Our top model custom handbuilt phono cartridge, featuring matched crystal copper coils and 0.40 or 0.65 mV/channel output. A version with matched crystal gold coils and 0.50 mV/channel output is also available.
As a result of phono cartridge builder A.J. van den Hul’s continuous research into improving his phono cartridge designs The COLIBRI has seen the light of day.
The COLIBRI is the improved successor to our GRASSHOPPER “BEAUTY” series of phono cartridges where many building components have been removed in a highly successful quest to return to the plain essence of phono transduction.
The result is an unbelievably straightforward sounding “clean and open” design, in all its aspects bearing much resemblance to the “Colibri” named tropical bird’s swiftness, elegance and beauty; Hence the cartridge’s name.
Compared to our GRASSHOPPER “BEAUTY” series the following differences stand out:
By minimizing and adapting the cartridge’s total magnetic circuit the related distortion and (Barkhausen) noise have undergone a considerable decrease. This opens up many subtle sound details that never have been heard before; Especially the decay of instrument sounds now stands out much more clearly in the music’s totality.
Due to the minimization of the cartridge’s total magnetic circuit the cartridge’s mass has been reduced. Together with the possibility to tune the cartridge’s static compliance on special customer demand it is now possible to use very light tonearms whilst maintaining a very good tracking ability.
By removing the frontpole is has been possible to apply an even shorter cantilever; This further improves the groove-modulation-transduction’s directness and accuracy.
Due to the minimal magnetic design the output voltage has slightly reduced.
The COLIBRI is available in three main versions:
XC Version: (X = cross shaped modulator, C = matched crystal Copper wire coils)
- Low output all-round model
- Output voltage: 0.40 mV/channel
- Types available: XCP and XCM (P and M type suffix see *4)
XC-HO Version: (X = cross shaped modulator, C = matched crystal Copper wire coils, HO = High Output)
- High output, most suitable for jazz music
- Output voltage: 0.65 mV/channel
- Types available: XCP-HO and XCM-HO (P and M type suffix see *4)
XG Version: (X = cross shaped modulator, G = matched crystal Gold wire coils)
- Medium output, most suitable for classical music
- Output voltage: 0.50 mV/channel
- Types available: XGP and XGM (P and M type suffix see *4)
Special customer demands/specifications:
Thanks to the many variations in materials available, it is always possible to build a unit to match the personal demands of the customer.
With these personalized cartridges the wooden container can mention the name of the customer it has been specially built for.
This option is exclusively available for The GRASSHOPPER III series, The GRASSHOPPER IV, The GRASSHOPPER “BEAUTY”, The CONDOR and The COLIBRI versions.
The customer demands/specifications that can be taken into account when building a personalized GRASSHOPPER III, IV, GRASSHOPPER “BEAUTY”, CONDOR or COLIBRI for instance are:
The tone-arm used, the preamp and load impedance used, a particular brand of records to be played, the type of music generally played (jazz being more dynamic and classical more spacious and detailed) and other personal/sound preferences.
The production time for a COLIBRI cartridge after ordering is about two weeks. Please call your authorized distributor for delivery time.
The after sales service:
—Cartridge repair service
—Retune service after run-in
Cartridge Type The COLIBRI Unit
Version XCP & XCM XCP-HO & XCM-HO XGP & XGM
Stylus Replacement Available see (*1)
Stylus Shape VDH - IS
Stylus Radii 2 x 85 Micron
Frequency Range 5 - 65.000 Hz
Tracking Force 13.5 - 15
see (*3) mN
Static Compliance 35
see (*3) Micron / mN
Tracking Ability at 15 mN at 315 Hz 70 Micron
Output Voltage at 1 kHz at 5.7 cm/s eff. 0.40 0.65 0.50 mV RMS
Channel Unbalance < 0.5 dB
Channel Separation at 1 kHz/10 kHz >35 / >30 dB
Equivalent Stylus Tip Mass 0.24 Milligram
System Weight see (*4) Gram
Vertical Tracking Angle 22 Degrees
Optimum Load Capacitance see (*2) pF
Recommended Load Impedance 500 - 1000 2500 - 47k 500 - 1000 Ohm
Recommended Eff. Tone arm Mass see (*3) + (*4) + (*5) Gram
Moving Coil Resistance (per channel) 21 96 36 Ohm
(*1): Stylus replacement and other services available on request.
(*2): Non critical.
(*3): Versions optimized for lower tracking forces (allowing very light arms)
can be built on special request. These have a higher static compliance.
(*4): P and M type suffix:
Each of the three above mentioned main versions of The COLIBRI are available with either:
- A regular carbon-nylon plastic body. Total cartridge weight is 6 gram.
Suitable for arms with an effective tone arm mass of 8 gram to 14 gram.
The plastic bodied version carries the -P suffix in its name.
- A metal body. Total cartridge weight is 7 gram.
Suitable for arms with an effective tone arm mass of 10 gram to 14 gram.
The metal bodied version carries the -M suffix in its name.
(*5): The cartridge has been optimized regarding an EFFECTIVE tone arm mass of 11 - 12 gram.
Heavier arms CAN produce tracking and resonance problems and arms with an effective mass
exceeding 16 gram WILL CERTAINLY!
Please note that an extremely short cantilever and a high tracking ability
and heavy arms DUE TO PHYSICS will never yield a happy marriage.
Related Articles & Papers:
“Van den Hul COLIBRI”; An interesting review by Ruud Jonker about The COLIBRI, our REFERENCE CARTRIDGE from MusicHome studio, December 2000.
“Van den Hul The COLIBRI Special X”; A short, informative review by Dirk Sommer about The COLIBRI, our REFERENCE CARTRIDGE from Image HiFi, June 2000.
“Van den Hul COLIBRI Phono Cartridge”; A short, informative review by Michael Fremer about The COLIBRI, our REFERENCE CARTRIDGE from Stereophile’s “Analog Corner” section, August 2000.
“Van den Hul COLIBRI XCM”; An extended review by Roberto Rocchi about The COLIBRI, our REFERENCE CARTRIDGE from Suono, September 2002.
“The COLIBRI XCP-HO - A HARMONIC DISTORTION SPECTRUM MEASUREMENT”; The COLIBRI, our REFERENCE CARTRIDGE’s optimal tracking VDH - 1S type stylus combined with its linear modulator design exhibits excellent low distortion replay performance. Only the low order second and third harmonics prevail and level at around 54 dB below the test record’s 1 kHz sine wave signal, thus also providing technical proof of lack of any sound harshness...
Our PHONO FAQ: A.J. van den Hul has written down his answers to the questions most commonly asked to him during the years. A very comprehensive “question and answer styled” list which treats phono replay, cartridges, turntables and nearly all matters related is the result. Both the novice and experienced record enthusiast will come across many points of interest here. Well worth browsing through...
Stereophile’s DUTCH MASTER interview with cartridge and cable designer A.J. van den Hul, introduces you to A.J. van den Hul’s succesful philosophy in cable and cartridge design. Furthermore many aspects regarding his METAL FREE interconnects and GRASSHOPPER phono cartridges are discussed.
“The DUTCH GAUL”; In this extensive interview with A.J. van den Hul many ideas, backgrounds and aspects regarding the manufacturing, use, rebuilding and repair of PHONO CARTRIDGES are discussed. From Hörerlebnis, issue 30.
Hi-fi News & Record Review’s A VAN DEN HUL PROFILE interview, though dating from 1990, provides excellent background information on van den Hul’s patented LINE-CONTACT PHONO STYLUS, its invention and philosophy. Furthermore, van den Hul’s AUDIO CABLE PHILOSOPHY is discussed in detail.
“HOT TIPS”; This interview, though dating from 1984, provides excellent information regarding A.J. van den Hul’s theories on CARTRIDGE DESIGN and an expansion of his views on the RE-TIPPING of CARTRIDGES. Furthermore, pictures of various stylus tips are shown. From New Hi-Fi Sound, February issue 1984, page 99-101.
“The CANTILEVER TALES”; An appraisal of A.J. van den Hul’s PHONO CARTRIDGE REPAIR / REBUILDING / RETIPPING SERVICE; “If you love analog, you can breath never-before-available life into a good old (or new) classic cartridge”. The August 2000 issue of Greg Weaver’s past “Synergizing” column from SoundStage! online magazine.