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High, Low and Super Low Output Moving Coil Cartridges

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  • High, Low and Super Low Output Moving Coil Cartridges

    Which rules in your book?
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    In what areas do you expect that the sl version of the Lyra Atlas cartridge will be better than the 'regular' atlas cartridge, Myles?

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll be the odd guy out and say NONE. I prefer MM/MI cartridges. While MC ( in whatever flavour) certainly provides more detail, I personally think it comes at some expense. There is too much attention to detail and not enough on the warmth of a voice.

      Should I be handing in my card?
      Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

      Comment


      • #4
        A low DCR or internal resistance is my measuring stick, output voltage is the consequence of whether the designer used good design practices or not. I noticed the Atlas SL has half the DCR of the standard vers. but at the expense of a lower output voltage. My Sonic Labs is perhaps one of only two mfr I'm aware of that has 'cracked the code' if you will, by giving us a very low DCR (0.6 ohm!) and a relatively high output of 0.3mV.
        Simon Yorke S10 + My Sonic Lab Eminent GL + B.M.C. MCCI Signature ULN | Simon Yorke S9 + Koetsu Rosewood Standard + AcousticPlan Phonomaster | Wadia X-32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

        "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

        Comment


        • #5
          First, the Atlas and Atlas SL cartridges are electrically different; the SL version has a lower internal impedance. If you read the literature for the Haniwa or My Sonic MC cartridges, they believe also that reducing the internal impedance improves phase response. From the Haniwa literature:

          "The inductance of cartridge is as important as its impedance. The lower inductance, realized by reducing the coil turns, improves the phase characteristics of cartridge. By this, the peak of pulse response gets higher, and the transient response sharper. This sharpness of sound creates the natural presence of music, as if players are performing just in front of you."

          Lyra Atlas Super Low Output
          • Coils: single layer, 6 N high-purity copper, chemically-purified high-purity iron cross-shaped former, 1.52 ohm self-impedance, 1.9μH inductance
          Lyra Atlas Normal 0.56 mV output
          • Coils: 2-layer deep, 6N high-purity copper, cross-shaped chemically-purified high-purity iron former, 4.2ohm self-impedance, 11uH inductance
          Decreasing the mass of the coils should make the cartridge even responsive to tracing the grooves and reducing groove jitter (eg. increasing time of groove contact), increasing resolution and the upper octaves. Interestingly, things are rarely equal but here there are. Many people argue over the benefits of lowering the output and coil turns but sometimes manufacturers change tip mass making the question moot. But here Jonathan basically kept the same cartridge and AFAIK just changed the mass of the coils.

          And people have always talked about the "magic" of the super low output cartridges but back then who had a phono section capable of dealing with that sort of output? So audiophiles resorted to SUT with their own set of problems and issues, in many cases, losing the fine detail that one was hoping to capture. Look at some of todays finest cartridges like the ZYX, Ortofon, Ikeda, Kondo Io, etc. They all have outputs of 0.25 mV or less. But today we have phono sections capable of amplifying such low MCs without noise! It's only a hunch but I feel more designers would build super low output MCs except for the fact they would also be decreasing or limiting their market (hence the two versions of the Atlas). 0.56 mV as in the "standard" Atlas works with pretty much all phono sections.

          According to the advertising blurb:
          Music comes through Atlas SL with a greater purity and sense of purpose than that of most every other cartridge in existence. With Atlas SL, you're not just listening to records. You're sharing in the artists' visions and experiences.
          Enhanced Resolution and Deeper Details: The Differences Between Lyra Atlas and Atlas SL
          Available only by special order, Atlas SL is a super-low output (0.2mV) version of Atlas featuring a single-layer winding that reduces by half the moving mass, netting increased detail and enhanced resolution. Due to the reduced output, Atlas SL requires a high-gain phono preamplifier capable of 64dB of gain or a step-up transformer designed for cartridges of 2-3 ohms or less. While Atlas SL is definitely not for all users, those with the proper components will experience the added benefits of extra purity, more pristine tones, and deeper details.

          Of course, the final difference is the SL version costs $1000 since it is a special, special order.


          Maybe Andre can share a little more about the technical details as he own the Lyra Etna SL version.

          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
          -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
          -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rob View Post
            A low DCR or internal resistance is my measuring stick, output voltage is the consequence of whether the designer used good design practices or not. I noticed the Atlas SL has half the DCR of the standard vers. but at the expense of a lower output voltage. My Sonic Labs is perhaps one of only two mfr I'm aware of that has 'cracked the code' if you will, by giving us a very low DCR (0.6 ohm!) and a relatively high output of 0.3mV.

            To be honest, that's only important for the "noise" considerations for the phono sections. Or to make the cartridge compatible with a wider range of phono sections. If you have adequate gain and no noise problems, then the output is really moot in my book.

            Of course, there has to be some sort of tradeoff? Isn't there always?
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post


              To be honest, that's only important for the "noise" considerations for the phono sections. Or to make the cartridge compatible with a wider range of phono sections. If you have adequate gain and no noise problems, then the output is really moot in my book.

              Of course, there has to be some sort of tradeoff? Isn't there always?
              A low output in and of itself means little the whole point is lowering the DCR, the by product of that is a low output voltage. MSL and Haniwa (made by MSL) managed to give us cake and the ability to eat it too.

              Your cut and paste job above is saying what i'm saying except that higher out put voltage is always preferred (provided you can keep the DCR low) because the minute sonics gains made by lowering the DCR are potentially swamped out by phonostage 'noise' when the output voltage is on the low side, this philosophy is MSL whole reason for existing.
              Last edited by Rob; 03-11-2016, 01:32 PM.
              Simon Yorke S10 + My Sonic Lab Eminent GL + B.M.C. MCCI Signature ULN | Simon Yorke S9 + Koetsu Rosewood Standard + AcousticPlan Phonomaster | Wadia X-32 | Innuous ZEN Mini Mk II | Valvet Soulshine2 | Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 MkII | Avantgarde Uno Fino XD

              "One of the great challenges of this world: Knowing enough about a subject to think you are right, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

              Comment


              • #8
                well, let us refer to the late King-hp's preferences. his was the ultra low output MC and it became obvious back in the day when ortofon had the mc2000 and mc3000 (both designations of which rather indicated their then astronomical price in dollars). having never had the pleasure of hearing them, hp's descriptions had to suffice. since that time, the very low output carts seem all to have been well received in the press.

                these days, what i can afford is still only plain low output MCs, i will go with those in view that the very low ones go for big bucks. this is only a generalization. but then the question was just that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've been relatively happy with Dynavector DV-20X2L in my setup coming from a 20X2H, Fed into a Manley Chinook supporting a VPI early Classic 1. I want to try based on Harry's (VPI) recommendation is the VAS Nova.
                  Last edited by cpp; 05-10-2016, 02:39 PM.
                  Chris
                  ----------------------------------------------------------------
                  Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE, Manley Chinook, VPI Classic, Dynavector DV20x2L, ExaSound e32, Acoustic Zen cables. (Office): Vincent SP331 Mkll, Quicksilver Pre, Lumin D1, (Ken Lau Signiture Edition PSU), Bryston BCD-1, Vapor Audio Breeze, WooAudio W6se,Questyle Audio CMA800R LCD-3,HD800s, HD600, Mr Speaker Ether C Flow,

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cpp View Post
                    I've been relatively happy with Dynavector DV-20X2L in my setup coming from a 20X2H, Feed into a Manley Chinook supporting a VPI early Classic 1. I want to try based on Harry's (VPI) recommendation is the VAS Nova.
                    That would be my level of satisfaction as well with the DV-20x2L. I'm not sold on it and want a little smoother midrange, but that will have to wait. When I am ready I'll likely try a Soundsmith Zepher MIMC.
                    Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cpp View Post
                      I've been relatively happy with Dynavector DV-20X2L in my setup coming from a 20X2H, Fed into a Manley Chinook supporting a VPI early Classic 1. I want to try based on Harry's (VPI) recommendation is the VAS Nova.
                      I heard what I think is the final version (?) using a little different profile stylus at VPI's. Reminded me a little of the Ortofon sound (neutrality) with a little more mids. I've been trying to get Steve to bring one by for review; maybe soon once I finish the cartridges in house. But it's definitely worth a listen and as Steve says, the lowest output version sounds the best. Of course, Steve will build output to needed specs.
                      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                      ________________________________________

                      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                      -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                      -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
                        Of course, the final difference is the SL version costs $1000 since it is a special, special order. [/SIZE]
                        That sounds like a tremendous bargain for the SL. Or is that $10,000 or $100,000 or $1000 extra, or $10,000 extra? Larry

                        Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0,Merrill Trident Master Tape Pre,Herron VTPH-2A
                        Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
                        Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
                        Electronics-Doshi Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
                        Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
                        Other-2x512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
                        Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.3KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by astrotoy View Post

                          That sounds like a tremendous bargain for the SL. Or is that $10,000 or $100,000 or $1000 extra, or $10,000 extra? Larry
                          LOL...The stock Atlas is $11,995 and the SL version $12,995. But I think some of the other cartridges, at least the Etna, can also be had in the 0.25 mV output version.
                          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                          ________________________________________

                          -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                          -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                          -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Myles, have you received/mounted the Lyra Atlas SL yet? If so, do you have an initial impression vs. the Ortofon A95? Note that I understand that the Atlas takes a while to break in so it may be way too early to comment.
                            Rockport Sirius turntable, Lyra Atlas SL cartridge, Audio Note M9 SE Phono stage, Audio Note M10 (Signature) linestage, EMM Labs TX2/DA2 digital, Audio Note Balanced Kegon amps, EMM Labs MTRX amps, Acapella Triolons, Jorma Prime and Odin 2 cables, Stage 3 Kraken power cords, HB Marble Powerslave, Finite Elemente Pagode Reference stands and Cerabases, Halcyonics active isolation bases, HRS Equipment stand, Stillpoints Ultra 6 footers, Furitech cable isolators and plugs, Loricraft and Audiodesk vinyl cleaners, Yamaha CT7000 Tuner.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by fcrowder View Post
                              Myles, have you received/mounted the Lyra Atlas SL yet? If so, do you have an initial impression vs. the Ortofon A95? Note that I understand that the Atlas takes a while to break in so it may be way too early to comment.
                              No sadly still sitting here until finish the Kondo gear and Charisma cartridge. Then it will go in!

                              But I have compared it to the standard output Atlas and will be in the review.
                              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                              ________________________________________

                              -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                              -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                              -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                              Comment

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