Replacing Lyra Kleos at end of its life need suggestions as to what next?


I purchased a slightly used Lyra Kleos on Audiogon awhile back and its now probably close to retirement. 

I have enjoyed the cartridge and considered upgrading to the Lyra Etna but its rather expensive.  I thought about getting another Kleos but think want to upgrade rather than simply replace.

A couple dealers have suggested either a Soundsmith Hyperion or a ZYX Universe III.  The ZYX is roughly the cost of the Etna so that gives me pause.

Complicating matters neither of the dealers are local so would have to mount the pricey cartridge myself or with the assistance of friends in or out of the audiogon community.  

I have a Lenco L75 idler wheel direct drive turntable that has an upgraded plinth among other things and am using a Dartzeel phono/line preamplifier.

I listen to wide assortment of music including jazz, rock, and singer/songwriter stuff.....but not classical music....

any thoughts welcome

thanks

Michael

radioheadokplayer
Please define "end of life" as it pertains to the cartridge.  If it is only a worn stylus, Soundsmith can replace it with a new one of similar or better profile.  I have a Clavis DC in the hands of Soundsmith for repair as I write this.
The best Soundsmith can do is a stock Namiki boron cantilever with standard line contact stylus. This will be at the level of Delos and guaranteed worse as no rebuild is a perfect rebuild. 

Kleos has a Lyra proprietary stylus shape, which is most likely custom built by Namiki. 

Lyra takes trades. Trade it in for a new Kleos or Etna. What is there to even think about?
Buy a.Myajima Shilabe or others from this company and leave the competition in the dust!
I suggest staying with a Lyra Kleos if they will give you trade for a new one, that will be your cheapest route to stay with a very high end cartridge.
Not sure Lyra will rebuild it, they will send you a new one in trade.
 Or I would go with the Etna.  
I would discuss this with Andy Kim at phono cartridge retipping. 
Why anyone would recommend a third party rebuilding a cartridge over the manufacturer is beyond me.
  You end up with a cartridge that is not original and harms future resale 

  Lyra do rebuild their cartridges and the trade in allowance is vwry good.
thanks for all the suggestions....I thought about trading in the cartridge but if I need a new cartridge want a different and better cartridge.
While I would happily get a Lyra Etna even with a trade in its too expensive (assuming I have to pay the MSRP for the Etna).  Even if the manufacturer provided 20 percent off the Etna that would still mean $7,000.  I would not spend more than $5,000 on any cartridge.
If you can't afford Etna, go with Kleos. Rocket science?
yes if wanted to make life easy would get another kleos but wanna try something different
If you want something different get an EMT. Very underrated, but very good, and available in your price range. Get the Kleos retipped and keep it as a spare
What turntable / tonearm / Phono preamp do you have ? It’s hard to better the Lyra Cartridges.  If I was to have only one cartridge the Lyra Etna would definitely be it. 

Good listenig 

Peter
If you want a cart better sounding than the Kleos, but can't afford the Etna.

Dynavector XV-1s.   superb cart.

there are a few used ones on gon now.
If you want to upgrade from the Kleos, please send the Kleos to me. I can help dispose of the cartridge. I will even pay shipping and more.  Seriously.
I would consider the Ortofon A90 or A95 if your phono pre can handle to lower output.  These will perform similar to the Kleos but with more energy and neutrality. The ZYZ cartridges are great but definitely a different house sound compared to Lyra.  Fun choices to make!
Your setup problem is something to really ponder
... imo a much better cartridge setup wrong will sure lead to disappointment and or damage

if possible establish a trusting relationship with local analog TT experts

i have a DELOS setup by an expert that sings....

good of luck in your search for what seems like a flavor change, which imo is ok
Hi Michael (@ radioheadokplayer),

If I hear you correctly, your current ideal cartridge would be a "better" Kleos (i.e. an Etna). If that’s the case, then you’ve (in a sense) answered your own question - to stay with Lyra.

It’s difficult to get a read on someone’s preferences through a discussion on the interwebz, but unless you’re looking to try a different flavor, I think you’d be less happy with Ortofon/Dynavector/ZYX.

Note that I said less happy and not unhappy. These are all very fine cartridges, and while I sell and endorse Ortofon, Dynavector, Koetsu and Lyra, I’ve sent many an individual to Mehran for a ZYX when my read on them was that ZYX was the answer for them.

If Lyra’s virtues are something you don’t want to give up, and an Etna/Etna SL is out of reach, then I’d consider either a Soundsmith rebuild or a trade-in toward a Kleos SL. I believe your Dartzeel has sufficient gain for the lower output of the SL.

I get the argument that a retip will not be the same cartridge. Having recently set up one of my Stelvios with a Durand Kairos and a Soundsmith serviced Kleos (cantilever/stylus replacement) I can tell you that Peter is getting it down - retaining the essence of Lyra.

Let’s say that it’s not a perfect carbon copy of a new Kleos. It will most certainly be closer to your Kleos than a new Ortofon, Dyna or ZYX would be.

Furthermore, it sounds as if your cantilever/suspension is in good shape. Peter’s philosophy is to change as little as possible when servicing a cartridge, and in your case that might be so little as a retip.

The very worst case is that you’d have a cartridge that’s very close to your Kleos, but that the difference annoys you. You have a cartridge you might relegate to backup duties - for something on the order of $500.

The next step up would be a trade-in toward a Kleos SL.

Yes, you’re a potential candidate for an XV1s. It has a bouncier, bolder, more prominent upper bass with slightly less extended highs (slightly). It’s a bit more vivid (in a technicolor way) than the Lyra. I tend to like the Dynavector on rock ’n roll. The XV1s hits you in the chest. The Lyra family navigates fast, right hand piano runs and female voice (upper registers in general) like nobody’s business.
Of course, I’m splitting hairs in an attempt to describe something that’s basically impossible to do in a meaningful way.

Cheers,
Thom @ Galibier Design
I appreciate how many people reached out here to me...

this community is a great resource for the audio pursuit.

I do intend to retip the Kleos through Soundsmith so as to have as a backup cartridge.

I am acquiring a Soundsmith Hyperion cartridge.  My Dartzeel Phono Preamplifier is not easy to change the loading (requires opening the unit and soldering) so wanted to a cartridge that would work with the existing loading of my Dartzeel and not require a lot of loading experimentation. 

this cartridge also has a reputation for being relatively easy to set up and maintain.  I will probably also need to get an upgraded arm in the near future and this cart seems not to be especially picky about tonearms.

Most of all it seems respected for its sonics by many people that I trust.  I wanted a cart that was very adept at a wide range of music and this cart has a good reputation in that respect.  Finally it is expensive but not exorbitant.  It helps that its backed by a 10 year warranty and a very generous retipping policy.  
Very cool @radioheadokplayer. Please let us know what you think.  I have the Zephyr MIMC star mounted on a Morch DP-8 and enjoy its fidelity very much.  I'm sure you will love the Hyperion.  
Just a question: does Lyra not rebuild their own carts anymore?

Now, I hope I don't make anyone mad, but I recently read about a certain non-lyra rebuild of one of their carts, and it was a downgrade-not an upgrade. Part of what makes the designs is the cantilever and tip. 

I can't speak of the cost or the sound, perhaps having a  rebuild for less money with cheaper materials makes a lot of sense, just, maybe a little perspective. 

What about, say, a high output to a low output version? I can see a case where upgrading the phono stage and going low output on a lyra could be as much an upgrade in sound as the next step up in the cart line.
Dear @radioheadokplayer :  Exist no one re-tipper that can does the job for your Kleos but Lyra and are very good reasons to that because Lyra as other top manufacturer in reality does not re-tipp but gives you a " new " cartridge/a reborn.

The manufacturers as Lyra will send you back a Kleos with all the up-dates Lyra made through the time and that they just not shares public. So you will receive a better Kleos that with top cartridges no re-tipper but the designer/manufacturer can even the quality required level because the cantilever and stylus that are supplied to Lyra ( between other things. ) are " exclusive " to very selected Lyra  designer targets that no re-tipper ( after market. ) can even and additional to that critical issue only Lyra/designer can voice that Kleos with certainty of that voicing proccess: only J.Carr can do it, no re-tipper can.

Yes, it's more affordable use an after market re-tipper but not the real best way to do it with top cartridge models as your Kleos.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.


I don't think the question has been answered, but are you sure your cart is at the end of it's life? 

What gives you that indication? Have you had it checked?
I might consider kleos too to retip unless they want more than 50 percent of cost of cart.

I dont think kleos is worn but might be in autumn of its life....

I estimate have 2000 hours on it but could me more dont keep log after all




spoke to customer service for Lyra and cost to retip
is $2,100
@radioheadokplayer : Again, not a simple retip.

R.
Lyra has a fantastic customer service. $2100 for what will be a new cartridge is a great deal. I ask again, what is there to even think about?
hi,

retipping the kleos take 3-4 months and cost $2100 whereas can buy new Kleos for $3000 and often much less. 

perhaps for some that is a no brainer but to me its questionable value.

in any event I dont want to use same cartridge on same TT so not sure why some people here keep parroting this is no brainer  just get lyra ro retip for $2100

If after new cart breaks in I miss Lyra sound might consider trade in for Kleos SL but otherwise might just sell as is 


Dear @radioheadokplayer : Why don't ask directly to the Lyra designer?, you can do it here:

https://www.audiogon.com/users/jcarr/feedbacks

R.
radiohead,

I have been a Lyra/Scantek Guy since 1988. Raul’s advice is right on. Do contact J Carr at the link he provided.

Retip by Lyra would be best as far as retiping goes, but “Needle Doctor” will send you a brand new Kleos in trade for $2600. Will last for years. 

It really is the best way to go if you liked Your Kleos. Good sound costs $; Great sound costs $$. Lyra sound is, Lyra sound. 

If you want to try a different sound; I like the Dynavector on my Kuzma.
You seem to be taking a sensible path. I get not wanting to spend money, just to get the same thing. After all, when we get the audiophile disease, we want to spend money to UPGRADE...lol

Just to throw this out there, (I kinda said it before), but upgrading the other phone components might be a more effective way to spend the upgrade money. 

Lyra carts may be a matter of taste, but regardless of preference, most agree they are VERY capable carts. Tonearms and phono stages can change the game. In fact, unless they are absolutely top-notch, spending more on a cart might not get you half of what they are capable of. 

Smart move to hang onto it and try a different cart- if you discover you are for sure into the lyra sound/capabilities, revisit. 

Might throw this out too...before you decide to send it in, it's a real good idea to see IF it needs a rebuild yet in the first place.
I removed the Kleos cartridge and will be retipping it with Soundsmith.

We put a Soundsmith Hyperion on the table and its a tremendous cartridge. Transparent yet rich with wonderful channel separation and deep tight bass.

The Kleos is an excellent cartridge too and before it became somewhat worn it was very enjoyable and can easily see installing it retipped in my second system where I am currently enjoying an Ortofon A90.

Thanks for everyone’s input and the able assistance of Dan Meinwald at Ear Audio USA who installed it for me and of course Jonathan Tinn for recommending and selling me the cartridge at a nice price.

I still think that a better arm would take it up another level and will consider that in the future as well.
I hope you will post your impressions after the retip and also with the Hyperion after it has some time on it. I am also considering this route and would very much appreciate anything you care to share.
Thanks
The Kleos is a great cartridge.  I am really liking my Delos right now.  If I was going to look at carts, I would look at the ortofon Winfield Ti,  just fabulous.
Hi.  I just wrote a mini review of my turntable, the Artisan Achates SE. and it is also a Lenco-based turntable.  I used the Lyra Kleos SL and now have the Etna.   I can assure you a well-executed Lenco-based idler is worthy of an Etna, but the Kleos SL is a giant killer and capable of amazing sound.  You should click on the links in my review.  Those 2015 Axpona videos and reviews were with my table and they were using the Kleos SL.  With that set-up, Michael Fremer said this was his favorite room of the whole show.   They accomplished that with a Kleos SL.   
I forgot to add...I believe when you send your Kleos in for a rebuild, you can request that they convert it to an SL.  The SL is 0.25 mV output and the Etna is 0.56mV, but the difference is only approximately 3dB.  My volume dial was at 10:00 o’clock with the Kleos SL and 9:00-9:30 with the Etna.  I was surprised, but not much of a difference.   Both are loaded at 183 ohms via a 1:16 step-up into a 47 kOhm tubed phono.  
I had Kleos, Skala and Titan i. Only the Kleos for longer and on some LP´s it sounds great. On others it is too much HighEnd to my ears.
But asking about which cartridge to buy is very difficult to answer. Problem is, that the fewest of all are not really well build.
I have a VdH Frog which was especially build for me and in my ears it sounds better than all Lyra´s i heard (EMT JSD6, Phasemation PP300, DV XX2MKII, Transfiguration Phoenix S too)
But i have had some Frog´s with fabrication defect...
I think the Hyperion is a great thing to test. My MIMC is the most neutral cartridge i ever heard.
Invictus-  as I listen to my Delos I bet it would sound great on your new rig from what I remember about SME, did you ever try one?