Some may disagree, but break in can be a huge factor. There were times when I thought a new phono cart was defective it sounded so bad. Put about 25-30 hours on it. It should sound a lot better. If not, you may have a different problem, but you really should rule out break in first.
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I forgot to put this in my first post. Your old cart puts out .25mv and the Lyra puts out .6mv. I would lower the gain as well.
Also, I wasn't too familiar with your modified Denon cart, so I went to the manufacturer's web site. It states that they put 100 hours on all carts before they get shipped out to customers. That's a really nice thing for them to do, but if you don't have a lot of experience with phono carts, you won't be aware of how big a factor break in really is.
I had Delos and Kleos. Both wasn't good trackers. About 50µm/315Hz they began distorting. For me they adds a type of top end to the music, that sometimes is great, but it can also be to much. After the Kleos i had an EMT JSD6, that has balls in the.....but not the resolution...
I think the DL103 has a complete other tonal focus as the Lyra.
a/s works with different arm and cartridge combinations. Why would you make a blanket statement like that? It works fine for me. The OP should give it a try!
Thanks for great responses! The Lyra Dorian is very sensitive to VTF, VTA and loading. I think that I finally have it set up nicely and now is the time for break in... Probably at 15hr since new cantilever.
At this point the Dorian sounds detailed and refined but it slightly lacks the micro and macro dynamics of the Denon. Dorian stages deeper and images more precisely, but it does not have the dynamic impact of the Denon. My hope is that the gap will close through break in.
When considering my future upgrade to the Lyra Delos, my hope is that the Delos retains the best attributes of the Dorian with just a touch more warmth and dynamics.
BTW, there is a Dynavector Dv 20x2 h for sale on Audiogon, interesting?