The van den Hul Crimson XGW Stradivarius features a Koa Wood, Stradivarius lacquer treated body that results in superior sonics and an amazing sound!
The van den Hul Crimson XGW Stradivarius is a top performance custom hand-built moving coil phono cartridge. A crossbreed of van den Hul's Canary and Condor cartridges, the Stradivarius is the latest creation from A.J. van den Hul.
"The Crimson XGW Stradivarius is impartial across most of the frequency spectrum (including the presence range), but exhibits large macro-dynamic contrasts from the power region on down. It is quite forceful on transients (every bit as good as a cartridge should be in its price range) but less delicately detailed than its Colibri cousin when parsing complex music passages. The Crimson counters by surpassing its Colibri cousin in sheer bottom-octave drive with propulsive music. While not carrying the five-figure price tag, this cartridge isn't embarrassed in the company of competition at two (or three) times the asking price in most areas of performance. Its soundstaging, energy, dynamic pacing, and drive are very much above average." - Andre Jennings, The Absolute Sound, February 2017
"...a relative bargain in the ultra-high-end cartridge sweepstakes, and one of TAS' most distinguished 2017 Product of the Year Award winners." - The Absolute Sound 2017 Product of the Year Award Winner, January 2018
The van den Hul Crimson XGW Stradivarius MC Phono Cartridge features a Koa Wood Body treated with 400 year old formula Stradivarius lacquer that gives it a rigid, hard shell that results in superior sonics and an amazing sound! The Stradivarius also features a relatively high (0.9mV) output, 24 karat gold coils, a Samarium-Cobalt magnet, extended channel separation and superb tracking ability!
"The Crimson XGW Stradivarius is the best balanced cartridge ever built by van den Hul!" - A.J. van den Hul
"When I dropped the needle on side 2 of Abbey Road with the Stradivarius mounted on my tonearm I was in for a treat. As everyone knows, the George Harrison penned "Here Comes The Sun" starts thing off on this side. I never, ever, heard the ride cymbal on Ringo Starr's kit sound so realistic realistic sounding plus realistically placed. Sure, percussion sounds are not only the most palpable sounds on many records played through a decent cartridge, but the Stradivarius one-upped just about every other cartridge I've ever heard, and certainly every cartridge I've ever heard anywhere near its asking price. It was as if I could see the air move around the cymbal in Ringo's isolated territory in Abbey Road studios."
"The sometimes controversial subject of height information started to roll around in my head, as the cymbal seemed as it was placed in the soundstage just about three to four feet off the floor, while the snare drum was below the cymbal. Like an actual drum kit. But this was in my listening room. About 6 feet away from me. With Ringo Starr playing the drums. Again, the Stradivarius was frightening me with its scary real reproduction of the music. When George finishes his guitar solo on "Here Comes The Sun", he switches his guitar sound from a slightly overdriven one to one more clear. He I guess he does this with a foot pedal, as I can hear the click on the toggle switch. Which sounds below his guitar amp -- there's that height information again. I'll stop before someone gets angry with me. But it's these types of details that the Stradivarius never missed, along with that scary real, lifelike reproduction of instruments and voices."
"Producer George Martin seems as if he's in love with re-EQ'ing voices, and sometimes Beatles records have voices with an upper-midrange boost and a cut-off lower bass and cut-off upper treble. On Abbey Road, this EQ peculiarity isn't that bad, but still, these equalized voices couldn't fool the Stradivarius into think it wasn't reproducing vocals, as it knew these voices were coming from the bodies of human beings. The track "Because" can make many swoon when hearing this a cappella section, even on the lowest-fidelity equipment. Through the Stradivarius I could imagine some listeners losing consciousness. On this spin of the side 2 the vocals sometimes sounded as if I was not hearing them as if they are in the room with me, but sound as if the vocalists are singing into microphones, and I'm hearing it with all the other members of the band and crew in the control room of the studio. As if when hearing a live-mic feed, as it were."
"Wow. I've never heard Abbey Road sound like this. And when Ringo plays his short drum solo about 30 seconds into "The End", the walls and window frames shook from the bass response of his kick drum and floor-tom, as the very lowest frequencies are reproduced by the Stradivarius with expert precision. Again, it was scary real. And fun." - Tom Lyle, enjoythemusic.com, March 2017
"Let's face it, $5000 is a lot of money no matter how you slice it. Although, there are many audiophiles who are devoted to analog playback that might consider the Van den Hul Crimson Stradivarius cartridge a "mid-priced" cartridge. Many others will call this group of audiophiles who are devoted to analog that consider the Van den Hul Crimson Stradivarius cartridge a "mid-priced" cartridge insane. So be it. One thing that is for sure, though, is that the Crimson Stradivarius is a great phono cartridge, and performs as well or better than many cartridges costing much, much more. Based on the many sonic strengths of the Stradivarius, I consider it a bargain. But that's not the only reason I recommend this cartridge to all that can afford it. I recommend the Van den Hul Crimson Stradivarius because it is a fantastic phono cartridge. Period." - Tom Lyle, enjoythemusic.com, March 2017, Read the Full Review!
24K Gold Coils
Proprietary van den Hul 1s Stylus
Koa Wood Body treated with 400 year old formula Stradivarius lacquer
Stylus Shape: VDH 1S
Stylus Radii: 2 x 85 Micron
Frequency Range: 5-55,000 Hz
Tracking Force: 1.35-1.5 Grams
Anti-Skating Force: 0.4-0.6 Grams
Static Compliance: 35 Micron/mN
Tracking Ability: 70-80 Micron
Channel Unbalance: Less Than 0.3dB
Channel Separation: Greater Than 36/30dB
Stylus Tip Mass: 0.32 Milligram
System Weight: 8.75 Grams
Load Capacitance: Non Critical
Load Impedance: 25 Omhs-47 kOhms
Optimum Load Impedance: 25-250 Ohms
Effective Tonearm Mass: 10-16 Grams
MC Resistance: 13 Ohms