Vinyl Heaven : Lyra Atlas on a Durand Talea 2

I am not usually given to expletives but WOW....this is sooo effing good I can't believe it. The Atlas has less than 6 hours on it.The Atlas replaced a Titan i and initially, I was a wee bit underwhelmed, as the cart loading was at 100 ohms,the same as the Titan. Switching to a 1000 ohmn loading was a revelation.The 1000 ohmn loading resistor on my Nagra VPS phono will presumably require some break in.
My quick and evolving first impressuions of the Atlas vs the Titan i : the Atlas does everything the Titan i does, except it does it a whole lot better. The traditional Lyra agility and speed( the Atlas is my 4th Lyra after the Helikon, Skala and Titan i)is there in loads except there is now an organic wholeness to the music with a longer sustain and decay of notes. In every respect, IMHO, the Atlas is way way better than my previous favorite cart, the Transfiguration Orpheus L.There is so much more detail being extracted from the grooves. Does the Atlas make all recordings sound good ?Far from it. It made me realise how crappy the Pink Floyd reissue of WYWH is.
Should point out that at the time the Atlas joined the party, the TT,a TW AC 1, also benefited from a major upgrade with the Black Night PSU and 3 motor unit.
If you ever contemplate an upgrade to the best, that the state of the art has to offer,you will do yourself a favor by auditioning the Atlas and the Durand Talea 2.
I have no relationship with any manufacturer.

Isn't it more or less a $20,000 combo? I'd expect it to sound good, good heavens.

Btw, can you elaborate on the crappy reissue of WYWH, please? I have it, and I agree it does not equal the quality of the original pressing, but did not find it "crappy." I'm just curious what made it so bad for you. And congratulations on your new cartridge.
I would expect this combination to perform every bit as described. However, have you considered what the Durand Telos may bring to the party?
excellent news ! I am getting real close to making a impulse purchase here! The
recent reviews and comments all seem outstanding!

I did try a E.A.R. MC 4 step up transformer with my Nagra VPS. It's a nice
addition (currently using a very low output (.18mv) Allaerts). I know the Lyra
allows me to skip this...

What arms did you use before your talea 2? Did you use a Tri Planar (like I
currently have) Any comments on the arm change? Thanks !!
The genius of the Telos (besides its merits as a great tonearm) is that it makes the Talea look like a reasonable idea, in terms of cost. You can buy a Talea and still feel good about yourself as a prudent consumer. I am working up to it.
Sunny, did you have the opportunity to isolate the performance of the arm and then the cartridge before the turntable change? If not, how can you be sure what is what?

I have just bought a new turntable with a 12" arm and a new cartridge. I'm doing everything to resist the urge to put them all in my system at once. So I'm comparing turntables first, with my old 9" arm and cartridge on the new TT. After a week or so I will switch the arms and listen for another week and finally I will add in the new cartridge. I want to be able to learn about the changes and be sure I understand what is doing what. It's a bit frustrating for sure, because of the time involved, its very educational.

Congratulations on the arm and cartridge. I've heard the Talea II, and it's excellent. Haven't read Fremer's review of the Atlas yet, but it must also be quite good. I did also upgrade my power supply and like many upgrades, it made a big difference.

Lewm makes an excellent point. Are there any arms that are more expensive than the Telos?
I have had my Atlas for close to 3 months now and it is a wonderful cartridge.

I have mine at 500 ohms with tubes and 320 ohms with SS phono.

JFrech, you know you want one :-)

It's not even close to 20k, way below thanks to a competitive trade in package in Singapore .Thankfully , I don't believe that more $$ equals better sound.
Now for that crappy bit. I thought I may have let my exuberance get the better of me. I revisited side 2 of the lp twice. IMHO the sparkle is missing. The music, particularly the vocals ,are overly compressed. The sound is congested , almost congealed . This is astonishing music, probably the best rock ever recorded, IME. The last track on side 2, Shine On Your Crazy Diamond, is a pain. This is music i have loved and cherished for 30 yrs or more. The cd is way superior. Just my 2 bits. YMMV.
From everything i have read I am sure that the Telos is a better arm. But at this level, I suspect, the improvements are miniscule. Telos owners will rightly disagree .
The Triplanar was my original arm and the Talea was intended as a second arm. I found the Talea to be way superior to the Triplanar and ended up trading it in for a motor and PSU upgrade for the TT.
Couldn't agree more with your approach. That's the sensible way to go. It was not feasible for me as I had traded in the original TW PSU and motor. I did , however, spin a few lps with the Titan I on the Talea I before mounting the Atlas. I played the same lps( Patrica Barber- Nightclub, Shelby Lynn, etc) with the new cart and wow couldn't believe the improvement. There was nothing amiss earlier except now there is so much more detail and musical enjoyment. I have had the Talea in my system for 18 months. All that has changed is the cart and an improved motor and PSU for the TT.
Sunnyboy , In your response to Peterayre you state that the "NEW" cartridge(Atlas)was an immediate major improvement over your Titan i.Did I read that correctly ?
Usually it takes me many hours before making a statement as to which top notch component is better.
The Atlas must be one hell of a cartridge to better the Titan i straight out of the box.
Enjoy your system
Fremer writes the same about the Atlas vs. the Titan i. Better in every way. I've never heard either, so can't comment.

congrats on the Atlas. i hope to hear one soon.
From everything i have read I am sure that the Telos is a better arm. But at this level, I suspect, the improvements are miniscule. Telos owners will rightly disagree.

the Talea 2 is a fantastic arm. i have one sitting on my NVS right next to my Telos. although right now i have the Miyajima Premium Mono Be on the Talea 2, i have had identical A90's in my system with both arms at once.

the differences between the 2 arms are not miniscule. at this level of performance it is degrees of wonderful we are speaking about. unless you had the 2 arms side by side it might be challenging to quantitate the degree of difference in an objective way, although the difference musically is significant. in my system i use my RTR master dubs as a reference; the Telos looks it in the eye and even spits on it sometimes (especially with the Ortofon Anna); the Talea 2 not quite.

in many ways they are cut from the same cloth; but then the Telos goes to a higher level at things.....and has a way of sounding real in a unique way which needs to be heard, words fail me.
Sunnyboy1956, the Telos is another leap of realism from the Talea. If you really want to hear perfection this would be my picks. The Atlas, Telos to the Tripoint Troy using the THOR grounding cable and the Ypsilon VPS-100 phono stage are my next upgrades. Enjoy your Atlas, I heard this cartridge and agree with your findings.
04-20-12: Mikelavigne

........the Telos looks it in the eye and even spits on it sometimes (especially with the Ortofon Anna).........

Mike, how does the Anna compare to the A90?
You are obviously right about the Telos. My intent was not to belittle a great arm, but a narrow and somewhat theoretical curiosity :if this is soo good,can it /does it get any better than this? Fortunately I may never find out as I don't have enough real estate on my wall mounted TT rack to accommodate a 12" arm.
My point precisely. Straight out of the box the Atlas is a superior cart to the Titan i.
A slight digression on the Floyd reissues: The Wall is really good
You are obviously right about the Telos. My intent was not to belittle a great arm, but a narrow and somewhat theoretical curiosity :if this is soo good,can it /does it get any better than this? Fortunately I may never find out as I don't have enough real estate on my wall mounted TT rack to accommodate a 12" arm.

it sounds like you need a new wall mounted TT rack. :-))

i did not take your comment as belittlement in any way, i realize that until one hears the Telos it is hard to imagine things getting much better than the Talea 2. when Joel initiially brought over the prototype of the Telos i was skeptical too......but not for very long.

Mike, how does the Anna compare to the A90?

this is an Atlas thread. you can read this post and following posts from my system page speaking to your question.
You are obviously right about the Telos. My intent was not to belittle a great arm, but a narrow and somewhat theoretical curiosity :if this is soo good,can it /does it get any better than this? Fortunately I may never find out as I don't have enough real estate on my wall mounted TT rack to accommodate a 12" arm.
My point precisely. Straight out of the box the Atlas is a superior cart to the Titan i.
A slight digression on the Floyd reissues: The Wall is really good
I don't know how I ended up making the same post twice! Sorry.
We may have a common friend/ acquaintance who shuttles between Singapore and Seattle and helped me with the Atlas. Small world!
The Atlas continues to mesmerise ....Happy days are here.
Thanks to all Agoners for the positive support and encouragement .
Hi all. Very informative thread. I have a Graham Phantom II with an Ortofon A90. I have just enough funds for ONE upgrade.
What would be the biggest (sonically speaking) ROI ?
Should i replace the tonearm with a Talea 2 ?
Should i bring the Phantom to Supreme status ?
Should i replace the A90 with an Atlas ?

FYI, TT is Sota Cosmos IV. Just can not live without vacuum hold down.
Phono stage is ARC Phono 2 modded by Steve Huntley.

Word of wisdom anyone??

The change of the TW BN power supply is primarily a quieter background (this depends on your home electrical system somewhat) and a more relaxed sound. I have A/B'd the 2 extensively. Just to help you isolate the differences.

I love my Titan I so much I don't want to hear what you and others have to say. I much prefer my denial. But between you, Shane, and Fremer I am being pushed towards an upgrade. Is the Titan worth holding onto after the fact? I have found the Titan I a better cartridge than my Allearts for less than perfect pressings. Makes them a touch more listenable.

And I have the WYWH SACD,CD, original pressing and the reissue. The SACD is extremely poor IMO. The vinyl reissue is much better, but the CD is better than both and my original pressing is excellent but a little softer sounding than the CD.
Am grateful to you and Dev for highlighting the sonic virtues of the BN PSU/motor upgrade.You were spot on regarding a quieter background. In a sense it reminds me of my battery driven Sutherland Phd which i had years ago. I suspect if the mains supply is less than optimal(which is defintely true in my part of the world) the greater the discernible impact of the BN upgrade.
You owe yourself a listen to the Atlas and methinks you will come away bewitched!
ROI in high end audio, even sonically speaking,IMHO,is a bit of an oxymoron.There are many here on Agon who have more wisdom/experience to comment.Unless you are clear what you are looking for, I suspect the comments of others may be of limited value.Speaking of carts, would urge you to audition both the Atlas and the Ortofon Anna and go with whatever rocks your sonic boat.
Hi Smoffat

I do not think you should be in any hurry to buy an Atlas if your A90 is still working fine.
That said I believe the Atlas is the better sounding cartridge. imo, the a90 is smooth and slightly relaxed in its delivery. The Atlas is faster with better,dynamics. Both are very pure sounding. You could buy another arm wand and the Atlas. You could swap between then :-)

I guess I should upgrade my v1 phantom to a supreme on day?
anyone on the main sq differences?

Darren, keep your titan and just buy an Atlas when funds permit. Best of both worlds

i've not heard the Atlas, neither do i have a feel for the Phantom II compared to the Supreme.

i do think strongly that getting the best tonearm is highest on my list as an overall system building approach. and the Talea 2 would likely end up the bigger overall step up compared to a cartridge upgrade. i know what stepping up to the Talea 2 was from the Reed's, Triplaner, and even the Talea 1. i view the Atlas in the similar catagory as the Anna, and i'd rather go to Talea 2 from the Phantom II, than from the A90 to the Anna....especially if you already enjoy the A90. i lived with the A90/Talea 2 combo very happily for awhile.

i also agree with Downunder that you are at a pretty high level and no great need for a change. if you like where you are then enjoy.
Thanks Sunnyboy, Downunder and Mike Lavigne. This is the wisdom i was looking for. I think i will stay put for a while on the analog front since i have an ARC Ref 150 on order to replace my old Classic 120 mono's (circa 1990).
You guys "rock".
IMHO, Phantom dealer disclaimer. I have spent time listening to both the Graham Phantom Supreme and the Talea 2. Both are interesting: however, I would think you may prefer the out-of-the-way presentation of the Graham Phantom Supreme, great engineering, simply SUPER!

From there make your cartridge choice, I love what both Lyra and Ortofon bring to the platter...the A2's, both nice!

Dealer disclaimer for the Ortofon Anna; owner of the Lyra Olympos and Olympos SL.

Unoear, You are in a unique position, if you have heard both the Talea 2 and the Supreme in your home system. Can you amplify on the differences between them that you perceive? When you say that the Supreme offers an "out of the way" presentation, do you mean to infer that the Talea may be "in the way" to some degree? That is, do you think it adds a coloration of some kind? Thanks for any comment.
Unoear, I, too, would be quite interested in this comparison. These are two of the really good arms.
I am revisiting this thread to retract some inelegant words I used to describe the reissue WYWH lp. With a Hydra Triton( still breaking in with less than 40 hrs on it) replacing a Hydra VRay power conditioner, the Pink Floyd album is ,IMHO quite a musical treat with the compression/congestion reduced to a point I can happily live with.
Hi Pradeep, I have a Atlas in my system now. I am still playing around with
loading. I only have a few loading cards (33, 100, 330, and 847ohm) I can
order more. I also have a EAR MC 4 Step up transformer and a moving
magnet card for the 2nd input.

I just put in my 847 ohm to card to listen to...I seem to like this or the EAR
MC4 using it's 12ohm tap. But I can't use the SS gain on the Nagra with the
MM&SUT seems like it overloads...and just to much gain on the volume...

Are you using the solid state or just tube gain? Are you still on the 1000 ohm
card? Thanks.

And yes this Lyra Atlas is good ;-)
Hi John
Congrats on your Atlas. I have been using the tube gain on the Nagra for many years now after you suggested the possibility.I have alternated between 470 ohm and 300 ohm but honestly its not a day and night difference or a clear preference either way. Each loading card , I suspect requires some break in. For the present am sticking to 470 ohms . I will switch to the 300 ohm at some point. There are way too many system dependent variables.
THe reviews of the Atlas eg Tone Audio suggest a 1k loading, if I am not mistaken.
The 1k card did not work for me.
This a great cart and I am sure you are going to have a ball.
I heard the Rockport Aviors in Singapore a couple days back and was mighty impressed.
Must be old age or dementia setting in ! I have done a fair bit of to and fro between the 300, 470 and 1k loadings and the 1k is my preferred setting. Sorry for the confusion.
It's wide accuses me of much more ;-).

I searched all over....100, 300, 837, 1000, I've gone back to my EAR MC SUT and using a MM input card on the Nagra. Seems to add more weight to the notes, more life, bigger deeper wider stage. Using the Nagra MC card seems a touch more transparent and the bass tigher..but the SUT maybe a goes down a bit lower.

This EAR MC 4 is the first external transformer I've tried...It's pretty special in combo with the Nagra VPS...I thought for sure when I got the Lyra Atlas and it's higher output..I'd go back to the Nagra direct...but as a of now...nope...I am still going back and forth some...
Dear Sunnyboy, I hope you are well.
I saw your discussion on Lyra Atlas and Durand Talea II.
Several questions please :
a/ What Turntable did you get ?
b/ Preamp phono ?
c/ Phono cable ?
Me I get Lenco 75MKII by Jean Nantais, Graham Phantom Suprem II, Lyra Atlas , Nordost Odin phono cable and Whest Audio MCREFV and wold like to know the impact with this tonearm Duran Talea II ?
Many thanks for your answers,
all the best
kind regards,
jean-marc, a french guy...
Hi Jean Marc
I have two TTs, a Garrard 401, with a 12" Ortofon R-309D arm and a Lyra Atlas that plugs into an Ortofon 80SE SUT and then into the MM input of a Nagra VPS phono. The other TT is a TW AC upgraded to BN status with a Talea 2 arm and a Transfiguration Proteus cart. This plugs into the MC input of the Nagra phono. All phono cables are Audience AU 24 SE except the cable on the Ortofon arm that is the stock el Cheapo cable which I am trying to upgrade.
Originally the Atlas was mounted on the Talea 2 but this is no longer feasible .
I hope I have responded to your queries. Do PM if you want more details.
Have a great weekend
Fot that much money it should be.
"Fot that much money it should be."

My thought's exactly on most of the expensive toys often seen in these parts. Otherwise, why bother?
Sunnyboy...have you compared the Atlas to the Etna? When I heard the 2 (on an unfamiliar system) I seemed to favor the Etna. Any thoughts??
I have no experience of the Etna but friends who rave about it.
Ebn and Mapman
Gentlemen, its the opposite of what you infer. The Atlas mounted on a Garrard 401 with a 12' Ortofon arm is clearly superior to the TW rig with the Talea.
Not this week.
Must be a dark lonely winter...