I heard from my local dealer that it should be launched at CES. All I know is that it supposed to be placed above Titan but not replacing it or something like that.
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The first production units are presently being built, we too delivery of the product boxes perhaps two weeks ago, and I received the very first printed manuals today. The Atlas is a very time and labor-intensive cartridge to make, and the only way that we will be able to make a bare handful of cartridges by the time the CES starts is if we don't take any days off for New Year.
Yesterday and today we have been inside the studio taking photos; next I need to write some accompanying text. I hope to be able to get a (probably brief) introduction page up on our website by Saturday.
kind regards, jonathan carr
Hi everyone. Thank you for your patience, and the warm comments (^o^).
We finally got some Atlas information up on our website. With certain browsers I still get the old page, while on others the new Atlas update is visible. I imagine that there may be a need to refresh/purge the cache in your browser.
The core information about the Atlas on our topmost webpage is correct, but the formatting is admittedly still crude. Incidentally, only our topmost webpage contains real information - we haven't yet been able to build the Atlas' own product page or organize all of the necessary file links yet.
A list of specifications for the Atlas will follow in a few days.
I have also been rewriting the specification lists for our other cartridges to bring them in line with how the specifications for the Atlas will be presented. However this is still a work in progress, and although the new specification lists contain far more information than the old versions, we were not able to update the text frame layouts, and I apologize if the specifications pages for some of the present cartridges (Delos, Kleos) appear misshapen.
Since I developed a more detailed electrical model for the Atlas to analyze the phono stage input loading options, I chose to apply similar models to the Delos, Kleos, Skala and Titan, and use the information to reassess our loading recommendations.
So if you look at the loading paragraphs in the specifications for the Delos, Kleos and Titan, you may notice that the recommended loading range is different from that in the user's manual or previous iterations of our web product-pages. The information on the present webpages is the latest and most accurate (since it is based on a more detailed electrical model than what was used previously), and should be regarded as superseding the information presented in the existing user's manuals or previous iterations of our web product-pages.
Note that the loading range on each cartridge specifications page only describe the extremes of phono stage input loading - maximum recommended load resistance with a 50pF capacitive load, and minimum recommended load resistance with a 600pF capacitive load, so they may not be immediately applicable for most Lyra owners.
Creating a list of loading recommendations that properly covers most of the conceivable usage scenarios involves far too much work to accomplish within a few days - literally hundreds of simulations and measurements and graphs are required per cartridge.
Although it will require some more time, I plan to "do the job right" and comprehensively update the phono stage input loading recommendations for the Delos, Kleos, Skala and Titan.
BTW, the section on phono stage input loading inside the Atlas owner's manual has been presented in a more informative yet easier-to-use manner than was the case with the Delos or Kleos. I hope that this will make it quicker and less haphazard to get the Atlas and phono stage working optimally together.
Please feel free to post any comments or questions that you may have.
Hope that everyone had a nice Christmas, and will have a wonderful New Year!
cheers, jonathan carr
Hi Jonathan, thanks I just read everything on your webpage !! Can you post here or send a private message on the retail price? I'm in the USA, so USD's...
Also, any comments on tonearms? I'm using a TriPlanar right now. I'll keep this arm, but curious at what arms you like with the Atlas....
Happy New Year !
Hi John: Hope that you are doing well.
One more day to the end of 2011! What a turbulent year it has been!
Lyra doesn't directly set the retail prices in any country. Those are decided by the local distributor.
That said, judging from how long each set of Atlas components takes to make, the component fabrication costs, how long Mishima spends building each Atlas, and also the present value of the Japanese Yen as opposed to other currencies, we are most likely talking about a retail price that is in or approaches Olympos rather than Titan territory.
My guess as to the US retail price would be $9000~9500 or thereabout.
The Titan will therefore remain in production.
Regarding associated equipment, I envision that the Atlas will be somewhat easier (than the Titan) for the phono stage - at least regarding gain and noise, but suspect that the Atlas could be more demanding of the tonearm (particularly the mechanical build aspects).
Much of the Atlas' design concept revolves around increasing mechanical rigidity and allocating escape paths for vibrational energy that are as wide, fast and unimpeded as possible. This allows the process of draining depleted vibrational energy out of the cartridge and into the tonearm to occur more effectively and efficiently.
The above is good news from the cartridge's perspective, but may turn out to be a stiffer challenge for the tonearm.
OTOH, the irregular shape of the Atlas' body helps minimize resonant peaks at specific frequencies and distributes whatever vibrational energy has been picked up more smoothly and evenly.
FWIW, I also have a TriPlanar. I am not convinced that it can extract the full potential of an Atlas (or even a Titan), but it is a relatively forgiving-sounding arm, and will most likely sound quite pleasing.
Frank Schroeder has a new zero-tracking error arm that should work quite well, and the Spiral Groove Centroid has impressed me with its overall linearity and particularly its clear pitch and note articulation in the lower octaves. I've had good results with the Phantom, but I would have to give the performance nod to the Centroid.
Other arms that I think should work well include (but by no means are limited to) Da Vinci, Basis, Continuum, Brinkmann, Micha Huber, and so on.
kind regards, jonathan
Happy New Year to everyone!
Compared to the Titan i, the Atlas is more immediate and has more presence, has wider dynamics, better imaging and soundstaging, sounds more refined, and seems more communicative of the musicians' intents (as in letting a greater range of emotions through).
The differences are pretty noticeable.
BTW, an important fact that I failed to mention is the Atlas' weight - 11.6g. Definitely heavier than the Titan, although not quite as heavy as the Olympos.
kind regards, jonathan
We now have a full list of Atlas specifications up. Over the past few days the specifications page has alternately appeared and disappeared as we made and replaced various files and managed to break links as well as make them.
Hopefully the specifications page will stay up (smile).
Also, many apologies for the crappy-looking photos (the real cartridge looks considerably better). We didn't manage to trim out the backgrounds cleanly, leaving lots of jaggies, we used the GF file format rather than JPG, and committed various other sins (grin).
sheepish regards, jonathan carr
Hi Breezer: Oops, overlooked your post.
We have tried the Atlas prototypes in-house with a variety of tonearms that includes the Phantom, but sadly not yet anything by Frank Kuzma.
We will evaluate the Atlas in more tonearms when we get some breathing space (things are still very hectic).
kind regards, jonathan carr
Dear A.S.: Happy New Year to you too w(^o^)w!
We don't have any plans to make specialty Atlas models for quite some time, and this would include both an Atlas SL (single-layer low output coils) version and a Mono version.
The reason is simply that we need to supply sufficient quantity of the Atlas stereo version to the market. Each stereo Atlas takes a significant amount of time and effort to make, while a mono Atlas and an SL Atlas would each need to be properly developed before we would consider putting it on the market.
In our experience, a double-layer coil and a single-layer coil behave and sound differently enough that the cartridge should not be built using the same suspension / dampers / tuning. Judging from how much effort we needed to put into the stereo DL Atlas, the sonic development effort for the mono and SL Atlas would take quite some time, and this would reduce our ability to provide stereo DL Atlas' to the market.
This doesn't mean that we won't make specialty Atlas models in the future, but it is still too early to consider doing so yet.
kind regards, jonathan
PS. Put a much nicer photo of the Atlas up on our website. That said, no single photo can convey what the Atlas is like in person. The real thing looks rather different depending on what angle you view it from, and this is inescapable given the asymmetrical design.