“The one I want”: Paul Rigby reviews the van den Hul MC-ONE Special cartridge for Hi-Fi World

“There’s something almost personal about the MC-ONE Special in terms of its packaging and how its presented,” begins Paul Rigby in his review of van den Hul’s new enhanced edition of their earlier MC-ONE model. “Opening its gold-embossed wooden box container, you will find a hand-written specification list from Arjon van den Hul, who built it, under the lid: I felt like a kid receiving a secret message.”

The hand-penned specifications reflect the fact that the cartridge is hand-built by Mr van den Hul himself.

van den Hul MC-ONE Special phono cartridge
van den Hul MC-ONE Special phono cartridge

This ‘Special’ edition features a boron cantilever and – “most excitingly”, writes Rigby – silver wire coils. “Not the usual copper variety I’m used to seeing at this price point.”

Settling down for a listen, Rigby initially encounters some disquiet but that’s easily solved by increasing the tracking force. “Ignore the recommended tracking force figure and go for 2g instead,” he advises.

Once you’ve got that right, “the MC-ONE Special plugs you into the heart of the performance. Yes, there is plenty of detail on offer here for audiophiles but, in many ways, that benefit is less important. It’s as if the Special connects you into the soul of the music which, to many music fans out there, is far more important.”

Overall verdict? “Outstanding – amongst the best” and the full five stars.

Read the complete review in the July 2016 issue of Hi-Fi World

Find out more about the MC-ONE Special at www.vandenhul.com

For details of local dealers contact van den Hul’s UK distributor, Decent Audio