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Lyra Delos Phono Cartridge Questions

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by avanti1960, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    For those with experience with the Lyra Delos how do feel about the sound? I just bought one and then unfortunately read many opinions on another site where people could not tolerate it and sold it.
    The main reason is that the treble is too pronounced and the midbass is lean.
    I thought this cartridge was somewhat of a legend and now am not so sure. Thank you.
     
  2. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    Location:
    Toronto
    From the many owners whose opinions I've read, it apparently is an extremely finicky cart to set up correctly. Only when it is finally done properly and exactly does it supposedly shine. It's therefore oftentimes assumed that whomever finds it to be trebly and thin likely did not set it up properly.
     
    myles, SirAngus, recstar24 and 5 others like this.
  3. Erocka2000

    Erocka2000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Lyra carts have long been described as lean with a tipped up treble. Not sure where you read anything to the contrary. I had a Kleos SL for a bit and it indeed fit that description. Not saying it was awful, but it was not my cup of tea. I much prefer my current Koetsu to pretty everything else I’ve owned.
     
    jusbe likes this.
  4. Vinylanswer.net

    Vinylanswer.net Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New York,NY
    Have you tried lowering your VTA?
     
  5. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    I do not have it yet. Just concerned I might have made a bad choice.
     
  6. ThorensSme

    ThorensSme Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Based on the Lyra Etna I have heard quite a bit of, Lyra can definitely sound as you described. I think this largely depends on your hearing, preferences and tools that you have to tailor the sound.
     
    Andy Saunders likes this.
  7. ThorensSme

    ThorensSme Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Not surprised, these two carts are at totally opposite ends of the sound spectrum!
     
    Andy Saunders likes this.
  8. hi_watt

    hi_watt The Road Warrior

    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Interesting, as I love my Delos. I guess it's more of a break in issue? I have it hooked up to a Modwright SWP 9.0 SE tube pre, and they've been a good to each other. Nice fat bass, and warm midrange.
     
    gillcup, DaveyF, avanti1960 and 2 others like this.
  9. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    hi_watt likes this.
  10. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    With Lyra's newer cartridges, due to there new angle technology, set-up is highly crucial. Get it wrong and all kinds of nasties will be heard. Unfortunately, these cartridges are getting a little bit of a bad rep as it is VERY easy to get the set up wrong. Get it right and they are extended and resolved with plenty of bottom end reach. They will NOT sound like a warm Koetsu under any circumstances, but they will have a lot more resolution, IME.
     
    edwyun, EdogawaRampo and hi_watt like this.
  11. Beatles4503

    Beatles4503 Forum Resident

    Hey Avanti1960,

    We have chatted a few times before both privately and here in the forums. It seems our listening preferences are similar. FWIW, I had the Delos before and I much preferred the ART-9 cartridge. Not that the Delos was bad (far from it) I just thought the AT cartridge was better overall.

    Good luck and I hope it works for you in your system.
     
  12. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    This.

    Had a Helikon years ago and being inexperienced of all things analogue possibly did not match components properly but that could was very lean, washed out and bright...heard a Delos in a system and did not care for it as it exhibited some ( but not all of the Helikon's traits.)

    That being said if you matched it with a Valve phono stage and sympathetic components you could be on to a winner, as the transparency is mazing on Lyra's.

    Good luck.:)
     
    hi_watt likes this.
  13. Cliff

    Cliff Magic Carpet Man

    Location:
    Northern CA
    I had one for a short time, put about 80-90 hours on it and then sold it. It just wasn't for me at the time. But this was several years ago and my tastes (and system) have completely changed. Let me know what you think as I may try one again some day.
     
    hi_watt likes this.
  14. dconsmack

    dconsmack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV USA
    I had one until the stylus wore out. The sound you describe matches my memory of it. I didn’t find it any more difficult to set up than any other cartridge and it’s sound was essentially the same for its entire life. It was nice, but after getting very familiar with its sound I realized I didn’t like how it’s treble response made everything sound “outlined.” It influenced my tastes towards finding cartridges with a flat frequency response.
     
    jusbe likes this.
  15. DPC

    DPC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    I really like my Delos.
    Have had it about 6-yrs (est. 2,500 hrs ~600 of those used for needledrops.)
    No more difficult to set up than other cartridges on my Moerch (Lyra Argo (i) and Ortofon Kontrapunkt a).
    I'll keep this one until 3000 hrs or so and likely get another (if they're available). If not, I'll probably go with a Cadenza variant.
     
    hi_watt and avanti1960 like this.
  16. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Responses are widely different, likely for different reasons. What attracted me to it was the reviews about it being very fast, clean and dynamic compared to others in its class.
    I do like the idea of a long lasting stylus. We'll see what happens, I have been playing cartridge roulette lately and will commit to making this one work.
     
  17. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    I've read similar comments in the past but still many people think is fantastic.

    Have you given it enough hrs to settle in?

    If you are committed to make it work you could also try a SUT , I am not sure if you currently use one.
     
    avanti1960 likes this.
  18. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    This is an interesting point, the synergy between upstream components has to be considered. I think if you match any of the newer Lyra's with a sterile bleached out sounding ss phono preamp ( and there are quite a few of these on the market right now) you will certainly hear what the upstream component sounds like. Key thing is to not confuse the sound of the cartridge with the sound of the mismatched phono stage. Additionally, the Lyra's like to be loaded down, depending again on the phono stage. Andy's suggestion of a tube (valve) phono stage is a good one.
     
    hi_watt and avanti1960 like this.
  19. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    The cartridge is arriving Monday. No SUT yet, is the idea to use a SUT to try and adjust the frequency balance somehow?
     
    hi_watt likes this.
  20. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    If you are using a stock Technics arm, it may prove to be an issue, as the ability to accurately dial in Azimuth ( and to a lesser extent VTF) is possibly a problem with a Lyra. The Lyra requires a very accurate VTF and Azimuth should be spot on. The arm also needs to be set correctly for SRA. Best to keep this in mind.
     
    Catcher10 and hi_watt like this.
  21. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    I thought you had it already, and your opinion was that the highs were too pronounced like some other people think.

    I have three SUT currently, they all sound different. You can use them to tune up the sound just like you can with cables but in a different manner. On top of that, I find a SUT gives you a more open, expanded sound and it also adds sweeter timbre to the highs.

    I've contemplated the Lyra myself but any cartridge of that level is too much of a risk for my pocket so I've kept putting the purchase off. By pure chance I've ended up getting an Ortofon A95 just because of a deal I could not refuse, but despite the Ortofon being another risk, it worked out fine for me.
    I would say that if you have doubts and you are still able to return it, don't open it, think about it a bit further, it is too expensive to risk it.
     
    jusbe and hi_watt like this.
  22. gakerty

    gakerty Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    I had a Lyra Delos for several months a few years back as my main cart, after coming from a Clearaudio Concept MC. The Delos's strengths are lightning fast transient speed, superb midrange clarity, and powerful ,"tight" bass. Its weaknesses, and perhaps it was my setup at the time (though I doubt it), is an accentuated lower treble. Cymbal decay and extended treble was excellent, but I just found that lower treble tip up a bit fatiguing after a while. Went Benz after that and haven't looked back. Every time someone points out that sound profile of the Delos, it is always pointed out how precise it needs to be set up, otherwise that tipped up profile is evident. The Lyra is just voiced in that direction IMO.
     
  23. DaveyF

    DaveyF Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Jolla, Calif
    While I dont own a Delos, I do own a Kleos. I went from a Benz Ruby 2 to this cartridge. The Kleos is far more resolving than the Benz. The Benz house sound is one of slight warmth and good musicality, but I think they are nowhere near as transparent and resolving across the frequency spectrum as the Lyra's. The Benz is easy to set up and quite forgiving of set up errors, this cannot be said for the Lyra's. You really have to get the arm/cartridge synergy 100% correct with the Lyra...which makes the Benz a far more universal cartridge and probably better for most folks.
     
    Catcher10, hi_watt and Andy Saunders like this.
  24. wownflutter

    wownflutter Nocturnal Member

    Location:
    Indiana
    Once the cartridge is set up correctly, I can't imagine you have a problem with it considering you are running a Cary tube preamp with Harbeths.
    On my system, I love the sound of the Delos but was aware of a bit of listening fatigue. I run Triangle speakers, so careful matching is critical in my situation.
    This was completely solved by using Brimar tubes in my preamp. Mullard would also do the trick.
    I'd recommend trying it as is. Then try some tube rolling if you need to adjust things.
     
    Dennis0675, avanti1960 and hi_watt like this.
  25. 5-String

    5-String μηδὲν ἄγαν

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    I owned two Lyras in the past, a Delos and a Kleos, and for both my impression was that they were lacking bloom in the upper bass/mid frequencies and could sound lean.
    I had fun with them for a while and then decided that I very much prefer the Ortofon and Dynavector sound, sold the Lyras and moved on.
     
    jusbe and avanti1960 like this.

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