Is there a problem with my Lyra Delos cartridge?

Last March I upgraded from a Grado Platinum to a Lyra Delos cartridge which was installed by Analogique in Manhattan.My turntable is a VPI HW-19 MK-3 with an Audioquest PT-6 tonearm.After about 120 hours of use I have been getting distortion on certain lps.For example:Last night I wanted to hear Moment's Notice from Coltrane's Blue Train lp(180 gram).This is the second track on side one.So I drop the needle on track two and sound starts distorting at about the 7 minute mark(track is 9:09 minutes),I lift up the needle then lower it onto the lp again and it plays fine.This is not happening on every lp but it is happening quite often.I am tracking at 1.8 which is the Lyra recommendation.I switched phonostages but that does not seem to be the problem.I also put on a new belt but problem persists. Help!!!
That sounds lexactly like what happened to me some months ago when some crud had built up on my stylus (on a different cart), but I assume you have checked for that, cleaned the stylus, etc? By the way, how are you liking the Delos otherwise, in comparison to the Grado?
I always check the stylus for dust so that is not the problem.I clean my vinyl with the VPI 16.5 record cleaner.I am worried that the cartridge may be defective. The Delos sounds great,I just want to resolve this problem so I can enjoy my lp collection.I have been thinking about upgrading to the VPI Classic One. Thanks for your response.
I would contact Immedia or Jonathan Carr, who posts here once and a while. I had a Delos and traded uo to the Kleos and haven't had that issue. It sounds like a problem with the suspension or maybe the coils, but either way I would have it checked out.
360 hrs on my Delos and no problems. Looks & sounds fine.
Hi Montgomery. If there is a problem with your Delos, we will be happy to check it and correct any problem that exists.

Experience tells me that the problem is likely not with the cartridge. If the Delos does have a problem, it would almost certainly be a stretched suspension. You will be able to tell if this happens by the fact that the belly of the cartridge will ride closer and closer to the LP surface, which can be temporarily cured by reducing the tracking force. But once this happens, it is a one-way street - the suspension will not revert to normal by the simple act of lifting off the cartridge and lowering it again on the LP. And this is why I doubt if the problem is with the Delos.

You may want to look over the tonearm for areas that have sticky or uneven action. I would in particular investigate the anti-skating mechanism, the counterweight, height of the armlift bar, and also if the headshell leads are possibly touching the LP surface. I would also check the levelness of your platter and tonearm with a machinist's level, to make sure that gravitational effects are not acting as an unintended skating/anti-skating mechanism. Sometimes the tonearm output lead can also hamper rotational movement, although this doesn't normally affect tonearms that use the JIS-standard 5-pin cable socket (which I believe describes the PT-6)

If you and/or your dealer can check your tonearm and turntable and give them a completely clean bill of health, feel free to send your cartridge back to us for a check-up.

BTW, please don't contact Immedia for this or any other Lyra-related service issue - Audioquest is our official US distributor, and they have given us their word that they will coordinate servicing for all Lyra cartridges, including those originally sold through Immedia.

hth, jonathan carr
Dear Montgomery: Other what all posted here and especialy J.Carr I want to add this:

today several a lot LPs came with " problems " due toa " poor " quality control and certainly there are many that shows tracking distortions when playback. Things are that many times happen what you are experienced, I mean: one time you have that distortion and the second time you have not: why could be in this way?, through my experiences on cartridge tracking habilities and due to some factors around many times the cartridge can track a " special " groove and suddenly next time does not make it with the same " hability ", tiny/microscopic dust is one of those factors about but there are other ones.

Of course that exist the posibility that could be a cartridge failure but as J.Carr pointed out that posibility is remote one.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Hi Jonathan.Thanks for your response.When I ordered the Lyra I was worried that the Audioquest tonearm would be the weak link.I am thinking about upgrading to the VPI Classic One with the JMW 10.5I tonearm.I guess I could return the Lyra to the online dealer I purchased it from and have them install it on the VPI and they could test it to make sure everything is working properly. I am really impressed with the Delos and having it mounted on a better tonearm would help to maximize performace.Thanks again.
Just a thought - does this happen with only 180g or other weights too? Do you adjust VTA for thicker discs?

You mentioned that you're on the upper limit of VTF for the Delos. Sometimes we can exceed that if VTA is unfavourable? I've certainly exceeded the max on some carts by up to 0.1g (I know a lot of people go even higher than this on some carts) and always wondered if sustained use at heavier forces can distort the suspension permanently, especially in warmer climate, or the User can just cheerfully regress back to lighter VTF after 200 hrs or so...(?)
Thanks for your response Moonglum.The distortion has occurred on a variety of lps.I have to make a decision on taking this to Analogique for service or upgrading to the VPI Classic One and the much better JMW tonearm.Thanks again.
As others have mentioned, 1.8g is on the very top end of the recommended VTF range. And VTF on these is pretty particular, like a couple hundredths of a gram making an audible difference.

I'd slack it off to 1.7g and work towards the recommended 1.75g. Mine was happiest at 1.735g on the VPI 10.5i arm, and I can heartily recommend that combo if you decide to go that way. But I'd take a little VTF off it first.

I would say you should check the stylus raking angle (SRA). I was getting distortion from my LP and I experimented with the SRA and solve the problem. In some your tracking force could also be the problem, as other have pointed out. To little tracking force will cause the tone arm to jump around. So check that first then the SRA.
I moved the tracking force up from 1.6 to 1.8 thinking this might be the problem. No problems ever with tonearm jumping around.I am not very good at tweaking things myself.Is there a easy way to check SRA? Last year at this time I took the turntable into the shop to have what turned out to be a short in the interconnect wires fixed and believe me the repairs were not cheap. So I have had problems in the past with this turntable and do not want to spend anymore money having it fixed and that is why I am thinking about moving up to the VPI Classic One. Thanks
I lowered the tracking to about 1.7 grams and listened to records for a couple of hours with no distortion problems until I played a 180g lp.I put on the Coltrane which I had distortion issues before and this time it started distorting in about the same spot but the sound was normal again in a few seconds.Does this mean that I should track a little lower for thicker lps? Never had this problem with the Grado it replaced.I appreciate the advice.
Hi Montgomery...sorry to hear that this problem is still giving you headaches.
There is a clue in the manual for checking SRA on the Delos : If you look at the cart from the side during play, the stylus should appear to be, under ideal VTF conditions, at right angles to the cartridge face?
Even a 1 degree error would be noticeable just by looking at it with a large loup.

Although you don't want to involve the Dealer it might be your best course to ask them to inspect? BTW If you don't have one already it might be worth acquiring a modestly priced digital downforce gauge. These are invaluable even if you have an arm which is calibrated - at least it enables confirmation of the VTF.
Hope this is helpful.
All the best....
Applying proper VTF should result in the cantilever assuming a 90-degree angle in relation to the red front magnet carrier.

My recommendation for Montgomery is to isolate whether the tonearm or cartridge is at fault by having the Delos installed (accurately) in a different tonearm and seeing how it performs.

hth, jonathan
Thanks for the advice.I listened to lps for over 2 hours last night with no problems. But if distortion shows up again I'm taking it to the shop.I will also purchase a digital downforce gauge.Thanks again
Thanks for your response.If the problem persists I will take it to the repair shop.Thanks again
BTW, one more variable to consider is room temperature and humidity. Temperature should be about 22~23 degrees celsius, humidity around 55~60%. These operating conditions have a bearing on tracking ability and sound quality.

hth, jonathan carr
Hi Jonathan,

I am having the exact problem you described above with the stretched suspension. The Kleos is riding closer and closer to the record and is now only floating a few millimetres above the vinyl. It has been mounted on a Moersch arm and gently lowered everytime. Please advise how I can get this cart fixed or replaced? The cart was purchased in September, 2010 sn# KL241F.
Hi Jake: If you are in the US, I recommend that you or your dealer call or email Audioquest - probably Alasdair Patrick.

Alternately, if you send me an email through the Audiogon system, I will be happy to facilitate the contact with Alasdair.

kind regards, jonathan
"I am having the exact problem you described above with the stretched suspension. The Kleos is riding closer and closer to the record and is now only floating a few millimetres above the vinyl. It has been mounted on a Moersch arm and gently lowered everytime."

Jakeman...did you actually mean a FEW millimetres???
Several MM sounds like too much clearance not too little?
BTW...I've found the Delos is quite immune to effects of fluff build-up on the stylus but lifting off could well solve the OP's problem if this is the case?
Some LPs are natural "chargers" and will seem to almost manufacture lint out of thin air while others remain pristine after play.
One example is the HFN/RR Test Disc which ironically is one of the worst "chargers" I've ever seen - perhaps due to increased friction from test signals.
Jonathan, I'd like to send you an email, but I don't see an email or even PM option.

The only Audioquest I see is speaker cables and HDMI, I don't see anything about cartridges on their site.
Jake, Jr_w, and anyone else: You can contact the Audioquest personnel in charge of distributing Lyra in the USA from here:

And if you go to:

and click on the "Distributors" link, you can send us an email. My email addy is c-o-n-n-l-y-r-a-AT-g-o-l-dot-c-o-m (delete the hyphens and replace AT and dot with the symbols)

I agree with Moonglum that a few millimeters is too much rather than too little, but let's not quibble (smile). First, however, I request that you measure the tracking force at the same exact level of the LP's playing surface. Sometimes the counterweights of a tonearm will gradually (or suddenly) slip, causing the VTF to increase. Also, the geometry of the Moerch tonearm will cause the tracking force to change, depending on how high the cartridge is in relation to the tonearm bearing, so the tracking force must be measured at the LP surface, and if the cartridge VTA is changed, you should re-measure the VTF.

If the VTF at the LP's playing surface measures 1.75 grams maximum and the Kleos rides too close to the LP, send either myself or Audioquest an email and we will try to get you sorted. It is probably just as well that you contact Audioquest rather than me, since they are close to you in the US while I am far off in Japan, and it will probably be Audioquest who sends us the Kleos across the Pacific, in case it needs to be readjusted.

But if there is any misunderstanding or problem in the initial communications, I will be happy to step in and help in any way that I can.

kind regards, jonathan
Jonathan, I was able to get to Audioquest thru the Lyra site via the Distributor link and have already heard back from them. I sure didn't see any of that going thru the Audioquest front door, but I could have missed a link.

I'm sure everybody says this, but I was extremely cautious with VTF settings and handling in general. It's a dainty little thing and just looking at it lets you know it's not going to take any punishment.

When I first read of a "low rider" Delos here I thought to myself, "Man, I'm glad mine has the correct ride height!" But it just kept creeping ever lower.
I have contacted Audioquest who responded quickly and professionally. Alasdair was helpful and my Kleos has been sent to Japan for warranty repair. Thanks to you and Audioquest for following up. My cartridge should be returning shortly.
I just started having this same issue with my Delos yesterday. bursts of what sounds like mistracking, randomly through an album side, very intermittent and lasting a couple of seconds, then fine, then on again. I checked all my connections and they are fine. Played the record on another table and it was fine. I am using a Sota Cosmos IV with SME 309 arm. VTF is at 1.8g.
Love the cartridge, but these bursts of noise are annoying, almost like a tweeter breaking up. Doesnt happen with CD or my other table though.
Manitunc....sorry to hear about your alarming experience.
One possibility is that given your max VTF, if the VTA is "tail down" the Washi paper could be skimming the warps on the disc(?)
Carts with an "undercarriage" tend to register disc contacts as loud thuds but the Lyra, whose stylus is mounted through the front panel, might instead just hash the high frequencies and sound mis-tracked whenever it touches down? Once friction gets going you might find an accumulation there too?
Just out of curiosity are you loading the cart "fully open" or with a fairly low resistance?
running with low resistance. I have reduced VTF to 1.7g and recleaned the stylus but havent had the chance to listen for a while.