VdH cartridge on heavier tonearm

The Frog is very nice, but rather high conpliance cartridge.
Producer states static compliance at 35 micron/Nm that should transform to about 18 micron/Nm dynamic compliance at 10Hz.
Also producer states that Frog should wotk on tonearm up to 10g effective mass.

I have 12” tonearm with almost 21g effective mass.
Is there any chance that this will work together?
Anybody used Frog at heavier tonearm with succes?

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There is the math as @yogiboy said, then there is the occasional outlier in tonearm - cartridge synergy which you may get some input on if you mention what specific tonearm ( head shell etc ) you are referring to :)

First o all to use provided calculator I need to confirm that static compliance at 35 micron/Nm given in Frog specs transtale into 17.5 micron/Nm dynamic compliance @ 10Hz. If this is true the calculated resonant frequency is 6.98Hz so at the lower edge of the rang. 

My current tonearm is Origin Live 12” Enterprise C (3rd generation). Thank you for your input. 


I wouldn't advise using the Frog on such a heavy arm. It is a medium compliance cartridge, van den Hul's reference arm is an SME V with 11g effective mass. His test arm in the workshop is the Technics EPA 100 which has en effective mass of 12g.

You run the risk of the suspension collapsing prematurely.

As an aside van den hul will tweak his cartridges to match the arm used. I installed a Colibri custom made for the Kuzma 4Point11 at 18g, but personally I would not use a vdh ( even custom built ) with an arm with effective mass any higher than that

Thanks for your advice. I will try to consult that with VDH directly. So far I used with this tonearm Phasemation PP-1000 cartridge that seens to have similar to Frog compliance at 10Hz. 

First o all to use provided calculator I need to confirm that static compliance at 35 micron/Nm given in Frog specs transtale into 17.5 micron/Nm dynamic compliance @ 10Hz. If this is true the calculated resonant frequency is 6.98Hz so at the lower edge of the rang.

I believe european standard is the only one that you do not have to divide or multiply. Japanese multiply by 1,5-2  and US divide static by 2.



The compliance of the Phasemation PP1000 8. It's much lower than the van den hul.

The van den hul frog has a dynamic compliance of 14, static compliance of 28.

The phasemation is a much better match for your arm.



Dynamic compliance is a term used in calculator provided in link in second post. 
VdH which is European producer states „static compliance”. 

@petg60 Had no idea that one should divide US compliance figures by 2. That’s VERY useful information. And it explains why the same wand works for a Grado and a Koetsu, which I had failed to understand.


The compliance of Phasemation is given at @100 Hz, so to ensure that is comparable with VdH dynamic compliance @10 Hz should be multipled by 2-2.2. 

In te frequency calculator we should use dynamic compliance value @10Hz. 
Phasemation is 14.3g cartridge and compliance at 10Hz about 16.8. In that case the resonance will be even lower than Frog 8.3g and dynamic compliance at 14 at 10Hz. 


re the Phasemation - in that case the Phasemation is medium compliance - quite unusual for such a ow impedance MC.

It doesn't alter my view on the van den hul - I have sold and set up several over the years.

Here's van den hulls philosophy on arm mass & compliance - 

71 Q: Is there a basic difference between cartridges with a lower compliance compared to a higher compliant units ?

A: Yes, there is. A higher compliant cartridge needs a lower tracking force. Something between 1.0 and 1.5 gramforce. A lower compliant cartridge works well starting from 1.5 till even 3.5 gram. Some rebuilds of original designs need this 3.5 gram; A tracking force that really can damage your grooves, especially where also an original spherical stylus is used. A higher compliant cartridge with a lower mass arm is my advice to keep your records in a good condition, even after many replays.

His recommended tracking force for the basic Frog is 1.35 -1.6g and recommended arm mass for the original Frog was 6-10gm effective mass. The Colibri range are worse for heavy arms due to the short cantilevers.

Here's some comments by van den hul on heavy arms -

A: It sounds like you bought a 12 inch Fidelity Research arm with probably even silver wiring inside. These arms were made for the, in those days, very famous cartridges of the same company, like the FR-1 and later FR-7.
These cartridges had a stiff suspension and worked with a tracking force of around 2.0 gram or even more. The compliance (flexibility) of the suspension was not very high. But with some extra coupled weight around (your heavy arm) the basic resonance frequency of cartridge and arm would be around 10 Hz.

Your actual cartridge has a much higher compliance and already tracks well at 1.35 - 1.50 gramf. So the heavy arm combined with the softer spring (the suspension’s steel wire and rubber together) resonates at a much lower frequency and at a higher amplitude - like 5 Hz. The sonic result is that a lot of extra energy of your power amplifier is used to move your woofer at around 5 Hz and the real bass is gone.
Lesson: Never match what is not made for each other. New arm designs are made for today’s cartridges with a dynamic compliance of 10 - 15 μm/mN. The other way around is also a fact of live: For instance your SME Series V will not work so well with the Fidelity Research FR-1 because the compliance of this cartridge is too low here. So the resonance frequency of the cartridge/arm combination (see Appendix 2) is too high and your bass reproduction is too strong. The whole acts as


a low frequency resonator at around 25 - 30 Hz, so the output at these frequencies is also higher. But even worse is the fact that the tracking ability of your cartridge is gone. This because any resonating cartridge/arm combination already causes a healthy number of microns in excursion at the stylus. So what’s left is for your music. And in worst case that is not much.

So, sudden tracking problems are partly caused by uncontrolled low frequency resonances. A way to solve this problem is a reduction of the headshell mass. And also some fluid damping can help, but ONLY when you play flat records. Otherwise the cure causes your cartridge to age faster than you age yourself.



@milimetr , not a prayer in hell. Not even the SME V 12" would accommodate it and it is the lightest 12" I know of.  

I also have a VDH light weight cart and have tried it on heavier arms and its a no for sure. but that said I contacted VDH and they can rebuild the cart to a lower compliance if desired.  

Interesting. I have a VdH Crimson Strad XGW on a 12" Reed 3P cocobolo arm with effective mass of 18g and it tracks fine and sounds great. After 200 hours I sent it to VdH for inspection and re-adjustment if necessary thanks to John McGurk and there was no report of any suspension problem or advanced wear. 

I have a Frog and tried it with an OriginLive tonearm.  It was a disaster but will spare you the details.  I eventually moved up to a kuzma 4.9 and have been super happy with the results.  Matching the Frog to my SOTA was tricky as there weren’t many options.