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I think going for the Delos would be fine. I get the feeling the Lyra carts get ever more detailed (and bright) the farther up the chain you go. Though I've heard that the latest models are somewhat more refined (aka less screechy). Your wise to leave $ for going up the chain w/ SUT / pre / cables / table etc though. Don't blow the wad on the cart.
Also, the output of an SUT has a lot of capacitance and you're plugging into a MM phono input. You might want to consider something like Blue Jeans low capacitance cables from the SUT to phono input.You also have a lot of options in this price range and might want to consider other brands. I suspect your friend has found a combination that sounds good and one that you would like to emulate, but you have to work with what you have. Maybe you can exceed your friend's SQ with a different approach. I'm not trying to sell you anything, but there are lots of possibilities.neo
If you are saving part of your $2K for a good step up you are going to be spending more than you think there. I would suggest looking at a Hagerman Piccolo. It's not expensive, it plays with the big boys, it has adjustability for gain and for loading built in, and it's not overly expensive (again).
Funny, J. Carr just addressed this exact situation on another forum. He must be reading these threads?
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