The Colibri “Master Signature”

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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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.

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.
The bolded part shows that you are looking at two different voices for different music. It also shows that the voicing is based on tonearm (one more ethereal on LT and the pivot more forceful). In that case you should have two different arms and the same cart in both. Or eventually you will sell off one of zyx or opus and find that one cart is preferred in both arms, using LT for girl with guitar, and one for rock, but with the same cart, just different arms. I also predict that sonically you will only choose one arm for all music if you have those two carts - you will just have to use very different carts for different voicing. And you might end up getting different arms to optimize the different carts
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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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.
Hi Peter,

Using the Wally VTA gauge doesn't presume anything about the cutting head angle. It just gets the headshell bottom and 'arm parallel to the record - based on whatever thickness of record is used.

a. What I've done is take (usually) two measurements. One with a 'vintage' record and one with a modern thick record. That gives me two different marks on the 4P's VTA tower gauge for the starting point of thin n thick parallel - I note the height difference between the two marks.

b. From there I can go a couple ways. One way is to go to the thick / thin mark on the VTA tower for parallel, and start fiddling with SRA by ear from each of those starting points.

c. Another approach is to set SRA by ear for, say, a thin/regular record starting from parallel and adjust for a thick record by the difference learned in step a, above. That yields approx. the same SR Angle for both types of record. Doesn't necessarily mean that is optimal but it usually gets things fairly close.

All of that gives a thin and thick SRA setting. Typically its close. But if I want further to dial in SRA for a specific LP it gives me a pretty good starting point. If you have suggestions, I'm open to them.
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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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.
For what its worth - maybe not much yet as I have limited hours on the vdH MS - I don't think tonality "shifts" to high frequencies. I think the MstrSig does higher frequencies so damn well and I (we?) enjoy that so much that our attention can be drawn there in marvel. But there is plenty of the same energy, just as much excitement within the upper/mid-bass on down. I hear the same filigreed or rapid bowing action from cellos and basses as from violins and violas. (Admittedly I've read no reports of sibilance on those instruments.) But again, thats a very early report.
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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Actually the Wally looks pretty straight forward, if the start point is accurate, ie perpendicular to record stylus, start by lowering the back for the vdH.

david
David, thank you for taking your time to look at this. I find the Wally VTA is useful and easy to use.

Now that Wally has departed (may he rest in peace) no one has taken up his work. As far as I know from talking with him, he had no associates, no one he was mentoring. I don't think his VTA gauge was patented. It would be a shame if some of his tools were lost. (Hint hint)
 
May 30, 2010
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(...) Did you still have your old SME or are you getting it back?
I got a new one - the current owner of my old one is too happpy with it. :) This one has a black integral mat, although I was told that changes were mainly cosmetic.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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I got a new one - the current owner of my old one is too happpy with it. :) This one has a black integral mat, although I was told that changes were mainly cosmetic.
You should have tried Brinkmann Balance or the Vyger Atlantis before deciding, depending on budget and functionality requirement
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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David, thank you for taking your time to look at this. I find the Wally VTA is useful and easy to use.

Now that Wally has departed (may he rest in peace) no one has taken up his work. As far as I know from talking with him, he had no associates, no one he was mentoring. I don't think his VTA gauge was patented. It would be a shame if some of his tools were lost. (Hint hint)
Don't know if it's true or not but from what I heard he was making his tools by hand one at a time. This type of product is a labor of passion with no commercial upside. Manufacturing them is tough because job shops don't want to make small runs of anything specially precision instruments that they don't understand.

david
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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Don't know if it's true or not but from what I heard he was making his tools by hand one at a time. This type of product is a labor of passion with no commercial upside. Manufacturing them is tough because job shops don't want to make small runs of anything specially precision instruments that they don't understand.

david
I think Wally made his 'WallyTractor' one by one as orders came in for specific tonearms. His other tools (WallyVTA, WallyScale, Skater (Azimuth), Analog Shop and Analog Shop Deluxe, and Phono Burn-in System, etc.) were made in batches. He also sold Dynavector cartridges.At one point later on he had them available through Acoustic Sounds. I don't know how large were his production runs but there was a time when he had regular sales.

As you say his business was a labor of passion. He valued setup and sought to share his knowledge with others. (Much as you do.) Wally acknowledged he was more analog lover and less business man. He loved talking about playing records - on several occasions he stayed on the phone with me for an hour or more chatting analog. There was a time he had problems with sales (of his own making.) The key was to order from him over the phone.

My hint was mostly about his VTA Gauge. It's so simple. I continue to use it with everynew cartridge setup.

Wally's quirky original Web site is still available and includes download of manuals: Wally's Vinyl Corner
 
Jan 18, 2018
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Ron Resnick said:


"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."


Every past VDH Colibri I've ever owned can easily exhibit excessive high frequency if stylus SRA is not carefully dialed in by eye and by ear, the Master Signature Stradivarius is no exception. These particular cartridges are rather unique and thus not quite like many other manufacturers as they really ride the razors edge and must be meticulously dialed in with patience. Coil impedence & or resistive loading is key as well as VTA.
 
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Tang

Jealous of your American Sound 2000. Just saying..... :cool:

Beautiful deck. Kudos.
 

Tango

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Likes: Ron Resnick
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bazelio

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The Opus I found it the safest bet to all people. It is just excellent straight A cart...my benchmark. The Universe Premium has the same tone as Opus, but presentation is more upfront, more aggressive, not as nuanced or finely detail as Opus, not as dimensional (in degree). The Master Sig is most energetic, aggressive, vividly dense and transparent of all. So lively.
In terms of liveliness, how does VDH Master Sig compare to your Lyra? Which of these two is more polite?

Thanks!
 

bazelio

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. 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.
Could you provide more specifics around the loading requirements?
 

Tango

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In terms of liveliness how does VDH Master Sig compare to your Lyra? Which of these two is more polite?

Thanks!
The Master Sig. is a champion in term of liveliness and transparency.
The Lyra (AtlasSL) Gian, Bonzo and I find most dynamic and energetic in our systems with the SAEC 506. I found AtlasSL sounded less Atlas-like when on 3012R.

Kind regards,
Tang
 
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bazelio

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Sep 27, 2016
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Thanks, Tang. What are the particulars of your Master Sig?

Wood species: (Koa, Ebony, other?)

Voltage output: (0.5mV, 0.9mV, 1.1mV, other?)

Coil type: (copper, gold, silver, platinum)

I think that covers the possible permutations of this cart. Thanks again!
 

Tango

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Mar 12, 2017
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Thanks, Tang. What are the particulars of your Master Sig?

Wood species: (Koa, Ebony, other?)

Voltage output: (0.5mV, 0.9mV, 1.1mV, other?)

Coil type: (copper, gold, silver, platinum)

I think that covers the possible permutations of this cart. Thanks again!
I don't memorize all abbreviations (explained in details by Shakti somewhere). Pls allow me to just give you a pic of what written on the box.

EB439158-C487-4D3E-A2CE-FF2E9918242E.jpeg

Best,
Tang
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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Tang

Jealous of your American Sound 2000. Just saying..... :cool:

Beautiful deck. Kudos.
We can always discuss a swap. this way neither one of you has to be jealous of the other! ;)

david
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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In terms of liveliness, how does VDH Master Sig compare to your Lyra? Which of these two is more polite?

Thanks!
Neither is polite. Thai, Sri Lankan, Indian, is all spicy food. Some spicier than others
 

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