Dismiss Notice
We are making some updates and reconfigurations to our server. Apologies for any downtime or slow forum loading now or within the next week or so. Thanks!

Phono stage recommendations for Lyra Delos

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by thib, Jan 30, 2021.

  1. thib

    thib Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    I am looking for a new phono stage in the 2k-4k range and wondering if anyone has any suggestions. My current set-up is a Lyra Delos to Musical Surroundings Nova II. To be honest, I'm chasing the sound of my Sony XA-5400ES which has a warmth and texturally rich sound that my analog set-up just can't match. I do love the detail and bass I'm getting with the Delos, just looking to tweak things a bit to the warmer side with a new phono stage if anyone has a suggestion.
     
  2. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Before getting a new phono stage, consider a MM cartridge that doesn't have the rising high frequency response of MC cartridges.
     
  3. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    A nice used Art Audio Vinyl One would work brilliantly with the Delos l would think- it being dark and full sounding- goog luck and a nice problem to have.:)
     
    jusbe and thib like this.
  4. ellingtonic

    ellingtonic Forum Resident

    Look at the Modwwright PH9 for $3k and the new PH9x with Lundhal transformers for about $4k
     
  5. thib

    thib Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    Both of these suggestions have my attention and look like they could fit the bill. Getting a mono switch would be such a nice kicker. Thank you!
     
    ellingtonic likes this.
  6. thib

    thib Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    I may end up there, but I think I'll try the phono stage route first. Thank you.
     
    hi_watt likes this.
  7. hi_watt

    hi_watt The Road Warrior

    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I'm currently using a recently upgraded Modwright SWP 9.0 with my Delos, and it has been a great match. If anything, I can see myself sticking with the Modwright brand if I ever want to upgrade.
     
    mreeter, ellingtonic and thib like this.
  8. DPC

    DPC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    I was going to suggest the Coda FET 06x, but looks like it $4,500
    CODA Products

    I've been using its predecessor Coda FET 03P for over 19 years (wow...); I've had successful results with an Ortofon Kontra A, Lyra Argo (i), and currently the Lyra Delos (~ 5 yrs).
    If I ever needed to, I'd likely buy a Coda again, but honestly, the only one I've had at home to do a real comparison was the Luminous Audio Technology Arion, which I preferred, but was more than I was wanting to spend ($6K+).

    Good luck...love the Delos and will likely get another one when the time comes (probably ~3,500 hrs or so...currently at ~2,500 hrs)
     
    thib and hi_watt like this.
  9. Davey

    Davey NP: RAIJ - Beauty Will Save the World

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Many of the modern LOMC carts have a pretty flat response out to 20K, including the Delos, which I think has around a 2dB envelope across the whole range in lab tests. Moreso than many of the popular MM carts these days. I think you really have to go case by case for both MM and MC carts, not many stereotypes that fit across the board anymore. Many excellent performers in both groups.

    But sure, a good MM cart with a falling response in the top octave could be closer to the sound the OP is after.

    My Benz Micro Wood SL below shows a slight rise between 10K-20KHz in the response plot provided below with the cartridge, even though it is (somewhat optimistically) specified as 20-20K +/- 1dB, and you are right that many LOMC carts do have that trait, whereas many MM carts are falling off some in that region when loaded for a flat response, but there are many outliers in the market with much more ragged responses, that's for sure too ...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
    thib and hi_watt like this.
  10. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    The response curve looked very typical of many MC cartridges:

    https://www.symmetry-systems.co.uk/files/reviews/lyra-delos.pdf

    The response is very extended too, the Delos engineered to fine tolerances of ±1dB over a full 20Hz-9kHz and ±2.5dB to 20kHz while its stereo separation sits between 33 and 35dB through bass and midrange.​

    [​IMG]
     
    Catcher10 and thib like this.
  11. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    Response doesn't look bad at all. I've seen far worse from other cartridges. That said, I would likely notice the rise in treble and want to adjust loading here.

    Some carts do the opposite, even certain MCs, and roll off the treble response noticeably. Depending on the severity, I don't like that either.

    A lot of this is going to come down to personal taste and how far out into the higher frequencies you can hear.
     
    thib likes this.
  12. Davey

    Davey NP: RAIJ - Beauty Will Save the World

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    That's pretty good response for any cartridge, MM or MC, about a 2dB envelope, like I said. Below is the normal response combining lateral and vertical from the same MAR measurements ...

    [​IMG]
     
    mkane likes this.
  13. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    You can adjust the loading but the best you can hope for in that case is a curve that resembles a smile starting around 1k.

    The only reason I suggested a decent MM cartridge is as a sanity check, to make sure the phono stage was the issue and not any peaking he may be hearing.

    Another possible alternative (although much less expensive than the $2k-$4k range requested by the OP) may be something like a Parks Puffin, which apparently has some built-in EQ options.

    But the curve of the Delos looks a little but like the old 440 series from Audio Technica:

    Audio Technica AT440MLa - ZevAudio

    [​IMG]
     
    thib and hi_watt like this.
  14. jfine

    jfine Forum Resident

    IME some of these charts and graphs just confuse the issue. Flat being achieved by resistive loading, more often in the carts I've tried, does not always sound the best. Sometimes by the time you get a cart to stop the annoying treble with loading, the sound can become unfocused and boring, but I guess it's flat. It's also dependent on how the phono stage will react to loading.

    I have to agree with Phil on the MC high frequency issue (in general not all MC's), which may not be apparent after loading, adding a SUT, interconnects, etc. Keeping a straight connection from cart to stage with something like cardas 34x4 cable and nothing else in the chain, IME, I can clearly hear what's going on.

    To the OP, you can do MUCH better than a Nova II, IMO.
     
    thib and hi_watt like this.
  15. Davey

    Davey NP: RAIJ - Beauty Will Save the World

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    As opposed to the Ortofon 2M Black response ... looks like they must have very low capacitance in the test setup, the response could be extended with higher capacitance, albeit with more peaking in the 8K region ...


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
  16. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Buddy has the Delos and a Sutherland 2020. Sounds really good to these ears of mine.
     
    thib and hi_watt like this.
  17. billby

    billby Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, NY
    I've owned a Delos for years and love it, you get what you want in a Lyra, and in a moving coil w/o the added cost of moving up the line. Delos seems to be a sweet spot in their line up. I found it has a great organic feeling that really opens up the tonality and texture of instruments without and glaring or peaks in the highs. My speakers (jbl l166) can be glaring and don't suffer well this rising top end mentioned . The Delos is balanced and honest and musical. By contrast i owned the Kleos also and while it's clearly a masterpiece, it didn't connect to the music as easily. I really felt this was the beginning of the end for me in the line up. Less musical, more forensic detail, etc.

    Best sound from a moving coil I've had was using a step up transformer, would highly recommend using or borrowing one before swapping phono pre's. The passive loading presents the sound in a wholly musical way. A very quiet tube phono pre would be nice with a Delos. I've used a few over the years. For ss the Lehmann black cube just cannot be beat with a ton of loading options. Also used an ARC PH5 for a long time and loved it with and without the step up.
     
    jonwoody, thib, GyroSE and 1 other person like this.
  18. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    They must. Because the frequency measurements look very different when done by a place like Lowbeats, which specs 210pf. I have no idea what MAR uses, but I like looking at their measurements to see what I can glean from them.
     
  19. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Keep in mind the y-axis scaling between the graphs you're posting is different, making the Delos look (comparatively) a little flatter.
     
  20. Davey

    Davey NP: RAIJ - Beauty Will Save the World

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Well, they both have about 2 dB of peaking was the point, the Black just much lower in frequency, and many users won't get that flat a response through the 10K region since they will have a much bigger peak. But the Black also has a 10dB rolloff from 10K to 20K, so the Delos will have more of that "MC sparkle" since it stays flat out to 20K and beyond.

    But I agree with you in that, in general, LOMC carts have a rising response in the upper octave while MM carts have a falling response. Some have big peaks in both camps, but not all by any means, and some are nearly ruler flat.

    BTW, below is the review measurements from Hi-Fi World of my Benz Micro Wood SL that I mentioned above, looks to match pretty closely with the supplied response graph, about a 2dB rise in the upper octave at the outer grooves but very flat overall, like a ruler if you extrapolate between inner and outer grooves. Pretty similar response to the Delos...


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
    GyroSE likes this.
  21. Just Walking

    Just Walking Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    The sentences in the spec for the Coda FET 06x are cropped and the sentences far from complete. And the screen printing on the back panel says BALANCED INTPUT. However good the product might be sonically, there is no excuse for not proofreading the website, or putting misspelled words on the rear panel.

    Call me picky and old fashioned - no problem, because I am both.
     
  22. thib

    thib Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    This was an educational thread for me, thank you for all of the replies. I am going to look into the Modwright PH9.0 and PH9.0x some more. I think one of those might be a great fit for me.
     
    hi_watt likes this.
  23. Anton D

    Anton D Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chico CA
    Yes!
     
    hi_watt likes this.
  24. hi_watt

    hi_watt The Road Warrior

    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Great customer service too!
     
    ellingtonic likes this.
  25. ellingtonic

    ellingtonic Forum Resident

    My PH 9 is on the way back from being upgraded to a PH 9X!
     
    backeast and hi_watt like this.

Share This Page

molar-endocrine