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?




Thanks Jim, I have been enjoying the Kleos the way it’s set up now. No further equipment upgrades are in the offing to be able to change the load. There’s always a potential equipent uprade you can make, but at some point we all need to know when it’s time to close the wallet and enjoy what we have. That’s the current plan. 

Willy-T hopefully my current system will work well for years to come, as is as I’m tapped out far as audio expenses go, short of pan-handling on the street or the stock market starts booming. Sounds like you did well with your trans impedance phono pre though.


was the Joni Mitchell track "Cotton Avenue" from Don Juan's Reckless Daughter? Epic bass - Jaco is such a natural fit for her later work, I really wish they had done more work together.

Jaco records on Hejera , Don Juan's Reckless Daughter, Shadows and Light and I think Mingus but, I am not sure of that one. He is the only electric bass player to make it into the Jazz Hall of Fame. He also has an extremely tragic history. He was most likely bipolar. During a manic phase he got into a fight with a bouncer who killed him with some kind of karate move to his face. At one point he was sleeping on benches in NYC. The greatest electric bass player that has ever lived living like a homeless person. The jazz community should be ashamed of itself. Joni Mitchell should be ashamed of herself. She knew what was happening to him. After he died I could not bear to listen to any Joni Mitchell album Jaco did not play on. 

@skyscraper , I hate to say I told you so:-) Excellent moves on both the arm and the cartridge. Next you need a MinusK platform. I love spending OPM. 

I have been waiting already 6 months I think on my Atlas. I have no idea when it is coming. I think he makes the cartridges in batches. The less expensive cartridges are made more frequently. 

These cartridges are made very accurately. I suggest three devices if you want to set you cartridge up perfectly, the Wally Reference, the Wally Skater and any protractor that will give you Loefgren B DIN. For well built cartridges this is all you need. 

Sounds like the EC500 uses internal SUTs for MC cartridges, judging from Dover’s quote of the specs. “40 ohms” would refer to the internal R of the cartridge for example. The 2.5 ohm inputs would probably be fine for the Kleos. But it is indeed a costly unit. Best and simplest and cheapest course of action would be to open the integrated and change the load resistance, if in fact that’s even a problem.

Nice to hear from you mijostyn, but don't think you're going to get me spend any more money on any more equipment. You've already overachieved in that department. I do like the Kleos so far and my dealer did a nice job of setting it up using all sorts of specialized equpment.

Jaco Pastorius did play on Joni Mitchells Mingus album. It's a shame he self destructed the way he did, but that's so often the case with people with mental illnesses, especially with those who self medicate with street drugs. It's a sad story and I'm glad to have retired from having to deal with it on a professional basis. 

Lewm, if I knew what I was doing I'd try opening up the Luxman integrated and make the change you suggest. Things are hopefully fine the way they are.