The Colibri “Master Signature”

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
2,067
261
83
Bangkok
#1
Yesterday, my tonearm guy set 2 carts up for me. The Master Signature is on the Axiom/EMT 927. And the ZYX Universe Premium on SAT ( I took the Etna Mono off) but that didn’t work. The ZYX was drifting like Fast n Furious with SAT. The light weight ZYX just couldn’t be played on SAT. The problem was the ZYX not SAT. Something was wrong with its tip. Soon after I reported to David whom I bought it from, the replacement was sent to me by Sora Sound.

Anyway I haven’t finetuned anything by myself yet and will let the VdH run a while to get familiar with it a bit. Initial impression on the Master Signature is very positive. The tone is very complete and balanced meaning no missing in extensions, not too much or too little of certain frequency within the frequency range. Some carts I own have excellent high extension, very detail, more in the high, but the mids are skinny and the bass is light. While some is the opposite. This VdH offers the whole spectrum adequately. Another thing that strikes me is its effortlessness. There is this ease that I feel when listening. And when I was about to think it is understated, the saxophone broke out “explosively!” This character is like the EMT 927. Or was I hearing the EMT? :confused: (I am questioning myself a lot lately. Must have picked up this infection from following a lot of MadFloyd’s comments.) People on this forum these day don’t like the word “musical” because it is too vague and subjective. But the vocab that actually comes to my mind from my first impression of this cart is unavoidably “musical.”

VdH has a confusing model name. What I have is Colibri XGW Master Signature Stradivarius. The output is 0.5 mV. There is also a higher output one. I think Shakti has that one. My vtf is 1.4 g. I use Ayon phono with this setup at 300 Ohms. I will write more and more along the time I “play” with this cart. My play will include switching to different arm, tt, vtf, vta.

Kind regards,
Tang

AA142195-E883-45F8-828E-68524352CF9A.jpg
E2951155-5E11-4E02-8566-E57B713AE3BA.jpg
 
Last edited:

awsmone

Active Member
Apr 7, 2014
1,108
18
38
Canberra Australia
#2
Tango

Are you using techdas record clamp on the 927?

Also you comment about cartridges that have highs but no bass, have you played with the VTF and VTA s

Love your photos ....
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
2,067
261
83
Bangkok
#3
Tango

Are you using techdas record clamp on the 927?

Also you comment about cartridges that have highs but no bass, have you played with the VTF and VTA s

Love your photos ....
Hi Awsmone,

I switch between Techdas and Dalby weight. Before AS2000 arrived I didn’t fully hear every last bit of what these two weight behave. Now I know the Dalby accentuates mids, gives sense of more dynamic and energy but at the same time round off the very high extension and micro details. The Techdas weight seems less dynamic, sounds harder in comparison but doesn’t seem to accentuate any frequencies and doesn’t lose any details. Ever since I have the AS2000 I can pick up things that I didn’t hear or notice before. I am talking tiny details. So these days I like to take out colors that I think no need to be there and only leave the characters dependent on cartridges.

My comments about highs with no bass is not a comment on this VdH. I heard from other carts I own and cannot be fixed. Tonally this VdH is superb and has all frequencies in abundant. I haven’t optimised the vta and vtf yet. I play some records and songs that should sound a bit rough or raspy, the drum should also sound more hollow, but I am not hearing this. So I know I could improve quite a bit with fine tuning.

Tang :)
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,526
45
48
Utah
#4
Hi Awsmone,

I switch between Techdas and Dalby weight. Before AS2000 arrived I didn’t fully hear every last bit of what these two weight behave. Now I know the Dalby accentuates mids, gives sense of more dynamic and energy but at the same time round off the very high extension and micro details. The Techdas weight seems less dynamic, sounds harder in comparison but doesn’t seem to accentuate any frequencies and doesn’t lose any details. Ever since I have the AS2000 I can pick up things that I didn’t hear or notice before. I am talking tiny details. So these days I like to take out colors that I think no need to be there and only leave the characters dependent on cartridges.

My comments about highs with no bass is not a comment on this VdH. I heard from other carts I own and cannot be fixed. Tonally this VdH is superb and has all frequencies in abundant. I haven’t optimised the vta and vtf yet. I play some records and songs that should sound a bit rough or raspy, the drum should also sound more hollow, but I am not hearing this. So I know I could improve quite a bit with fine tuning.

Tang :)
The 927 sounds best without a weight or a light one, I'll send you an AT weight to use on your EMT with the next shipment. The vdH will continue to impress as you dial it in more :)!

david
 

BruceD

VIP/Donor
Dec 13, 2013
933
14
18
#5
Hi Awsmone,

I switch between Techdas and Dalby weight. Before AS2000 arrived I didn’t fully hear every last bit of what these two weight behave. Now I know the Dalby accentuates mids, gives sense of more dynamic and energy but at the same time round off the very high extension and micro details. The Techdas weight seems less dynamic, sounds harder in comparison but doesn’t seem to accentuate any frequencies and doesn’t lose any details. Ever since I have the AS2000 I can pick up things that I didn’t hear or notice before. I am talking tiny details. So these days I like to take out colors that I think no need to be there and only leave the characters dependent on cartridges.

My comments about highs with no bass is not a comment on this VdH. I heard from other carts I own and cannot be fixed. Tonally this VdH is superb and has all frequencies in abundant. I haven’t optimised the vta and vtf yet. I play some records and songs that should sound a bit rough or raspy, the drum should also sound more hollow, but I am not hearing this. So I know I could improve quite a bit with fine tuning.

Tang :)
Ha!-- so much for the Patek Phillipe "PepperPot" put down

Old Elephants never forget:p

As an aside --Are the VDH carts dynasty in safe future hands?--I sincerely hope so--I was using AJ's MCs in the early 80's and getting him to retip--In the shows then he would just have himself

chair and a desk--you sat down and chatted the product-ha!-- I'm not sure of his family mentorship/etc regarding the production--sincerely trust he is training the successor of a Fine Innings

grateful it is not over --long may it continue-I actually was listening to the Stradivari yesterday on a friends system--sublime!

BruceD
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
2,067
261
83
Bangkok
#6
Ha!-- so much for the Patek Phillipe "PepperPot" put down

Old Elephants never forget:p

As an aside --Are the VDH carts dynasty in safe future hands?--I sincerely hope so--I was using AJ's MCs in the early 80's and getting him to retip--In the shows then he would just have himself

chair and a desk--you sat down and chatted the product-ha!-- I'm not sure of his family mentorship/etc regarding the production--sincerely trust he is training the successor of a Fine Innings

grateful it is not over --long may it continue-I actually was listening to the Stradivari yesterday on a friends system--sublime!

BruceD
Don’t make fun of my Patek Philippe :p. A good cook should know and have all the ingredients and spices to use if and when he wants to use them.

@ddk. Thank you my friend. I will dial in more when the next shipment comes. ;)

Kind regards,
Tang
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
2,067
261
83
Bangkok
#7
The Axiom has an easy vta adjustment knob but it doesn’t has any scale or marking. Counting cards does the trick. The counterweight of Axiom also difficult to adjust in small increments. Now that I am starting to do things my own I complain. :eek:

994B0842-A809-4199-911B-FC1FF1C7DAF8.jpg

Tang
 
May 30, 2010
14,269
130
63
Portugal
#8
Yesterday, my tonearm guy set 2 carts up for me. The Master Signature is on the Axiom/EMT 927. And the ZYX Universe Premium on SAT ( I took the Etna Mono off) but that didn’t work. The ZYX was drifting like Fast n Furious with SAT. The light weight ZYX just couldn’t be played on SAT. I put more anti-skate weight on. It played but at the same time ate my vinyl like Pac-Man. My Damien O is damaged now. If someone can make it works pls let me know how.

Anyway I haven’t finetuned anything by myself yet and will let the VdH run a while to get familiar with it a bit. Initial impression on the Master Signature is very positive. The tone is very complete and balanced meaning no missing in extensions, not too much or too little of certain frequency within the frequency range. Some carts I own have excellent high extension, very detail, more in the high, but the mids are skinny and the bass is light. While some is the opposite. This VdH offers the whole spectrum adequately. Another thing that strikes me is its effortlessness. There is this ease that I feel when listening. And when I was about to think it is understated, the saxophone broke out “explosively!” This character is like the EMT 927. Or was I hearing the EMT? :confused: (I am questioning myself a lot lately. Must have picked up this infection from following a lot of MadFloyd’s comments.) People on this forum these day don’t like the word “musical” because it is too vague and subjective. But the vocab that actually comes to my mind from my first impression of this cart is unavoidably “musical.”

VdH has a confusing model name. What I have is Colibri XGW Master Signature Stradivarius. The output is 0.5 mV. There is also a higher output one. I think Shakti has that one. My vtf is 1.4 g. I use Ayon phono with this setup at 300 Ohms. I will write more and more along the time I “play” with this cart. My play will include switching to different arm, tt, vtf, vta.

Kind regards,
Tang
(...)
You used the proper words to caratcerize the Colibri XGW Master Signature Stradivarius - I am using the 0.9V version and also feel it is effortlessness and explosive. But IMHO there is a bit of the EMT927 on such appreciation - my Sumiko Palo Santos also gained some extra dynamics and attack when I brought it to the EMT927. And I am still close to 100 hours on it.
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
330
46
28
#9
Francisco, if I am remembering. you've had your vdH Master Signature Strad for a while longer than Tango. Would you kindly offer an account of your time with the cartridge thus far? I'm considering one myself and will appreciate your (and Tang's) comments. tia
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
2,067
261
83
Bangkok
#10
On the EMT this Master Sig. is more dynamic and explosive than all carts I have on AS2000. I already talked about the tone on previous post. I hope Micro could comment what he hears on this regard. I want to check if the cart I have is offering the same tone or not. I have been told by a few people that the quality control of VdH is not the best. In the past two days I have been tuning the VdH on Axiom EMT but to be honest I still can’t reach the realism level I get from all the carts I have on AS2000. It is not apple to apple so I don’t want to make comments and give possible false impressions. I will write again when I move this VdH on the 3012R/AS2000.


Kind regards,
Tang
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,361
222
63
London
#11
Francisco, if I am remembering. you've had your vdH Master Signature Strad for a while longer than Tango. Would you kindly offer an account of your time with the cartridge thus far? I'm considering one myself and will appreciate your (and Tang's) comments. tia
Kevin Scott uses it on the same arm as you. Superb
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
2,067
261
83
Bangkok
#12

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,361
222
63
London
#14
Who is Kevin Scott and what arm is he using?

Tang
Kevin is the guy behind the vox olympian and Kondo UK. In the vox palladian room he had Kuzma 4p (Tima uses same arm), Stabi M, and the vdh with all Kondo gear at Munich this year, and the master sig was also on the Schick arm of the modded Garrard in the WE room. The crimson strad was in their room last year, and they let me compare it to a Tsar DST/Schroeder set up on a couple of records. The vdh as was played there last year, this year, and in the vox palladian room was just fantastic, but they all stressed the point of that loading is crucial for this cartridge and needs to be configured to the tonearm.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,361
222
63
London
#15
Oh yes, Tima, Kevin uses the Monaco 2.0 too, on that he used the Fuuga, but surely he would know about matching both if you wanted to call up and ask him
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
330
46
28
#16
Excellent, Ked, thanks. Thank you Tang. I will also be interested in which output.
 
May 30, 2010
14,269
130
63
Portugal
#17
Francisco, if I am remembering. you've had your vdH Master Signature Strad for a while longer than Tango. Would you kindly offer an account of your time with the cartridge thus far? I'm considering one myself and will appreciate your (and Tang's) comments. tia
Tim,

Remember I listen mainly to digital, it is the format where most of my music is available and that I prefer for many classical recordings.

It is still difficult for me to separate the vdH Master Signature Strad from the EMT927/SEM3012R tonearm. The whole system is clearly the better vinyl setup I have owned, but I have been focusing on listening mainly to different electronics in the Soundlab's in the last weeks.

I appreciate the energy, slam, fine detail and good tracking in the vdH MSS - I hate the vinyl modulation noise, I do not want to "feel the groove" when listening to music. But I have used it mostly on modern jazz and some nostalgia rock, that are not good references for sharing an appraisal of the cartridge.
 
May 30, 2010
14,269
130
63
Portugal
#18
Kevin is the guy behind the vox olympian and Kondo UK. (...)
Can you give us more explicit details? I associated him to Definitive Audio, but not only to these brands.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,361
222
63
London
#19
Can you give us more explicit details? I associated him to Definitive Audio, but not only to these brands.
He owns living voice (so owns the vox), and definitive audio is his ship from where he distributes Kondo. I am not sure what he is distributor and dealer for but kuzma, Fuuga, Neodio and Monaco are also in his portfolio
 

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