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Reviews

Lyra
Moving Coil Phono Cartridges

      For many years Audiophiles the World over have prized the wonderful cartridges from Scan-Tech. Open, vibrant and fast, the Lyra line of moving coil phono cartridges made by Scan-Tech are certainly some of the best you can buy.
     Lyra cartridges are designed and manufactured by Scan-Tech of Tokyo, Japan. Each Lyra model is conceived by Jonathan Carr in collaboration with Yoshinori Mishima, the artisan who also hand-crafts each piece. The ultimate goal of all Lyra cartridge designs is to accurately reproduce the full content contained in the record grooves, without adding any signature of its own.
     Every Lyra cartridge uses an extremely low-mass Ogura PA micro line-contact stylus. Though tiny, the meticulously shaped and polished diamond offers exceptionally good groove-wall contact, insuring excellent tracking and great detail resolution, with minimal groove wear. The superior profile insures the stylus is in contact with more of the groove wall, making it less likely to be disturbed by localized groove damage. Additionally the stylus plays deeper in the groove at a depth not normally reached  - or damaged - by other styli. The result is less surface noise and better fidelity on used records.


Delos

The New Angle on LP Reproduction: Introducing 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.

* Price - $1650

Comparison of Delos with conventional cartridge design.
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Lyra Cartridge Specifications
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Kleos

The new Kleos has arrived! Its lineage is auspicious: The original Tsurugi (1976), Clavis (1991), Clavis DC (1995), Helikon (1999), and now in 2010 we have Kleos. Like Helikon, we are confident the Kleos will enjoy the same long run in the market.

Kleos employs Lyra’s proprietary
variable-radius stylus to provide a great combination of correct time domain behavior and ease of set up. As with top Lyra models, an Ogura boron cantilever is used in the Kleos. The Kleos body mass has been increased from the Helikon. It is machined from 7075 Duralumin and is treated to a satin silver finish, like that found on high-end camera bodies. The Kleos has a raised contact path across the mounting hole that concentrates the contact force of the cartridge to the headshell for increased energy transfer. Specially tuned resonance suppressor plugs are press fit into the body, which interfere with any standing wave energy that might build up in the body. The cartridge pins are platinum plated.

The sound of the Kleoswill please both the fans and detractors of the Helikon. What stays is the lightening fast speed and dynamics of the Helikon. The outstanding imaging and soundstage presentation that Helikon is known for is only improved so the Kleos will be familiar in so many ways. However, the improvements in this new cartridge are significant and relevant to what people wanted from Helikon: Tracking ability (due to the coil alignment) and spectral balance are the big advancements. The improved tracking ability provides a significantly smooth, smooth, smooth midrange and top end presentation.

The Kleos is very quiet and the lower noise floor reveals a new level of resolution that is quite extraordinary. The result of all of this is a warmer spectral balance. Not rounded but warmer. Less noise, more vinyl. Quieter and more dynamic to the point of being a lot louder – instantly.

Reviews:
"After listening to the Lyra Kleos in my system for nearly two months, an improvement in sound is just about unimaginable. Bravo, Lyra! Tom Lyle, Enjoythemusic.com

Specifications:
* Frequency Response: 10Hz - 50kHz
* Channel Separation: >35dB at 1kHz
* Cantilever: Solid Boron
* Stylus: Lyra-designed line contact (3um x 75um)
* Body: One piece solid 7075 alloy billett with reduced surface higher pressure headshell contact area
* Suspension: One point, directly mounted to cartridge body
* Coil: 6-N high purity copper
* Compliance: 12x10 cm/dyne at 100Hz
* Output: 0.5mV
* Weight: 8.8g
* Tracking force: 1.6g - 1.75g
* Price $2995

FREE SHIPPING!

Comparison of Kleos/Delos with conventional cartridge design.
Download pdf.


Lyra Cartridge Specifications
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Skala

The Skala is the latest design from Lyra and is the first to employ Scan-Tech's fifth-generation design architecture.
         The Skala uses what Lyra terms a “knife edge” design concept. The goal is to transfer vibrational energy from the cartridge to the tonearm as efficiently as possible. Lyra optimizes transmission through the use of material selection and mechanical design. The result is increased dynamic contrasts and greater clarity. As with all Scan-Tech designs, the cantilever assembly connected directly to the main (one-piece) structure of the cartridge. This improves transfer of energy while preventing vibrational energy from being reflected back into the coils, cantilever and stylus.
        The Skala employs Scan-Tech's balanced symmetrical field system, where the signal coils operate in a magnetic field created by two powerful, precisely shaped disc magnets. Unlike conventional cartridges, there is no offset magnet to distort the field within the gap, and no pole pieces to affect the transfer of energy from magnet to coils, compress dynamics, or add unwanted distortions and sonic colorations. The lack of conductive material around the generator insures that no stray magnetic fields will be created via inductive effects, improving the ability to accurately convert mechanical groove energy into electrical signal.

Specifications

• Channel separation @ 1kHz: >35dB
• Cantilever: Solid boron circular rod
• Recommended tracking force: 1.65 - 1.75 grams
• Dynamic compliance @100 Hz: 12 x 10-6 cm/dyne
• Weight: 9g
• $3995


Titan i -

       The Titan is the new flagship model from Lyra, and is a replacement for the discontinued Parnassus D.C.t. The Titan is also the most advanced cartridge that Lyra has ever made.
       Compared to the D.C.t, the Titan is conceptually more sophisticated, offers a higher level of component design and quality, and delivers a superior level of sonic performance in every possible way. The Titan's potential for detail retrieval, dynamics, perceived frequency extension and tracking have been all been much improved.
       As with all other current Lyra cartridges, the only components that create the magnetic field of the Titan are two symmetrical disc magnets. The magnetic field is therefore symmetrical; completely eliminating the field distortions created by conventional pole pieces and offset magnets. The magnets are made of a new neodymium compound that is the most powerful magnetic material in the world. The improvements to the magnetic field result in more accurate conversion of mechanical vibrations into electrical signals; in other words, lower distortion. At the same time, this allows the coils and cantilever to move more freely, leading to improved low level resolution and better tracking abilities, particularly at low vertical tracking forces.
        The Titan's body is machined from a single piece of titanium alloy, which has been curved and shaped in a manner calculated to minimize standing waves and internal reflections and resonance. This attention to detail has also been extended to the interior body structures, which are too intricate to be formed by mechanical means. A different process called electrical discharge machining was employed, not only because of its ability to fashion complex shapes, but also because it is a non-contact process, eliminating mechanical stresses in the machined structures. The superior rigidity afforded by the Titan's solid, intricate, low-resonance body construction create a clearly defined reference pivot for the cantilever, improving the accuracy of converting mechanical vibrations into electrical signals. The rigid titanium body also creates an efficient path for the vibrations from the stylus to be channeled away from the critical signal generator area and into the tonearm, where this energy can be dissipated effectively. The titanium alloy itself is a different type from that used in the Parnassus DCt, and has been chosen specifically for its low-level of self-resonance and advantageous sonic properties.
        The Titan's stylus rides at the tip of a low-mass diamond block measuring 0.08 x 0.12 x 0.5mm. The stylus itself is a Lyra-designed line-contact, with a major radius of 70 micrometers and a minor radius of 3 micrometers. We first designed a number of different stylus shapes based on theory and calculation, and then subjected the candidates to exhaustive interactive testing. The result is a stylus that is extremely good at tracking and detail retrieval, yet offers ultra-low levels of groove wear, has a very good signal-noise ratio, and reduces the audibility of groove damage.
         The Titan uses a compound structure cantilever which has been designed to increase the propagation velocity and self-dampening characteristics as much as possible. Consisting of a solid boron core, an outer diamond layer, and an additional reinforcement metal jacket, the cantilever's combination of low mass, high stiffness and low internal resonance reduces overshoot and ringing, thereby helping to minimize the audibility of groove damage and improving the perceived signal-noise ratio, even on worn records.
        The 5.5-ohm low-impedance signal coils are wound from high-purity copper over a chemically-refined high-purity iron core, which has been gold-plated to reduce eddy currents and thereby minimize distortion. The impedance characteristics remain flat far beyond the audible range, and the use of high-purity materials reduces both measured and audible distortions.
         The cantilever assembly of the Titan has been mounted directly to the titanium body. Intermediate mounting methods such as pole pieces or subcarriers have been completely eliminated. Both the cantilever and the insides of the body have been shaped so that when the two components are joined to each other, a double-knife-edge system will be created, which will concentrate as much pressure as possible on the joint area and thereby achieving a type of cold weld. This direct mounting system minimizes the number of mechanical joints between the cantilever and tonearm, and maximizes mechanical energy transfer away from the stylus and generator area. The end result is far less reflected mechanical energy, and therefore significantly reduced levels of distortion and resonance.
 

Specifications:

  • Type: Moving Coil, low-impedance, low-output, medium compliance
  • Frequency range: 10Hz ~ 50kHz
  • Channel separation: 35dB or better at 1kHz
  • Cantilever system: Diamond-coated solid boron rod with line-contact stylus (3 x 70 micrometers profile)
  • Internal impedance: 5.5ohms
  • Output voltage: 0.5mV (5.0cm/sec., zero to peak, 45 degrees at 1kHz)
  • Cartridge weight (without stylus cover): 12.0g
  • Compliance: Approx. 12 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100Hz
  • Recommended tracking force: 1.65 ~ 1.75g
  • Recommended load:
  • Into non-inverting RIAA equalizer amplifier or head-amplifier: 10ohms ~ 47kohms
  • Into step-up transformer: 4 ~ 6ohms (not exceeding 10ohms)
  • $5995


SPT Stylus Cleaner/Treatment - $45.00

The Lyra SPT’s primary function is straightforward - by helping to keep your cartridge's stylus scrupulously clean, it assists tracking and minimizes damage to your records and cartridge. However, its benefits extend far beyond just stylus cleaning.

Unlike any other stylus cleaner, we employed extensive listening tests during the development process of SPT, with the express purpose of improving the sound of your phono cartridge. Not only will it work well with our own Lyra models, but you will likely find that it offers a significant sonic boost to other high-performance cartridge designs as well.

Another thing we have been very careful about is to design the SPT so it won't dissolve or damage any glue joints between stylus and cantilever. This cannot be said about all other stylus cleaners on the market, some of which causes damage (diamond styli fall out because of dissolved glue), especially if used excessively.

The Lyra SPT should be applied in a small quantity with the accompanying brush each time it is being used. However it has been designed so it can be used frequently, even after each LP record side of play, or as often as you deem necessary in your particular environment.

 

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