New analog system disappoints, please help


I recently decided to get back into analog after a long break. Being on a budget I bought a used system from a local seller. The system consists of a J A Michell Gyro SE with DC motor, SME 309 tonearm and Transfiguration Spirit cart. I also bought a new old stock, factory sealed Plinius Jarrah phono stage. The Gyro, 309 and spirit where all purchased new in 2002 from a L.A. area high-end dealer and set up for the original owner in his home. They have remained there undisturbed and virtually unused since (maybe 15 to 20 hours total use)

After getting it all home I set up the turntable on a carefully leveled rack and tried the bounce test for the suspension. What I got was more like the Jello jiggle than a nice verticle bounce. I followed the instructions I found online for adjusting the suspension (several times) and although not perfect the bounce is much better. I have not touched the tonearm/cart alignment as I know little about this. I left the Jarrah set to factory default high output and adjusted the loading to 100ohms (recomended for the spirit)

After a 24hr burn in for the Jarrah I started to listen to some LP's. The sound is not bad, there is nothing obviously wrong but it sounds slightly recessed, flat and lifeless. I guess I was expecting more even from a relatively modest system like this. It doesn't "blow away" my digital source.

The rest of my system consist of Art Audio VPS DM pre, Art Audio Diavolo amp, Lector CDP-7T-MKIII and Spendor sp100 speakers. Cables are a mix of Nordost Valkyra and Quattro fil.

Any suggestions, incite or setup help would be greatly appreciated.

unless the entire set up is fully broken in there is nothing really to adjust I think. 15-20 hours on the cart is nothing. 24 hours on the phono stage is nothing.
Give the system 200 hours and periodically check VTF to make sure it is in the ballpark.
Took my Benz cartridge over 75 hours to break in and more than twice that time for the phono stage.
Just wait and see. Nobody can guarantee it will sound better than your cd player or if you'll like it better than your cd player, and I don't really think that it should, but it should definitely sound good.
I don't have a large record collection but some things do sound better on cd and some sound better on vinyl. Generally, to me, classical sounds better on vinyl for the most part if I am to compare same recording on CD and on vinyl(although lots of things come into play there too, not just the media), especially the strings have more of a natural tone and intonation. Good luck.
I owned a gyro for several years with a rega 300 arm and van den hul frog cartridge. (my daughter is using now). it was not a dull system. One key to optimizing the system is getting the suspension functioning properly then after that, optimizing the cartridge functions (vtf/vta/overhang)is critical. I was amazed of the impact of the sound once I got this area optimized. I do not know the arm you are using but it must be easier to adjust than the rega (vta is a problem with most lower level rega arms). Also, check the stylus to see if you have buildup on it. lint, or other buildup will make the sound very dull. As far as the suspension, make sure you have the bearings in the top of the springs lubricated. SOunds stupid, but it makes a difference.
Maybe your phono setup doesn't have enough gain.
do you have a voltmeter to measure output from CD and from the phono stage ( while music playing )
2v to 3v is probably what you get.
What vinyl are you using to test your system.. my old vinyl quality was boring with no dynamics... so I went and bought some reference recording (new stuff 180gram pressing's which doesn't mean they will be good FYI) and WOW..what a difference... my other friends even after using record cleaners and steaming find their old collections don't get close to their digital. You have a revealing digital system and so this is a much harder comparision.

The suggestion about bearing oil is excellent!

For anyone interested, after doing a little reading an buying a few tools I was able to greatly improve my situation. Turns out that when I started checking I found out that the clamping bolts on the main shaft of the tonearm where very loose as where the lock down bolts for the VTF adjustment and the removable headshell. This resulted in the VTF, VTA and azmuth being way out. After adjusting these settings, tightening things up and adjusting the suspension some more I had a totally different machine. Sound was greatly improved in every way. I am now hearing what I expected in the first place. I am going continue to read and tinker and see if I can improve things even more.