Buying a used Oracle Delphi Mk_ ?

Any comments on what to look for and/or to avoid in a used Oracle - or whether to look for or to avoid a used Oracle in the first place? The idea would be to pay a modest price and then to upgrade gradually as the budget welcomed, enjoying the music in the meantime.

Our system hasn't been complete in over a decade, as we moved around too much to 'do it right': A humbly exquisite little modified Dynaco 70 in triode is all there is of it at present; in the past it included a Walker turntable with Audioquest (which we thought were listenable under the circumstances) and Spika T-60 speakers (which we adored). Thank you all for any input you think relevant.
The Delphi in any version is a great tt. I owned an LP12 for a number of years before switching, and I love the Delphi.. still. I have never had any problem with mine, tweeks are still available through Oracle, and belts through them and elsewhere. The only thing I have not been able to find anywhere is an upgraded power supply. There is one generaly available for the 4 and 5 version, but none for 1, 2, or 3. One thing I have never had to deal with, but it makes sense is; do not use the dust cover. Mine has always been in a rack with plate glass doors and never needed a dust cover, but I'm told the dust cover is a less than great design. I don't need a masters in enginering to agree, but then I don't need one to see/hear why this table blows away anything even close to it's price range either. I would say it's a great choice in a used tt. Tom
I own a Delphi IV and can honestly say it would be the last component I'd consider selling. My baby sounds terrific and is stunning. I bought mine new many moons ago with the Oracle/SME345 arm and have used many quality pick-ups on it. An under-appreciated turntable that does not get it's props against some of the better known 'tables. A Delphi should be part of your rig. Buy one. Hell, buy two!
Before you buy a used Oracle, check out a new Nottingham
A rebuild kit is available for all series of Delphi. Which is way cool. But To up grade to the late style bearing it must be at least a MkII. A MkII or MkI will take the bearing but the subchassis must be machined. The derlin towers and chassis subweight modifications, it must be at least a MkIII. Look for potencialy warped pliths. It does not happen often but it does happen. Oh by the rebuild kit is a good deal at $150.00. I love my MkII although the early ones are a little more of a hassle to set up properly. Patience is needed. A Delphi will accept any tonearm known to man.
Motorpsychos, i was wondering about the mounting situation on these tables as i too had been curious about them. Will they easily accept an ET II or a Souther / Clearaudio ? Maybe you or Jeff can chime in on this one. Sean

I've only used the SME arm but in looking at the mounting plate it appears to accept pretty well anything. I'm not familiar with the ET or Clearaduio arms but I'd be quite surprised if thet didn't fit...may be work asking the arm manufacturers if they've had any trouble mating with an Oracle. The Delphi is an unusually flexible 'table but like all analog rigs does take some patience to get set up properly.
I'm wondering about Arthur Salvatore's statement, in his 'Recommended Components,' that the entire 1980's/early 1990's Delphi-s were difficult to set up properly ('meaning no wobbling'), which is critical in optimizing their sound: Does anyone know where, say, the Mk III falls in this categorization? - or any personal experience with this difficulty (or not) of set-up with the earlier models?
I used to own a MK3 and if you know how to set it up, it is not too hard. Oracle provides a tool to setup the suspension. I find this easy to use BUT further fine tuning is requred to make the setup perfect.

When the Delphi is setup correctly, you can bounce the TT via the spindle while the TT is playing and it WILL NOT mistrack...that's when it is setup up correctly.

All 3 springs will bounce together in sync and will not affect tracking.

IMO, the ET toeanrms and other linear tracking like the Airtangent are NOT ideal to be used with the Delphis as they are very heavy. I know there are stiffer springs for the TT but they just will not work properly.
Oh, I forgot to mention. If you find a used Delphi, make sure the motor works properly, smoothly because there is no replacement parts for it.

Usually they last a long, long time. Soned and look wise, it is one of the greatest tables available out there.
Genesis is absolutely correct on all points. Any Oracle set up properly will track incredibly well. And yes you can ceate an up and down motion from the center of the clamp where the platter will travel 1/2" up and down and not skip while playing a disc. This is a perfectly set up Oracle, and not very hard to do. Unlike a Linn that you can spend an afternoon fine tuning, and a month later do it again. I would use an old cart and a Foreigner album for the half inch test, and put it through the obsticle course (note; you are exercizing the springs, not crashing the bearing). Then mount your good cart and fine tune if necessary. Once set up right, I've rarely ever had to make an ajustment. You do need a good tone arm as well... Tom
I can't tell which model Oracle I have. What appears to be a serial number on the bottom of the platter draws a blank with the folks at Oracle.

If anyone has a photo of any of the Delphi series, please help.

I would like to know where to begin with upgrades.
If the suspension towers look different from the mk5, then it could be a mk1 or mk2. If yours does not have a 33/45 rpm switch, there is a huge possibility that it is a mk1. Hope it helps. Any questions, please email me.
I owned the original Oracle Delphi MK1 (upgraded to the MK2) for over 20 years and just recently sold the whole setup. In my honest opinion, I think you can do a whole lot better than a used Oracle. While this table was good, I cold never quite get over the notion that it was a prototype design that was hard to setup properly and hard to keep running right. And, I never had much luck dealing with the original Oracle company (you never knew if they were in or not in business). Their customer service left a lot to be desired. I replaced the Oracle with a VPI Aries/JMW10/SDS setup. This combination blows the Oracle setup away, hands down. You didn't mention your budget, but you should consider the new VPI Scout or, if you can swing it, the Aries setup. You will not be disappointed. VPI is a first-class company that makes great products that are constantly upgradeable and their customer service is second to none. Just my 2cents based on my past experience. Good Luck in your serach!
Many moons ago I owned a Delphi Mk3. It came with a SME Type V and Van den Hul One and was more musical than the Linn LP12 which it replaced. I also found the setup, once done right stayed set up unlike the Linn which seemed to play itself out of true. Eventually I replaced the Delphi with a VPI HW19Mk3 (kept the arm and cartridge) and found it had much better bottom end and more engaging mid but the Delphi was more detailed in the high end. The VPI was simple to set up and never went out of true. I would own either the Delphi or the VPI again without regret.
I think you can get more table for less money by getting a Linn LP12 Valhalla/Ittok. During the '80s when I worked at an audio shop, several dozen Oracle owners over several years, brought their Oracles in to compare to the LP12. None ever topped the LP12. Now, I admit we were playing in our showroom, with Naim electronics and Linn DMS speakers, but, source-vs-source, that's how it always came out. Even at best, it is a close call, and the Linn can be bought used for considerably less money. With the Valhalla version, I never found the setup to be very fussy. It is a very good table for very low cost on the used market. It doesn't look as flashy, but it plays very well. If you want a flashier looking table that will easily beat out the LP12 or the Oracle, look at the Teres Audio website. For $1350 w/o arm, this table will really get your motor running. It looks alot like the Clearaudio Reference, and sounds comparable to it and others in the $6k-$8k range. You have to do a little assembly work and polishing of the acrylic. I now have one of these Teres TT's and it really stomped my Valhalla LP12. The Teres is probably the best new TT for the money that you can buy today. If you don't want to do any assembly/polishing, you can get a fully assembled/polished one for a few hundred dollars extra. They also offer exotic wood bases, if you prefer that over an acrylic base. Also lead-shot weighted platters and bases. And they look really cool. Check out the info and pix at their website,