The Colibri “Master Signature”

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,251
1,265
113
London
I also have this Vdh MS cartridge and i do like it. From the first track it allready sounded very good. It was and still is getting better with more hours tracktime, now about 60+ hrs.

I don't have and hear any sibilance with this cart (when vta and load is set good). But it has a lot of high energy. So tonal shifted to the highs. Allmost not natural. But this cart give some kind of magic to the sound, it is very good 3-dimension and very dynamic. Bass is very good quality, the best for me i think, but a bit less quantity. Mids are so fluid so explosing and still so smooth.

So no negatives? Well i very much like to listen to this cartridge, but i have to pick my records. And i can't listen to it longer than 1,5 hour at 85dB with this cartridge. It is very very good but not my favourite. All IMHO offcourse..
What kind of records do you mean. For me 1.5 hours sounds like an ideal listening session
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,537
435
83
North Shore of Boston
Here is a 4Point headshell with Wally VTA attached.

View attachment 47389

- You can see why a small bubble level can not work. There's no flat spot to put it.

Wally VTA
- Mount a cartridge, place it on a record, then measure the height to the underside of the headshell with a supplied scale. I do this once for each cartridge and write that down in my notes for it.
- The Wally VTA has shims of various thickness: .25mm, .50mm, etc. It's default height is 16.0mm. Add shims to equal the measure height of the cartridge.
- Rest the long blade of the W/VTA on the record and adjust arm height until the blade is perfectly flat on the record.
- Result: Tonearm/headshell bottom is perfectly level to the record.

From there I adjust arm height to assure equal amount of space, up and down, for adjusting VTA. There is a height gauge on the side of the 4P's VTA tower. I set the 'arm height to the middle marker on the gauge. I don't mind if you think this is less simple than eyeballing. :) I know a guy who uses a laser level to set the 'arm parallel.

I guess I can visualize why the armboard height is relevant as it may apply to the 'arms height position as pertains to a starting point for SRA setting and possibly the amount of up-down space available for that. The 4P has a long shaft on its VTA tower that allows the 'arm to be moved up and down. If that shaft were short, armboard height could be critical. Thanks for the lesson!
Tim, that looks like a pretty good system. Do you account for record thickness or do you just take an average LP when you set the arm height using this method? Considering that there are .25mm shims at play, LPs vary by more than that thickness. It seems that this method also presumes all LPs are cut with the same cutting head angle. I don't know how relevant that is with most LPs.
 
Likes: tima

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,537
435
83
North Shore of Boston
Sorry to keep on, but this is exactly what I was referring to. This style of thinking explains why someone might select one arm or cart - not two. The missing link is that when you have two, your choice of one is dependent on the choice of the other, and not necessarily your two independent favorites. So what will happen is what alluded to to Peter in post 253 - you will do a direct swap comparison, and then end up listening to only one, not the other. For example, even if the AF1 P might in some ways be a better complete TT compared to the EMT, Tang ends up listening more to AS and EMT, not AS and Techdas. This is because he has two. If he had to only listen one, he might have listened more to Techdas over EMT.

Your point also ignores that with two you do not have to listen to sibilant vocals on the VDH. Data points from David's 11 installs across 5 systems, Myles, Dr. Dre, Munich 3 rooms, have been ignored regarding VDH, not that it matters because with two carts sibilance is not an issue even if it exists.

Apart from that, there are two points (not relevant to the above logic point)
- The General prefers LTs - this is also because he has experimented and found they better preserve vinyl. As one, if not the largest collector, archiver, and reseller of Lps that is important to him. So with that hat on, he will listen more to the LT vs almost any pivot. Now, with the sonic hat on, he has not heard the Odin. That will be your choice entirely and irrespective of whether you like it or not, you will listen to only that or the SME with one of your Zyx and Opus, ignoring the other combo, once you have done a few compares.
- You can easily PM Fremer via stereophile to check more on Bergmann. I already have. But that should not affect the above issue I keep mentioning, as even if he tells you it is the best arm, it will still not stop you from ignoring one or the other of your combos after a few listening sessions :)
Bonzo, there is a method to your madness;). I have two cartridges, but I tend to just listen to the one I prefer. Having two is great during repairs and for cartridge wear. Other listeners like different flavors depending on mood. Ron strikes me as a one flavor type.

I am sympathetic to the approach of selecting cartridges for different genres: One for dynamic jazz, one for sultry vocals, another for string trios, another for classic rock, etc. I get that. Sportscar, SUV, pick up truck.
 
Likes: bonzo75

kodomo

Well-Known Member
Apr 26, 2017
334
250
63
I also have this Vdh MS cartridge and i do like it. From the first track it allready sounded very good. It was and still is getting better with more hours tracktime, now about 60+ hrs.

I don't have and hear any sibilance with this cart (when vta and load is set good). But it has a lot of high energy. So tonal shifted to the highs. Allmost not natural. But this cart give some kind of magic to the sound, it is very good 3-dimension and very dynamic. Bass is very good quality, the best for me i think, but a bit less quantity. Mids are so fluid so explosing and still so smooth.

So no negatives? Well i very much like to listen to this cartridge, but i have to pick my records. And i can't listen to it longer than 1,5 hour at 85dB with this cartridge. It is very very good but not my favourite. All IMHO offcourse..
Does it cause listening fatigue because it is tilted towards higher frequencies, is that what you mean? Why do you have to pick records, is it because old ones crackle too much with it or are there other reasons?
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,514
948
113
Beverly Hills, CA
Bonzo, there is a method to your madness;). I have two cartridges, but I tend to just listen to the one I prefer. Having two is great during repairs and for cartridge wear. Other listeners like different flavors depending on mood. Ron strikes me as a one flavor type.

I am sympathetic to the approach of selecting cartridges for different genres: One for dynamic jazz, one for sultry vocals, another for string trios, another for classic rock, etc. I get that. Sportscar, SUV, pick up truck.
You guys don’t give me enough credit. When did I ever say I would not like to have audioquattr’s complete system and his exact room as they are right now as a second system in a newly-constructed addition to my house to listen to jazz and classical? :p
 
Likes: Lagonda

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,251
1,265
113
London
You guys don’t give me enough credit. When did I ever say I would not like to have audioquattr’s complete system and his exact room as they are right now as a second system in a newly-constructed addition to my house to listen to jazz and classical? :p
Again you can. Or not. Problem happens when you choose two. You have outlined steps that I can sum up in three words, "reaction to sibilance (the word)". The rest does not hold together
 
May 30, 2010
15,218
563
113
Portugal
What kind of records do you mean. For me 1.5 hours sounds like an ideal listening session
Oh, no! We now also have an ideal listening time! :eek:
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,251
1,265
113
London
I mean very good recorded ones.
Yes that's what I wanted to know. I don't like listening to not very good recorded ones. I also wanted to know if you are picking a genre for VDh
 
Likes: Nascimento
May 30, 2010
15,218
563
113
Portugal

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,251
1,265
113
London
I liked what Robbyatt wrote on audionirvana about Zyx Uni III. But also that azimuth needs to be adjusted all the time
https://www.audionirvana.org/forum/...s-for-a-kuzma-4-point-14”?p=105407#post105407
"no two albums sound the same. On some albums, you can tell when different recording sessions where added. You can hear when a section was over dubbed, light and airy when called for, thunderous and dynamic when needed. etc. etc."
 

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
520
252
63
Denmark
Bonzo, there is a method to your madness;). I have two cartridges, but I tend to just listen to the one I prefer. Having two is great during repairs and for cartridge wear. Other listeners like different flavors depending on mood. Ron strikes me as a one flavor type.

I am sympathetic to the approach of selecting cartridges for different genres: One for dynamic jazz, one for sultry vocals, another for string trios, another for classic rock, etc. I get that. Sportscar, SUV, pick up truck.
Peter, don’t you think you would alternate more often if you
had 2 arms ? I have one arm with very low output MC set for thin records into a step up trafo, and one for thicker records without trafo. I like the different flavors!
 

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
520
252
63
Denmark

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
2,797
1,482
113
Bangkok
May 30, 2010
15,218
563
113
Portugal
What are you getting instead Micro?
I guess he got no love for old lady ;). At this age the younger ones win.

Tang
I balance my system primarily for my digital sources and I want just one turntable, one tonearm and one cartridge. I only listen occasionally to vinyl, mostly because of music content. So the choice was going back to the SME 30/SME V/ VdH Colibri XGW AGW Stradivarius Master Signature - IMHO it has a master tape type of sound quality that I praise a lot.

The EMT 927/ SME3012R is s a lot of fun, but I ended up spending a lot of time swapping cartridges and listening all over to the same recordings several times.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,514
948
113
Beverly Hills, CA
Again you can. Or not. Problem happens when you choose two. You have outlined steps that I can sum up in three words, "reaction to sibilance (the word)". The rest does not hold together
You are assuming that I share your view that having two similar sounding cartridge/tonearm combinations makes no sense and is not what I want. I would be happy to find two cartridge/tonearm combinations I like so much that I cannot be certain which I like more. You are not recognizing that as a valid choice. It is a problem for you that the ZYX UNIverse Premium and the Opus 1 sound very similar, but it is not a problem for me.

Maybe one combination -- for example, Opus 1 on the linear tracker - sounds slightly more ethereal for "girl with guitar" music, and maybe the other combination will have more forceful low frequencies, in which case I would use it for rock.

Also, as you know, I focus on vocals and rock and pop. I don't listen to enough jazz to want a cartridge/tonearm combination optimized for jazz.

You are correct that I am reacting at the present merely to the word "sibilance" in the reports of Tang and others (audioquattr described it as "a lot of high energy. So tonal shifted to the highs" (which is another way of describing something I know I will not like)), but I have no reason at all to think my ears will find these reports to be inaccurate.
 
Last edited:
Likes: jeffrey_t

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,135
133
63
La Jolla, Calif USA
Maybe a topic for another thread, but don’t you folks want a cartridge that works well on all music...? If we are saying that isn’t possible ( which I don’t really agree with) should we be limiting our listening to only cartridges that are optimized with certain genres of music.
Ron, I know you are listening to a very ‘limited’ amount of music ( by choice), but wouldn’t you also want a front end that doesn’t limit you to one or two particular types of music genres...or that excels on vocals and rock and pop, yet fares poorly with classical and jazz or?
Personally, that’s not something that would interest me.
A cartridge that is optimized for one type of music seems crazy to me.... I guess I listen to too much music to ever consider that!
 
Last edited:
Likes: tima

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,251
1,265
113
London
I balance my system primarily for my digital sources and I want just one turntable, one tonearm and one cartridge. I only listen occasionally to vinyl, mostly because of music content. So the choice was going back to the SME 30/SME V/ VdH Colibri XGW AGW Stradivarius Master Signature - IMHO it has a master tape type of sound quality that I praise a lot.

The EMT 927/ SME3012R is s a lot of fun, but I ended up spending a lot of time swapping cartridges and listening all over to the same recordings several times.
Makes sense if one has only one TT the EMT cannot be it. It is a superb second TT, as it will be the primary TT for only specific recordings.

Did you still have your old SME or are you getting it back?
 

kodomo

Well-Known Member
Apr 26, 2017
334
250
63
Maybe a topic for another thread, but don’t you folks want a cartridge that works well on all music...? If we are saying that isn’t possible ( which I don’t really agree with) should we be limiting our listening to only cartridges that are optimized with certain genres of music.
Ron, I know you are listening to a very ‘limited’ amount of music ( apparently through choice), but wouldn’t you also want a front end that doesn’t limit you to one or two particular types of music genres...or that excels on vocals and rock and pop, yet fares poorly with classical and jazz or?
Personally, that’s not something that would interest me.
A cartridge that is optimized for one type of music seems crazy to me.... I guess I listen to too much music to ever consider that!
Well, I have one TT and one arm, and I don't want to get lost in tinkering so I went ahead and got the Stabi M with 4 point so I am not able to add a second arm. I know, if I had more arms and carts, I would be tinkering more and listening to less music. For one cartrdige, I still went ahead and ordered the VDH ms strad, I will use it for all the genres I listen to and I listen to a very diverse amount of music from classical to electronica with everything in between. It is hard for me to comprehend a cart doing incredible jazz and not being able to play classical or rock etc. If it is great on some genres, it would at least be very good on others or there is a problem with the cart or the system or expectations. I am for transparency and hope VDH ms strad 1.1mV will deliver it.
 

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. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio convertors (DACS), turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers 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