mass of 12 grams. Even this arm has proven to be slightly heavier than ideal for the Colibri and as a result, does not track as well as it should. The exacting nature of the Colibri demands you use an appropriate high quality tonearm with initial setup being absolutely critical in order to reap the benefits of this special cartridge. The Colibri has proven itself to be the most demanding cartridge we have used in terms of initial setup and proper alignment parameters.
I thought the OP was under the impression that if the mass of the arm was high then the mass of the cartridge must also be high; that was why I suggested that the compliance was the critical factor. If the compliance was around 10, the a 25 gram combined mass would be all right. As the complience is 35 according to posters then the cartridge would have to have negative mass to work ideally.
Stanwal, VDH compliance rating is a bit unusual, they express compliance specification in static compliance (Micron/mN) instead of dynamic compliance (cm/dyne) like most mfg's. So, in more typical stated dynamic lateral compliance terms it is more like 18cu. (approx.) even this figure is subject to scrutiny as each Colibri is hand built and as a result these specs may vary slightly from cartridge to cartridge. Not to mention the fact that this compliance figure may not reflect a typical 100Hz measurement. The poster could possibly contact VDH directly with his cartridge serial number though to try and verify compliance stated in dynamic terms.
Folks, thank you for responses.
My budget is about $1500 +/-.
Speaking about SME 309 I guess mine not so clever approach doesn't get it to my heart just by the way it looks. I like more should I say conservative or old-fashioned style?
Ortofon RS-212D (cheapest I was able to find was $2375 new which is too much of a stretch for me) , AS-212S, TA-110 look good too but I couldn't find any. I found an older version - AS-212i (used) for $1060 and same new for $1545.
And Ortofon quotes an effective mass for these to be 3.5 grams! (without cartridge). If you can shed any comments on those, please...
Another one I was looking for would be Koetsu but I only found 10 inch, I only can accomodate around 225 mm.
The stated 3.5grams total effective mass for the Ortofon TA-110 is not correct, it is more like 19g. You are quoting the mass for the arm minus headshell, which is rather heavy at roughly 16g +/-.5g. All current Ortofon arms are much heavier than ideal for the Colibri LW in terms of total effective mass. Better to stick with a used 9g effective mass SME 309 or 9.5g effective mass SME M2-9.
Sorry for the pedantry, but both static and dynamic compliance could be specified with units in "Micron/mN" or "cm/dyne". They are equivalent units. (micron = .0001 cm; dyne = .01 mN.) What's unusual, I think, is that vdH use "Micron/mN" and give the static value, whereas almost everyone else uses cm/dyne and gives dynamic value. vdH also specify output at something like 5.4cm/sec stylus velocity, whereas the rest of the world use either 3.54 cm/sec (the old standard) or 5 cm/sec. This gives an optimistic idea of cartridge output, if you compare their raw number in mV to that of most other cartridges.
Personally I would look for a more tonearm friendly cartridge and there are dozens available from Dynavector, Lyra, Benz, Clearaudio, Audio Technica, etc.
Also, don't restrict yourself to moving coils. There are many terrific moving magnets/iron (current and past) to choose from. The Audio Technica AT-150MLX is a monster perfomer at its' price.
Yes, I am going to try other ones.
I had Grado Reference (old stock), purchased it in April, presumably not used. Installed on Oracle Audio TT with Rega 300 that came with it.
Then I thought - rather then trying all sorts of things with Grado I will get my hands on a couple of other ones.
So - I bought Acutex M 320, this is the MM type, just got it a few days ago, have not tried it yet. I also bought Ortofon Windfeld and Colibri LW - didn't receive them yet. So as you guys can imagine, given my very limited knowledge in audio hardware, I have some fun I have to go through. The good thing - I like to listen to music (no wonder!).
But anyway - I guess I will have to get one arm for Colibri and probably another one that will go well with Windfeld. I was thinking about some arm from Ortofon if I can find good condition used one may be RS-212D?
The goal being - make up my mind in terms what I want to keep. I may keep a couple, hard to say right now. So this is where I am.
Thank you for the ideas you through out there.
Just came across Sumiko MDC 800 for $1000, made in 1987 in the US.
Comes with H counterweight.
Can not find this information so far - what difference L and H weights make for the effective mass of the arm?
As I mentioned I need the arm for Colibri LW and from what I found so far on audiogon some people say it should match nicely, leave along the fact that it is a nice arm
If somebody would care to extend there opinion would be very greatful. Another option I am copnsidering at the moment is the Oracle SME 345 (I have Oracle Paris old one TT)