by Oliver Amnuayphol
Good grief, the folks at Lyra must really luvs their vinyls: They're always pushing the envelope when it comes to building state of the art cartridges, like they did with the new Delos. Well now Lyra's one-upped the Delos with the all new Kleos MC cartridge. This latest design from Jonathan Carr features a duralumin body structure with press fit cylindrical elements for a more rigid structure and maximum resonance suppression. The Kleos also incorporates Lyra's all new asymmetrical damping mechanism (details of which can be found here) for increased tracking ability and a more accurate sonic presentation. What's more, this Helikon replacement is also their lowest-priced cartridge with an Ogura manufactured boron cantilever and coil system coupled to Lyra's original line-contact (3x70um) stylus. And of course, every Kleos is hand-built and extensively voiced by famed cartridge craftsman Yoshinori Mishima. All this tech should result in the Kleos retaining all of Lyra's trademark speedy, detailed, and transparent sound while offering a richer, fuller, and more natural sonic presentation than Lyras of yore. Of course, all this cutting-edge tech will cost you: $2750 to be exact. But compared to other perfectionist pick ups out there in vinyl land, the Kleos should stand toe to toe with the best of 'em, even ones costing up to twice the price of the Kleos, which perhaps makes this Lyra the best value in their line. So if you've got a hankerin' for a top-tier cartridge, the Kleos is a must audition. Available now.
And speaking of cutting edge gear, how's about a new phono stage to partner your Kleos? Best known for their exemplary turntables, UK-based manufacturer Avid Hi-Fi recently took the wraps off their first ever phono stage, the Pulsare. Designed to work with both MM and MC cartridges, the Pulsare separates the sensitive signal boards and power supply into two separate boxes for maximum noise rejection. What's more, Avid's phono stage also features fully balanced circuitry throughout, both XLR and RCA inputs, and selectable balanced or unbalanced outputs. Other niceties include front panel-selectable gain/resistance/ capacitance settings, passive RIAA correction, and a hefty 300va, fully-regulated power supply. Like the Kleos, the Pulsare is definitely top-shelf analog goodness and therefore ain't cheap. But with a price of only $4999, Avid's two-box wonder should stand up quite nicely to much costlier competition. You can get yer mitts on one now.