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Lyra Cartridges

 
I can always tell an when an analog system is using a Lyra cartridge, not by what I hear but rather by what I do not hear, which is coloration. If you are looking for a phono cartridge with ultimate transparency with no perceivable character (AND WHO ISN'T?), if you are looking for a cartridge that extracts all the detail without ever sounding harsh, then fix your sights on a Lyra!
 

 


  Lyra cartridges are characterized by advanced design and engineering allied with Japanese artisanal craftsmanship and build quality. All their products are developed and crafted to be among the very finest available in their category.

Every detail of each LYRA product is thought through and executed with extreme care. LYRA is one of the few audio companies with truly original design and development capability. Each new product is designed from the ground and up and introduces meaningful improvements.


The Lyra Atlas is Lyra's flagship model. It is also the first time that anyone has made an asymmetrically structured phono cartridge. Why asymmetric? Because, by literally misplacing the barriers to great sound that are present in every other cartridge today, it confers a number of important performance benefits.

Linear transducers such as loudspeakers and phono cartridges are inherently inefficient devices - somewhere between 5 and 10%. In other words, of the vibrational energy that enters a cartridge from the LP groove, only 5 to 10% will be converted into electrical signal. Some of the remaining 90 to 95% will be dissipated by the cartridge's internal damping system, but much of the excess vibrational energy will reflect inside the cartridge, creating internal echoes, smearing, and a general diminishing of fidelity. It is easy to demonstrate this with many cartridges - play a highly modulated LP with the power amp turned off, and bring your ear close to the cartridge. The "needle-talk" that you hear is excess vibrational energy which isn't being controlled properly.




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As a model intended to retail for significantly less than Atlas, but having similar aspirations to the pinnacles of
performance,The Lyra  Etna was designed with a strong emphasis on engineering efficiency, so that its performance would be as far beyond the sum of its parts as possible. For this reason, although it shares some of its design philosophy with the Atlas, the concepts are executed rather differently.

Etna employs a solid titanium core structure machined with non-parallel surfaces to inhibit internal reflections wherever possible, but unlike Atlas (and Titan i before it), this is mated to a slightly undersized, asymmetric duralumin outer body that is designed to lock over the core like a very tightly-fitting jigsaw puzzle. The core and body are augmented with bronze and stainless-steel resonance control rods, then everything is pressure-fit together into a pre-stressed, solid, void-free structure which is comprised of multiple materials and complex internal shapes. The constrained-layer nature of this construction dramatically reduces the resonant signature of each material and creates a far more neutral-sounding body structure than otherwise possible, while the high body stiffness benefits transients, dynamics and resolution.

The New Angle on LP Reproduction:
The Lyra Kleos MC Phono Cartridge

Although many MC cartridges have good performance, their sound is held back by how they are designed. The problem is, the signal coils should have the same angle as the magnetic circuit during playback, but MC cartridges are typically designed so that the opposite happens - applying normal tracking force pushes the coils out of alignment. This impairs coil sensitivity and linearity, and reduces sound quality.

nge and explosive transients, plus a warmer and natural tonal balance. The Kleos is a high-value cartridge that surpasses the sound quality of substantially more expensive cartridges.

 

 

  

 When Atlas was being designed, however, we realized that it is not only important to link the cantilever to headshell with a rigid, unbroken path, but that further sonic gains could be obtained if all objects and voids were removed from the path. Atlas' asymmetric shape was conceived partly with this goal in mind, so that the screw and screwhole securing the front magnet carrier could be moved out of the way of the mechanical path connecting cantilever to headshell.

To help conduct this excess vibrational energy into the headshell, where it can be safely dissipated within the greater mass of the tonearm and turntable plinth, Lyra has traditionally mounted the cantilever directly into the cartridge body, resulting in a rigid, seamless connection between the cantilever assembly and tonearm headshell (we remain the only manufacturer to do so).


Freed of any obstructions or voids, the rigid, direct path established between cantilever and headshell is highly effective at draining away vibrations once they have been converted into electrical signals, suppressing induced resonances and internal reflections that would otherwise manifest as sonic colorations and overhang. A narrowed mounting area couples Etna more tightly to the headshell and facilitates the transfer of vibrational energy into the tonearm, giving even better control over spurious resonances.

Also, Atlas' differently-shaped structures on the left and right sides suppress the formation of standing waves inside the cartridge body, thereby creating a less resonant, more neutral cartridge body than would be otherwise possible.

Atlas employs a yokeless dual magnet system, diamond-coated boron rod cantilever and Lyra designed variable-radius line-contact stylus (major radius 70 micrometers, minor radius 3 micrometers, block dimensions 0.08 x 0.12 x 0.5mm, mounted within a slot machined into the front of the cantilever), and builds the cantilever assembly directly into the titanium body

 

Linear transducers such as loudspeakers and phono cartridges are inherently inefficient devices - on the order of 5 to 10%. In other words, of the vibrational energy that enters a cartridge from the LP groove, only 5 to 10% will be converted into electrical signal. The cartridge's internal damping system will dissipate some of the remaining 90 to 95%, but much of the excess vibrational energy will reflect inside the cartridge, creating internal echoes, smearing, and a general diminishing of fidelity. It is easy to demonstrate this with many cartridges  - play a highly modulated LP with the power amp turned off, and bring your ear close to the cartridge. The "needle-talk" that you hear is excess vibrational energy which isn't being controlled properly.

To help conduct this excess vibrational energy into the headshell, where it can be safely dissipated within the greater mass of the tonearm and turntable plinth, Lyra has traditionally mounted the cantilever directly into the cartridge body, resulting in a rigid, seamless connection between the cantilever assembly and tonearm headshell (as it happens, we remain the only manufacturer to do so).

In the process of designing Atlas, we discovered that in addition to coupling the cantilever to headshell with a rigid, unbroken path, further sonic gains could be realized by removing all objects and voids from the path. Atlas' asymmetric shape was conceived partly for this purpose, to move the front magnet carrier, mounting screw and screwhole out of the way of the mechanical path connecting cantilever to headshell.

Etna utilizes the same asymmetrical concept, but whereas Atlas offsets the screw and screwhole to one side, Etna moves the screw / screwhole all the way to the front of the cartridge - and interposes an additional bronze damping barrier between the screw / screwhole and the mechanical path linking cantilever to headshell.

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Lyra's "New Angle" technology solves this fundamental problem by compensating for how the signal coils are affected by vertical tracking forces, and optimally aligning the coils when it matters most - during playback. Introduced on our entry-level Delos, the New Angle technology enables the Delos to perform well above its pricepoint.

But being audiophiles, we wanted to achieve the next higher level - which is the new Kleos. Building on New Angle technology, the Kleos innovates with a stronger chassis machined from aircraft-grade alloys, narrowed mounting area to improve energy transfer, and pre-stressed construction combining multiple materials with non-parallel surfaces to inhibit internal body resonances. The fully hand-made Kleos also has a Lyra-designed line contact stylus and platinum-plated output pins, achieving an exceptionally quiet noise-floor with superior immediacy, resolution and tracking, wide dynamic raLet the Lyra Kleos show you how good a New Angle on LP reproduction can sound.
 


 

The New Angle on LP Reproduction:
The LYRA Delos MC Phono Cartridge

An analog LP played back with an MC cartridge can sound exceptionally good. Normally, the more cost put into the cartridge, the better the sound. However, sometimes what is required is not more cost but more clever engineering, as with the Lyra Delos.

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.

The Delos solves this problem with a new body structure and pre-angled damping system. 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 Delos also has a microridge stylus for outstanding tracking, a non-parallel solid metal body for low resonances, and nude construction for greater clarity. The result is clearly improved sound quality, particularly resolution, dynamic range, transient impact and immediacy.