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CRIMSON XGW STRADIVARIUS: VAN DEN HUL - The Audiophile Man
A hand-made, moving coil cartridge aimed at high-end use, Paul Rigby reviews the van den Hul Crimson XGW Stradivarius Weighing in at 8.75g, the van den Hul Crimson XGW Stradivarius is a moving coil design and it is, I need to mention this, hand-made by Aalt Jouk (AJ) van den Hul himself. This cartridge is not churned out of a factory. In fact, it is said that, before he puts hand to cartridge he stops drinking caffeine or alcohol for a day to steady his hands. It is a serious business. This design fits in between the Grasshopper III (£3,749) and Colibri (£4,499) and includes gold coils of 24 karat plus a VDH-1 stylus design. The chassis is made from Koa wood, coated with a special ‘Stradivarius formula’ lacquer. Three coats are added which then takes two months to properly harden. So that’s six months work before the actual cartridge is even built! “The specific advantage,” explained van den Hul, “is that the harder outer coating destroys the standing waves inside the softer body.” I looked hard at the details just to make sure that virgins were not also utilised during the manufacturing process…they might be mentioned in the small …