The usual suspects recommended for the JMW 10.5SE arm by VPI are Dynas (20X, 17D3), Benz (Ace, Glider S and Wood), and Lyra (Dorian and Argo) in that $700-$1500 range. Presumably if the Delos weighs between 6-13 grams it should work ok with the 10.5SE arm according to Harry Weisfeld. I would be very interested in any feedback you get to this post as I am interested in the Delos as well. Thx
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I'm currently using a Delos on my Graham Phantom arm on the TW-Acustic Raven AC. I also have the Titan i on a Breuer-Dynamic 8C arm.
The Delos is a very good cartridge, it can't compete with the Titan, but that seems fair at about 25% of the price.
I'm no reviewer, but in my opinion its best points are the soundstaging (with very accurate placement and size), speed, good timing and (macro)dynamics. Mine has about 30 hours on it, so it probably isn't fully burnt-in.
I mainly bought it to play 'bad' recordings which the Titan sometimes rips apart; the Delos does a lot better at those and performs admirably on the good recordings too, but on those the Titan is still a lot better.
All in all a very good cartridge, very enjoyable and fun! Overall I would chose it over the Helikon (less lean, better tonal colours)or the other sub $2000 cartridges I've listened to in the past.
I'm waiting for the Kleos, which should be released this month, just above the Delos in the line-up.
Would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
2x4b...thx for the response. I am sure it falls short of the Titan on most every category (as it should like you said). It sounds like it does soundstaging, PRaT, and dynamics well. Also sounds like it is tonally neutral across the frequency spectrum. All of which are great attributes. For me though one of the biggest hooks into the music is how well timbres and musical textures are translated, i.e., how true to the real sound of instruments and voices the playback comes or I guess how natural? How would you rate the Delos on that front? Also, do you know what the compliance of the cartridge is? Thx
I just looked up the compliance on the Lyra website: 12x10cm/dyne. Mniven...I just put the Classic's 10.5SE tonearm effective mass of 12.3g and the Delos's weight of 7.3g and compliance of 12 in the Resonant Frequency formula yields a Resonant Frequency of 10.38Hz right smack in the middle of the recommended range of 8-12 Hz. This suggests that the Delos ought to be a good match for the JMW 10.5SE tonearm that comes with the Classic.
I also have been using the Delos on a Graham Phantom II ( 10 inch version ) and TW Acoustic Raven for a coupple of weeks.
My experience are even more positive than 2x4b.
In fact I found the Delos one of the best three cartridges I have ever owned (and I have owned many).
The reasons that the Delos works so great in my system is the balance that are warmer than the other Lyra pickup's that I own ( or has owned ).
My system consists of Avantgarde Trio speakers that are a bit clinical sounding by themself and the little extra warmth that the Delos gives help giving me a sound that makes a lot more beutiful music and not simply beutiful "hifi-sound".
Of'course the Delos does all the important hifi-stuff right and it is also have much of the tradional Lyra-sound ( dynamic, fast and with good PRaT ), but the most important thing for me is that it plays music as few other cartridges I have owned and for the price it seems for me to be a real BARGAIN!
Just for giving some references about what I mean by "warm" here is some other cartridges that I own (or has owned) the few last years and where I place them going from "warm" to "cold".
- Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinium
- Kondo IO-M
- LYRA DELOS
- Air Tight PC-1
- Lyra Skala
- Lyra Titan-i
- Air Tight PC-1 Supreme
- Lyra Helikon
Soundwise I finds the Delos to be in top three and when we look at the prices for the others the Delos is a real BARGAIN.
I've been using a Delos since January on my VPI Classic. Phono stage is a Jolida JD-9a I've modded with Mundorf Silver-Oil output caps and Burr Brown OP627a's. Using NOS Tesla E83CC tubes. Mac C220 pre and MC275 amp. Gallo Reference 3.1 speakers.
I pre-ordered the Delos and while I waited I used a loaner Dyna DV20x. Prior to this, I had an old stock Ortofon MC-30 Super. I've also listened extensively to a Helikon on a VPI Classic.
I feel the Delos is a departure from the other Lyra. It is warmer than the other Lyra. Less analytical, more musical.
Make no mistake, it doesn't lack for detail and it can punch very hard. This thing has bass in spades but very detailed. Very natural sounding. You can hear a stick hit a skin on a drum. It is just to the warm side of neutral. Highs are very detailed and not rolled off.
Voices, both female and male, are very natural with little sibilance or chestiness.
Soundstage in width and depth is less than the Helikon but bigger than the Dyna or the Ortofon. In fact, its tonality rests about midway between the Helikon and the Dyna 20. It seems to track like other Lyras.
At the price point, it is very hard to beat. I'm at about 60 hrs on the cart and it seems to be getting better. The soundstage has steadily grown.
Always remember, this is ONLY my opinion. YMMV.
Dodgealum...Mik5kirk above has the Delos on his VPI Classic's 10.5SE tonearm. If you plug the Delos' weight and compliance (7.3g and 12) along with the JMW 9's effective mass (7.7g) into a tonearm RF calculator, you get a resonant frequency of 11.85Hz which is at the top end of the desired 8-12 Hz range. On the VPI CLassic's 10.5SE tonearm with 12.3g of effective mass, you get an even more desirable resonant frequency of 10.37 HZ. So the Delos should match up ok with the JMW 9 tonearm but should be an even better match with the 10.5SE tonearm which comes with the VPI Classic. Hope that helps.
The build quality is beautiful and the sound is rich and full. The other carts I've used were all a bit thin sounding compared to the Delos (Dorian, Sumiko Blackbird, Sumiko Blue Point No. 2, Audio Technica ATOC9ML/II, and Ortofon 2M Black). It's sound is very balanced; it's not bright or dark, but it's rich and detailed without sounding artificial. It's a similar experience to seeing a photograph with high contrast and vivid colors because the optics were superior, not because it was artificially enhanced with software. It doesn't track well on the Hi-Fi News Test LP, but on the other hand, it tracks actual music better than any other cart I've used. I would buy it again.
I use a Pro-Ject 9cc (9" carbon fiber) on a Pro-Ject RM 9.1 'table. I set it up with the Mint LP Best Tractor. Anti-skate is set in the middle of 3 settings. It wouldn't even track the tracking tests on side 2 without getting distortion in the right channel. However, it performed flawlessly on the Ultimate Analogue Test LP. I also noticed it tracks better on the HFN LP the more it breaks in. Again, no problems with music. Tracking force is set at 1.75 grams on a digital scale; tone arm is level with an 180g LP.
Syntax...thx for the pic. You have an amazing array of tts/tonearms/carts/phono stages. I am curious: on your description of the Lyra Dorian Mono, you say "Amazing." For the Delos, you just say it's an "MC Cartidge." Since most of your other carts are significantly more expensive, i was curious how you compare the Delos to the Dorian cart (i know the comparison is not apples-to-apples because one is a stereo cart and one is mono). I am just curious how you would describe the sonics of the Delos. Thanks very much.
I'm considering the Delos for my VPI Classic that is on backorder. My question concerns the loading for the Delos: which setting do those who own the cartridge find works best with it? Mr. Carr doesn't like to specify a loading for Lyra cartridges so I'm curious what the general sense is. Thank you.
Cmalak, I called the Dorian Mono 'amazing' because it does such a good performance for the price. My Mono experience is limited and didn't want to spend a fortune into that. I have most of them in Stereo too and I was interested how good the Monos are. I think it is indeed a good tool to discover Mono records (mine are 1960+). It is VERY silent in the grooves, the output is healthy and the details have "meat on the bones".
The Delos is a impressive cartridge from the price/performance relation. Full, strong stereo sound, excellent detail, right soundstage and I guess, this one will become a classic. It forced me to sell a much more expensive cart.
For most die-hard Audiophiles it is simply "too cheap" (no Hype, no limited Edition...), but when one or the other one will read these lines, give it a try. Can be a quite interesting "Wake-Up-Call".
Jaspert: if you think there is a problem, put the cartridge back into the box, put in a label that says "low rider", and give it back to your dealer so that they can send it back to us.
We will be happy to take a look at it and address anything which may be amiss. My guess is that it's only an adjustment issue rather than involving any component failure (which I believe is true for most low-riding cartridges which are two years old or less and haven't been tracked over the manufacturer's VTF recommendations).
As an aside, one more thing that you may want to watch out for is whether your tonearm uses a damped elevator mechanism or not. If it doesn't, and "drops" the cartridge into the LP surface, the repeated impacts over time will stress and degrade the suspension. The suspensions of most non-DJ MC cartridges aren't designed to stand up to this kind of treatment.
hth, jonathan carr
Thanks for chipping in. I have contacted my dealer who will look into for me as it rides low from the word go with only a few hours on it at most.
The arms i have used are Phantom ii and a new Reed 2 both with damped lift mechanism so no DJ arms here.
It sounds really good but i do have issue with fluff ball accumulating on the paper towards the end of side at times impairing the performance. I think it's just a low rider needing adjustment.
Syntax, Great photo. But your SRA looks a bit off, based on Fremer's latest column in S'phile. 92 degrees, he says.
Not necessarily. Fremer defines the SRA as "the angle between the record surface and the vertical axis of the stylus's CONTACT AREA area..." He then goes on to say that "to properly set SRA you need to know the stylus profile contact patch of your catridge." If a cartridge has an "extreme-angle contact patch" (like the Ortofon A90), it would require that the shank of the stylus "be actually pitched far forward for the contact area's SRA to be at 92 [degrees]." He also warns against using the shank of the stylus as a reference for setting the SRA.
I believe the Delos has a line-contact stylus, just like my Soundsmith Aida, and the shank of the stylus might have to be "pitched" forward to get 92 degreees, like Fremer says. The angle of the shank of my cart's stylus looks very much like Syntax's Delos'.
I won't deny that I find it rather confusing and have no idea how to verify it is in fact 92 degrees at this point. It seems you have to use a microscope and software like Fremer did. Perhaps Mr. Carr can express his opinion on the subject.
Dear Actusreus, Thanks to you and Syntax for setting me straight on the concept that SRA cannot be set by observation of the angle of the stylus with the LP. I read Fremer's article only superficially, obviously. I will now cease to be concerned about something I cannot see and have no hope of seeing. Viruses are bad enough.
In a way it is a discussion for every cartridge, for every Set Up, for different records and so on.
Let us have a look into the Delos manual:
"... set height of tonearm pivot so that the Armtube is parallel to LP surface... thicker LP's will require tonearm pivot to be raised, and thinner to be lowered..."
Well, with some tonearms it can be done, the one from continuum with its special "bow" will require some work :-)
But anyway, what is REALLY mean is another Headline in the manual
"Use Your Ears"
Let me just briefly add, that - if one is really serious about VTA/SRA (whatever one likes best...), it is all about that the contact area of the stylus is "in line" with the cutting angle of the record on your TT right now.
Thats why a VTA is "groove-compliant".
There is a good an logic reason, why VTA on-the-fly has some advantages if one really wants to fine-tune his front end set-up.
And this indeed has to be done by foot (i.e.: ear.....).
Much better focus and soundstage on one system compared to the other often is only a matter of 1-3° - and may change with the next record which was cut by a different cutting head in a different angle.
It's many years since I owned a 501, but from I can remember the 501 was neither warmer or colder than the Delos.
For me the reason that the 501 was a little bit ( not much ) warm was that it softened the atttack of the transients ( in some way like a Benz ).
The Delos is a little bit warm WITHOUT softening the attack and IMHO a WAY better cartridge than the Shelter 501.
Thank you for doing the calculation. Can you clarify what it means to be at the upper end of the desired range? How far toward the extreme ends of the range (or outside the range) would you have to go before you experienced sonic degradation? Also, I'd be curious how my Dyna XX2MKII scores when the formula is applied. I'm told this cartridge matches up very well with the JMW-9 but I've never seen what the resonant frequency score for this combination.
Dodgealum...I believe that as long as you stayin that 8-12Hz RF range, you are fine. I will let others who are more experienced in vinyl than me interject here and expand on this but I think you are still ok. I am attaching a link to the RF calculator I used so you can plug in different combinations of carts and tonearms to see how things match. Click on "Freek's Resonant Frequency Calculator" here to download the Excel spreadsheet: http://www.theanalogdept.com/cartridge___arm_matching.htm. Hope this helps.
It doesn't matter. You are fine. Your Breuer 8C tonearm has slots in the headshell to allow you to get the correct effective length for the Delos.
You don't need another Mint LP Protractor.
Just leave the arm alone (don't change pivot-to-spindle distance) and install the new cartridge. You can adjust the cartridge in the headshell to get the correct overhang.
Again, the most straight forward approach, if you don't move the pivot-to-spindle distance, you are fine and the adjustment should be a snap to get the new cartridge to track the arc.
To the best of my knowledge, the Mint Tractor is made for a specific tonearm, not cartridge. If all you have changed is the cartridge, any variations between the Delos and Air Tight are irrelevant. That's the whole point of having the Mint--it lets you align any cartridge mounted on the tonearm the Mint was made for.
Clabe: For the Delos (and Kleos), the nominal distance between mounting screwholes and stylus is now 9.68mm (+/- 0.141mm). This is with rated tracking force (1.75g) applied. (Note that there is a possibility that the nominal 9.68mm distance may be changed slightly in the future, likely on the order of 0.1mm or a maximum of 0.2mm).
I will try to answer any other questions when I get the time to post something meaningful (may take a few more days).
hth, jonathan carr
Sounds like we made your weekend Clabe :)
Physical characteristics of a cartridge have no bearing on making a Mint (or any other for that matter) protractor for a particular tonearm. As long as your tonearm/turntable parameters stay the same (i.e., mounting distance and effective length), you can swap carts to your heart's content and align them using the very same Mint. Enjoy!