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I have used my previous Oracle Delphi MkV for near 20 years… and during last year I have decide to improve it. As Oracle offer the possibility to make upgrades in different parts, the whole upgrade process took near one year to finalize actual Oracle Delphi MkVI Second Generation.
In my opinion, was very rich as personal experience to made this kind of upgrade in parts, because, whole process allowed me to learn much more about the functionality of Oracle Delphi and also I understood about the design philosophy of Jacques.
The first upgrade was to change motor and power board. I already had Turbo Power Supply MkI, and also the Power Supply was changed to current MkII version. When I made this upgrade the improvement was immediate. In my opinion the new motor is much more powerful than old motor, offering more force for torque. With this motor the back ground of the sound is much more silence and the music appears and emerges with more clarity, naturalness and strength. Also cosmetically I like much more extended electronics board. The aluminium box is bigger than previous and speed selectors are short than before. The general aspect is more robust than before. The improvement was really significant, much more silence when the stylus touch the groves of Lps, greater clarity was perceived immediately.
The second upgrade was to change the platter and aluminium sub-chassis. In this step I would like to highlight the convenience of use of the new two-piece platter. I am particularly clumsy and to setup the rubber belt was really hard job for me. Also I used for many years Linn LP-12 and really I appreciate new 2 piece platter, this is much more easy and comfortable to manage than the previous MkV platter.
The third upgrade was to set up MVSS in the main chassis.
As I told before, I am particularly clumsy, was little complicate to manage with gels, etc, but the improve up was immediate and very big. More extension and volume in the bass, the sound was much relaxed and stable. It was really important to introduce the modification! The fourth and final step was to change the main chassis from the normal acrylic to black granite base. I was suggested with my friend in Korea who used previously the solid granite base for MK V. So I asked specially to Jacques for the base.
The granite base is really impressive. A big circular steel base is fixed in the base to set up the motor and electronic board. The weight is really important, the thickness is very high, much more important than previous acrylic and in my opinion this final up grade was the most and significant improvement. Comparing versus previous acrylic base the change is ASTONISHING and AMAZING!! Until now in my opinion the sonic/tonal balance of Oracle Delphi was clearly focused mid and high frequency. The priority was in mid and high frequency and the tonal balance was not so perfect. Now the total balance is absolutely perfect. Now in my opinion the bass force was increased more than 30-40%. There is much more force and volume in the bass area. And surprisingly more extension and more volume in bass area also mean more clarity for mid and high frequency in same time.
My favorite LP to test turntable or phono system in general is Bach Misa BWV 232 recorded by Archiv (Karl Richter´original recording). The final ¨Agnus Dei¨ is really really very hard to reproduce. At the beginning the contralto voce emerges but with full chorus, orchestra al trumpet at the final the dynamic range is to complicate and last 2cm of groves inside of Lps is It's a hell and a challenge for right reproduction. Before the voice of contralto was like uni-dimension figure engraved in the coin. The contralto voice was stuck in the table, now the contralto voice emerges vertically creating incredible sound stage. Before all chorus voice was not possible to distinguish, now female chorus and male chorus are clearly located, each voice is possible to locate inside of the incredible sound stage developed to the width, to the top and to the depth of my music room offering incredible and much more realistic perspective sound stage.
Another of my favorite LP to test phono system is Cantate Domino original issue by Proprius. My listening room has a high ceiling, around 4ms from the floor to top very aired and open. In Side B of this record, the soprano voice is fantastic and Organ sound is emerges magically from the top of my ceiling (4ms!!) and not from the speaker, recreating exactly the location of the Organ!! This can be truth??
Really I am very very happy with all improvement and I´d like to express my gratitude to Jacques & Martin for their support.
Well, it has been a long time and I have been very busy optimizing my audio system to the room, something I have long neglected. In the process, I became aware of how extremely sensitive the slightest adjustments in speaker placement and toe-in are with respect to soundstage and imaging. I think I have finally got it tuned in. It was only after accomplishing this that I introduced the Oracle Delphi into the equation. I should point out that following our set up, I still had a great deal of work to do re-mounting the tonearm which was sloppily installed by the previous owner. I found a website where I was able to download a cartridge mounting protractor (arc type) for my specific spindle to pivot distance in order to do a correct set-up. I opted for the Loefgren B geometry, but was much more concerned with azimuth than overhang. The cantilever on my Dynavector cartridge was noticeably twisted, making the adjustment very difficult. I even purchased an inexpensive digital microscope for my computer to assist. Then, I inadvertently allowed the watch spring to unwind on the Moerch anti-skating mechanism and had to contact Mr Moerch for assistance. He was very gracious. Though I am in the process of auditioning other cartridges, I am quite pleased with the sound of the Oracle with the Dynavector. I was amazed at the tight well-defined bass response. I should point out that I made some adjustments to the Oracle suspension since we last spoke. Because the drive belt was riding so low, I removed the 1/4-20 locknuts and slightly lowered the suspension according to the original Mk 1 instructions, allowing the belt to ride higher and in the center of its guide path. I made the final resonance adjustment with careful placement of the suspended weight.
Seems to be working well. I also noticed a slight noise from the main bearing with the platter spinning. After removing the bearing well cover, I discovered a small amount of debris and cleaned it thoroughly with mineral spirits, then refilled with oil. I actually overfilled it as per your advice and cleaned off the overflow. The bearing is now dead silent. I have been enjoying my record collection now for about 2 weeks. It has been a joy. I cannot thank you and your associates enough for providing me with such exemplary customer service. I have begun to think of you as a friend and hope we may continue corresponding from time to time. I am also including a few photos of the Oracle occupying its rightful place in my system:
The last picture shows the Oracle top left, beneath it is my Pass Aleph Ono phono stage and beneath that, my Bel Canto preamp. The center rack houses a Magnum Dynalab model MD-103 tuner built into a custom cabinet with a Magnum Dynalab Signal Sleuth, beneath that a Lyngdorf CD player, and a Lyngdorf RP-1 RoomPerfect digital room correction device. A Furman power supply sits on the bottom. The amps on either side are Clayton M70 monoblocks, delivering 140 watts per channel of pure class A power into my 4-ohm Gallo Nucleus Solo loudspeakers (long discontinued). There you have it. Please express my appreciation to Monsieurs Riendeau and Nadeau for their assistance, as well.
Best wishes to you and au revoir,
Taylor Tronzo, April 2017
A year or so after I purchased my mkV Oracle Delphi, I upgraded the bearing to the new mkVI bearing. This gave me an immediate improvement in inner detail and dynamics, with an overall smoother sound. For the cost, this is a no brainer upgrade if you have an older table.
About a year later, I sent my mkV in to have the MVSS installed and the Turbo Power supply upgraded to mkII status. While it was gone I upgraded my amps, so it was a little hard to tell how much the mkII Turbo improved the sound, but I did notice an improvement in speed stability. The MVSS was easy to assess though, by starting without the damping fluid and then adding it. The MVSS made a jaw dropping improvement all across the board, but especially an improvement in dynamic impact. Drums and pianos were much more real and fleshed out. The soundstage was much deeper and wider than before as well.
Last week I received my new upgraded base with mkVI gen 2 electronics and motor, to bring my mkVI completely up to the mkVI gen 2 level. I am now listening to my "new" mkVI gen 2, and all I can say is… Wow!! What a nice improvement with the new base, and it only took me a little more than an hour to swap everything from the old base to the new one. I'm sure it can be done quicker but I took my time and had to search for a few tools along the way. An Allen wrench for the MVSS cups and something to grip the tower counter-feet without damage. Springs were just right when moved to the new base, so I didn't even have to adjust there. In fact the only adjustment I had to make, other than leveling, was to dial in the speed, which was just a hair slow on both 33 and 45.
This is definitely a worthwhile upgrade; only second to the MVSS, as the stage and sound is wider, deeper, and more expansive. Piano is more realistic and noticeably less pitchy. Bass is deeper and more articulate too. Even the highs are smoother and while more easily heard (cymbals and tambourine, I.E.), they are much more bell like. The added bass and highs make the overall sound more balanced, with more inner detail and nuance. Once again there is a huge improvement in my system. Soundstage is again widened with even more depth. Images are more fleshed out with a greater sense of space. Micro and macro dynamics are improved. I feel like I have a totally new record collection.
It’s amazing to me how much more sound is hidden in those grooves. Thank you for creating this turntable and to continue to improve it in a way that doesn’t force me to purchase a whole new table. All of your upgrades are huge improvements from the basic table of a few years ago. Bravo to Oracle and the new mkVI gen 2 Delphi.
Mike Vordo, October 2016
I wanted to send a quick note to thank you for the most recent update to my trusty Oracle Delphi MkIII. It’s a bit of a mistake to describe my Mk III as such, seeing as there is a whole lot more new than old left in her. As you may or may not remember I bought this clean original Delphi with a failed motor and promptly asked for your help resolving the dead motor. This began a series of enhancements that have been capped most recently with the main bearing replacement. I was shocked upon installing the newly milled sub chassis and main bearing that the character of the Delphi was transformed. It has always been a very tuneful musical table that rewards extended listening, but there was something new with this Mk VI bearing. The background became completely silent and the music became significantly more impactful and layered. I went through record after record trying to make sure this wasn’t my imagination. It isn’t. This turntable, which I believe was originally manufactured in 1984 sounds much better than mega bucks new tables. It doesn’t hurt either that it’s beautiful to look at and use not some high mass blob of aluminum and granite.
I have so much pride in ownership with this product, not due to some perceived exclusivity, but due to the audio value and manufacturing excellence. Thank you so much Jacques for building great turntables and continuing to support users of products from your company’s formidable history.
James Giles, March 2016
Oracle Paris CD 250 Player Revisited
What upgrade?? Impossible.
This was my immediate reaction to an invitation from Oracle Audio Technology’s Jacques Riendeau to bring my Paris CD 250 player to Oracle headquarters in Sherbrooke, Quebec and to “make room for more sonic amazement…” As should be evident from my earlier review, I was already blown away by the Paris. The thought that it could get even better had never once crossed my mind. How, after all, does one improve on perfection?
To many, such a consideration would not constitute a valid point. After all, there has long been a tacit understanding that the purpose of high end audio is to replicate as nearly as possible the experience of a live performance. While I have no desire to contest this issue, I would like to suggest that we have reached a point where the more appropriate question asks whether we can enjoy recorded music as much or more than we can enjoy a live performance. More than a year with the Paris 250 has convinced me that the answer to this question is a resounding yes!
As a lover of live music, I have attended literally hundreds of concerts by artists whom I enjoy and respect. The vast majority of these performances would fall under the very broad heading of ‘Americana’ music. In recent years, however, I have discovered that the live music experience is compromised by a number of factors, rude audiences and exorbitant ticket prices being two of the main culprits. The frequent consequence is that as often as not, I find myself anxiously waiting for the show to end so I can go home and actually enjoy the music. This is not to say that listening to music on my home system is the same as being there; it’s not. What I am suggesting is that in its own right, music played via the Paris 250 offers a different but equally rewarding experience. This is due to the fact that the Paris 250 provides a listening dynamic so convincing that almost no effort is required for me to believe that I am enjoying music that is happening in the here (i.e. my listening room) and now. Add candlelight and a bottle of good wine, and we have created the perfect ambiance for an intimate performance. To reinforce the fact that I may not be alone in arriving at this conclusion, it’s useful to know that just within the last several weeks, following a listening session, two guests in our home have stated that they would prefer the experience of listening to music played on the Paris 250 to a live show in a concert hall. It is important to understand here that these observations were unsolicited. The only opinion(s) I was seeking had to do with my friends’ thoughts about the music we were playing, not the equipment!
Before we proceed any further, please allow me this disclaimer: Neither by vocation nor avocation am I an audio reviewer. The only change to my system since my earlier review is the upgrade to the Paris 250. All other related components - Exposure 2010S2 Integrated Amplifier, Fritz Carbon 7 Speakers, Twisted Pair Designs Ascent Series interconnects, Blue Jeans speaker cable - remain exactly as they were a year ago. All were purchased on my very limited retired school teacher’s budget, and it’s quite unlikely that any will be replaced in the foreseeable future. The fact that I have the upgraded Paris 250 in my system is first and foremost a testimonial to Oracle’s first-rate customer service, but also a happy consequence of the fact that I live only about an hour from the Oracle base of operations in Sherbrooke, Quebec. The one visible indication of the upgrade is a new faceplate on which the small icons for manual operation (Play, Stop, Skip, etc.) have been re-created with a clearer and easier-to-read white on black contrast. So how does the performance of the Paris 250 improve with the upgrade? Well, on more than one occasion, I’ve read declarations to the effect that “the music lives in the midrange.” If my experience with the Paris 250 is any indicator, I would not be inclined to disagree. Though I never would have noticed it before the upgrade, I now realize that the sound in the midrange was, by comparison and for lack of a better term - slightly thinner. With the upgrade, it is even more fully realized. The blending of instruments and vocals is even more precise than in the Paris 250’s initial incarnation, further conveying the impression that the musicians are present in the listening room. What we have here is not a “wall of sound” dynamic. Rather, immersion is the word that comes to mind. The music is unrestrained. Arriving in layers, it inhabits the acoustic space and surrounds the listener. The organic texture of acoustic instruments and the human voice is perfectly rendered. At no time have I ever heard components creating this impression to the degree that my own system conveys with the Paris 250 as its centerpiece.
For 25 years, my go-to reference for evaluating new components for my system has been Famous Blue Raincoat, Jennifer Warnes’ wonderful collection of songs by Leonard Cohen. To succumb to the presumption that this is merely a selection of “covers” - a term I dislike intensely - would be to fall far short of the truth. As a close friend of Leonard Cohen and a backup singer in his band, Ms. Warnes lived with these songs for many years. Consequently, she is widely recognized as an extraordinary interpreter of Leonard Cohen’s work, and on this superb recording, she makes each of the nine songs (or thirteen on the recent Porch Light re-issue) uniquely her own. No song in the set demonstrates this better than the sublime “Joan of Arc,” a nearly eight-minute masterpiece throughout which she and ‘Lenny’ himself engage in a dialogue between the song’s heroine and the fire which is about to consume her. The experience of hearing this tour de force via the Paris 250 conveys the compelling impression that the singers, their accompanists, and the “Angel Choir” supporting them have taken on a virtually palpable presence.
From my point of view, one of the more important offerings of the last year or so is Live at the Academy of Music 1971, the The Band’s wonderful upgraded release of the Rock of Ages Concerts. This is a recording that I have cherished since it first became available on vinyl as Rock of Ages in 1972. When I played this new recording on the pre-upgraded version of the Paris 250, I was thrilled with the improvement in the sound. Clearly, this was as good as it could get. Well, think again! As great a job as the Paris did right out of the box, I was unprepared for the degree of change I was hearing with the upgrade. The definition of both vocals and instruments must be heard to be believed. “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” provides a perfect example. The subtle but powerful contribution of Richard Manuel’s amazing falsetto in the refrain emerges with pristine clarity. Chills!
Let me conclude with this simple (albeit lengthy) question: With all factors considered, would I rather be sitting in a concert venue for a performance by one of my favorite artists or relaxing in my listening room with a recording by that same artist playing on my Oracle Paris 250- based audio system? Without hesitation, the answer is that I would choose the music in my listening room every time. In essence, the introduction of the Oracle Paris 250 as a primary source component in my audio system compensates completely for whatever void the prohibitive concert ticket prices have created. In my experience, no other component allows recordings to fully realize their potential as recordings to the degree that the Paris 250 has achieved. The Oracle Paris 250 really is that good.
"Just played the first album on my 30 year old Alexandria!! Wow! It sounds fantastic!!
Thanks so much! I really truly appreciate all your help!"
Upon giving us his blessings to use his beautiful photo and his comments, Mr. Douglas added this to his reply:
"I have no doubt - buying my Alexandria is the best audio equipment investment I have ever made!"