Lyra Etna Cartridge

Lyra Etna Cartridge

It is always a challenge to design a worthy heir to a successful product. For the Lyra Etna, however, that challenge was twice as difficult as normal. On one hand its primary goal was to replace the popular Titan. On the other hand, the Etna design project had a second goal, which was to achieve as high levels of performance as possible. If this meant that Etna would give stern competition to the flagship Atlas, so be it.

As a model intended to retail for significantly less than Atlas, but having similar aspirations to the pinnacles of performance, Etna was designed with a strong emphasis on engineering efficiency, so that its performance would be as far beyond the sum of its parts as possible. For this reason, although it shares some of its design philosophy with the Atlas, the concepts are executed rather differently.

Etna employs a solid titanium core structure machined with non-parallel surfaces to inhibit internal reflections wherever possible, but unlike Atlas (and Titan i before it), this is mated to a slightly undersized, asymmetric duralumin outer body that is designed to lock over the core like a very tightly-fitting jigsaw puzzle. The core and body are augmented with bronze and stainless-steel resonance control rods, then everything is pressure-fit together into a pre-stressed, solid, void-free structure which is comprised of multiple materials and complex internal shapes. The constrained-layer nature of this construction dramatically reduces the resonant signature of each material and creates a far more neutral-sounding body structure than otherwise possible, while the high body stiffness benefits transients, dynamics and resolution.

Specifications

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 (3um?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, 4.2 ohm self impedance, 11uH inductance

Output voltage: 0.56 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 Cartridge weight (without stylus cover): 9.2g

Distance from mounting holes to stylus tip: 9.52mm

Recommended tracking force: 1.68-1.78g (1.72 g recommended)

Recommended load directly into MC phono input: 104 ohm-887ohm (determine by listening, or follow detailed guidelines in owner's manual)

Recommended load via step-up transformer: 5-15 ohm (connect step-up transformer's output to 10kohm-47kohm MM-level RIAA input, preferably via short, low-capacitance cable)

Recommended tonearm: High-quality pivoted or linear (tangential) tonearm with rigid bearing(s), adjustable anti-skating force, preferably VTA adjustment