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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
    the headshell has azimuth adjustment and the arm / resonance is a good match. I also have a Mint LP protractor so I am not concerned about alignment.
     
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  2. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Good summary, thanks.
    I am kind of shocked at the people who get rid of them so soon.
    The Delos is a natural fit for me because pretty much all MCs have sounded a touch thick / overly warm in my system. Maybe that is as good as it gets.
    However I prioritize speed, dynamics and clear midrange so hopefully the "tools" at my disposal as others have mentioned (tubes, cables) will minimize any issues that could cause fatigue.

    We shall see, I will report back once it arrives and has some hours on it..
     
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  3. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Thanks, a little risky but this is one I need to try.
     
    Uglyversal likes this.
  4. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    A good friend has the Delos, a Sutherland 20/20, Luxman Class A integrated into Klipsch tower speaks. Sounds wonderful. I think you can make this work imo.
     
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  5. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    @avanti1960 Yes please do report back and as folk say take your time on set up and running her in- have fun.:)
     
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  6. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    YES !
     
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  7. DPC

    DPC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    Good luck with your Delos. There are indeed lots of different flavors in that price range.
    Seems like you're well versed in cartridge install...doubt you'll have an issue in setup.

    WRT listening fatigue, I've never experienced it myself where I could attribute it specifically to the cartridge, but we all have varying systems and thresholds, of course. I've had many many listening sesssions of several albums, and the only thing stopping me was just time...

    Also, I've used the Lyra SPT treatment for both my last Argo(i) and the current Delos (maybe every 8-10 records now with dry brush every couple records, as most of the records I play nowadays were new purchases by me). I don't know if there's anyting special in the Lyra "juice" (and it's not cheap), but my little bottle has lasted the life of the cartridge thus far (2500+ hrs) and I'll get a new bottle for my next Lyra (or whatever).
     
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  8. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    I've been running a Delos since 2016 and it was almost 6 months after that I realized I had a terrible cable match for it, you MUST run it with a very low cap cable and follow the Lyra instructions on loading. I would advise against the common "100 ohms" setting, it needs to see upwards of 250 as much as 500 ohms loading at the phono stage. The sound I had before was similar to what people state. Once I got the AQ Cougar phono cable then I started to hear what this amazing design can do, I am at 475 ohms loading.

    Azimuth is king to this cartridge, and that is due to the New Angle design, this will take a lot of time to get as perfect as possible as well VTA, I also suggest setting VTA at exactly perpendicular to record surface, not the tonearm, but the Delos head. With that SRA should be hyper close without having to fiddle with a USB microscope. I have found that VTF can be set at anywhere in the range of what Lyra suggests. When I bought mine they suggested about 1.75g, now they have lowered that to 1.72g as a mid point. I have always run it around 1.73-74g. I have tried it at 1.70g and don't notice a difference.

    Again, AZIMUTH is king.....You cannot set this by eye or mirror or CD method, you should do it electronically either with a DVM or more easily with a Foz meter. This was HUGE for me when I finally bought a Foz. I was using an online o-scope but never thought it was good enough, the digital readout just jumps around way too much to get a good reading. The Foz has filters to keep the signal steady, plus it is analog readout which is much easier to read and set by.

    Once I had azimuth dialed in, I played Eric Clapton~Unplugged and holy mother of God I was right in the MTV studios, everything became so dynamic, with tons of resolution and a soundstage I had not experienced before. Upper frequencies, for me in my setup, are not fatiguing, I don't think I have ever read that about a Delos and when I was shopping I read every review I could find and spent a lot of time on What's Best audio forums asking questions, most of them PMs........I never heard one and bought it based on reviews. I have yet to be disappointed with its performance.
    The Delos has tons of detailed bass, it digs deep rated at 10Hz-50kHz, so for those complaining about bright extended upper, not sure what the beef is about, I would suggest 90% of that is simply due to setup that is not optimized for the Delos, but it for sure reaches very low and very high. If you want 20hz-20khz get something else......The Delos on the low end showed me what detailed bass sounds like. And if you want fast responses, uber dynamics and resolution with tons of mid bass clarity then for the money I struggle thinking you can do better.

    Lyra customer service is some of the best out there and with their trade in program you'll never pay the "regular price" if you stay with a Delos or trade up. I have no desire to move away from Lyra, have thought very hard about upping to the Kleos but I'm not ready to make a change yet, like I said I bought mine in 2016 and pretty much don't notice any change in sound as the Namiki stylus can last much longer than others.

    If you don't plan to spend much longer than you think is needed to setup the Delos then don't get one, it's not for the faint of heart nor is it plug and play. No cartridge at this level should be treated like that, you are leaving a ton of money on the table if you don't invest time and effort in its setup. My only concern is I am not sure how it will perform with the Technics arm, I guess I have not noticed any reviews with it using a Technics. My Project 9cc is more of a low mass arm and I use the Soundsmith cartridge screws to add some mass but never really heard a difference with the supplied screws......Makes 2-point setup on my arc protractor so much easier.

    Azimuth, Azimuth, Azimuth........don't ignore it!!
     
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  9. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    thanks Catcher.
    My cables are already low cap - running about 135 pF total for a 1-meter run. The Lyra spec calls for ~ 200 ohms with that capacitance so that is what I was planning to start with. 'll definitely keep other loading options open as you suggest.
     
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  10. gakerty

    gakerty Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    I don't disagree. Ya know, I was just thinking the other day about trying a new cart. Since the Delos, I've literally had three Benz 's in a row, and have been smitten with the Benz LPS as my cart for almost a year now. It is lovely to my ears. However, during this time, I've changed to almost all tubes (tube pre and power, but still have Pass XP15 phono) and with my new Legacy speakers, overall sound has drifted towards the thick. A Lyra Delos might really suit my system fine now! That said, I've never tried Dynavector and its profile sounds interesting to me, but I really don't need to be blowing money right now....
     
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  11. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    Go lower if you can.......the AQ Cougar is about half that. That will allow a higher loading at the phono stage where you want it, not at the cartridge......But at least it is less than the Morrow Grand Ref PH6 I have that are like 560pF!!!!! Cra-cra high.....terrible for a LOMC.
     
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  12. hi_watt

    hi_watt The Road Warrior

    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    The Audio Envy interconnects I use are 4.2pF per foot. I have 2' of cable going between the turntable and phono pre-amp, and 2' of cable from phono pre to my preamp. However their new phono cables are 3.8pF per foot, and I wonder of that will make much of a difference in sonics.
     
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  13. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    Doubt it.....That's more than low enough is my guess.
     
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  14. Erocka2000

    Erocka2000 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Capacitance of cables generally has no effect on moving coil cartridges since their coil inductance is so much lower than moving magnet cartridges.
     
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  15. ggergm

    ggergm Sir Guy

    Location:
    Minnesota
    I have owned both a Delos and a Kleos SL. While I'd never call either warm, when set up right, I also wouldn't call either bright. Transparent would be a better description.

    I am currently using a much more colored cartridge in a VAS Nova Signature but it's a tone I like. It's rich, thick and warm. Is it accurate? Not a chance. Is it lovely? Absolutely. As a change of pace, it's hard to argue against it. I just have to remind myself the output of the Nova is not necessarily a true representation of the music. Instead, it's an easy chair that's quite comfortable. I love relaxing into it.

    As others have said, @avanti1960, Lyra cartridges are quite finicky to get set up correctly. To make them sing, you have to have your geometry spot on, the azimuth and the tone arm height be perfect, and use just the right cables. The result is well worth it. I was totally satisfied with my Kleos SL. I'd love to try the Etna SL.
     
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  16. PATB

    PATB Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    My Delos is at around 1500 hours. My plan is to get another when my current one kicks the bucket. I checked with Audioquest last month looking to get another one and was told that with clean records and stylus I should wait until after "a couple of thousand hours". I have no idea how long is that!

    The only "difficult" alignment part is the VTF. The Delos is designed to be preloaded at 1.7 to 1.8 grams. I use a Rega Atlas tracking force gauge to set mine at around 1.73g.

    I would describe the sound as fast and neutral -- it is an excellent tracker. I would say it is good for syrupy sounding tables (Nottingham, VPI). I would audition before using the Delos on a Rega or Technics (@recstar has one on a Technics).

    Just my opinion.
     
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  17. Davey

    Davey NP: RAIJ - Beauty Will Save the World

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Just curious, what do they give you for trade-in value on a new one?
     
  18. PATB

    PATB Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    We did not get there. My original email was simply asking if I should replace my cartridge now.
     
    Davey likes this.
  19. LARGERTHAN

    LARGERTHAN Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eire
    I seem to recall some Lyra measurements in Hifinews (not sure if Delos) having a very tipped up FR. I don't see how alignment and set-up could ameliorate this, though loading is another matter. It seems a deliberate design decision and obviously appeals to some.
     
  20. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Relaxed Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    I love my Delos and depending on the system, prefer it to my koetsu rosewood.

    it’s certainly not what I would call warm or romantic. More like freakishly clean, detailed, vivid and accurate. I get a lot of mid range and warmth from tubes or vintage equipment. I find the Delos to be very complimentary to that kind of system. With speakers or a system that tends to be clinical or bright, the Delos can be a bit much.

    but, I certainly wouldn’t second guess the purchase based on negative internet reviews. It’s far from being bad no matter what your preferences might be. It’s a bargain at $2,000, so much so they have been on back order at music direct for a very long time now.
     
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  21. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    that has been my experience too but the lyra is apparently different. the manual suggests resistance loading based on capacitance of wiring from cartridge to preamp. i assume the capacitance of the tonearm wiring to be negligable.
    for example the manual suggests if your capacitance is 50pf to load between 570 and 210 ohms, etc for different capacitance values.
    seems as if this is critical.
     
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  22. DPC

    DPC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    I got >2500 hrs on my Lyra Argo(i) before trading for the Delos. My estimate is based on listening habits and time, but doesn't account for record condition...i used to listen to more "used" (i.e., noisier, not pristine) records.
    At ~2500 hrs with the Delos now, (~850 of which i'm certain of via needledrops and time table), it has shown no sign of letting up. i've been making occasional re-needledrops to try to help gauge performance, and can't discern a difference at this stage (and most are still are very preferable to corresponding ceedees i have, so that's a good sign).
    I used to use Needledoctor, but...
    Looks like Elusive Disc has them for $1,595 w/Lyra trade (but backordered).
    Still a bargain at retail to me.
     
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  23. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    thanks. fyi upscale audio had two in stock until i bought mine. still one left.
     
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  24. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Relaxed Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    Mine just died and needs a retip. The only thing I had in reserve was a 2m black. The difference in sound is a bit painful. Decide you hate it and I may help you recover some loss.
     
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  25. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    i was just about to ask if the Delos sounds similar in tone to the 2M black but more dynamic and refined?
     
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