A friend of mine had this combo for a while. It was a superb match. Actually, he had a deal at our local dealer and he just bought a VPI Classic, still with the Lyra. I heard his system two weeks ago and the sound is excellent.
lol. There was definitely something wrong with it. The H2 and the Ace both did the exact same thing, track terribly. The Glider works perfectly. I think I received bad stock. The frustrating thing is that I told my dealer right after I got it that there was something wrong and they always insisted it was something I did or that my tonearm was not up to the task. Now I know that it was nothing that I did because i did the same thing with the Glider. I can live with the Glider, but wanted to try the Lyra because I heard one at my friends house and I was very impressed with what I heard. It sounded like REAL music.
I too have concluded that, after owning and using so many different cartridge manufacturer's products over the years, Lyra is my cartridge company for life. Tracking, sound, durability are all superb. They work extremely well on VPIs unipivot arms, as well as the Traveler gimballed design. Currently running Delos and Helikon carts on my VPI tables.
Just about 3 months ago, I abought a used VPI Scout that has a Lyra Argo cart on the tone arm. I might say the sound quality is superb and as an Oppo bdp 95 owner, the VPI Scout is much clearer sounding than my Oppo. But of course I'm using my McIntosh C2300 tube preamp that has a built in MM/MC phono stage. I've never enjoyed vinyl until I got VPI Scout with Lyra cartridge.
Hi Jeff...If your cartridge isn't tracking well, sometimes damping fluid helps. Drop in 1 drop of the fluid - if it sounds better to you, drop another, test again, and another. There will come a time when the last drop deadens the sound. Remove that last drop and you're good to go. If that doesn't help, clean the area of damping fluid with a Q-tip. The Classic series normally has very good bass. You should use a very solid table to rest the turntable. I like to replace the VPI feet with Bearpaws (very large, solid brass cones)....very big improvement (especially in the mids, but an all around improvement). Double and triple check all your arm adjustments...make positive, your Classic is level. Almost every time I check MY arm I can make it a smidge better...well worth the trouble. You also may try lowering the rear of the tonearm, but be sure so readjust all your arm adjustments. I use a Benz, because FOR ME, it has a more "earthy, solid" sound. That is a personal evaluation though....try playing around with the Classic to more accomadate your likes before spending money on a new cartridge.
Jeff, I have a Kleos mounted on a Classic 3 arm. I think the performance is superb, sans damping fluid. Check and double check your settings. I initially set VTA at 90 degrees, then made some minor VTA on the fly adjustments. As I recall, I raised the toochus (Yiddish for ass) up a little, which would accentuate the highs just a tad. Btw, how many ohms have you loaded the cartridge with? You should go by ear, but I seem to like 200 ohms the best.
Btw, one last thought. If you search the Forum for threads about SoundSmith cartridge/VPI JMW tone arm compatibility, many members have commented that there seems to be a special synergy with the two products.
For example, the VPI Zephyr is a great match. I like the Zephyr very, very much. But as I said above, I think the Delos and Kleos sound better. Having said that, Peter Ledermann/SoundSmith also sell the Paua for $3800. Many members have posted fabulous reviews about the Paua. Just recently, one member posted that Peter is working on a specially modified Paua called the Legend. The Legend is supposed to be designed to mate particularly well with the VPI JMW arm. So keep a heads up.