I have the SL and it was dramatically better than a VDH Frog. The Helikon is a big league cartridge. I would highly recommend it. Check with the guys at immediasound.com about the differences between the helikon and the lyra.
I hear that the SME table is great!
While we're talking about the Helikon, I've been thinking about upgrading from a Benz Glider Low output to the Helikon. I have a Linn LP12/Ekos and Linto phono stage. The Linto has 63dB of gain. Should I get the SL or the regular?
My Linn dealer says that Linn "optimized" the Linto to work best with the Linn Arkiv, which is about .4mV output. I understand the regular Helikon is also about .4mV.
I suspect the Linto will not have trouble with the .2mV Helikon SL, but the extra work the Linto will have to do will theoretically induce some extra noise, however small. Will the sonic improvement over the Helikon regular justify the SL?
Thanks in advance,
Famaraca - I also have the Helikon SL and think it's terrific, better than my Koetsu Urushi, and gives my Koetsu Onyx a run for the money. You have a high quality tt (SME IV/V arm?), so the just be sure your phono pre has enough gain to support the SL.
And Gboren, I'd stick to the regular Helikon with your Linto, but you might want to email Sedrick Harris, Immedia sales rep to confirm (email@example.com). Sedrick's a great guy and very knowledgeable.
To both Famaraca and Gboren, a friend upgraded his Lyra through an Audiogon member, Sattothestars, and was very happy with the service.
I wholeheartedly second Granpad. The Helikon comes very very close to the Clearaudio Insider in slam, soundstage layering, general dynamics and resolution down to the pppp level and this at a fraction of the price! I use it on a very heavily modified Souther arm. Cheers,
I don't know either. My dealer, whom I have come to trust, says that the upgrade would be worthwhile. He also told me once that the difference between the clavis d.c. and the parnassis d.c. was pretty close. A matter of taste or sonic signature?
I have tried the frog and liked it very much. I was very impressed. I liked the clavis d.c. more, but I got the impression that most would prefer the frog.
Come to think of it, the clavis d.c. is a fairly idiosyncrate cartridge. It can have a tendancy to sound thin, and undynamic, compared to other super carts, which it trades for super detail. Of this I am sure of.
I think in a situation like this a dealer that can laon you a heliken or provide a demonstration would be invalueable.
I am highly curious. Evan from these answers above I am still guessing wheather it is somewhat a matter of taste or a no-brainer.
The Helikon is a great step forward from the Clavis. Except during the first break-in period, it is much more full bodied and has decidedly more PRAT, here being closer to the Insider than any other cartridge I am familiar with.
Why don't you look at the Arkiv B? The Helikon and the Arkiv share the same designer, and the Arkiv is purpose built for your analog system.
Put my in your book and have had a Clavis DC for over four years now and the silly thing will not wear out. It is in a Rockport Capella table and maybe it is the vacuum hold down or whatever that has kept it together all these years, but never got more than eight months out of a VdH.....Have two friends who have Helikons, but not the SL version and one of them replaced the Clavis DC with the Helikon and thought it was a nice improvement. The other friend had a Clearaudio Accurate and found the Helikon more to his liking.....They both run Rockport tables.
Rcump, had the same experience as you with the Grasshoppers.
Hey Detlof! I used the MC ONEs and had to have two or three of them as the rebuilds were not nearly as good as the originals and glad I tried the Clavis DC, which had no dynamics for about 4-500 hours, but came to life then and now just won't wear out.....I see Jonathan Carr and Stig Bjorn at the CES every year and they laugh about my four+ year old cartridge and shake their heads as this is some sort of record they allow......Sure don't like the way the cantilever sticks out of the new Helikon as sure as the world I'll break it off, but will probably just get one of the new SLs at the CES this next year......
I agree with Detlof and others about the Helikon, as I have been using it for more than 2 years, but I have heard that Lyra has just come out with an even better cartridge called the Titan. It's time to save up on lunch money!
Speaking of the new Titan I heard one on a S Yorke TT (not mine). THere WAS a Helikon there too, but that was hooked onto an Amazon/Morch combo.
What I can therefore say, is that the S Yorke/Titan had much better resolution in the mid-range and more extension, esp in the bass, especially in complicated orchestral passages (Mahler 8, to be precise).
The speed/pitch (PRaT if you prefer) was exquisite on both set-ups.
Oh yes, this doesn't answer the original question. Famaraca: little to add to the advice above, sorry. Assuming you're sporting a SME 4/5 arm or equivalent, go for the SL. The Clavis, good as it may be, doesn't match up to the SL.