Lyra Atlas experiences


A few years ago, I invested in a Lyra Atlas cartridge / pickup. I have moved up, from Lyra Clavis in the early 2000s and Lyra Titan i later. The Atlas was expensive, but I have not looked back. Yet I wonder, can something more be done, to optimize the Atlas, in my system, and others. How can this remarkable pickup run its best. What are the best phono preamp and system matches. Should the system be rearranged. Have anyone done mods or DIYs to their systems to get the "reception" right? What happened? Comments welcome. You dont need to own a Lyra Atlas but you should have heard it, to join this discussion. Comments from the folks at Lyra are extra welcome - what is your experience.
Oystein
o_holter
Thank you! I have heard advice from others also, in the direction that the Lyra Atlas might sound better with better tone arms than the SME V. Although this is a good "work horse" I think. Suggestions are welcome, and if Lyra can comment, I am grateful.
Regarding tubes - yes, I agree, maybe too much, but I like good tube sound. I have tried the Atlas with solid-state phone stages, and that is not my preference. I agree that the system has to "land". I am very happy having a system that lands, in the sense that it "grips" and "plays along" with my room.
Best regards, Oystein

Just to make my listening reference clear:

I bought a used a Lyra Clavis pickup in 1997. I heard a Lyra Helicon in the system of a friend, later. Then I moved up to a Lyra Titan in 2005, a Titan i in 2008, and the Atlas in 2013. 
 
Hi Oystein
Like your self I have been a Lyra fan. I currently own the Atlas, Etna and mono Kleos. A quick question why do you think you are getting sub optimal results with your Atlas ? Have you heard it sound different/better to your ears in another system ?
If your cart is properly aligned with a MintLP, VTF and VTF are properly set, I can suggest a tweak which paid huge dividends in my system, namely burning in the tone arm wire. I was told by the good folks at Lyra that the majority of tone arms probably underperform given the minuscule mV current that the cart generates. 
Best
Pradeep
Hi Sunnyboy1956 - thanks. For me, every step up the Lyra ladder has been worth it, although the cost level is now very high. I am mainly very satisfied with the Atlas, also compared to the Titan i that I used before. I have no reason to think it performs sub standard. My question is more about getting into the best optimal terrain. Thanks for the tonearm cable burn in advice, this is true, but mine is well used. How do you like the performance of your three Lyras all in all?
Where do I want improvements? I want the music to sound even better. I think it is possible. I have recently confirmed, this is very much a matter of signal to noise. A stereo is like a radar picking up interference, and we don't want anything to disturb the sound. Since my main phono stage is on repair, I use a small solid-state stage. Today I found that by turning the plug, the noise from the unit was considerably reduced. Dressing the tone arm cable (singled ended Kimber KCAG DIY) also helped lower the noise level.

A comment on setup: I have assumed that the anti-skating on my SME V arm was correct, and have dialed it in approximately like the weight (1.72 g), or a bit less. I think I have been wrong. I tried various methods: look at the cantilever deflection when it settles in a groove, use a blank record, use the HFN test record (side 2 track 1-4-8) - and even, my ears. Results are similar. A-skate needs to be set to 2.7 to avoid distortion in the right channel on the HFN tracks. I come roughly to the same conclusion using my ears. Music sounds fuller and both channels more in sync, at around 2.5 or so, or even higher. Although I have not found the exact spot, and my methods are limited. Since my arm is ca 15 years old, I wonder if the anti-skate spring has lost some tension over time. I have also found that the arm needs to be lifted a bit asymmetrically at the back, to get the best azimuth (cannot be directly adjusted on SME V).
One behaviour seems a bit odd. When the cartridge is lifted, not playing in the groove, the inner part of the cantilever is quite precisely centered in the hole on the green front (looking in a loupe). When it settles in a groove, however, it changes downwards and to the right. This seems to happen pretty much regardless of where I set the anti-skating. The inner part moves this way, even when I cannot see any deflection of the outer part (with the diamond). I wonder, is this normal behaviour?