A great choice. I feel your on the right track and will most certainly be getting exactly what your looking for. The Benz Lp having a line contact stylus will also give you the benefit of not compromising a glowing full body for lack of detail, air, soundstage, or lack of groove noise. Happy Listening to you!
Hi, a few years ago when I had a SME 20/2 and SME IV.Vi, I went from the Helicon to the Skala. This is a nice change exactly where you want it. Keep all the detail and imaging you love, but add even more transparency. Then you get a warmth that I was missing from the helicon like you.
I think the Lyra's are a great match for the SME arms and tables.
I posted a review awhile back, it's here:
Lyra also has a replacement for the Helicon, it's on their website, called the Kleos. I have not heard this cartridge yet.
Maybe Jonathan Carr will chime in here or a Kleos owner.
I am on my 2nd Skala now and it's my 4th Lyra I've owned (lydian beta, Helicon, 2 skalas). I've always been curious about other cartridges but never ever get serious.
I'd love to hear a Olympos, I'm guessing even at it's lofty price level I might make a impulse purchase!
Good luck, let us know what you decide on and the ultimate result as it breaks in.
I took a Helikon to 2000 hours and went for Soundsmith's best retip to the stock boron cantilever. This was a worthwhile gamble: apparently the suspension has a longer lifespan than the stylus. The long wait for the retip gave me an opportunity to jump on the train of Raulireugas's long thread about NOS MM/MI cartridges. The best of these will give you what you're looking for and leave lots of cash to upgrade your phono stage.
My dealer tells me the new Lyra Delos sounds better than the Helicon and the Kleos will most likely out perform the Skala. I haven't heard either yet but I have always liked the Lyra sound. From my point of view I would look at the Kleos as a replacement. Newest technology from Lyra. However the Skalas may go on sale with the release of the new line of cartridges.
....a new Lyra... just when I thought my choice was going to be simple!! Jfrech I read your review and was almost sold!
Thanks guys for the input, I am unable to audition Lyra's, so I will wait for some feedback on the new one.
All the best
The Delos does more things right than a lot of much more expensive cartridges.
Some dont share my view about the Helikon which I prefered to some more expensive Lyras, it has - or had - a tonal Balance which is very rare. Even today with lots of super expensive cartridges. The Delos has comparable Detail and Attack with a rich amount of tonal Details. I think, this impressed me most. Very rare to hear, no matter how much money you spend for cartridges.
Not colored like a Koetsu, it can give you a good impression from the Soundstage, it can produce a three dimensional image with a very transparent midrange. A lot of cartridges bloat some frequencies (some think that is similar to full, but that is a mistake), this one not. It does not level all records with a kind of sonic fingerprint. It is very honest (depends on the rest of your System of course) and it has a VERY rare combination from smoothness with fast analytics.
In my opinion, one of the outstanding designs of today from price/performance ratio. When it is in your focus, there is worse out there :-)
I have just placed an order for the Skala... here in eu land there are no Kleos to be had. In all honesty it was an impulse...I do hope it hits the spot!
congrats ! I think you'll be thrilled !
Have just mounted the Skala... first impressions are very good indeed!
I love Lyra carts for their tone and build quality. I have a Delos and have used a Dorian. I can't imagine ever buying another brand - and I've tried many.
I too am a dedicated Lyra fan, currently owning both a Helikon and an Argo i. Lyra styli track extremely well and retrieve the music to a level I have not yet experienced with other brands I've owned, those being Koetsu, van den Hul and Benz Micro. Plus, they look beautiful and, once set up correctly, forget about continued tweaking, just enjoy.
After getting some feedback from Jonathan Carr on this topic, my next cartridge to replace the Helikon will be the Kleos.
I switched from a Helikon to a Delos, and couldn't be happier, it's definitely an upgrade. The ONLY cartridge I would consider replacing it with is a Kleos.
That's very interesting. Curious as to what turntable and phono stage you use?