Who does not like the Lyra Dorian?

Just got one for my Linn LP12, and right off the detail was great, but it is very forward and bright. I am patiently waiting for it to warm up a bit so that I can make a real decision here, but I might suspect it is not to my taste (stress MIGHT, for I am known to misjudge these things in haste). I generally prefer a more spacious laid back sound, but the detail is seductive and it seems quite musical. I thought I would try something different, too firm an attachment to taste is questionable. Any thoughts?

By the way, I have Art Audio tube gear and Tetra speakers.
That was my experience too, though I did not listen to one with a huge number of hours on it, also on an LP12 as I recall. Cartridges in my experience only get a bit more lucid and warm as they break-in so I would encourage you to post after a time with your impressions should they change.
Try lowering the back end of the cart. until it breaks in. This usually will reduce brightness,
How many hours are on the cart? Don't even think about any judgment until 60 hrs or so.
Only heard one once in a system I'd never heard before but it sounded exactly as you describe and the system owners eventually replaced it with a Denon DL-103(!).
i have a lyra dorian and it doesn't come close to my mm's...decca maroon, audio technica 150, and garrott bros....it was a huge disappointment.
Dear Chashmal: Do you already contact directly with Lyra?, maybe they could help you about through a specific advise.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Interesting suggestion Raul. (Tremendous system you have by the way!)
I have ways of making it less bright, decreasing loading in the phono stage for one, but the issue for me is the soundstage. To be fair, it has very few hours. If need be I will contact Lyra. It sounds like you are a supporter of this cartridge.

So, do you (or anyone else) have an out and out positive thing to say about it?
Do you have a correct impedance on your V1 for the Dorian?
My cartridge took hundreds of hours to sound good...now its excellent (maybe it needs a retip its been so long). All kiding aside....live with it for awhile. Lyras are good cartridges, but they too take a while to break in.
Headsnappin has it right. Don't even think about definitive judgement until 60 (or more) hours. Of course, make sure all relevant adjustments and settings are correct. Good listening!
Misskuma: yes I do have the correct impedance. It is probably a break in situation. It already is sounding better, however I can tell that Stringreen is right. The break in might be more like 60 hours for full effect. Probably 20 till it passes, but another 40 to make a complete determination.

Thanks all.
Only heard one once in a system I'd never heard before but it sounded exactly as you describe and the system owners eventually replaced it with a Denon DL-103(!).

I ran the Denon DL103 and the 103R for close to 10 years and it is one of my favorite cartridges. But in no aspect is the Denon a better cartridge than the Lyra Argo (i) I own.

On the other hand if one is looking for a laid back sound the Lyras are definitely the wrong direction. Especially the last generation of Lyra cartridges is lively, direct, detailed, a little forward, with great attack and decays. Even the tonal balance of the Argo find spot on and it captures drums and percussion more realistically than almost any cartridge I have heard.

In you case, a Shelter, Koetsu, or Denon DL103 may be more to your taste.


Recently, I had the opportunity to hear the Lyra Olympos on my turntable. It was so resolving right out of the box that anything downstream was left naked with all its flaws apparent. If the Dorian is anything at all like the Olympos in its nature, you may, like me, begin to question other aspects of the system. On the otherhand, some rooms aren't suited for certain components, and the Dorian may be one of those components in yours. That said, you will rarely find a group of listeners who share the exact tastes. You may just like another cartridge better. I believe all of us have most likely been down that road.

A brand new Dorian shouldn't be excessively bright. Right out of the box mine sounded very nice (on an RB300/Acoustic Solid Wood). By way of comparison, I also have an Oracle V/Graham 2.2 w/Nightingale running into the same phono stage and system. Tonally, the Nightingale - which is fully run in - was "lusher", but similar to the Dorian. Both are nicely detailed. The bottom end of the Dorian system was fuller and a bit "woollier", but this may well be the RB300.

Personally, I prefer the Graham and agree that the Dorian feels a bit more forward, but the Lyra sounds very good to my ear. I can't help wonder if the issue lies in system matching somewhere in your chain.
Well Martykl maybe the forwardness is a more accurate term than brightness. I can adjust brightness with lowering loading in the phono preamp, so that's not the problem. I am just getting used to a more merciless attack. The dorian (at this early stage) is still quite severe, at hour 13 of the break-in.

I also must say that I am used to a totally different sound: a Benz Ace. This might be part of the problem. But what a nice problem to have!
Mosin you are a reasonable guy. The Dorian is resolving in a merciless way! It does certain things much much better than my Benz, but it shows no compasion to any flaw, in particular distortion, like in Chess recordings from the 50's. However Blind Lemon Jefferson, J.S. Bach, and Stockhausen never sounded so good.

Maybe I am beginning to like it (at about 16 hours)!

Yep, I believe you will like it in time. Unfortunately for me, I got only a taste of the wonderful, but unobtanium, Olympos. Remember, unforgiving can easily be associated with accurate, and sometimes those can be downright scary terms. I have let a cartridge alter my musical tastes on more than one occasion simply because it rendered a record differently. I suppose that's why I have extra cartridges that I will never play again...and records. You know, this can be a brutal hobby! ;)

I also think that much of the harsh reality is slowly being warmed up by the interaction of break-in and tube goodness! I have heard it said that Lyras might have been voiced with tube gear in mind. I am slowly coming to 'get it', but it is a shock indeed. One's aesthetic preconceptions can be quite daunting.
If you like the Benz sound, there are more refined versions than the Ace...
All warmed up after much play, and well....simply magnificent. I love this cartidge. Way better than my old benz ace.
Chasmal, how many hours did it take? I am vey curious to know your impressions.
Oh it is pretty interesting Ghanson. At first the detail sounded too bright and way too forward, very little space and air. At hour 10 there was some depth, but still bright and glaring. At hour 20 it warmed up, became quite spacious, and the detail began to really be interesting and brilliant as opposed to harsh. That was the suggested break in time.

But at hour 50, 60, and on to 75, WOW! It is really the cartridge I had hoped for, Don't get me wrong, it is still a forward sounding unit. But the positives far outweigh the negatives. I actually love it and plan on moving up the Lyra line when it needs replacing.

Hope that helps.
A minimum of 100 hours is more the rule.
The Lyra Dorian is an absolute keeper BUT requires proper alignment of zenith and azimuth as well as anti-skate force. Don't rely on simple guides... because it is a line contact stylus it requires high resolution alignment. Align the azimuth with a cross-talk record and an AC Voltmeter or cartridge analyzer. If the azimuth is not optimized then you will not realize the potential of this cartridge. Same for anti-skate - use a proper anti-skate LP - the Nautilus test record is nice.

If all that is proper then I think that it may be your matching to the preamp too. Read my primer on cartridge matching on the 6 moons site for more info:


IMHO the LYRA Dorian is definitely the best value MC catridges out there.
Jhendrixfan, what step-up did you have the best experience with?

I tried Lundahls and Wright tube phonostage, but had much better experience with Allen Wright's JLTI preamp, which brings out the strengths in my Lyra Argo (i) better than any other phonostages I tried (even compared to $4-7k phonos).
I recommend using Peerless mic transformers as step up devices. Or perhaps a custom transformer in Mu metal from David Slagle.

HOWEVER, I caution people about referring to "strengths" of a cartridge. The LYRA MC line is so balanced and revealing that it can be both blessing and curse. Some folks like more romantic sounding cartridges with more mid-range bloom. The LYRA is very accurate and not very tolerant of "just getting it close" when it comes to set-up. IMHO, larger elliptical styli are much more forgiving when it comes to set-up. Don't fret though, once the LYRA's are set-up properly they stay that way. So IMHO, they are not at all a finicky cartridge - especially after only 40-50 hours of break-in. They "lock in" and just sing their little butts off!

Again unless someone sets up MC cartridges practically for a living, very few people are qualified to adjust azimuth "by ear". As with everything there are exceptions and exceptional people BUT test equipment is the ONLY way to obtain truly objective information. These LYRA cartridges are NOT simply "adjust the body to mechanically level" and forget it! I have heard these cartridges when they are "slightly off" on azimuth and they seem "just OK". Whereas when properly set up they transform into a "most bang for the buck" value in MC cartridges nowadays.

The Argo i is a GREAT cartridge - I'm just not certain it is worth the extra loot over the Dorian. To me it just gets to be a law of diminishing returns but if you can afford it - God bless! So to me I deem it sagacious to invest the difference in price in a better step-up device, TT stand, plinth, tonearm or even the TT itself. I witness too many sound systems with too many other limiting factors in them to ever indict a LYRA or a Soundsmith re-done MC cartridge as the culprit.

In general, Audio "systems" are a HUGE system integration endeavor - many variables. Therefore it is very easy to simply focus on one or only a few things and vary them to counteract the shortcomings of the others.
I have the Lyra Dorian with an EAR 834p "deluxe" and a C220/MC275V. The first time I played it really opened my eyes. The only cartridge I had before that was a Grado Sonata, so I have limited experience.

I thought it was a little bit tipped towards the high's when I first got it. I think I just wasn't hearing as much of them as before. On my system it feels balanced. Drum hits and cymbals are awesome. I was stuck by how well flutes and voices sound. What struck me was that you could have that much detail and have a kind of fullness too.

After hearing the Skala it's not a let down, but let's me know there's more to be had as you move up the line.