Lyra Kleos arrives after eight months. . Worth the wait? First impressions
About nine months ago I posted some threads on Audiogon to get advice concerning upgrading the Ortofon Black 2M, moving magnet cartridge on my VPI Classic 2 turntable. You all ended up convincied me to not only to upgrade my cartridge, but to upgrade a VPI JMW unipivot tonearm to a VPI gimballed Fatboy tonearm. And after carefully considering all your recommendations, plus doing a lot of research, a Lyra Kleos moving coil cartridge was chosen and ordered.
The VPI Fatboy, ordered about March 1, arrived right away. However the new Lyra cartrdge took a full eight months to arrive from that same date. Apparently there is only one person in Japan with a single assistant making every Lyra cartridge. Picture this poor soul working day and night, chained to the floor in a small basement room with only his assistant Igor to help.
The Lyra Kleos cartridge is now happily and professionally installed on the Fatboy. It has maybe ten or so hours on it at this point. Most noticeable so so far is a better defined bass response. Elements of the sound stage also seem to be more clealy defined. Paticularly on better recorded albums, you can hear everything more clearly, as well as hear things that were simply lost in the mix before. For instance on a Sade record I distinctly heard a background singer singling softly along with her which had never been apparent before. Every sound seems better realized in more detail and depth especially on better recorded albums. On more poorly recorded content, not so much.
All in all I’m happy with the results so far. It took about three hours of break in before the cartridge began to open up. My first clue on how well this cart could perform was listening to a Jaco Pastorius bass run on a nicely recorded Joni Mitchell album. That was exciting. Some older Mies Davis and Charles Mingus sounded great too. On some other material like Mike Bloomfields Live at the Fillmore West the sound wan’t much improved over the Ortofon 2M cart. My ECM records all sounded more well defined so far.
What has been your experience with a Lyra cartridge if you have one? Have you been pleased with yours. At about how many hours did yours peak out. I’ve read their performance peaks at anywhere from 20 to 100 hourswhich is quite a range. What’s your experience? If you knew yours would take eight months to arrive would you have gone another route?