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I've owned a number of Lyra cartridges, including the Delos and the Kleos. I'm not sure why I keep buying them because I really don't like them. I generally find the Lyras very fast, but lean and with a hot treble. The Delos and Kleos were no exceptions to this. (I actually thought the Delos was better than the Kleos, the latter being strangely bland. At least the Delos had some character.)
I understand why people like Lyra cartridges, and there is certainly nothing wrong with this. Personally, I prefer a fuller, richer sound with less treble emphasis, such as the Benz Micro cartridges. I am currently using a VDH Black Beauty which has the speed of the Lyras but with some of the warmth of a Benz and a more balanced sound.
Currently on my third Lyra - this time an Etna. Very realistic indeed. Fast and - to me - a controlled treble and is exceptional on percussion (you can hear the tuning of the drum skins).
I had a Micro Benz - nice cartridge on classical, but I find the Etna a bit more fulfilling as an all-rounder, but it's down to taste at this price bracket.
Like rossb, I found the Delos fast and lean. When I first got it I loved it because I wanted extended highs. But when using my Ayre K-1xe there was a little too much top end, not much at the bottom. Plus it lets one know of any dirt and tiny defects on my vinyl. Switched out the Ayre with a Modwright LS-100 and that helped some. Recently bought an Audio Technica AT33Sa and have been happy with this. No vinyl ticks, just great sound across the board. Sold the Delos.
Regarding dirt and defects on a record, I have had the opposite experience. The Lyra Delos is extremely quiet in the groove and ticks and pops that would have been up front with my previous carts are now minimized into the background. I think that this is one of its strengths. Perhaps it is not so much the cart but the ARC LS-27 and PH-8 combo that is doing the job. Perhaps using sub a $3k phono preamp or anything solid state is causing the groove noise and glare? I know that when I had a Project Phono Box RS it was good but always too bright and etched no matter what carts, setup or tweaks I threw at it.
Right now I still have and using the old out of production Lyra Argo. It's very detailed, clean, clear, good soundstage, and great separations. This cartridge sound so much better compare to some of those that cost 3 times as much. I am now planning on upgrading to the either the Delos or the Koetsu Roswood Signature but I think I will end up withtheDelos.
(Never posted here, but have a little input...)
Replaced my Lyra Argo (i) with the Lyra Delos ~1.5 yrs ago.
(Scheu Premier MK II, Morch UP-4 (Yellow), CODA FET 03P)
Great deal with the Lyra trade-in (via Needle Doctor) at the time; not sure what the latest deal is.
I really liked the Argo (i), as I had it for 9+ yrs and probably >2500 hrs., and going strong, which greatly influenced my decision to stick with Lyra. Argo (i) was detailed (never struck me as strident; replaced an Ortofon Kontrapunkt A), great tracker, quiet; Delos is also fuller, great clarity, low end is improved. And I like the looks (esp. with a Reprise Gold Label LP on...)
Lots of good cartridges out there, I'm sure, but I'm very satisfied with the Delos for the money. I would certainly have paid full $ knowing what I know now...
I've owned my Delos for 4 years now. It replaced a Benz Glider, which was another great cart. I've been very pleased with its performance and quality. My C-J EF1 phono stage has a limited amount of gain and loading, and the Delos works well within its output. Something to consider during a purchase. The Delos was also within my 'target' price range. I believe that you don't necessarily have to purchase the top of the line within a particular brand name. The best technology of a brand trickles down into the lower end of that brand. I believe this to be the case with the Delos cart. It was no more difficult to set up than other nude cartridges, but be careful you don't clip the Boron cantilever off!
I owned a Delos with a VPI Aries, and it was a fantastic combination. I liked it so much, I decided to upgrade to a Kleos (got a great deal on a very lightly used one right here on Audiogon). While I like the Kleos (rich mids), I think the Delos had a little more punch to it. If I had to do it again, I'd probably stick with the Delos.