I auditioned Lyra quite a while ago; I've been using Koetsu Urushi Tsugaru since a few years, on an LP12 with Well Tempered arm. I remember the Lyra was impressive but it doesn't have the stunning midrange magic of the Koetsu.
No experience with that Lyra (still have an old Clavis in a second system) but run an Urushi in my main system and have never felt the need to look any further!
I've had exactly the carts you asking about.
Lyra Kleos and Koetsu Urushi Blue.
They are difficult to compare directly, since they need different SUTs and tonearm.
supposedly, Koetsu needs a heavier arm, then Lyra, due to lower compliance.
but from what I gather, I always had a feeling, that Lyra has more "energy" in the treble, that serves some recordings better, than the others.
Koetsu is more balanced and has somewhat more body and bass foundation.
The highs are NOT rolled-off in the least, and it's very musical.
overall, I've found Koetsu more to my taste.
A lot of myths about Koetsu, like " it's soft, polite, rolled off and has loose bass" are simply not true, and are likely a result of incorrect pairing with both tonearm and SUT.
I agree with Maril on the sound qualities of the Urushi. I think all Koetsu's get lumped with the original Rosewood, which perhaps does/did have those shortcomings in the extreme bass and extreme treble registers. The Urushi does not, and neither do any of the few higher end Koetsu cartridges I have heard.
Lewm I have long thought what you posted...since I have not heard most of the Koetsu range, I was never sure of the sound. I recently heard a new Rosewood Signature..and i thought it was a good cart but certainly not at the level of some of the other new designs from Lyra, My Sonic or Air Tight....But then I have not heard the other contenders in the Koetsu line. I sure hope that what you say is correct. It would make sense.
Dear @daveyf : """
I need at least 0.3mv of output for my phono stage."""
at least?. I think your CAT has enough gain for the 0.2 mv KRSP and will handle easily.
Now, The KRSP is better " refinned " Koetsu design than the Urushi. In the other hand the Urushi good as it's is not in he same league than the My Sonic Labs or even the Kleos or AT that you name it.
The KRSP is an excelent performer and has higher price than the Kleos. I think you can't go wrong with either of these cartridges.
Regards and enjoy the music,
Raul, the CAT phono stage gets very noisy as the cartridge output dips below 0.3mv in my system. Please note that I do not have very efficient speakers, so the amp has to work a lot harder to drive the speakers..and therefore the preamp has to do the same with the amp. I used to own a Benz cartridge that put out 0.2mv....the phono stage was way too noisy!
Are you saying that you think the Kleos is a superior cartridge to the Urushi? But not to the KRSP? The Kleos is a lot less expensive than the KRSP..at least in the US.
Dear @daveyf : Then the KRSP is not for your system.
Regarding the Kleos/Urushi I prefer the Kleos that shares the Atlas cartridge technology. I heard the Urushi in my system but never vs the Kleos at the same time.
We have to listen in each one system the Kleos to understand its very high quality performance and IMHO if some one thinks diferent I can say that it’s not the Kleos but the mated audio system.
Now, I can't know how the Kleos or any other cartridge could performs in your " weird/strange " TT/tonearm combination.
Regards and enjoy the music,
I have owned the Kleos and used w/ the CAT Renaissance Pre......
mostly w/ a VPI Classic 3 TT. I like many other VPI owners
did not find the Kleos to be a good match and I think in my case,
the CAT didn't like it either.......
I have no experience w/ the Koetsu, but currently am running a Transfiguration Proteus on a VPI HRX and it is everything the Kleos
was not, and I've also heard the similarly priced Axia from Transfig
and it also is a great match........but with both, I would use a
great SUT with the CAT, which will also quiet it down......I use a Hashmito HM7 based transformer from Traditions Audio, which is around 12-1400
Eric, what did you not like about your Kleos..? did you run it straight into the CAT or did you use the SUT? The Kleos has a lot more output than the Proteus ( BTW I think the Proteus is a GREAT cartridge!) so, if you were using the SUT with the Kleos, that might well account for the differences. Have you tried running the Proteus into the CAT without the SUT? Also, doesn't the CAT Renaissance have a built in SUT now, as well as the all tube phono stage?
Dear @stewart0722 : """
I like many other VPI owners
did not find the Kleos to be a good match... """
well, then the problem is in the VPI and not the Kleos because it's not the cartridge the one that should match a tonearm but the other way around. The OP has not VPI but a way different TT/tonearm.
Yes, the Proteus is very good performer.
Regards and enjoy the music,
The reason the Kleos doesn't match well with VPI tables is because both exhibit a leaning toward dark.........It's not a VPI thing, it's true of most suspension-less high mass turntables......
To say it's one's components FAULT or the other is ridiculous, it's a matter of synergy and that is true of all components.......so we have a tube preamp that is not a great match for a certain solid state amp of another brand......do we then say "Well it must be the amps fault, because that preamp was designed to work perfectly WITH ANY AMP" LOL
Do we try a pair of cables on a pair of loudspeakers, and we find less than a great musical match, so we then try to figure out which component is at fault????
Hint: Neither of them are at fault......
It's a matter of a series of synergistic matches among components in a system......and that is why most audiophiles at the very high end swap out dozens of components before settling on an end game......
I've heard the Kleos sound great on an Oracle turntable.....I've heard it sound very dark on a VPI table.....so what?????
I've heard transig and ortofon sound great on VPI.........don't know about Koetsu.....
It's all about synergistic matching.....not about finding blame......with components that were never designed with each other in mind......
Dear @stewart0722 : I respect your opinion.
Why said I that the problem is not the Kleos?:
other than the LP the cartridge is the star in an analog rig and its very first " slave " is the tonearm not the other way around.
So if any one wants to choose a cartridge and only that cartridge he needs to know the best tonearms to serves it and if that gentleman does not own the right tonearm then he needs to change his tonearm.
The Kleos is a very very good quality performer and if in an audio system the owner did not like it is then exist a " fault " somewhere in the system, ( where belongs not only the tonearm. ) that could includes a wrong cartridge set up too.
Yes, synergy is the answer.
and that is why most audiophiles at the very high end swap out dozens of components before settling on an end game. """
maybe is because they have not a repeateable and valid methodology system to detect audio system link problems in the whole audio chain.
With out that " severe " and wide methodology process you just can't do it.
Regards and enjoy the music,
Synergy is the answer?
To repeat a opinion without any knowlege again and again until it will be transformed into a fact?
Maybe in Mexico where they still think the VW Beetle is an ultimate car...
normally knowledge is the better way to go but we all know, not everyone supports this
My Kleos sounds absolutely stunning driving an ARC Ref 2SE phono. The Kleos sounded great on my PH8 but the improvement with the Ref2 SE was staggering - all other components were the same.
1) Phono stage makes a huge difference - especially with low output MC cartridges
2) Not everyone who owns a particular component can say he knows its full character and is getting the best out of it. This is especially true of a high end, hand-made phono cartridges. My impression of the Kleos thru the REF 2SE is very different than before with the PH8. It still sounds like a Kleos but far more dimensional, dynamic, and musical. I would not describe it as dark with either the PH8 or Ref 2SE.
I’ve never been tempted by a Koetsu because I won’t buy a cart that does not have threaded mounting holes. I am extremely meticulous about set-up. Why mess with needle nose pliers on tiny nuts if I don’t have too? My focus is on precise set-up and threaded holes make this so much easier.
The other thing about Koetsus are those stone boxes. While beautiful - and so many to choose from - I'm missing the design element there. They look like little legos bricks or monopoly hotels. I'd rather put my money on an amazing body using some state-of-the art, "out-of-the-box" thinking. Look at the Dynavector Xv1s or the Lyra Atlas. There I see design innovation and if I’m spending over 5K that’s what I want.
Other tastes/demands vary. It's a fun hobby. You should get what makes you happy.
I own a Koetsu Urushi matched with a Classic II VPI JMW 10.5 inch Tonearm. I use a Bob’s Device SUT set at 1:20, matched with a Conrad Johnson TEA2 high gain phono amp. These components were personally recommended to me by the manufacturers of all these fine components. I think this setup sounds better than any I had in my system in years.
I am looking at buying a Kleos for my second table, an AVID Volvere with an SME V tonearm. It’s matched with another Bob’s Device SUT and Cary preamp. Anyone have thoughts on how this potential matchup would sound compared to the Koetsu setup.
Will be keeping both both tables in my system. My preamp and power amp are Cary, run through Acoustic Zen speakers.
Koetsu cartridges have had threaded mounting holes for several years now. I have a couple of older Koetsus without it, and I agree it's a bummer. And trust me, I too thought that the little $10K polished lego bricks were stupid until I heard one!
Can't help you on the Kleos, but I agree the Koetsu & Bob's Devices SUT combination is amazing. It's hard to imagine anything beating that paring for musicality, but I see the appeal of also having a more "technical" perspective (e.g. Lyra, Ortofon exclusive line) available on a 2nd arm or table.
Oh well, I took the plunge and ordered the Kleos today. I want the option to listen to my records analytically, and the Kleos will do that in spaces I hope. The Koetsu is pleasing beyond words and will stay on the VPI. The Kleos will relieve a Miyajima Zero on my SME V Tonearm/AVID Volvere TT. I enjoy listening to mono records and the Miyajima does a very nice presentation, but It took me years to setup the Miyajima up properly, and I have listened to all my mono records many times over, so the Miyajima will get a rest for now.
Hardly ever post stuff on the net and neither do most of my audio acquaintances but .....
Urushi Wajima on several arms I have outperforms the Lyra and XV1s in my system comfortably. I never understood the criticism of soft bass etc on the Urushi. Mine slams hard and solid and is incredibly dynamic and musically fluid and less hifi'ish than those other 2. Loading on active stages around 100 ohms and with SUT, around 5 to 10 ohms. If you want to hear ridiculous midband dynamics with the Urushi, a really good SUT is the way to go. A transformer is the only way to get decent power transfer, though there may be limitations at the frequency extremes especially with inferior devices.
IMHO naturally. My audio buddies completely agree.