I had intended this to be a long-winded review, but then realised the shortest, simplest review is all that’s needed. The Lyra Etna SL is, quite simply, the best cartridge I have ever used. There may be better cartridges out there (including at least one more from Lyra itself), but I haven’t heard them yet. Best of all, one of the Etna SL’s strong points is you don’t feel the need to hear those products discussed in hushed tones. It’s all you need.
The Etna SL is a denuded (bodyless) cartridge based on the company’s second from the top Etna moving coil, which is itself based
on the range-topping Atlas. The top Lyras are asymmetrically-structured,
so that the mounting of the front magnet carrier could be moved out of the way of the mechanical path connecting cantilever to headshell. The differently-shaped structures on the left and right sides limit the formation of standing waves inside the cartridge body itself. Etna (standard or SL) features a yokeless dual magnet system, diamond-coated boron rod cantilever built directly into the titanium body structure, and a Lyra-designed variable-radius line-contact stylus. The Etna SL (or ‘single layer’) is a custom-ordered variant, with a 0.25mV output, 1.52Ω self-impedance, and a 1.9µH inductance.
Click here to download the review from Hi-Fi Plus.