by Anthony Kershaw
I’ve always enjoyed Lyra cartridges. I’ve had lots of experience with the Lydian and Helikon. They are such musical and lush cartridges. They offer value and fantastic sound. Fair prices, too, especially for what you get.
A friend of mine wrote a few words about his Argo i experience on a forum I read. He’s very enthused about it. So much so, that I’m placing my order for a review copy.
He continues: ‘Well friends, I finally got to spend some quality time with this cartridge over the weekend and am genuinely enjoying it. It’s taken my analog rig to another level in sound quality. I think what I like most about the cart is how accurate it is on instrument timbre. String instruments simply sound like they do in real life. This makes for a more satisfying listening session with jazz and classical records and well classic rock as well. Electric and acoustic guitar are so natural and smooth sounding.
A close second is level of resolution. No surprise to many that this is more detailed a cart than my Grado Sonata but it is so much so that I am just pulling out old favorites all night to hear the LPs again for more detail and more information buried in the grooves. If there are massed vocals for instance it just unravels the separate vocals. And it does all this while remaining musical.
Third on the list is the separation of instruments. Really pinpoint musician placement is really nice, especially on orchestral and small ensemble music (jazz and classical).
My reference LPs nowadays are really two - Neil Young at Massey Hall and the Doors live at the Felt Forum, a direct to disc by Bruce Botnick. Both of these sound incredible. Massey Hall is one of the best live recordings I have heard although I still have a soft spot for Van Morrison’s Too Late to Stop Now.
So really this is a bit of a rave, but if this sonic profile extends across the Lyra line (and I believe it does) then I would encourage you to look at this line if the price range works for you.’
He produces records for a living and I trust his ears. Hopefully, you can find a dealer that has one setup and post your thoughts in comments.
Builder: Yoshinori Mishima / Designer: Jonathan Carr
Type: Low impedance, low output Moving Coil
Frequency range: 10Hz - 50kHz
Channel separation: 30dB or better at 1kHz
Cantilever system: Solid boron rod with LYRA original, natural diamond line-contact stylus (3 x 70 micrometers profile)
Internal impedance: 4ohms
Output voltage: 0.45mV (5.0cm/sec., zero to peak, 45 degrees)
Cartridge weight (without stylus cover): 6.4g
Compliance: Approx. 12 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100Hz
Recommended tracking force: 1.7 - 1.8g
Recommended load: Direct into non-inverting RIAA phono input: 100ohms - 47kohms / MC step-up transformer: 4 - 10ohms (not more than 10ohms)
Recommended tonearm: High-performance, tight tolerance bearing(s), resonance-free, medium mass radial or linear tracking type with adjustable anti-skating force