van den Hul Colibri Grand Cru

Lagonda

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Has anyone compared the VDH Grand Cru to the Anna Diamond ? Ortofon are right up the road from me, i feel guilty for not even owning a Ortofon these days !;)
 

bazelio

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Brian, do you think the vdH is more like the Opus or the newer Lyras? I had thought the Lyra and vdH were more similar, but now I am not so sure. I now think the Opus and Colibri are more similar to each other than either is to the new Lyra, but my comparisons have been rather limited.

Your power cord comment is interesting. I introduced Ching Cheng into my system because the audiophile cords I tried introduced edge into the sound which I did not like. They enhanced certain things and homogenized the sound. The stock cords were better too, but the Ching Cheng was more resolving than the stock cords. Funny how everyone has a different experience.

I don't think vdH is more like either of those two. It's brighter and thinner sounding than both. The Lyra can at times sound a bit mechanical for lack of a better descriptor, which Lamm gear would tend to ameliorate. For example, Lyra on a Technics direct drive table would be extremely fast start/stop mechanical sounding. The low output Lyra with a high quality SUT or even Ian's CH can be extremely detailed and energetic though... And Lamm would add tone. So I think it's a viable option. Also, I'm not even sure if the newer Lambda or the previous non-Lambda Lyras are the better fit for Lamm and sleepy cords. Maybe the non-Lambda would be the better choice. There really is only one way to find out, and it's an expensive experiment.

Ching Cheng replaced my DIY cords based on copper Furutech (japanese) cable and eBay knockoff connectors in a second system. It could very well be the connectors I used were causing the entire problem. But I got tired of experimenting and Ching Chengs do well in this system.
 

PeterA

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I don't think vdH is more like either of those two. It's brighter and thinner sounding than both. The Lyra can at times sound a bit mechanical for lack of a better descriptor, which Lamm gear would tend to ameliorate. For example, Lyra on a Technics direct drive table would be extremely fast start/stop mechanical sounding. The low output Lyra with a high quality SUT or even Ian's CH can be extremely detailed and energetic though... And Lamm would add tone. So I think it's a viable option. Also, I'm not even sure if the newer Lambda or the previous non-Lambda Lyras are the better fit for Lamm and sleepy cords. Maybe the non-Lambda would be the better choice. There really is only one way to find out, and it's an expensive experiment.

Ching Cheng replaced my DIY cords based on copper Furutech (japanese) cable and eBay knockoff connectors in a second system. It could very well be the connectors I used were causing the entire problem. But I got tired of experimenting and Ching Chengs do well in this system.

Brian, I was more interested in your opinion about the sound of the three cartridges not the sound of the cartridges mixed with colored Lamm electronics and boring cheap power cords.

i’ve compared some versions of these cartridges in different systems and come away with a impression of the sound of the cartridges rather than how they interact with the system context.

My approach is not viewing these top cartridges as Band-Aids that balance the sound of specific amplifiers and power cords. I’m interested in the cartridges’ inherent characters.
 
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Inconsistency has been a big problem with the VDH strad, but the ones that are very good are brilliant. The other ones are usually not listenable and quite etchy. But I understand this was a problem with the older colibris as well, yours might
Even my bad eyes can see readily that this cantilever is misaligned. How could this cartridge have been let out of the "factory" like this? (I understand that this is a rhetorical question.)
Ron…not only that it’s VDH top of the line series retail at $16k. To me it’s just mind boggling that with the inconsistency at least they could have done something or have consumer send it back for a realignment. I wrote to them and they stated it was, “ the way it came, use it and see how you like it.” !
 

bazelio

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Brian, I was more interested in your opinion about the sound of the three cartridges not the sound of the cartridges mixed with colored Lamm electronics and boring cheap power cords.

i’ve compared some versions of these cartridges in different systems and come away with a impression of the sound of the cartridges rather than how they interact with the system context.

My approach is not viewing these top cartridges as Band-Aids that balance the sound of specific amplifiers and power cords. I’m interested in the cartridges’ inherent characters.

I haven't said nor alluded to cartridges being bandaids. What I have said is that people can build systems around a cartridge, which is quite the opposite of what I would guess you mean by bandaid. The overall sound of a system, if there were a way to quantify, would probably owe ~75% to the cartridge.

As to the inherent quality of the cartridges themselves, I think most people, if presented with a high quality needle drop recording of these three cartridges would find the Opus 1 to be the most balanced overall and somewhat euphonic. The vDH would be the brightest and leanest. The Lyra non-Lambda Atlas would be the fastest, and probably the "slammiest" - as in hits hard, no overhang, etc. Detail-wise - I'd have to go back and listen but roughly I want to say they're in the same general ballpark.
 

bonzo75

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I don't know for sure, but I strongly suspect that the Airtight would not be my choice in an all-Lamm system.

Again you are using theory. Airtight sounds great in Tang's lamm, and in Gian's CH. No one builds a system around either of those carts, you can add both to most systems and they will sound good. If your vdh didn't that's they sample, and you keep using one experiment to judge it. Try listening in some other systems.

Yes Opus is more balanced, and more consistent, and will probably hit 9 or 10 in many systems, like tang said in another thread. Thing is, vdh and red sparrow (on a LT) can hit 12. unfortunately they can also plunge much below 10. In fact red sparrow can hit 1

Ps: I heard Tang's system with Ayon, his videos with lamm
 
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bonzo75

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Ones where the owner loved the cart? I am assuming you heard other samples of the cart, not yours in other systems
 

bazelio

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Ones where the owner loved the cart? I am assuming you heard other samples of the cart, not yours in other systems
You assume a lot. And I mean a LOT. Mine sounded better in another system. I've heard other Master Sigs, one with the blackwood and two with whatever the standard wood is called. It is what it is.
 

bonzo75

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Lagonda

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Don't forget the TT in the equation, really good TT's like Peters Micro, and Tangs AS 2000 present with a tonal fullness that you just don't get with lesser TT's. :)
 

bonzo75

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Don't forget the TT in the equation, really good TT's like Peters Micro, and Tangs AS 2000 present with a tonal fullness that you just don't get with lesser TT's. :)

I have also heard vdh sound great on modded Garrard, lenco, kodo beat, and GPA Monaco and lowest Avid model. A good sample is quite flexible across systems and tables.
 

Kcin

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More vDH handiwork here that I held in my hand and saw with my own two eyes recently. Mounting holes were visibly misdrilled off-center as well as at an inconsistent and incorrect pitch such that they do not align to standard spacing in any headshell. Generator assembly visibly askew and off center as well.

View attachment 90752

View attachment 90753
I accept that these are handmade devices constructed by artists and that sample to sample variation is inevitable for all cartridge makers - however, I just can't accept what you show here and what others have reported. Sure this is F1 with relentless tuning and adjustments but my gosh my OCD would never tolerate this.

FWIW I have had 3vDH cartridges in my lifetime 2were supposed to be the same - but were nothing alike and the 3rd never lived up to my expectation -an audio friend and I bought both at the same time and his was marvelous mine was a dog.

So maybe those with a more direct connection to vDH get more consistent samples or can get alterations made more readily and although I am still a crazy audiophile I'll take my Lyra, GFS and Koetsu and Ortofons at least for consistency if the palette suits you. ( yes even Koetsu!) I am sure that a correctly performing vDH is excellent , if you get one.

BTW I do agree , in the main, with your assessment of the character of vDH vs. other cartridges.
 
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gian60

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I am agree with Brian,i think in Peter system Opus will be good but not perfect,
Opus is fantastic in my system because in my Montagna speaker the tweeter is fantastic and in Tang system,has Lamm but Cessaro speaker has Tad 703 that is the best supertweeter and perfect with Opus

old Atlas sl can be good with Lamm,but little electric and not natural like GC or Opus and the new Lambda is very good but different from the old Atlas because midbass is full,could be little too much full,and is natural,lost little electric of old Atlas,so for Peter i am sure the perfect cart for me is GC
 

bonzo75

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I am agree with Brian,i think in Peter system Opus will be good but not perfect,
Opus is fantastic in my system because in my Montagna speaker the tweeter is fantastic and in Tang system,has Lamm but Cessaro speaker has Tad 703 that is the best supertweeter and perfect with Opus

Then you are not agreeing with Brian. In his guesstimate Opus should not sound good with lamm in Tang's system, and his point is that vdh is used to balance out lamm sound. He does not know TAD driver and tweeter

Thing is Opus will sound good in both systems, yours and Tang's. But vdh also sounds good in both systems. Whether it sounds better than Opus or not will be more dependent on sample to sample variation
 
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gian60

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Opus is on dark side and also Lamm is on dark side,but in this combo if you add the fantastic supertweeter TAD 703 that Tang has in his speaker all will be very good.
VDH are open but sweet so will be another good combo with more details.

I think in Peter system,also his fantastic and very natural speaker are a little on the dark side,so having 3 products,Opus,Lamm and Vitavox,all fantastic and natural,but all on dark side,could be too dark,this is why Peter like a lot VDH because are full of details,sweet and natural,so i dont suggest Opus to Peter,but if Peter can have 3/4 tonearm Opus will be very good in his system for voices and choir,for exemple
 
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PeterA

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Opus is on dark side and also Lamm is on dark side,but in this combo if you add the fantastic supertweeter TAD 703 that Tang has in his speaker all will be very good.
VDH are open but sweet so will be another good combo with more details.

I think in Peter system,also his fantastic and very natural speaker are a little on the dark side,so having 3 products,Opus,Lamm and Vitavox,all fantastic and natural,but all on dark side,could be too dark,this is why Peter like a lot VDH because are full of details,sweet and natural,so i dont suggest Opus to Peter,but if Peter can have 3/4 tonearm Opus will be very good in his system for voices and choir,for exemple

I hear what you are saying, Gian. However, some visitors to my system think the sound is tilted very slightly towards the mid and treble region. I suspect they might prefer the Opus. I wish I could hear the Opus in my new system and then I would be able to contribute more to the discussion.
 

tima

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If Lamm is dark then the opposite of dark in this case is not light, but lean. I consider Lamm as having more dense or more complete low-mid to low frequency tone and harmonics which is how I interpret comments about dark.
 
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Mike Lavigne

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If Lamm is dark then the opposite of dark in this case is not light, but lean. I consider Lamm as having more dense or more complete low-mid to low frequency tone and harmonics which is how I interpret comments about dark.
disagree.

many cases where gear/cables can sound dark, then alternatives are open and light. one of them is the Lamm ML3 compared to my dart 458's in my particular system,. another was the Transparent Opus MM speaker cables compare to my Evolution Acoustics speaker cables in my particular system.

in neither case was there any lean-ness involved. degrees greater overall transparency, but not lean-ness.

dark is just that; where the recesses of the stage are slightly closed in, and there is a slight darkness to the overall presentation. compared to a more open and well lit presentation where the soundstage is open and reaches farther, as well as the highs are more extended and open.

not claiming that this happens equally in every system, or that there is always a preference in one direction.
 

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