van den Hul Colibri Grand Cru

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
9,660
6,618
1,335
North Shore of Boston
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.

The systems that I have heard with Lamm gear have tended to be very open, transparent, and resolving, also tonally balanced. A couple of visitors recently told me that they did not think female voice had enough weight, which I interpreted as a bit tilted up in terms of tonal balance. I adjusted the cartridge setting and it sounded better, so I thanked them for their comments. No one mentioned the word "dark".

I think of dark as either closed in/less open, or as lacking information. I also think that it might be tilted toward the low frequencies in terms of tonal balance. I do not like the term "dark" because the meaning is not clear to me. No one has described my new system as "dark", and I would certainly not ever think that a cartridge like the Colibri would "lighten it up" or add some leanness.

This is where language utterly fails, IMO.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tima

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
4,717
5,518
830
Bangkok
I get what Mike is saying. His key words are highlighted in bold.
1) Degree of light and dark is personal judgement.
2) Unless the gear is so damn light or dark to the extreme, only comparison of a to b to c etc. in the same system could determine if a is darker/lighter to the others in that comparison.
3) Even in that same system testing in 2), you have to identify or verify where the dark/light comes from. You do a/b/c comparison on amp (or any particular equipment) it could be the cable or something else in that particular system that once interact with the a/b/c it influences the outcome.

Basically you have to play around and really know your system and gear to say what Mike said. One time listening in one system just cannot tell the true dna of an equipment. Some say Lamm is dark. Imo it could be both dark and light. I could make it to sound so open, light as day light (not lid up ), even like Switzerland fresh air and it does not need the vdh to make it so. My sound now is also darker than before but if you are not familiar with my sound before you probably cannot not notice. And one more thing don't be so negative of the word dark or light. Dark and light is natural. Lit up is not.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: the sound of Tao

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
4,051
4,295
845
the Upper Midwest
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.

I don't understand what you are saying because the references in your first paragraph are unclear. Can you say in a different way?

We understand the words differently. I understand 'dark' as about tonality not about soundstage visibility. So you think your dartzeel is the opposite of the ml3?
 
Last edited:

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
4,051
4,295
845
the Upper Midwest
I think of dark as either closed in/less open, or as lacking information. I also think that it might be tilted toward the low frequencies in terms of tonal balance. I do not like the term "dark" because the meaning is not clear to me. No one has described my new system as "dark", and I would certainly not ever think that a cartridge like the Colibri would "lighten it up" or add some leanness.

This is where language utterly fails, IMO.

Agreed that the term requires more explanation than the description it offers.

If dark suggests tilting toward low frequencies I don't take that as about a shift in balance but about more nuance in tonal density. It is more a phenomena of discovery, not a persistent character that stands out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PeterA

bazelio

Well-Known Member
Sep 27, 2016
2,198
1,415
280
California
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
I would love to hear those speakers of yours. Aesthetically, they are incredible.
 

bazelio

Well-Known Member
Sep 27, 2016
2,198
1,415
280
California
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
I have not said opus would not sound good. I have guessed that I'd prefer vDH over opus with Lamm. Tang does. Gian confirms my reasoning.
 

bazelio

Well-Known Member
Sep 27, 2016
2,198
1,415
280
California
I don't understand what you are saying because the references in your first paragraph are unclear. Can you say in a different way?

We understand the words differently. I understand 'dark' as about tonality not about soundstage visibility. So you think your dartzeel is the opposite of the ml3?

Mike is correct. Darkness starts as a recess in the presence region, typically. But usually extends into octave 10, which is really where openness and air is. I suspect for most people it is sensed more so than heard, and it does create a sense of space (or not).
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
4,051
4,295
845
the Upper Midwest
Darkness starts as a recess in the presence region, typically. But usually extends into octave 10, which is really where openness and air is. I suspect for most people it is sensed more so than heard, and it does create a sense of space (or not).

Different people assign different names/words to different frequency ranges or regions.

Let's assume the overall band is 20Hz - 20kHz. One TAS writer I spoke with uses 1-3kHz as the presence region, starting roughly 2 ocatves above middle-C. Holt says it is 1000-4000Hz, the top two octaves on a piano. Some say the presence region is 4kHz to 6kHz, starting roughly at the highest-C on a piano, its topmost note and the topmost note scored for acoustic instruments.

So I better understand what you're talking about, where is the presence region for you?
 
  • Like
Reactions: christoph

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
4,051
4,295
845
the Upper Midwest
I get what Mike is saying. His key words are highlighted in bold.
1) Degree of light and dark is personal judgement.
2) Unless the gear is so damn light or dark to the extreme, only comparison of a to b to c etc. in the same system could determine if a is darker/lighter to the others in that comparison.
3) Even in that same system testing in 2), you have to identify or verify where the dark/light comes from. You do a/b/c comparison on amp (or any particular equipment) it could be the cable or something else in that particular system that once interact with the a/b/c it influences the outcome.

Basically you have to play around and really know your system and gear to say what Mike said. One time listening in one system just cannot tell the true dna of an equipment. Some say Lamm is dark. Imo it could be both dark and light. I could make it to sound so open, light as day light (not lid up ), even like Switzerland fresh air and it does not need the vdh to make it so. My sound now is also darker than before but if you are not familiar with my sound before you probably cannot not notice. And one more thing don't be so negative of the word dark or light. Dark and light is natural. Lid up is not.

I get what you are saying Tang wrt claims about comparing one gear to another as relative to one another within the same system. What I am curious about is a better understanding of what people are describing with the words 'dark' and 'light'. You have given 'light' as day light, high altitude air, open. MikeL considers "light" as about soundstage visibility - at least that's the best I can make of his. Not thinking either is negative, but looking for more words that people will use rather something like 'dark is dark'.
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
4,717
5,518
830
Bangkok
I get what you are saying Tang wrt claims about comparing one gear to another as relative to one another within the same system. What I am curious about is a better understanding of what people are describing with the words 'dark' and 'light'. You have given 'light' as day light, high altitude air, open. MikeL considers "light" as about soundstage visibility - at least that's the best I can make of his. Not thinking either is negative, but looking for more words that people will use rather something like 'dark is dark'.
My definition of light(er) is pretty much what Mike described. Mike did mention stage, air and openness.

Here is my light(er)


Here is my dark(er).....relative to one another.


Both videos used same Vdh. Just different cables.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: tima

bazelio

Well-Known Member
Sep 27, 2016
2,198
1,415
280
California
Different people assign different names/words to different frequency ranges or regions.

Let's assume the overall band is 20Hz - 20kHz. One TAS writer I spoke with uses 1-3kHz as the presence region, starting roughly 2 ocatves above middle-C. Holt says it is 1000-4000Hz, the top two octaves on a piano. Some say the presence region is 4kHz to 6kHz, starting roughly at the highest-C on a piano, its topmost note and the topmost note scored for acoustic instruments.

So I better understand what you're talking about, where is the presence region for you?

If your band is 20-20k then presence is octave 8. When talking about audio or sounds in general, it's not useful to anchor on one instrument or another. More useful to come at it from a general mixing and equalization perspective.
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
4,717
5,518
830
Bangkok
My definition of light(er) can easily be heard from Gian's CH system video playing Pawn Shop. That video was made before he cooked his system with different cables and power cond. The air, the openness, the space, the day light was very evident. His system now has more weight and density but still has excellent degree of openness. The sense of openness he has I think comes from the room too. It gives his system a signature. When I hear it I know it is his room his system. I like a system that has a signature. It gives the owner an identity. Ego thing I have. :)

Gian or Ked can show that video if they still have it.
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
4,051
4,295
845
the Upper Midwest
If your band is 20-20k then presence is octave 8. When talking about audio or sounds in general, it's not useful to anchor on one instrument or another. More useful to come at it from a general mixing and equalization perspective.

Perhaps. Knowing about instrument frequency helps people relate to the names of the various regions. We are, at least I am are talking about how people use the terms 'dark' and 'light' wrt cartridges, amplifiers, systems -- not so much about how a recording engineer achieves that.

Octave 8 -- you start at ~8000Hz and extend to Octave 10. Within what some call the billiance region or extreme highs. Harmonics; as you say, possibly sensed not heard. When you say darkness is a recess in harmonics, or in this frequency range, can you describe what you mean by 'recess'? Is that a reduction or lessening of these tippy top harmonics?
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
9,660
6,618
1,335
North Shore of Boston
Perhaps. Knowing about instrument frequency helps people relate to the names of the various regions. We are, at least I am are talking about how people use the terms 'dark' and 'light' wrt cartridges, amplifiers, systems -- not so much about how a recording engineer achieves that.

Octave 8 -- you start at ~8000Hz and extend to Octave 10. Within what some call the billiance region or extreme highs. Harmonics; as you say, possibly sensed not heard. When you say darkness is a recess in harmonics, or in this frequency range, can you describe what you mean by 'recess'? Is that a reduction or lessening of these tippy top harmonics?

Now I am really confused. If by dark one refers to recessed harmonics, then the reference to Lamm gear sounding dark makes absolutely no sense to me because I’ve never heard more natural harmonics than with my Lamm gear. In fact I had a friend over last night who is buying an entire Lamm based system and we were comparing two of my Colibrí cartridges and identical arms. He commented about the quality of the harmonics.

Tang’s videos are instructive. It seems to me that the Lamm and vdH Colibrí are both so revolving and transparent that it allows a simple cable change to convey a very different presentation. I know that videos suck and very few people are willing to take the risk to post them, but this video demonstration is pretty convincing and makes clear what Tang means.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: tima and ddk

bazelio

Well-Known Member
Sep 27, 2016
2,198
1,415
280
California
Perhaps. Knowing about instrument frequency helps people relate to the names of the various regions. We are, at least I am are talking about how people use the terms 'dark' and 'light' wrt cartridges, amplifiers, systems -- not so much about how a recording engineer achieves that.

Octave 8 -- you start at ~8000Hz and extend to Octave 10. Within what some call the billiance region or extreme highs. Harmonics; as you say, possibly sensed not heard. When you say darkness is a recess in harmonics, or in this frequency range, can you describe what you mean by 'recess'? Is that a reduction or lessening of these tippy top harmonics?

What? No. 20-20k puts octave 8 at ~2.5k. If I do the math in my head, possibly incorrectly, 2.58 kHz to 5.16 kHz.
 
Last edited:

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
18,158
7,977
1,415
London
My definition of light(er) can easily be heard from Gian's CH system video playing Pawn Shop. That video was made before he cooked his system with different cables and power cond. The air, the openness, the space, the day light was very evident. His system now has more weight and density but still has excellent degree of openness. The sense of openness he has I think comes from the room too. It gives his system a signature. When I hear it I know it is his room his system. I like a system that has a signature. It gives the owner an identity. Ego thing I have. :)

Gian or Ked can show that video if they still have it.

While both your Mahler videos are different, neither is dark. While Gian's system has changed and developed better midbass, neither before or now is dark
 
  • Like
Reactions: tima

gian60

Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2016
2,372
1,688
318
My system was weak in midbass when i had Bergmann Sindre with GFS and Atlas sl,now with Vyger and AF3P,Sat,Triplanar;lambda,Opus,new rack,PS Audio P 20,cables like Goeble and Vyda,i think the balance is near perfect now,i am very happy,cannot imagine changing L1 with L 10
 
  • Like
Reactions: bazelio

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
4,051
4,295
845
the Upper Midwest
What? No. 20-20k puts octave 8 at ~2.5k. If I do the math in my head, possibly incorrectly, 2.58 kHz to 5.16 kHz.

My error. I was starting C -1 at 16Hz and C0 at 31.5Hz. Starting at 20Hz with Octave 1 20Hz-40Hz finds Octave 8 2560Hz-5120Hz by simple doubling, with 10 Octaves between 20Hz-20kHz.
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
4,051
4,295
845
the Upper Midwest
Now I am really confused. If by dark one refers to recessed harmonics, then the reference to Lamm gear sounding dark makes absolutely no sense to me because I’ve never heard more natural harmonics than with my Lamm gear. In fact I had a friend over last night who is buying an entire Lamm based system and we were comparing two of my Colibrí cartridges and identical arms. He commented about the quality of the harmonics.

Tang’s videos are instructive. It seems to me that the Lamm and vdH Colibrí are both so revolving and transparent that it allows a simple cable change to convey a very different presentation. I know that videos suck and very few people are willing to take the risk to post them, but this video demonstration is pretty convincing and makes clear what Tang means.

Yes, well put, I agree. That is why I interpret claims of dark attributed to Lamm as harmonic richness in the lower mids and bass. Dark is not a helpful word - it is too generalized and has too many different meanings to different people to be helpful.

I tried to deal with this in my 2015 M1.2 review:
"Some find the overall sound of the M1.2 as slightly dark; and by contrast with certain amps there is that relative difference. I found the M1.2s sounding whole within themselves, and from the perspective of their overall presentation, music teemed with harmonic information, with the antonym of their tonality being not light but lean." Note: "the antonym of their tonality" refers to the M1.2, not some other product.

I recognize people make relative contrasts between two products often using opposites: light/dark, rich/lean, forward/recessed, warm/cool, etc. Once a term, X, is pegged onto a product, the other product will be not-X to some degree even though it may be X-ish. Talk about the music - better to describe what you hear.
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. This is THE place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss vintage, contemporary and new audio products, music servers, music streamers, computer audio, digital-to-analog converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel-to-reel tape machines, speakers, headphones and tube and solid-state amplification. Founded in 2010 What’s Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals, we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people, and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing