Lyra Atlas Lambda high end analog koetsu cartridge

Atlas Lambda

Lyra, cartridges, phono stages, analog, high end, audio, vynil

The Atlas λ Lambda is Lyra’s new flagship phono cartridge. Why asymmetric? Several essential performance benefits are realized by misplacing the “barriers” to great sound in every other cartridge today.

First, different-shaped structures on the left and right sides of the cartridge body suppress the formation of standing waves within, significantly reducing 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, suppressing induced resonances.

Lyra remains the only cartridge manufacturer to mount the cantilever assembly directly into the cartridge body, achieving a seamless, totally rigid connection between the cantilever assembly and headshell. This system's effectiveness has been enhanced due to the asymmetrical structure of the Atlas λ Lambda. Control over spurious resonances is further assisted by using a narrowed mounting area, which couples the Atlas λ more tightly to the headshell and facilitates vibrational energy transfer into the tonearm.

The Atlas λ Lambda retains the yokeless dual magnet system, diamond-coated boron rod cantilever, and variable-radius line-contact stylus of the prior Atlas.

The Atlas λ Lambda uses Lyra’s “New Angle” technology, which mechanically pre-biases the signal coils to perfectly align to the front and rear magnets when LP playback takes place. This equalizes discrepancies in vertical and horizontal compliances and enables the Atlas λ Lambda coils to move quickly in all directions for optimal performance.

A seldom-mentioned yet critical factor in defining the performance and sound of a phono cartridge is the suspension and damper system. A cantilever’s materials, dimensions, and constructions all uniquely affect the sound. Unless the dampers and suspension are engineered to match the cantilever chosen, the sound and performance will not be optimal.

For Lyra’s post-2008 New Angle models (Delos, Kleos, Etna, Atlas), we developed tapered dampers to pre-load the cantilever downwards when it is in the rest position so that the application of vertical tracking force (VTF) will align the coil angle with the magnets when the cartridge is in the playing position. Our continued research into dampers and suspension systems has now led to the next level up - Lambda.

Lambda separates the tapered dampers of the New Angle cartridges into flat elastomer discs (for damping) and an additional support “pillow” to serve as the cantilever pre-loading element. This division allows more specialized materials better suited to their tasks.

The Lambda Atlas and Etna continue the New Angle benefits (coil and magnet angles become aligned when the cartridge is in the playing position). Still, stability and sonic performance are significantly improved.

The Lambda improvements apply to the single coil layer models (Atlas SL, Etna SL) and the standard double coil layer models (Atlas, Etna). Likewise, for the Atlas Mono and Etna Mono models.

The Atlas λ Lambda uses a body 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 λ Lambda 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.

We firmly believe the Atlas λ Lambda represents a significant step forward in LP playback.

Specifications for Lyra Atlas λ Lambda

  • Designer: Jonathan Carr
  • Builder: Yoshinori Mishima
  • Type: Medium weight, medium compliance, low-impedance moving coil cartridge
  • Stylus: Lyra-designed long-footprint variable-radius line-contact nude diamond (block dimensions 0.08w x 0.12d x 0.5h mm, profile dimensions 3um x 70um), slot-mounted
  • Cantilever system: Diamond-coated solid boron rod with short one-point wire suspension, directly mounted into cartridge body via high-pressure knife-edge system
  • Body: Machined asymmetrical titanium with synthetic composite gemstone
  • Coils: 2-layer deep, 6N high-purity copper, cross-shaped chemically-purified high-purity iron former, 4.2ohm self-impedance, 11uH inductance
  • Output voltage: 0.56mV@5cm/sec., zero to peak, 45 degrees (CBS test record, other test records may alter results)
  • Frequency range: 10Hz ~ 50kHz
  • Channel separation: Greater than 30dB at 1kHz
  • Compliance: Approx. 12 x 10-6cm/dyne at 100Hz
  • Cartridge body: 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: 2.6mm 0.45 pitch JIS standard
  • Distance from mounting holes to stylus tip: 9.5mm
  • Cartridge weight (without stylus cover): 11.6g
  • Recommended tracking force: 1.62 - 1.72g
  • Recommended load directly into MC phono input: 104ohm ~ 887ohm (detailed guidelines in instruction manual, finalize by listening)
  • Recommended load via step-up transformer: Use a step-up transformer designed for 3 -6 ohms cartridge impedance (step-up transformer’s output must be connected to 10kohm ~ 47kohm MM-level RIAA input, preferably via short, low-capacitance cable)
  • Recommended tonearms: Medium to Medium-High mass arms are recommended, which is the bulk of the tonearm market