The New Angle on LP Reproduction: Introducing the LYRA Delos MC Phono Cartridge
An analog LP played back with an MC cartridge can sound exceptionally good. Normally, the more cost put into the cartridge, the better the sound. However, sometimes what is required is not more cost but more clever engineering, as with the Lyra Delos. A major problem with most cartridges is that the signal coils are located so that applying normal tracking force restricts performance. The reason is that the cartridge’s signal coils should have the same angle as the magnetic circuit when the tracking force for playback is applied, but are nearly always designed so that applying normal tracking force pushes the signal coils out of alignment with the magnetic circuit. This impairs the sensitivity and linearity of the coils, and reduces the quality of sound. The Delos solves this problem with a new body structure and pre-angled damping system. The pre-angled dampers work together with the angle of the body structure so that, when tracking force is applied, the signal coils are optimally aligned with the magnet circuit. The Delos also has a microridge stylus for outstanding tracking, a non-parallel solid metal body for low resonances, and nude construction for greater clarity. The result is clearly improved sound quality, particularly resolution, dynamic range, transient impact and immediacy.
While vinyl records played back with an MC cartridge can sound exceptionally good, it is a surprising fact that the design of conventional MCs restricts the sound quality that can be achieved from LPs.
An essential factor for proper operation of an MC cartridge is the angle between the magnetic circuit, signal coils and core. Performance is optimal when the angles are all aligned, but any significant difference in the angles will cause the formation of a strong and directional flux that will flow constantly from the magnetic circuit into the signal core. This directional magnetic flux will orient the core toward a specific direction and make it impossible for the core to move with equal ease in all directions, which is necessary for proper cartridge performance.
Unfortunately, conventional MC cartridges have been designed so that the angles between magnetic circuit, signal coils and core become aligned only when tracking force is not applied. The result is that during playback, the required tracking force causes the angle between magnetic circuit, signal coils and core to become misaligned. This limits the cartridge’s resolution, tracking ability and dynamic range.
The new Lyra Delos is designed to conquer this problem. Compared to conventional cartridges, the Delos has a new body structure with an unusually shallow angle, and this has been paired with a unique asymmetrical damping system. When no tracking force is applied, the shape of the asymmetrical dampers forces the signal coils and core into a more upright angle than the magnetic circuit.
However, no tracking force applied means that the cartridge is not operating, and therefore any angular discrepancies between magnetic circuit, signal coils and core will have no effect on performance. When tracking force is applied, however, the force of the stylus pushing on the LP causes the asymmetrical dampers to be deformed into a symmetrical shape, and when this happens the angular discrepancies between magnetic circuit, signal coils and core all disappear. Since tracking force applied means that the cartridge is now operating, it should be clear that the design of the Delos is able to keep the angles between the magnetic circuit, signal coils and core aligned during playback.
Keeping the proper angular alignment prevents the formation of any strong and directional flux that could otherwise flow constantly from the magnetic circuit into the signal core, and enables the Delos’ core to move with equal ease in all directions, for optimal performance.
The Delos also has a microridge stylus on a boron cantilever for outstanding tracking, a non-parallel solid machined metal body for low resonances, and 6-N high-purity copper coils and nude construction for greater clarity. The result is clearly improved sound quality, particularly resolution, tracking ability, dynamic range, transient impact and immediacy.
Feel free to audition the Lyra Delos, and hear how good a New Angle can make your LPs sound.
- Designer : Jonathan Carr
- Builder : Yoshinori Mishima (final build, testing), Akiko Ishiyama (primary build)
- Type : Medium weight, medium compliance, low-impedance moving coil cartridge
- Frequency range : 10Hz – 50kHz
- Channel separation : 30dB or better at 1kHz
- Cantilever system : Solid boron rod with Namiki microridge line-contact stylu (2.5um x 75um) and one-point suspension, directly mounted to cartridge body
- Coil : 6N high-purity copper, 8.2ohms internal impedance, 9.5uH inductance
- Output voltage : 0.6mV@5cm/sec. (CBS test record, other test records may alter results)
- Compliance : Approx. 12 x 10 cm/dyne at 100Hz
- Vertical tracking angle : 20 degrees
- Cartridge body : One-piece machining from solid aluminum billet
- Recommended tracking force : 1.7g – 1.8g (1.75g preferred)
- Recommended load directly into MC phono input : 91ohms – 47kohm (determine by listening, or follow detailed guidelines above)
- Recommended load via step-up transformer : 5 – 15ohm (step-up transformer’s output must be connected to 47kohm MM-level RIAA input)
- Recommended tonearm : High-quality pivoted or linear (tangential) tone arm with rigid bearing(s), adjustable anti-skating force, preferably VTA adjustment