Oracle Delphi updates have always been worthwhile. The company has concentrated on three areas, in most cases designed to be retrofittable all the way back to the first Delphi; the Mk IV mods are not. First has been a continuing program to improve the ease of set-up; in my estimation unpacking and preparing this Canadian turntable remains the biggest pain in the butt in all of hi-fi. Second has been the continuing refinement of the power supply and/or motor, while third has been even further detail improvement of the exceptional aesthetics.
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The Delphi has always been one of the smartest-looking decks money can buy, and I've no doubt that just as many were sold on styling as they were on performance. The Mk IV is just as pretty as its predecessors, so we can dispense with the facelift: the Oracle Delphi is an absolute stunner even as it enters its teens. More impressive, though, is the way that Oracle has changed just about everything else without changing the overall look. And the changes which constitute a Mk IV are the most extensive in this turntable's history.
The first thing which anyone familiar with Oracles will notice is that the mat has disappeared, Oracle joining Goldmund, Basis, Pink Triangle and others by having the LP mate directly to the
platter. The Mk IV's platter is made of a composite material sandwiched between aluminum, the top surface being hard like that on the Basis. The screw-down clamp is still part of the
recipe, but its press-down, anti-warp action is no longer so severe; I didn't crack a single LP while using the turntable. No, I don't miss the too-sticky Oracle mat, which -- however good it
'sounded' -- was an annoyance.
Underneath is a new Teflon bearing, while the sub chassis has been redesigned to make set-up even easier by eliminating the chore of choosing three different springs. It's still fiddly (let your dealer do it), but now it's no worse than setting up a Roksan or an Alphason.
The Delphi in Mk IV guise is available as a single-speed model at a substantial savings over the two-speed version, but the difference isn't just a two-step pulley or a speed control box.
Although it can be upgraded to two-speed status, the single speed Oracle uses a 7.5V AC motor as in the Mk III; the two-speed version is fitted with a 16V DC motor. The power supply, too, has been improved with AC filtering, a complex network designed to reduce mains spikes.
The prices of the two decks -- not counting the expensive, optional black/gold finish -- are #1450 for the single-speed model with a soft cover or #1950 for the two-speed, with an
acrylic dust cover. The #500 difference is reflected in the upgrade prices: #350 for conversion from single to dual-speed, and #150 for an acrylic dust cover.