Delos is very detail oriented cartridge. It may subside, but not too soon. I believe that it is its signature sound that I'd rather say highly accurate vs. bright. Very soon you'll get used to it before it subsides. Kleos may have slightly darker background than Delos, but with same detail definition and forward presentation.
Delos has a clear rising treble which never goes away. I dont hear that kind of treble from a Helikon for example (which is also very detail oriented). It is a artefact of Delos IMO.
Since I actually own a Delos, I'll chime in. Mine was a little bright right out of the box. After about 50 hours, it smoothed out and after 100 hours or so...WOW!
It does NOT have a "clear rising treble", that's just BS.
Give it some time, make sure you are tracking it 1.75 grams of VTF and it is setup correctly. I found that a load of 100ohms worked best in my system.
It's an amazing cartridge.
I owned a Delos before I traded up to a Kleos. The cart first of all need to break in. I also will reinforce that it is not bright by nature. I feel it is detailed and accurate in it's re-prodcution. It can seem a little bright or tilted when new, but in time it limbers up and soothes the highs away from the edginess. The Kleos does all of what the delos does only on a broader scale. I am confident that over time you will come to love the delos and if anything you will thirst to trade up to a Kleos, Skala or even more. To me the Lyra house sound is the most musical yet revealing I have enjoyed. As mentioned"accurate not bright". enjoy!
I've owned a Delos for over a year. I can't disagree more with Pani. There is definitely a break in period, 100 hours per Mofimadness is about right. You can always start the break in period with the tail slightly down to help smooth it out somewhat. But once broken in, you will never regret the purchase. Detail, accurate just as Theo described.
Thanks for your input. I had hoped after the break-in period, the sound would smooth out a little. I wish there was a way to expedite the break-in period, but I think it will just take time. It's not an offensive sound-just crisp.
It's very sensitive to VTF. Catch the right spot. Load it with maximum of 1000 Ohms, but bests between 100 and 200.
Let me clarify, I like the Lyra cartridges for its strengths which is basically speed and dynamics. I also like the Delos a lot. I have heard fully broken in Delos making glorifying music, however that little treble thing just remains and it shows its head on some recordings in a very clear way, not always. A well recorded Analogue Productions LP will not bring out this issue.
I have a Delos. I do not hear a rising high end at all. It sounds completely neutral in that regard. It is loaded at 183 ohms into a lundahl 1941. And why would you say that it sounds fine on good Analogue Production records but wrong elsewhere? I find it hard to believe that the vast majority of recordings have a rising top end, or conversely, that Analogue Production records are all rolled off in the highs.
Maybe your hearing in the higher frequencies is better than mine?
FWIW, I also do not find the Delos to be lean and/or analytical in my system. I keep reading that this is the Lyra house sound. But it does not apply to the Delos. Each recording sounds distinctive - as they should. The Delos reveals the positive and negative attributes of recordings so clearly that I have no doubt that I am hearing a good chunk of what was captured. Great performances with solid engineering are magnificent to listen to - and there are thankfully many such records to choose from.
I compared the Delos with a lot of cartridges, I seriously think it is one of the best out there you can buy. Independent from Price.
I will show you exactly what is going on with the connected units. I think, when you are disturbed from a frequency area, the problem is somewhere else. Based on its Price you will see it mainly in low quality Systems and the reactions from these owners are the way they can hear it with those units. Listen to it with a real top Turntable/Arm and Frontend and you will scratch your head in amazement.
For low quality Systems the Kleos is a better match based on its limited Frequency area.
Delos is not lean, I agree. It is very revealing of the recordings I also agree. It is very musical, correct. If I had the luxury of multiple arms, most probably one of them would have had a Lyra on it.
Even though I have heard many high end cartridges in various systems, my reference for tonality is a Denon 103/103R. Listen to a Delos besides a 103, maybe you can relate to my concerns regarding its treble. 103 lacks in every other area compared to the Delos but tonally-timbrally it tells you exactly what the instruments and voices in a recording sounds like. That is why it conveys emotions so well in spite of so many limitations (especially dynamic limitations).
I gave the example of analogue productions because when the recording/mastering/pressing is very good everything sounds good and it many a times becomes difficult to tell the flaws. It is just very enjoyble due to the excellent resolution present in the LP. Listen to a average LP which you listen mostly because of its music and not because of the quality of the recording, possibly you may hear the issues I am trying to project.
As far as musical attributes are concerned with respected to cartridges, I place timbral accuracy the highest. Listening to Mozart's woodwind divertimenti I don't want to have to guess what instruments are playing. The clarinet, oboe, flute and cor anglais can sound rather indistinct with respect to one another. I don't have that problem with the Delos. Same goes for hearing the voices in string quartet music. I know of no more difficult tests for judging timbre reproduction, and the Delos passes easily.
Last night I was listening to Debussey played on the restored Siena pianoforte. The nuances of timbre on that instrument are fascinating to listen in to.
So I can't see how the Delos is defecient in the area of timbre. It strikes me as natural and accurate, at least in combination with the rest of my system. Now it is also true that I had to do some tube rolling in the phono pre to get that to happen so it could be that I compensated for the Delos. But judging from the sound through my ss phono pre, I don't think so.
After using a Dynavector 17D3 for 3 years on my VPI Classic 1, I upgraded to a Lyra Delos 2 months ago and I haven't looked back, I'm completely ecstatic and in awe of this cartridge. To my ears it has the same kind of neutrality across the frequency spectrum as the 17D3, but takes a huge leap ahead in terms of detail resolution, 3-dimensionality, presence, the breath of life, and that "you are there"-ness we love so much in our best sounding vinyl. I'm not kidding, the difference is huge, the 17D3 sounds dull and lifeless by comparison. It also rejects surface noise to a much larger degree than the 17D3. I recently pulled out an LP that I had an unpleasant time sitting through the last time I played it (with the 17D3) because of the poor, noisy pressing. I really thought this LP was a lost cause, but I decided to give it a shot with the Delos, and the Lyra cartridge literally rescued this record. Not only did the record become tolerable to sit through, but enjoyable as well, the music was not fighting to punch out above the bad pressing noise like it was with the 17D3. The surface noise was dramatically reduced, and the music just burst forth, illuminated. I suspect it has something to do with the Delos' long cantilever. The 17D3 has that stubby little cantilever, and I think the effect it has is to give you the surface noise at the same level of emphasis as the music.
My phono preamp is a Simaudio Moon 310LP, with the Delos loaded at 100 ohm with 54 db of gain, and it's a terrific combination. With the 17D3 I was using a pair of Telefunken 12au7 smooth plate tubes in my VTL 2.5 preamp, but I switched to a pair of Mullard CV4003 because I found they balance out the increased liveliness of the Delos better than the Telefunkens did.
Just curious. What setup ( phono/arm/table/ampspeakers) did you use or listen to the Delos with?
Jaspert, I heard the Delos on a Rega P9 with RB1000 tonearm, 47 Labs phonostage, Naim 52 preamp with Naim 135 power amp driving a pair of ATC SCM20. I also had the Delos at home for a few days but at that time my spare TT (Technics SL1200) was playing, I tried the Delos on it also, though I was sceptical if it makes sense to judge the delos on a 1200. The Rega P9 experience was much better but that little HF issue never faded away.
I could hear that issue mostly on the high notes of a acoustic guitar. Those notes had a thin body and leads to a feeling of edgy shimmering HF. You could also try listening to track "Walk of Life" by Dire Straits to hear that effect to some extent.
Agreed that the 17D3 is no match to a Delos. I too had a 17D3 for a few days but I sold it within a week.
That gives some context to your comments.
I use one too but i don't have such issue on my Phantom 2 or Reed 2A arm/Micro RX-5000. My system ( multi way active horn with lots of tube) is vastly different too which could be another factor.
Jaspert I agree. Listening to a cartridge on a Naim based system and Technic SL1200 for a day or 2 is no basis for making sweeping statements on a particular cartridge. The Delos is excellent, but will show up system issues. In most systems I've heard it in it has been sweet as a nut. I own and use Ikeda, Koetsu Black & Dynavector Nova 13D daily and could easily go to Delos and be very happy.
To Mofimadness: It DOES have a rising treble response. It's measurable. About +7db above 10kHz.
Dconsmack...please supply a graph of this. Everything I have ever seen on this cartridge, shows a pretty flat response all the through. Prove it. +7db is quite a lot.
In the 2010 August issue of the German audio magazine "Stereoplay", the Delos was subjectively and objectively reviewed against other cartridges (at roughly comparable price-points). In addition to listening impressions, the article is complete with charts and numbers that show how the Delos measured in comparison to other cartridges like the Benz-Micro Wood SL, Kuzma KC2 (a ZYX OEM), Ortofon Cadenza Blue, and Ortofon Cadenza Red. This review can be downloaded from the website of our German distributor, Fast Audio. FWIW, the Delos came out on top (smile).
But when you see frequency measurements of a phono cartridge, there are a couple of questions that you should ask immediately, which are "at what temperature" and "at what groove diameter" (and with MM, MI or other high-impedance, high-inductace cartridges, "at what load").
This is because although the frequency response of a cartridge is commonly spoken of a single curve, in reality it is a number of different curves, affected strongly by various parameters such as the operating temperature (lower temperature causes the upper frequencies to be attenuated), and groove diameter (the upper frequencies are increasingly attenuated the closer the stylus gets to the LP label). A cartridge that measures as having a rising treble at 27 degrees centigrade and at the beginning of the LP will measure differently at 20 degree centigrade and the finale.
The frequency response likewise changes with with the choice of test record, and can also change with cartridge age (due to damper wear and stylus wear).
What makes matters even more interesting is that some of the tonal changes that we hear from a cartridge in a given setup may not necessarily appear in the frequency measurements. For example, if the tonearm is changed from, say, a Rega RB300 to a Triplanar, the high frequencies will sound noticeably different. But those same high frequencies will not measure differently (unless one of the setups is wrong).
Ditto for electrical loading (of MC cartridges). Change the loading of an MC from 1kohm to 100 ohms and how the high frequencies sound in comparison to the lower frequencies will be audibly different. But actual measurements will show no (or very little) change.
Same applies for VTA.
Same also applies for body construction. Put the same generator, cantilever and stylus in different body structures, and you can get a very different sound (while seeing little to no effect on the measured frequency response).
kind regards, jonathan carr
Jonathan...as always THANK YOU for your info. It's a pleasure to have you on here.
...and thanks for designing excellent cartridges for all of us vinyl fans!
Well, thats an interesting comment. So, are you saying that we can't measure differences in sound that we hear? Isnt that the mantra of hiend cable proponents when confronted with test data that shows no measurable difference between expensive cables and cheap ones. Do you have any evidence of audible differences with no change in measurement, and if so, do you have an opinion on what is causing these audible changes.
I think most of us here believe that different equipment sounds different, even if measurements do not show any differnce, but this is the first time I have read such a definitive statement from a manufacturer I trust. Care to expound?
The point is that what we normally measure and how we hear are not necessarily the same things.
Usually when the sound changes, _something_ will be measurably different, but in many cases it won't be anything as simple as a 20 - 20kHz frequency sweep.
The MC cartridge loading example that I gave in my earlier post is an easy and common case of audible changes that aren't reflected in typical measurements. If you load a cartridge down more heavily, the absolute level of all frequencies will diminish, but the relative level of 10kHz as opposed to 1kHz will not. What will change is ultrasonic stuff above 70kHz, sometimes extending beyond 1Mhz. What appears to be going on is that the phono stage (not the cartridge) can misbehave due to the ultrasonic, high-amplitude signals, and the ear (mis)interprets the intermodulation artifacts as "brighter" or "darker" sound. Such intermodulation has no harmonic relationship to the original signal, and the ear finds such inharmonic distortion far more nasty (and therefore noticeable) than with harmonic distortion.
Tonearms and headshells (and cartridge bodies) affect the perceived tonal balance, but this kind of stuff appears as blips or steps in the mechanical impedance response. You won't see it appear directly in the frequency response.
To borrow someone else as an example, I know that Syntax hears the Kleos as having much less upper frequency energy than the Delos. But do these two cartridges measure differently at the top? Very little difference; more than enough to be swamped by changes in the operating temperatures. Does this OTOH mean that Syntax is imagining things? Hardly - the body structure of the Delos and Kleos are quite different, resulting in different mechanical characteristics, which can and do give a different sound. FWIW, I hear the Kleos as having a "wetter" top end than the Delos, so Syntax and I are definitely hearing the same things. Where we differ is in how we interpret what we hear.
In general, I find that frequency response correlates to what I hear more so with amplifiers than with transducers. With transducers I get better matching to what I hear by looking at things like the mechanical characteristics (resonances and impedances) of the body structure or mount, distortion, and transient characteristics.
The likely reason is that distortion means that new high-frequency components are being generated. 2nd-order distortion on a 5kHz signal results in 10kHz artifacts that were not present in the original recording, 3rd-order distortion creates previously non-existent 15kHz artifacts. "Frequency response", OTOH, means greater (or lesser) sensitivity to signals - that may or may not be in the recording. Even if a component has a rising top end, if the recording doesn't contain signals at those frequencies, you will not hear it.
But even with amplifiers, the correlation between measurement and ear isn't always obvious. Change the power rectifier diodes in an amplifier and the tonal balance may change, but you won't see it in the 20 - 20kHz response. You will see it if you use a wide-band spectrum analyzer on the power rails, as "hash" extending out to 50kHz - 100kHz.
FWIW, I also hear differences between film capacitors - teflon as opposed to polypropylene, or tin foil as opposed to metallized aluminum, although when you go to measure this stuff, it will typically measure as -120dB or even less. A good resistor will measure around 130dB down, while a metal-foil Vishay will measure between 150dB - 160dB down (the smaller the signal, the trickier it is to make valid measurements). Down at this level, things shouldn't really be audible. But they are (smile).
Jcarr, Delos DL2980 says hello, and a big thumbs up to Alasdair @ AQ