Lyra Helikon and Phd owners please

I have recently upgraded the cartridge from a Sumiko Blue Point 2 to a Lyra Helikon on a Rega RB 300 arm and Michell Gyrodec TT. The phonostage is a Sutherland Phd.With the Sumiko cart getting the Phd to wake up was a non issue :gently stroking the stylus, perhaps once or twice was enough and the Phd was ready to sing. With the Helikon nothing seems to work other than letting the stylus ride on the lp for 30/45 seconds.This is bothersome but not a big deal.Have tried setting the sensitivity control on the Phd( counter clockwise to increase it)but this only results in the yellow light (indicating that the cart is searching for a signal) coming on in the middle of a record and refusing to go off.
I wonder if any Lyra/Phd owners have encountered similar issues and what the possible soloution could be.
Many thanks and cheers
5730ac72 b4ae 4369 9106 b94235ab9855sunnyboy1956
Hello My friend, it's Mark.
I thought I'd post my thoughts-ideas here, for not only you, but also perhaps others who own, or may own a Sutherland PhD in the future.

Some may remember that before, you had an issue with the Unit not wishing to shut down, when you were using the Bluepoint, with 2.5mv of output.

It does appear what you/we sourced the problem to (or at least we think this was what it was) was perhaps an inadequately shielded Cable, and that you were most likely picking up RFI, and keeping the Sutherland PhD awake.

This time it doesn't wake up! (You might have to start doing a final rinse LP rinse my friend with some strong coffee!? lol)

Realistically, I'm no Electronic Engineer, nor exactly know how, or where the Sentry is integrated into the Surtherland, but let me ask you this?

When the Sutherland does finally get up, and running, how is the output (Volume) with the Lyra Helikon compared to when you were running the Bluepoint 2 at roughly 50db of gain on the Sutherland?

What I'm thinking now, with the Helikon, with an output of a much lower .35mv (Or if you have the Helikon SL at .22mv) you possibly may not have the Gain set high enough at the Gain Boards (in other words, increase your gain to the highest setting you have on your Boards to try this) or my friend, you may possibly need the High Gain Boards?

I think I mentioned to you in private email not long ago, that I myself did decide to purchase the High Gain Boards from Elusive Disc (For me in the US, they were $74 Shipped)

Since Elusive Disc is a Sutherland Dealer, and the boss Bob Bantz quickly, and cheerfully answers his emails, from customers, he might be the best, and easiest person to get ahold of to see what he thinks, or can find out about this issue.

As you know, I myself didn't immediately have a need for the High Gain Boards since I'm running a Benz HO Glider, but thought that one day (Hopefully soon), I might have the need if upgrading to a Low Output MC like your Helikon, and figured I'd buy them now, while they were still readily available.

I'll try emailing Bob Bantz for you my friend. He'll reply soon, he's a great guy. I hope this helps, and we get you up, and running again quickly! Mark
The published spec for the Helikon is .6mv gain. This would be considered a medium-gain MC cartridge.
Hello Dgarretson/All
Sorry for any mis-information (I hate when I do that!) lol

Looking again at the reference I use, the MusicDirect 2007 Catalog, they have two specs for the Helikon. Under "thier" Cartridge Graph, they list it as .35mv, under thier Photo Ad for the Cartridge. they list .5mv, and at Elusive Disc, they list the standard Helikon at 4mv How come so much mis-information, and who gets it right? lol

I didn't see any listing on Lyra-Scan Tech site, but perhaps it's in the PDF User's Manuals there?

I'll take your word for it, and getting back to the issues at hand, I'm unsure if the original poster has compensated for the lower output of this Cartridge (whatever it really is! lol) versus his previous Sumiko Bluepoint 2, that this hopefully is the problem, and the adjustment to a higher setting on the Gain Boards, which is a simple unplug, rotate, and replug will solve his problem.

Otherwise, other than the initially used and evidently "RFI Laden" Cardas Golden Reference IC he was first using, and couldn't get the Unit to shut down, it appears he's had no other issues with his Sutherland PhD. Mark
Mark, My mistake as well! I see now that the Installation Instructions that came with my standard Helikon states .5mV output.
Thank you again for the clarification.
This is such a wonderful forum which has helped me more times than I can count. It's a great feeling when you can sometimes return the favor to others with sound, helpful advice.

I hope that my educated "guesses" will help "sunny", so that his Phono Amp gives him the pleasure that it should bring. I reckon we'll know in short time.

He's on the other side of the Globe from me, with me in the Southwestern US, and him in New Delhi, India. Mark
Hi Mark/All,
Many thanks for all your advice/suggestions. Immediately after installing the Helikon, there was a big drop in gain. I had to crank the gain settings on the Phd to max, ie 60db. Currently(sic!) and I don't have any issues with loudness or gain. The best that I have managed to do with the Helikon is to reduce the wake up time to around 23/30 seconds or so.If I tweak the sensitivity further the yellow light stays on which I assume is not good news for the power management system in the Phd.
As I said earlier this is bothersome but only for the first lp.The cart loading is set at 47k ohms as recommended in the Lyra manual.
As an aside the the Helikon sounds heavenly.
Wow this is a great feeling sitting halfway across the globe knowing someone somewhere is concened and willing to invest the time and effort to help find a solution.
Cheers and bye for now.
My friend,
I have written to you privately, and as I mentioned, I will try contacting Chad at Acoustic Sounds for you ASAP, and try getting accurate information, if Gain plays any significance-coorelation to the Sentry's Sensitivity.

Since you a 1/2 world away in New Delhi, it will be much easier, and less expensive for me to make the callto him, and I will inform you of the findings-opinions from Chad.

It is hard for me, or anyone else to determine if 60db through the Sutherland is properly adequate for the Lyra Helikon? perhaps other Helikon owners can comment of what gain settings they seem to be typical for the Helikon.

I could drop my friend Tom Back a letter, as he's using his Sutherland PhD with a Clearaudio Master Reference Table, and a Lyra Titan, which I "think" has the same output as the Helikon? (Seems darn tough getting proper spec info on these Lyras!)

Perhaps he can remember what gain settings he's using with the Titan, and if he had to resort to the High Gain Boards? Mark
Hi Mark,
Many thanks for all your help and advise. As I mentioned in an email, I not sure how a higher gain board will help given that the output of the Lyra is fixed at 0.5v(I checked the manual).A higher gain setting on the Phd will only make life easier for the main preamp(CJ CT5).
Hello my friend, I have privately emailed you, and the advice-suggestions which were given to me by Chad at Acoustic Sounds.

To just give a brief rundown here, so that it may benefit future PhD owners in the Archive, Chad recommended to check that all batteries are properly installed on thier respective Battery Holders. As you know, these Battery Holders have to clamping force of a Pit Bull's Jaws, and thier could be the possibility of one, or more not being properly positioned on the Holder.

As I added in my letter to you,the other possibility of tired Batteries. Remember that previously, you had issues with the Unit staying on for very long periods, you mentioned for periods of 24 hours straight on occasion.

This could have possibly exhausted your Batteries somewhat, even though Sutherland claims a 700-800 hour Battery Play Life on average.

The other variables, are what brand-quality of Batteries you used, high enviornment temperatures where you live, age of Batteries, etc.

I recommend again trying another 16 fresh Batteries.

Lastly, I am unsure if Gain at the boards Plays any influence of increasing-decreasing the Sentry's sensitivity. Apparently Chad indicates that Battery quality-voltage does.

Again my friend, I hope this helps you, Mark
While we are on the topic of the Sutherland phd, does anyone know were to buy the blank cartridge loading cards? The places I've checked don't seem to carry them.
Willster, As far as I know, Acoustic Sounds is the main distributor here in the USA.

You can find thier site in the agon manufacture's alphabetized index, and contact them either by phone, or email. Ask for Chad, he will surely know, and can no doubt provide you with the Blank Loading Boards. Mark
I've already tried Acoustic Sounds. Sent several emails without a response. Finally, I called them and talked to someone who took my contact info and said they'd get back to me but never did. Since my last post I've been told that these boards are only available directly from Sutherland. Problem is, it seems to be impossible to contact Sutherland directly.

I'd also be VERY interested in service manuals and schematics but everyone I've asked assumes I want them because I need repair and just tells me to send the unit to a repair facility. I've been working on a design for an external supply utilizing rechargeable batteries but I need additional configuration details that a schematic could provide.