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Super-Low-Output Lyra Etna SL MC Phono Cartridge Plays with Extreme Detail, Removes Resonance, Produces Pristine Tones and Silky Midrange: Award-Winning Design an Analog Marvel
Hands-down one of the most superb- and lifelike-sounding phono cartridges ever made, the Lyra Etna MC SL phono cartridge uses unique engineering to remove resonance. Not reduce it. Remove it completely. Yes, it’s a big step up in price from most cartridges, but one that yields gains in transparency, the removal of distortion, and remarkable accuracy. In short, the advanced design principles allow the focus to be placed on the music buried in the grooves of your records. A winner of The Absolute Sound‘s Product of the Year Award as well as a Stereophile Analog Component of the Year, Product of the Year, and Editors’ Choice pick, Etna SL is simply a work of art. A prestigious musical instrument. And an MC cartridge deserving of the “ultimate” moniker. (Please note: Etna SL requires a high-gain phono preamplifier capable of 64dB of gain or step-up transformer.)
“Lyra’s top-of-the-line Atlas SL ($11,995) may resolve a bit more detail and express somewhat greater dynamics, but the Etna SL ($9,995) does almost as well in those areas while producing a silky-smooth midrange that’s positively addicting.”
-Michael Fremer, Stereophile, Editors’ Choice Award
Extra Purity and Deeper Details: Differences Between Lyra Etna and Etna SL
Available only by special order, Etna SL is a super-low output (0.2mV) version of Etna featuring a single-layer winding that reduces by half the moving mass, netting increased detail and enhanced resolution. Due to the reduced output, Etna 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 Etna 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.
“There are revolutionary products and there are evolutionary products, and this year’s Analog Product of the Year would seem to be one of the latter: the Lyra Etna SL cartridge is, as of now, the culmination of designer Jonathan Carr’s multi-decade effort to advance the art of phono transduction.”
—Stereophile, Analog Component of the Year and Product of the Year Award
Constrained-Layer Construction Yields Sonic Freedom
Etna SL features a center structure made of solid titanium, but unlike Lyra Atlas, its central core is surrounded by an outer body machined from highly polished aircraft-grade aluminum and anodized with a brilliant black finish. The two pieces are press-fitted with resonance control rods and stainless steel screw bushings in a multi-material approach that touts significantly improved rigidity and damping characteristics. The prime advantage of such constrained-layer construction: No single material’s sonic signature defines the sound of the cartridge.
Asymmetric Design, X-Shaped Coil Formers for Elite Tracking and Separation
Etna SL touts an asymmetric design that employs an offset yoke. By offsetting the front magnet carrier so that it is not in line with the cantilever assembly, a direct path gets established between the cantilever assembly and the tonearm’s headshell. Vibrations are quickly drained away once converted to electrical signals, effectively suppressing any induced resonances that would otherwise manifest as sonic coloration. Etna SL also retains the X-shaped coil formers from Atlas. Compared to traditional square coil formers, the X-shape allows each channel to operate with greater autonomy, increasing tracking consistency and channel matching while also improving channel separation due to the decrease in crosstalk. Lyra’s “New Angle” technology pre-biases the signal coils so they are perfectly aligned to the front and rear magnets during LP playback, which allows the coils to move optimally in all directions for distortion-free performance.
Type: Medium weight, medium compliance, low-impedance, low-output moving coil cartridge
Stylus: 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
Cantilever system: Diamond-coated solid boron rod with short one-point wire suspension, directly mounted into cartridge body via high-pressure knife-edge system
Coils: 2-layer deep, 6 N high-purity copper, chemically-purified high purity iron X-shaped former, 1.52 ohm self-impedance, 1.9μH inductance
Output voltage: 0.25 mV@5 cm/sec., zero to peak, 45 degrees (CBS test record, other test records may alter results)
Frequency range: 10 Hz-50 kHz
Channel separation: 35 dB or better at 1 kHz
Compliance: Approx. 12 X10 cm/dyne at 100 Hz
Vertical tracking angle: 20 degrees
Cartridge body: Multi-material (titanium, duralumin, bronze, stainless steel) self-clamping construction with reduced-surface higher-pressure headshell contact area, predominately non-parallel shaping, phase-interference resonance-controlling mechanisms, body threaded for mounting screws
Cartridge mounting screws: 2.6 mm 0.45 pitch JIS standard
Distance from mounting holes to stylus tip: 9.52mm
Cartridge weight (without stylus cover): 9.2g
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
Recommended tonearms: High-quality pivoted or linear tangential tonearms with rigid bearing(s), adjustable anti-skating force, preferably VTA
Based in Tokyo, LYRA is headed by Stig Bjorge from Norway, with American design engineer Jonathan Carr, and Japanese master craftsman Yoshinori Mishima making cartridges and supervising production. All products are manufactured in Japan with microscopic attention to detail under the direct supervision of these three. LYRA products are characterized by advanced design engineering allied with Japanese artisanal craftsmanship and build quality.