MC cartridges new vs. old


In my analog source I have intalled a used Lyra Delos as replacement.

But, I was looking a new cartridge, and found two diferent options, a new and old MC cartridges:

a) New Lyra Dorian at 850 € (special dealer offer)
b) Little used (less 50 h) Spectral MCR Signature at 950 €

All I have read about Spectral is great but is a very low output cartridge (0,2 mV) that is apparently hard to drive and very sensible to setup. Is the first generation of Scantech, is an old but appears to be a great low output cartridge from all reviews from users...

Dorian is a new cartridge, more easy to drive (0,6 mV) and also sensible to setup, is the five generation of Scan Tech.... Jonathan Carr, the designer recomend last generation of cartridge in general...

The rest of analog components:

Wilson Benesch Circle TT
Wilson Benesch ACT 0.5 arm
EAR 834P phone

What are your opinion or election betwwen these two or another similar to the Spectral like Lyra Clavis DC...

Thank you for your opinions and help.

Kind Regards,
"In my analog source I have installed a used Lyra Delos as replacement."

"Dorian is a new cartridge, more easy to drive (0,6 mV) and also sensible to setup, is the five generation of Scan Tech.... Jonathan Carr, the designer recommend last generation of cartridge in general."

Not sure you have the facts right, if I am reading this right? The DELOS is the newest version of the Lyra carts. The DORIAN is the generation BEFORE the DELOS.

Jonathan Carr, from everything I've read, says the NEW generation of carts are some of his best ever. Where did you read differently?

I've owned both the Dorian and the Delos and the Delos is indeed a better cart. Never heard the Spectral.
You are right Mofimadness, I changed the names of cartridges, I have a Dorian and my question is about Delos a modern cartridge.

And yes, you are also right about Mr. Carr says that the new generation of cartridge are his best ever.
From your words this is a fact between Dorian and newest Delos, my question is between an older cartridges which I don´t know if was designed by Mr. Carr and have really diferent especifications...

But anyway, thank you a lot for your help, in anycase I think the new is better bet, new and cheap, most important is that I try do a good setup of the cartridge.

As I read your OP, and I read your mention of the Spectral, I thought to myself "Oh, oh!". Then I saw that you use the EAR 834P. Given the EAR's warm and lush character and generous gain, the Spectral might be a great match. I owned the Spectral years ago. It is an incredibly detailed and fast cartridge, but lean and a little dry and colorless (the natural kind of color is a good thing); very unforgiving. I also owned the original Clavis and I consider the Spectral a better cartridge. Never heard the Delos, but perhaps you can extrapolate some useful information from the above. Good luck.
New is always better.
Unequivocal unqualified statements asserting that something is "always" true are "always" wrong. Including the preceding sentence, although not often :-)

-- Al
I'm not so sure about new always being better. I have a Benz Glider that I've had Peter of Soundsmith retip with a ruby cantilever a few times and it sounds better than anything I've listen to in its price range today.

I also picked up an older Adcom XC/LT with a broken cantilever, "I owned one back in the 80's", and again had Peter do his magic. I'm saving it as a back up, or a second arm. Anyway, I have listen to two side of an album with it, and it also sounds fantastic. I don't think anything under $700 could beat it and maybe more. It has the same wonderful qualities as the Glider but with a bit more punch and midrange presence. The Glider sounds a little more refined.

Certainly there are great cartridges out there today and some real nice budget cartridges. One caveat is that I can not afford real expensive cartridges, so all bets are of for one that cost 1500 or more. Magnets have come a ways in this regards and have allow for lower coil wiring and higher signal.....but again they are very expensive and most likely worth it, too.
Hi Frogman,
I am interested in one question about the time you have the Spectral and the EAR 834P,... Do you remember the arm you have in the turntable?

I have the Wilson Benesch ACT 0.5, a 9 gr mass arm... and I am not sure about compliance of cartrige is right.

I am happy with you words about Spectral because I have, in fact interest in it, but I am not sure is right decisión to waste more money in an "special" used cartridge than in a new good cartridge.... it could be a nonsense but I have something similar a "good feeling" with these "old" cartridge...

Anyway,... is a pleasure read all of you.

Thank you again
Just reading this thread. Frogman, does an EAR 834P provide adequate gain for the Spectral MCR? I rather thought the EAR was an MM-only phono stage with which you would use a SUT, to boost gain of an LOMC cartridge. If so, of course SUT plays a big role in sonics. But maybe Spectral has sufficient output to avoid SUT.
Geropaa, the arm was an Eminent Technology ET2 air-bearing straight-line
tracking tonearm which, if anything, tends to exibit a character to the lush
side of neutral compared to the pivoting arms that I have used. I did not try
the Spectral with a pivoting arm during the time I had it and can't opine on
its compatibility with the Benesch arm.

Lewm, there are two versions of the 834P: with and without switchable MC
capability (built-in SUT's). One of the criticisms of the 834P has sometimes
been that it has too much gain (46db/MM, 70db/MC if memory serves, but I
am certain I am within 1 db or so) and one of the reasons that I am able to
get such great results using a passive pre with either MM's with + 3 mv or
MC's with + .5 mv output going into a pair of Manley tube mono's. With the
additional gain of an active preamp, in my setup, MC's with .2 mv output
have not been a problem. Given the fact that Geropaa has been using a
Delos, I assume he is talking about the MC switchable version of the 834P
and with an active pre.

BTW, imo, the EAR is inherently better sounding in MM mode and one of
the reasons that I have been using vintage MM's over the last few years.
Of course, one has to consider the potential superiority of any given MC for
possibly better overall results.
Frogman, thank you for your answer. Finally ask to Wilson Benesch about compatibility and they answer me that probably there is no resonance problems with these cartridge due to design of the arm...
"The ACT 0.5 tonearm is very highly damped due to the material used and the geometric shape of the arm, resonance in the audible range should not be an issue, but I would advise trying the combination if possible before committing financially if you are unsure"

In other hand, my EAR 834P have MM/MC switch as you suppose, then it´s compatible with the Spectral output from your experience. It use a integrated amplifier Cary SLI80, no preamp.

Thank you all for your help.