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Lyra DELOS  or a Linn Krystal, which is better or which would you choose and why.     Would be mounted in a later Ekos.  

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As I said in response to your other query on the forum, the only 'better' that matters to you is the one you can hear for yourself. A/B comparisons between cartridges, requiring fitting to otherwise identical record decks, are tricky. In practice they can only be done by well equipped specialist dealers, and dealer visits are difficult in current circumstances. In any case, aren't you likely to find either cartridge to be a comedown from your Kandid?

I did choose the Krystal ... because it was what was readily available from my dealer. I'm very happy with it and in no mood to look for anything else. I did find that it took a while to bed in; in fact, I think that, after 100+ listening hours, I am still getting some subtle improvement in detail, transparency and fullness of tone.

David

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I haven't heard both.  But the designer of Lyras told a friend of mine that a Kandid would perform better than an Aetna in an Ekos SE as it and the Kandid were so perfectly matched.  I would expect that the Krystal, with its three point mounting and being made out of the same 7075 aluminum as in the Ekos SE headshell (just like the Kandid) would likely follow the same logic.  What I can say for sure is that the Krystal is really very good and better than anything I have heard near the price.

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Bit more back ground,  basically I'm fortune enough to have two system and two LP12's, so my Kandid isn't going anywhere.  It's my second "Frankenstein" LP12 that I'm planning to up spec by various means.  Typically it gets all the cast off's from my main deck or used parts I acquire.  So while I'm close to Cymbiosis I only go for demo's on stuff I'll buy new or exdem off Peter. 

Was interested in peoples views if they had done a comparison of the two.    I  spent many years using a Lyra Evolve99 which was great cart, blew away the Troika it replaced.

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Super Wammer
12 minutes ago, 9designs said:

So while I'm close to Cymbiosis...

...you’re better placed than most to get the best advice and audition the options!  You’re very fortunate, as you’ll also be able to be sure you’re getting best from your deck.  I’m sure a significant proportion of LP12 users spend a lot on kit, but haven’t got it working optimally. 

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In my opinion the Krystal is much better than the Delos. I have just sold my Delos and bought a Krystal. Staggering difference.I

If you do go this route then I would be interested to hear how you think it compares to the Kandid. Although they look similar they are made by different companies. The Krystal is also a newer design.

CJ

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I've posted about this before.  On a Lingo LP12 w a Naim Aro tonearm - I had a Lyra Delos and found it lacking "body and warmth."  I regretted it the moment I bought it coming from a Goldring moving coil which had a much warmer sound and full bodied sound.  Actually having the Lyra made me switch to a vintage Luxman intergrated with tone controls so desperate was I to add body to the sound.   I eventually switched to a Dynavector XX-2 Mk2 and loved it for 5 yrs. When it came time for a re-tip - noticing a little degradation in the sound, I opted for a Linn Krystal after an audition.  It has the body and warmth of the Dynavector and a lot of the detail of the Delos without lacking anything.  I am not a fan of hyper detail.   The Krystal also tracks silently - no chatter at all.  The Delos was great in this regard too. The Dynavector for whatever reason had a lot.  Anyway, my experience with both and I guess it depends on the rest of your system and your personal taste.  

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Posted (edited)

As an owner of a Kleos, I can tell you that Lyra cartridges are super sensitive to a couple of set up parameters. 1) They totally require a very accurate VTF, 2) the loading is crucial in order to not get that 'lean and mean' sound 3) azimuth is critical, if you get it wrong, the result is more 'lean and mean' and lastly 4) With the new 'angle' designs, the SRA is also crucial...as the cartridge needs to be absolutely parallel to the record. 

I have heard a number of folks who went away from the Lyra cartridge and particularly the latest 'angle' designs ( which the Delos is one) because they didn't have the set up totally dialed in, resulting in the findings posted above . With most other MC's out there, marginal set up errors can be gotten away with, not so unfortunately with the current Lyra line.

Edited by Daveyf

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Posted (edited)

I think it's common knowledge that many Lyra cartridges are for "detail lovers."  When Lyra cartridges first appeared, they were EXCLUSIVELY known to have a tipped up treble and lean sonic signature.  You can read the many Michael Fremer/Analog Planet/Stereophile reviews of Lyra's (of which he is unabashed gushing fan) to see how he describes them.  I think the newish Etna is the only Lyra cartridge I ever heard him describe as having a warmish tonal balance (and that's probably a relative comment compared to other Lyra's.)   I think this is regardless of loading. Loading might make a little difference but I don't think it changes the basic design philosophy and house sound of Lyra. It's also a philosophy that many people love and there were many good things to say about it - tracking and clarity and utter lack of any groove chatter. To each their own. It's just not for me.   

Edited by mskaye

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4 hours ago, mskaye said:

I think it's common knowledge that many Lyra cartridges are for "detail lovers."  When Lyra cartridges first appeared, they were EXCLUSIVELY known to have a tipped up treble and lean sonic signature.  You can read the many Michael Fremer/Analog Planet/Stereophile reviews of Lyra's (of which he is unabashed gushing fan) to see how he describes them.  I think the newish Etna is the only Lyra cartridge I ever heard him describe as having a warmish tonal balance (and that's probably a relative comment compared to other Lyra's.)   I think this is regardless of loading. Loading might make a little difference but I don't think it changes the basic design philosophy and house sound of Lyra. It's also a philosophy that many people love and there were many good things to say about it - tracking and clarity and utter lack of any groove chatter. To each their own. It's just not for me.   

While I would agree with you that a Lyra is never going to be confused with a Koetsu or other warm sounding cartridge, IME the set-up is crucial in making sure that the cartridge doesn't tend towards 'stridency' and 'lean'. With my Kleos, the cartridge could easily sound as many state with the wrong loading and an imprecise SRA/VTF --but get it spot on and the detail is left, along with a ton of neutrality. Problem is that I believe the majority of folks who have actually heard a Lyra, have never actually heard it set up 100%. Therefore, leading to comments about tipped up treble and a lean sonic signature. Folks, this the exact opposite of the set it and forget cartridge, this one takes a ton of set up expertise and accuracy and it takes a little bit of experimentation with loading. Very easy to get it wrong, and come to an inaccurate conclusion. 

BTW, I have heard an Etna set up incorrectly and it too sounds lean and tipped up in the treble...!

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Posted (edited)

Krystal every time.

Delos is a nasty, shouty thing.

Edited by DebsE

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Posted (edited)

I totally respect your opinion and I have no doubt that very precise set-up would have ameliorated some of what I didn't like about the Delos' tonal balance. The cartridge was purchased and professionally installed by a Linn dealer so I never thought that something would be off with regard to alignment(s).  That said, out of the box and installed by the same Linn dealer, the Krystal - like the Dynavector before it - was exactly what I craved in a cartridge. It was "just right" to me.  But then again, I am an audiophile that likes the euphonic coloration and warmth of a tube/hybrid/warm lush system. I'll trade the bass extension and high end sparkle for smoothness and midrange warmth.  That's just me. 

Edited by mskaye

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Posted (edited)

Interestingly, the Lyra sound probably should be attributed to the Kandid as well, since both are manufactured by the same company. The new angle technology, while very much more resolving, is unfortunately also very unforgiving of set up errors.

The inability of an Ekos to allow for azimuth adjustment and also for precise VTF, would lead me to state that more than likely when you had the Delos, what you heard was the result of what I stated above, whereas the Krystal is more synergistic with the Linn arm ( or Naim Aro, with its imprecise set up abilities), has less technology , and therefore is a lot more forgiving of the set up requirements. This wouldn’t be the first time that an incompatibility with the tonearm and a less than totally accurate set up has resulted in a naysay on the Lyra cartridge. 
if you have heard a Kandid, what are your thoughts in regards to that cartridge...do you feel it too falls into the same family of sound as the Lyra’s?

Edited by Daveyf

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Posted (edited)

What is the problem with VTF accuracy and the Ekos? I use a very precise digital scale as I am a bit OCD and find it relatively easy to get the VTF precisely set.

CJ

Edited by CJ1045

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8 hours ago, Daveyf said:

if you have heard a Kandid, what are your thoughts in regards to that cartridge...do you feel it too falls into the same family of sound as the Lyra’s?

That is an interesting question from my perspective, as I have a Krystal, but have heard a full Klimax specification LP12 with a Kandid in my system.

My recollections of that deck, and therefore the Kandid, do not align particularly well with your description of the Lyra. I remember a wonderfully full and balanced sound picture filling the space between the speakers, with a really remarkable soundstage and presence. In essence, like my current deck (which is now of the same specification as the LP12 I heard with the Kandid, except for the cartridge), only rather more so. So far as I am able to recall, there is no obvious difference of tonal balance between the Kandid and the Krystal, though the Kandid is clearly getting more information out of the record groove than its sibling.

With all its products, and particularly where the LP12 is concerned, Linn clearly has a well established design philosophy (with which, of course, we may or may not agree). Part of that philosophy is that all products marketed under the Linn brand should have something of a family resemblance in the way they perform. It would not therefore surprise me that a Lyra manufactured cartridge marketed under the Linn brand would sound different to a model that Lyra market directly. Moreover, we can assume that the Linn cartridges have been developed and tuned with the LP12 in mind, and have probably not been tested extensively (if at all) with other manufacturers' turntables, while no doubt Lyra will wish to test their directly marketed models with as many makes of turntable as possible.

As previously noted, I haven't had the opportunity to listen to a system fitted with the Delos, so I have no opinion of my own about it. However, it seems to be relevant that Linn have included it in the very short list of third party cartridges with which the Urika II is compatible. And of course, as you have in effect pointed out, Linn would not be asking Lyra to produce the top of the range Kandid unless they thought that Lyra were pretty good at what they do.

All of which brings me back to the question that started this topic, and reinforces my view that comparative listening - sadly, available only to the fortunate few, even in normal circumstances - is the only sensible way to choose between the Krystal and the Delos; as can be seen from this thread, individual opinion could go either way. If comparative listening is not possible, the Krystal is the safer recommendation for the LP12. Unless, of course, your tonearm is Basik or Majik level; in those cases my advice would be to stick with moving magnet cartridges.

David

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