VDH Frog Gold MC Cartridge
Hand-Built van den Hul Frog Gold Moving-Coil Phono Cartridge Minimizes Surface Noise: Extracts Ravishing Tonal Colors, Visceral Dynamics, and Low-Level Details from Vinyl LPs
As soon you hear how the van den Hul Frog Gold moving-coil phono cartridge extracts subtle details and revealing ambient cues from LPs, you'll understand why the man who designed it is a living audio legend. More importantly, this analog instrument simultaneously minimizes surface noise and delivers the ravishing tonal color and visceral dynamics that help make vinyl playback so mesmerizing. And while fast speed and sonic transparency remain hallmarks of all van den Hul models, Frog Gold also touts an addictive midrange and enveloping soundstage that make it well-suited for a wide variety of genres.
Each Frog Gold arrives made by hand and personally approved by Dutch designer A.J. van den Hul, who has crafted bespoke cartridges for more than 40 years. In addition to employing a high-powered microscope and testing equipment, the highly trained physicist uses his ears to troubleshoot any potential problematic areas and ensure each Frog Gold gets every detail right.
Consider the matched crystal gold wire coils, for example. Manufactured to reduce crystal boundaries and thereby improve signal purity, they enable Frog Gold to produce low-level details – like echo trails and room characteristics – with palpable presence. And because of the light tracking force requirements (1.2 to 1.6 grams) of its patented solid boron VDH Type 1S fine-line stylus, using Frog Gold in a properly aligned setup results in less record surface wear. What's more, van den Hul's cryogenically frozen proprietary elastomer formula controls unwanted vibrations like no other solution in the industry.
Delivering 35.9 dB of channel separation and equipped with two magnets, Frog Gold boasts a moderate 0.65mV output that allows it to mate with some moving-magnet phonostages – and any moving-coil setup. If you so choose, you can even send it to van den Hul after the first 200 hours of playing time for a free service checkup performed by Mr. van den Hul himself. Such assurance is nothing less than golden.
"Soundscape junkies take note, as Van den Hul's The Frog will immerse you in room-filling sound. This is perhaps the deepest front soundstage my vinyl rig has reproduced, while width was properly large. This enabled musical instruments/grouping to be placed within their proper location with ease."
– Steven R. Rochlin, Enjoy the Music
"[Frog Gold] is also a cartridge which knows fun. It brings out the wit and humor in the performances. It makes you realize how matter of fact a lot of other cartridges sound: sepia toned and chromatically suppressed."
– Edward Barker, 6moons
Stylus shape: VDH - IS
Stylus radii: 2 x 85 Micron
Frequency range: 5 - 55.000 Hz
Tracking force: 13.5 - 16.0 mN
Static compliance: 35 Micron/mN
Tracking ability: 70 - 80 Micron
Output voltage: 0.65 mV RMS
Channel unbalance: < 0.3 dB
Channel separation: > 35 / > 30 dB
Stylus tip mass: 0.32mg
System weight: 8.2g
Vertical tracking angle: 22 Degrees
Load impedance: 500 (>200) Ohm
Effective tonearm mass: 6g - 10g
Moving coil resistance: 16 Ohm +/- 10%