by Oliver Amnuayphol
Regular readers of ATV already know I'm a big fan of Lyra cartridges, having owned the Lydian Beta and the Argo i for quite a number of years. Well now Lyra's just released their replacement for the Argo i, the Delos($1499). Housed in a striking, machined from solid, golden-hued aluminum body and red magnet carrier, the Delos features Lyra's all new asymmetrical damping mechanism--a first in MC pickup cartridge design. Why asymmetrical dampers? According to Lyra, "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." Lyra goes on to explain that, in the Delos, "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 improved damping alignment is said to offer better tracking ability, resulting in better sound quality, low-level resolution, dynamic range, transient impact, and overall immediacy. Wow. The Delos also features a solid boron cantilever, microridge stylus, and nude body construction. With all that's featured in Lyra's Delos, it's got to be a stunner; and if it sounds anything like the Argo i it replaces, it definitely will be. You can find a detailed description of the new damping design here, along with a nice visual aid here. Available now.
Love you some Bill Evans? Me too. And apparently so does Analogue Productions, the in-house label of Acoustic Sounds, who specializes in reissuing classic jazz recordings on high quality vinyl: They recently released one ginormous Bill Evans box set--Riverside Recordings--and it's a doozie. The set consists of 22 records in all and even includes Cannonball Adderley's Know What I Mean? album, since Evans was such an integral part of these sessions. No doubt, Analogue Productions pulled out all the stops on this one: The set includes an 18-page booklet detailing Evans' career and Riverside era, and every album has been pressed on glorious, 180-gram, 45-rpm vinyl. So if you're a die hard fan who absolutely has to have the highest quality pressings--and are willing to shell out $600 (!)--you'd better get yer mitts on one of these sets right quick: Bill Evans - Riverside Recordings is limited to 1500 copies worldwide and, once they're gone... Get yours now from various online dealers, like Acoustic Sounds, Music Direct, or your local record hut.