Oracle Delphi Mark IV Turntable Reviewed

By |

Page 1 Page 2


The pricing positions the Oracle(s) in the netherworld between the killer British decks of Linn/Pink/Roksan persuasion and the current high-end champions like the Goldmunds, the Basis, etc. As Oracle has its Premier to fight with the latter and the Alexandra and Paris to fight with the former, the Delphi is now the occupant of a half-way house. I think of the three classes as Real World High-End, Luxury High-End and I'm-So-Rich-I-Can-Afford-Turntables-Which-Cost-As-Much-As-Cars High End. My own feelings about jumping from class to class are that the consumer gains in a couple of areas, including status amongst one's peers.

As one moves up the scale, at least in my experience, one hears improvements in stability, bass extension and bass control. Other bonuses might include greater immunity to air-borne and mains-borne irritants. That's not to suggest that the occupants of the 'up to #1000' class are less than stellar performers; a Linn, Roksan or Pink Triangle will not be shamed in a state of the art system, whatever anyone tells you. But switch to a Basis or a Goldmund and you hear why they cost six-to-twenty times as much.

I've had an Oracle in my system at all times since 1984 and have heard an improvement with each update. The 'IV was fitted with an SME Series V arm and auditioned with a similarly-equipped Delphi Mk III and the Basis, as well as the complete Roksan front end. My beliefs about the relative status of the three classes were confirmed, with the Oracle resting comfortably between the Roksan and the Basis, and easily bettering its Mk III sibling. The most vivid improvement over the 'III, practical considerations aside, was a greater sense of weight and extension in the lowest registers, especially noticeable on works dependent on the power of the bass reproduction. Willy DeVille's 'Assassin Of Love' had a 'thwack' not available from the 'III or the Roksan, though the Basis exercised even greater control on the decay of the bass notes.

Also improved was image stability, albeit slightly, while transient attack and (to a lesser extent) decay benefitted almost as much as did the bass. How much of this is down to the revised
platter and how much to the new power supply and bearing I cannot determine, as the platters aren't interchangeable on the 'III and 'IV. Suffice to say, though, that the disappearance of that
sticky mat is no sacrifice whatsoever, and thumbs up to Oracle for abandoning one of its primary traditions with such bravery.

So where does that leave the Oracle at the beginning of the 1990s? It remains my reference in the under-a-king's-ransom price category, and it's something of a bargain in single-speed mode if you can do without 45rpm. Furthermore, I think it's still the prettiest platter spinner since the late, lamented Gale.

Additional Resources
• Read more source component reviews from
• Find a receiver to pair with this source.
• See more about the audiophile world at
• Discuss all kinds of gear at

Page 1 Page 2

HTR Product Rating for Oracle Delphi Mark IV Turntable

Criteria Rating







Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.

Latest Analog-Vinyl Reviews

Apr 20
Sony PS-HX500 Turntable Reviewed Steven Stone reviews Sony's entry-level audiophile turntable, the PS-HX500. This $600 turntable includes a cartridge, a phono preamplifier with RIAA curve, an analog-to-digital processor, and a USB output to make hi-res copies (even 128x DSD) of your LPs.
Sony PS-HX500 Turntable Reviewed

Dec 02
Home Theater Review's Best of 2013 Awards It's that time of year again. The staff has discussed all the products reviewed over the year and decided which ones rated the best. Check out our list of the best of 2013.
Home Theater Review's Best of 2013 Awards

Dec 03
Home Theater Review's Best of 2012 Awards It's that time of year again. The Home Theater Review staff has looked over all of the year's impressive offerings - of which there were many - and narrowed it down to what they believe to be the best of 2012.
Home Theater Review's Best of 2012 Awards

Jul 06
Stanton T.92 USB Turntable Reviewed If you have a bunch of vinyl lying around but hate the hassle that goes with listening to the format, the Stanton T.92 turntable will make the process much easier. But what about its performance?
Stanton T.92 USB Turntable Reviewed

Dec 11
Linn LP12 Turntable Reviewed Linn's latest incarnation of the venerable LP-12 turntable still holds a special place in the pantheon of great audiophile products. HTR looks at the original version compared with the latest version to show how Linn has continued to improve and refine their classic design.
Linn LP12 Turntable Reviewed