Atlas λ Lambda Moving Coil Cartridge
The Atlas is Lyra’s flagship phono cartridge. Why asymmetric? By literally misplacing the “barriers” to great sound that are present in every other cartridge today, a number of important performance benefits are realised.
First, different-shaped structures on the left and right sides of the cartridge body suppress the formation of standing waves within, resulting in a significant reduction of resonance-induced colorations. Second, the asymmetric construction offsets the front magnet carrier and its associated mounting system so that it is no longer in line with the cantilever assembly. This opens up a direct, solid path between the cantilever assembly and tonearm headshell so that vibrations from the cantilever can be quickly drained away once they have been converted into electrical signals, again suppressing induced resonances.
Lyra remains the only cartridge manufacturer to mount the cantilever assembly directly into the cartridge body thereby achieving a seamless, totally rigid connection between the cantilever assembly and headshell. The effectiveness of this system has been enhanced as a result of the asymmetrical structure of the Atlas. Control over spurious resonances is further assisted by the use of a narrowed mounting area, which couples the Atlas more tightly to the headshell and facilitates the transfer of vibrational energy into the tonearm.
While the Atlas retains the yokeless dual magnet system, diamond-coated boron rod cantilever and variable-radius line-contact stylus of the Titan, the rigidity of the double knife-edge cantilever assembly mounting structure has been increased, and the signal coil system is completely new. Rather than a square, the coil former is in the shape of an X, which allows each channel to operate with greater independence from the other. This gives better tracking, tighter channel matching, improved separation, and lower distortion due to crosstalk.
At the same time we were able to increase both the performance and efficiency of the generator coils. The Atlas has 12% higher output voltage than the Titan, but accomplishes this while reducing the amount of wire in the coils by 22%. This reduction in mass further improves tracking performance, while the enhanced output and electrical characteristics allow phono stages to perform more efficiently.
The Atlas uses Lyra’s “New Angle” technology, which mechanically pre-biases the signal coils so that they are perfectly aligned to the front and rear magnets when LP playback takes place. This equalises out discrepancies in vertical and horizontal compliances, and enables the Atlas’ coils to move with equal ease in all directions for optimal performance.
As with the Titan and Olympos, the hand-made Atlas uses a body that is meticulously carved from a solid billet of titanium, through a process that involves both contact (for the exterior) and non-contact machining (for the interior body structures). By making most of the Atlas’ body surfaces non-parallel (avoiding dimensions that are multiples of other dimensions), and adding a pre-stressed phase-interference resonance-controlling system, resonances have been further inhibited.
Yoshinori Mishima (final build, testing), Akiko Ishiyama (preliminary build)
Medium weight, medium compliance, low-impedance, low-output moving coil cartridge
Lyra-designed long-footprint variable-radius line-contact nude diamond (3um x 70um profile, block dimensions 0.08 x 0.12 x 0.5mm), slot-mounted
Diamond-coated solid boron rod with short one-point wire suspension, directly mounted into cartridge body via high-pressure knife-edge system
2-layer deep, 6 N high-purity copper, chemically-purified high purity iron X-shaped former, 1.52 ohm self-impedance, 1.9μH inductance
0.25 mV@5 cm/sec., zero to peak, 45 degrees (CBS test record, other test records may alter results)
10 Hz-50 kHz
35 dB or better at 1 kHz
Approx. 12 X10 cm/dyne at 100 Hz
Vertical tracking angle
One-piece machining from solid titanium billet, with reduced-surface higher-pressure headshell contact area, predominately non-parallel and asymmetrical shaping, phase-interference resonance-controlling mechanism, and body threaded directly for mounting screws
Cartridge mounting screws
2.6 mm 0.45 pitch JIS standard
Distance from mounting holes to stylus tip
Cartridge weight (without stylus cover)
Recommended tracking force
1.65 ~ 1.78g (1.72g recommended)
Recommended load directly into MC phono input
Determine by listening
Recommended load via step-up transformer
Use a step-up transformer designed for 2 – 3 ohms cartridge impedance. The transformer output must be connected to standard 47kohm MM-level RIAA input, preferably via short, low-capacitance cable
High-quality pivoted or linear tangential tonearms with rigid bearing(s), adjustable anti-skating force, preferably VTA