VPI Traveler and Lyra Delos

Is the Delos overkill on the Traveler? I have a Dynavector 20x2M currently, but I'm keeping an eye out for a replacement sooner rather than later. 
Why would you put a 2000.00 cartridge on a 1500.00 TT?

Agreed, you would do better by upgrading table/arm first and cartridge/phono second. At least I think so.

I disagree with the others.

I know a guy who runs a Delos on on Pro-ject 9CC tonearm, part of  a $1200 Pro-ject turntable.  It sounds awesome through his system and he is very happy.  I don't see why the 10.5" gimbaled bearing arm on the Traveler couldn't handle a Delos either.

The Delos' compliance is 12 @ 100 Hz so about 20 at 10 hz.  Its weight with mounting hardware is about 7.8 grams.  The effective mass of the Traveler tonearm is 12 grams.  Calculate all this together and you come up with a resonant frequency of 8.  Right in the green!

Matching components isn't always about the price tags they carry.  Its about what works well and compliments one another.  This looks like a great match so go for it - I'll bet it will sound wonderful.

Jonathan Carr, the maker of Lyra cartridges has stated that his cartridges require a high quality arm because they transmit a lot of vibrational energy to the arm.  This energy must be damped or dissipated properly and the arm bearings must be very rigid so that the arm does not rattle.  Basically, he believes that higher quality cartridges tend to also require a higher quality arm.

I don't know if the arm on the Traveler meets the requirements of the Lyra Delos.  I would guess that the arm would be adequate, and any improvement in that area will result in improved performance, but, the Lyra won't be "wasted" in the Traveler.  I do know that an extreme mismatch is ill-advised.  A friend who was just getting into vinyl at the time (he has since bought hundreds of records), bought a $300 project table and an Ortofon Per Windfield cartridge.  Another friend machined and supplied the counterweight needed to make the combination work.  The cartridge sounded pretty good in this set up except for some noticeable inner groove distortion on a few records.  A few months later he bought an EMT table/arm combination and the inner groove distortion issue was solved.  The VERY cheap Project arm was not enough.
+1 taters

Jonathan Carr, the maker of Lyra cartridges has stated that his cartridges require a high quality arm because they transmit a lot of vibrational energy to the arm. This energy must be damped or dissipated properly and the arm bearings must be very rigid so that the arm does
not rattle.
 True. It works best with stable Arms which also have a rigid bearing and superior energy transfer. Otherwise it lacks bass, is thin sounding and is far away from its abilities.
Of course you can try it and when you spent the money you will be impressed but I think, you will hear only 25% (max) what it can really do.
when you look for an alternative for your combo, check out Zyx. They do not reflect so much  and will work better in this Arm.

Has anyone tried a Lyra Delos in a Well Tempered arm? The liquid bearing is basically immune to cartridges that put out a lot of energy.
I'm considering this combo.

Thanks for all the feedback. I think I'll stick with a DV of some variation until I upgrade tables/arms. 
$2k is a lot for a cartridge. By all accounts the Lyra is worth it, but you probably need at least $5k table/arm and $3k phono stage plus really good cable to get the most out of it.

Interesting thread. 

I own a Lyra Kleos which is mounted on an upgraded Classic 3 tonearm and base.  Of course, like most VPI arms, the Classic 3 arm is a unipivot.

Are you saying that VPI unipiovot arms and the Kleos (or Delos) are not a good match? 

Admittedly, I never heard my Kleos on another TT, but it seems to play well.



what is a good match? Everyone will give a different answer based on his experience. I think, it is ok, the Kleos has a different needle than the Delos. the Kleos is more expensive than Delos but inferior  in comparison when you really want to have maximum sonic Performance for given money. The Kleos works way better with cheap Phonostages or average Arms than Delos. The better the analog chain will be the Delos can follow and show something new, Kleos not. From this point of view the Kleos is a good match.


What arms IYO will satisfy the Delos? Would the JMW 10 3D arm of VPI Prime will satisfy it? For reference, my ears are bit sensitive to treble/highs; so definitely no bright or thin carts. 
Also, how about the Clearaudio Verify tonearm?

Pardon the multiple questions. 
consider the Audio Technica ART 9. There is an ongoing thread here praising its price/performance against carts over 1k.

I was going to get a Lyra Delos for my VPI Classic, and glad I didn't. Besides saving the $700, I hear everything presented with other 1k carts I've owned. in addition, an overall level of more realistic tone and character NOT heard with others.

Syntax, so you are basically saying that the Delos is the superior cartridge to the Kleos?? The better the analog chain ( whatever that means??) the higher the SQ will be from the Delos...and not from the Kleos? Is that correct?  I'm a little confused here.

I don’t claim to be an expert but here is my view.

I was using a Dynavector 10x5 on a VPI Scout and loved it. Got a better Phono stage loved it even more. Then got a great deal on a basically mint prime. I put the 10x5 on it and it didn’t even sound like the same cart. The performance was better in ever possible way.

So my thinking is why would you spend all that money on a cart that will wear out. Sell the traveler and add that to the 2k you were going to spend on the new cart. Then buy a used table/Phono stage.

Then when finances allow buy the 2k cart and its going to sound better than it ever would on the traveler.

A cheap cart can sound really good on the nice table. A really expensive cart on a cheap table will never come close to showing its true capabilities.

I would say money better spent on a table/phono stage. MC cart will wear out quicker the TT and Stages.

FWIW ... I sent a PM to Jonathan Carr asking about the compatibility of Lyra cartridges and VPI unipivot arms. If he reports back, I'll pass along his comments.
Bifwynne, no worries on the compatibility of Lyra cartridges on VPI unipivot arms.  VPI has tried and recommended the Delos, Kleos, and Atlas cartridges (along with many other cartridges).  Take a look at the VPI Forum on their website.  The list of recommended cartridges is under "News" and "VPI Cartridge Recommendations".  The first post has a link to the list by turntable model.  Searching the forum will also provide plenty of happy Lyra owners.

If you want a great time put an Atlas on a Traveler and sit back and enjoy the sound, it is wonderful.  Yes, it will be better on the Prime but that does not say it will not be almost as wonderful on the Traveler.  The arm on the Traveler is excellent and plays way above its price point.

All that being said I would put the money towards a Prime and be future proof against any cartridge they come up with.


hwsworkshop .... could these be Harry Weisfeld in stealth mode.  :)  If so ... regards.
Harry ... can I assume that you would put the {VPI Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval} on matching up the Lyra Kleos with the Classic 3 tonearm (stainless steel version).
As I said above, maybe I just like sonic swill, but the combo (my rig) sounds A-OK to me.  So I guess I am confused ... why the "big t'zindik" about fixed gimbal arms?  Why not a VPI unipivot????

Out of stealth and into the light!!

I love the uni-pivot, it is in my reference system with the JBL's and the Blades but I had to play with gimbaled and yoke bearing assemblies to be sure.  In reality the Yoke arm sounds better to me than the gimbaled but they are very close, the uni-pivot has more air than either of them and slightly less powerful bass but just as defined and detailed.

I have been using Lyra's on uni-pivots for decades, they are a perfect match just require a bit of setup time.  Actually me reference is the Atlas on a 12" 3D printed uni-pivot, for me it is the best in the world.



As I mentioned above, I mounted a Lyra Kleos on my hot-rodded VPI Classic "2.7" TT.  That is, my plinth is a "standard" Classic 1/2 and the tonearm and base is the Classic 3 stainless steel version.

Can you share some set-up tips for guys like me to get the most out of the rig. 

I tried to set VTF at the recommended mass and took care in setting overhang with the VPI jig. Also, to the best of my ability, azimuth appears to be spot on.  What else??  VTA is basically set with the arm almost parallel to the platter.

That's not to say ... my vinyl rig doesn't sound great.  But I guess I am concerned that I got used to listening to sonic swill and don't know any better.

Thanks and Happy New Year.