Akiva or Titan

I am looking to replace the Arkiv B in my Linn LP12. I am trying to decide whether it is worth the extra $1500 to go with the Lyra Titan.

One concern I have is volume. With the Arkiv B in my system, I really have to crank up the volume. (My system is listed under "2 Channel Basement Stereo") Will either of these cartridges exacerbate the problem?
You have a darn good system, particularly the Audio Research amplification. So I hate to even suggest this, but if you have a volume problem, my first thought is that it's not the cartrige itself. Rather, it's the interaction between the cartridge and the pre-amp. Specifically, the pre-amp isn't amplifying the output of the low-output MC cartridge to a sufficient degree. So the volume is low. The solutions would be (1) a cartridge with a higher output, (2) a step-up transformer between the turtable and the pre-amp, (3) adjusting the cartridge settings in the existing pre-amp, or (4) getting a new pre-amp with settings more appropriate for low output MC cartridges. I'm not familiar with the Lyra Titan, but if it's output is similar to the Arkiv, I would expect the volume problem to continue.

The Arkiv B has an output voltage of .4mV and the Titan has an output voltage of .5mV.

If you still have the ARC Ref Phono, the ARC database says it has adjustable gain of 48dB or 69dB. If your unit is set at 48dB, try switching it to the higher gain - rear panel switch(?). The higher setting will yield plenty of gain for the Titan; try it with the Arkiv B and see how it sounds.

Gain on the Ref3 linestage varies by 6dB based on whether you're using balanced (higher gain) or single-ended cables to your amp. If you're currently single-ended, see if you can borrow a set of balanced cables to hear if the increase in gain brings satisfaction.

If your Ref Phono is set at the lower gain and you're using single-ended cables off the Ref3, then I can see where you'd *really* have to crank it. :-)

Good luck,
You have to use the high gain 69dB and set the load at 100 Ohm, using the supplied resistors combination colors suggested by the user manual.
I am using Akiva with the Ref Phono and Ref2 mk2 with no problem at all.

I thoughly enjoy my Lp12 with an Ittok LVII arm and Akiva cartridge. I'm giving it 62db gain from a Aesthetix Rhea and it sounds beautiful. Sorry but I have not compared the Titan in the same deck. My only impression between the two is that the Titan wasn't as quiet for surface noise but, the decks and arms were differant, so I can't say for sure. The Akiva is a low output cartridge with recommended 50ohm loading as opposed to your old Arkiv B with 100ohm loading and the Titan is 47ohm. What is the gain available from your Audio Research Reference Phono stage? I would believe it would offer enough. If Jtimothya has the AR numbers right you should be fine.

Is your math right? If I'm not mistaken Linn will give you 1100.00USD for your Arkiv B as long as it still has a cantilever attached. Not to mention the trade on the Akiva some day. That would bring down the price to roughly that of a Lyra Helicon (and Lyra offers zero trade in value). Happy Listening!
R f sayles, I'm not the financial guy, but I'm pretty sure that Lyra does offer discounted upgrade pricing (IOW, trade in value on an existing Lyra credited towards a more expensive Lyra purchase). We don't offer trade-ins on other brands, because with very few exceptions, they are neither useful nor interesting for us (the local distributor may have different trade-in programs, so you'd need to check to be sure).

The Titan i should easily be as quiet as the Akiva, but as you said, differences in turntables, tonearms and phono stages could conceal the differences.

Also cartridge loading depends on the impedance of the cartridge and the frequency range of the electrical resonances that the loading addresses, and also on the phono stage and its IMD behaviour (because said electrical resonances may lie totally in the ultrasonic range, particular in the case of low-impedance cartridges).

regards, jonathan carr
I have a dear pal,who owns the Titan-I.He is a fanatical collector of classical/jazz "classic" vinyl,and is extremely demanding.The Titan is a fabulous,no FABULOUS product!!I have heard it on many occassions,and he has a wonderful,full range set-up.The dynamics of this design leave nothing to be desired.
Of course there are loads of other great designs,but Lyra has given my friend two free NEW cartridges,as he had two problems(he screwed up,not the cartridge).This is a classy(and financially well off,apparently)company to deal with. Best of luck.
I stand corrected. Sorry for the misinformation all. My intention was certainly not to discredit Lyra as I find their scan-tech manufactured cartridges and also the ones provided for Linn to be outstanding in the market place of many great cartridges. I had one friend that got the run around and was told that Lyra would give him nothing on trade and that is my only experience. In retrospect, that may well have been a dealer problem. Happy Listening!
Dear Kinsekd: The Akiva and Titan are very good cartridges but for the price difference and because your Linn analog rig I take the Akiva one.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Thanks to all who responded for the good information.

I do have the Ref phono set to the high gain setting.

I have considered using a step up transformer, but I am concerned about introducing distortion.

I checked with my dealer. The trade in for an Arkiv B to an Akiva is $950. Placed the order this afternoon. Can't wait to get it in.

Thanks again.