Anyone using a Lyra Delos yet?

There was an initial thread about the Lyra Delos a few months back, but I haven't seen much follow up about users' impressions with this cartridge. Is anyone using a Delos and if so, how are you liking it?

I'm looking for a new cartridge for my VPI Classic and JLTi phono stage. I'm currently using an old Grado cartridge from my previous turntable, and it's on its last legs. So if anyone has any other suggestions I'd love to hear them. Price ceiling about $1,500. System used mostly to play rock, jazz and acoustic music.

Thank you.
>>06-26-10: Actusreus
The Delos must be in very high demand as I've been waiting for mine for about a month..... Any dealers here who could shed some light on the issue?

Most Lyra cartridges must be ordered in advance i.e. there is no existing stock to "pull from" in most cases.

I ordered my current supply of Delos and Kleos a few months ago.

Dealer disclaimer
Hi Actusreus:

Lyra is a small manufacturer, and while we use a lot of modern techniques like NC machining and EDM machining to fabricate our components, all of our cartridges are assembled, adjusted and voiced by hand. That includes the Delos.

From our earliest days as a manufacturer, we decided that all of our cartridges should be built by hand, and that before being shipped, each and every cartridge should be listened to and sonically verified to be up to our standards of quality. Our experience has also been that the very same components can result in rather different sound, depending on who the builder is.

For these reasons, we only employ one cartridge builder. Yoshinori Mishima, and his assistant/apprentice, Akiko Ishiyama. The Dorian, Delos and Kleos models are built partly by Akiko, with Mishima in charge of the final stages of assembly and all adjustments, voicing and measurements. All of our other cartridges are made by Mishima only.

The end result is that our averaged monthly production capacity caps out at about 100 cartridges (different cartridge models require different amounts of time and work). The 100 number includes all cartridges that we do - cartridge rebuilds/repairs and new cartridges for Lyra, also work for our OEM clients. Neither Mishima nor myself intend to exceed 100 cartridges per month, because doing so would force the work to be rushed, and standards of quality would suffer.

Delos's are being made at the rate of about 50 units per month, and while there are no manufacturing problems, demand has consistently and steadily outpaced this number. Our order books suggest that we have now slipped to about 60~75 Delos' behind where our distributors, dealers, and customers would like for us to be; representing about 1.5 months production. I acknowledge that this isn't a happy state of affairs, but given our 100-cartridge production capacity ceiling, in order to deliver more Delos' per month, we would need to drop or severely reduce production of other cartridges, which is an even less palatable alternative.

I apologize for this situation, but as long as all of our cartridges remain hand-built by one man and his assistant, and to the standards of quality that we consider acceptable, there is no quick solution. The only sensible thing for us to do is to keep focused on our work, and deliver as many cartridges as we can without compromising on build or sonic quality.

We hope that our customers will understand and be patient, and we also hope that, when they listen to the Delos (or Kleos), it will make them feel that it was well worth the wait.

kind regards, jonathan carr
Jcarr - What is the plan if something happens to Mishima and he is unable to build anymore cartridges? Does Lyra go belly-up?? I would think that a few more people would be trained to carry on the work of one man.
Thank you very much for your thorough and candid response to my post. I absolutely agree with you; I'd rather wait for the cartridge longer than see Lyra trade quality for numbers. It's very reassuring to know that Lyra continues to make quality and standards its top priorities.
What is the plan if something happens to Mishima and he is unable to build anymore cartridges?

Buy now or cry later :-)