Master & Dynamic MH40 Over-Ear Headphones: 5th Anniversary New Wireless Model

Master & Dynamic MH40 Over-Ear Headphones: 5th Anniversary New Wireless Model

Five years ago, at the New York Audio Show, I came across a new Manhattan-based headphone Company, Master & Dynamic, debuting their first headphones. The MH40, at $399; was an over-the ear closed model. I was impressed, and planned on trying to get a review sample at some point soon after.

Coincidently, the next day I went back to the show with my then 3-year old daughter and started by having lunch in the hotel restaurant. At the table next to me, I recognized the two very nice ladies who had been working the show table for Master & Dynamic and they recognized me. They were lunching with a gentleman I did not know; the ladies introduced him to me: Jonathan Levine, Founder and CEO of Master & Dynamic. We had a very pleasurable conversation about his new company, and we ended up with a beautiful and priceless (to me) photo (taken by Levine using my camera) of my daughter in my lap wearing a pair of the MH40. Soon after I wrote a review of the MH40, and in my summary, I stated:

van den Hul Colibri Master Signature Moving Coil Phono Cartridge

van den Hul Colibri Master Signature Moving Coil Phono Cartridge

van den Hul is a Dutch company, created in 1980 by renown A.J. (Aalt Jouk) van den Hul (VDH) that designs and manufactures high-end moving coil phono cartridges, audio cables and other audio electronics. (Bowers & Wilkins, for example, among others, are known to use van den Hul internal wiring in their speakers.)

On an early Autumn phone call from Mat Weisfeld, President of VPI Industries, I was informed that VPI had become the sole USA distributor for their phono cartridges and I was offered a chance to review van den Hul’s newest top-of-the-line moving coil cartridge: the Colibri Master Signature, entirely hand made and tuned by A.J.—now in his 80s—and with a retail price of $11,995. Now that I use a VPI Industries HW-40 Direct Drive turntable as reference, I thought this may be an intriguing match. Besides, it uses a high-density wood for its enclosure, and I happen to be a fan of that (my current reference cart is the Grado Labs Aeon). Last, but not least, I was attracted to the simple van den Hul philosophy of cart design in which they claim to provide ‘The link between technique and emotion’: