Lyra and OMA

My first endeavor into moving coil. I’m thinking of a Lyra Kleos MC Cart and OMA SUT. Anyone want to speak to that. Please?



@michaellent , @solypsa poses a good question. The Lyra is a fine cartridge. It will work well in an intermediate mass arm with some form of gimbal bearing arrangement. I am not a huge fan of step up transformers. Even if they are good they depend on the performance of what is usually a lesser performing phono stage. The evils are additive. I am also not a fan of tube phono stages. Signal to noise ratio is critical with low output cartridges and solid state in general trumps tube units in this regard and also in terms of accuracy. Some people prefer the "warmth" of tube units. That Warmth is distortion. I have found over 65 years that in the end accuracy produces a better, more enjoyable system. Solid state phono stages that are huge values include the Parasound JC3+, The Sutherland Little Loco, the Channel D Lino C, The BMC MCCI and the Moon 610LP. They would all work wonderfully with the Lyra. 

Soundsmith, The Voice cartridge
pro ject RPM Table and EVO Carbon 10 inch arm

into Aric Audio, Special 6sn7 phono pre, Preamp and Amp
into  ZU Soul Supreme.


@mijostyn I didn’t ask about amplifier change I didn’t even see what amplifier I had. Please answer the question if you know the answer to it.

Do you have any idea who actually make the OMA SUT?  Typically, OMA collaborate with other companies to manufacture equipment they market under their brand name.  Also, what is the turns ratio, which determines the voltage gain, of the SUT?

According to OMA website it is 1:10. From a gain perspective probably OK with Kleos 0.5mV, although would be curious about the Aric 6sn7 gain. Might the Kleos sound better in this system with  lower ( numerically ) load? Maybe. Could require some experimentation.


Can't comment on synergy with Project arm, 8.5g eff mass on the light side. I do think Lyra carts are sensitive to both arm synergy and setup and when both / either is wrong you get that ' analytical ' sound. 

if you go w Lyra..consider a headshell weight experiment….including a ceramic spacer. 

@jcarr might weigh in….

Post removed 

Hi ​​​@michaellent:

I agree with @tomic601 and @solypsa that a tonearm with only 8.5g effective mass may not bring out the best sound that a Kleos is capable of. No doubt that the combination will track well, but possibly with reduced energy in the lower octaves and lessened dynamic impact.

The Lyras will work OK in tonearms of 10~12g eff. mass (for example SME Type V, Technics SL-1200G), but will sound progressively better as the effective mass increases. Normally I'd suggest 16~18g as the sweet spot, but they also sound exceptionally good in super-rigid, heavyweight arms like the SATs and Kuzma 4-Points (including the SAFIR-9).

As suggested by @tomic601 , you could add weight to the headshell, but that is an added complication which you may prefer to avoid (given that this will be your first foray into MC cartridges).

Regarding an SUT, the 5.4Ω coil impedance of the Kleos should not give any difficulties to most SUTs.

However (and this applies to low-medium output MC cartridges in general, not only the Lyras), most MM-gain phono stages incorporate capacitance at their inputs, which is necessary for equalizing the signal from high-inductance cartridges (MM / MI / IM), but is neither needed nor particularly desirable for an SUT. An SUT performs better with very little capacitance between its output and the input of the phono stage, whether due to a interconnect cable which is excessively long and/or has more capacitance than it needs to, or capacitance which is part of the loading scheme for MM / MI cartridges.

In closing I recommend first searching for an MC cartridge that is known to sound good in the Pro-ject RPM tonearm, next work out how much gain needs to be added by a stepup device to make your Aric Audio Special phono preamp happy, and then decide if you would like to use a transformer or headamp for said step-up device.

hope this helps, jonathan carr (Kleos designer)

PS. Can more manufacturers of MM-gain phono stages offer defeatable input capacitance, for use with SUTs??? 😉

Many tube based MM phono stages use 12AX7 as input gain tube. 12AX7 has high Miller capacitance, so I don’t know how you’d defeat that . This has been going on for decades(mating a SUT to a 12AX7 input). Do you see it as a real problem?

I did check with Aric. He recommended of 1:10 winding and did not see any detriment to do what I have planned, from the SUT perspective anyway. 
also: FROM ARIC: Hi Michael, My MM phono stage does not use any capacitors at the input so there’s no worries regarding connection of SUTs.

sumiko/project looks very similar to the Kleos, but I suspect the quality is not nearly the same.

 @jcarr are we speaking to compliance resonance issues for my arm and the Lyra?

KLEOS Dynamic compliance: 12 x 10-6 cm/dyn (@100 Hz?) at 8.8 gm

SUMIKO Songbird low MC is a cartridge often shown with my TT.

12×10-6cm/dyn @ 100Hz  at 8.5 gm  and it’s about $1000 less and cost

Both of these cartridge/arm combinations resonate at ~11 Hz.  (that’s high no doubt)I can do the hard math, but I haven’t yet and doubt it will make any difference to that aspect
Please tell me what I missing. Before I make a mistake. I know just enough to get myself in trouble. I’m chasing this because of the dynamic range of the cartridges’ is vastly different at the low end. I listen to classical music and rock.

@michaellent  : Only take in count that the calculators in the net for the tonearm/cartridge frequency resonance takes the compliance at 10hz not 100hz. So, the Kleos has a compliance around 19 cu.


Btw, I own the Kleos and never heard the Songbird ( I owned 6 years ago the top of the line Sumiko. ) and I can tell you that the Kleos is an excellent quality performer.


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,


There are calculators and there is experience. Maybe JCarr knows a little ;)


Ah ha! thanks for pointing out the difference between the Japanese standard and the US/euro standard dyne. A lot more compliant than I ever thought. No wonder cart we’re getting such apparent poor results. 
ready to do the real mouth now. 


The math says…

The calculation says that the cartridge/arm RF is a very healthy 8.37 Hz. 
So my question is why does the low-mass arm make a difference in the sound?  If the mass were higher, the cartridge/arm compliance would logically be a higher resonant frequency also.  It wouldn’t pass out of the recommendation, but 8.37 Hz nice sweet spot, no?

a better calculator is imo the Korf which also calculates acceleration…. You do understand J Carr is THE designer at Lyra…… ?

I am pleased to hear that the Kleos could have more bottom end slam depending on the tonearm. In my Well Tempered Black Arm, the only thing I think could be improved is the bottom end slam. I was concerned that the Kleos was the issue, but seems like it could be the WTA.

On my LP12, the WTA and the Kleos work well, but with the issue described above. 


Thanks, I'll check the Korf calculator.  The 8.37Hz was from an actual calculation, not a chart.

Yes, I kew he was the designer, as he stated such.  Very cool that he even responded.

So I'm asking one more time: Why does the low-mass arm create a shortfall in the response? I just don't get it...What are the mechanics that cause that? (same answer as why one cable sounds better than another? Ha)  Is there a definable answer?



The whole concept of arm effective mass and resonance is only a small part of the overall synergy between a cartridge and a tonearm.  This paper goes into the derivation of what effective mass means and how that relates to the cartridge compliance and the resonance calculation -  Microsoft Word - tone-arm.doc (  However, the resonance calculation is actually quite simple, and it does not begin to address the other aspects that @jcarr - the cartridge designer addressed in his post and these are much more complex.  

11Hz should be fine for the calculated resonant peak. Keep in mind that you’re using parameters (compliance and tonearm effective mass) that are good guesses at best. Fortunately there is a lot of plasticity in the equation itself as well, since it’s based on the square root of the product of two inexact quantities.

Michael, a few postings ahove you wrote something to the effect that the higher the effective mass, the higher the resonant frequency. Actually, it’s exactly opposite. Resonant frequency and tonearm effective mass are inversely related. So a higher mass tonearm will invariably reduce the resonant frequency for a given cartridge compliance..

I just did a Google search and went to the first thing that looked right. I haven’t studied it yet. I will expand my google search. Thank you.


You probably know that Lyra was way backlogged on their orders last year. I purchsed my Kleos in March of 2022 and finally received it eight months later. If you’re patient it’s probably worth the wait. Takes a bit of time to break in as well once you start using it. Raul though maybe fifty hours if I remember and his estimate seems to be on the money. Nice cart though, and I’m glad to have it now that the wait and anxiety of not knowing when, and if, it might ever arrive is over.

You might check in with the new US distributor to get an idea of how long they are backed up on their deliveries from Japan. My dealer thought there mght be a three month, rather than than an eight month wait as it turned out. If you’re lucky a dealer might have one on hand, which would be ideal. Good luck with your purchase.


@michaellent I know you want to know why. Its a big topic. Lets just say that in this case many decades of experience are speaking :)




Project table sounds like a weak link.

+1 from personal experience with an RPM 10 Carbon

@michaellent , Your tonearm will work fine with the Kleos. The beauty of a light arm is that you can always add mass. With a heavy arm it is difficult to take it away. Soundsmith makes a lovely set of graded cartridge screws in four different weights. By the way your Voice is a fine cartridge. If you are looking for a large improvement is sound you might be disappointed and I say this as a Lyra Owner. The Lyra Atlas Lambda SL may be the finest cartridge I have ever owned. The Voice is a hugely better value and not that far off. For someone who is a rock and loud jazz fan The Voice may even be better. 

There are a few things you can do that will definitely improve your sound. The first is a reflex record clamp. My two favorites are the JA Michell for value and the Basis for absolute best. There is also The Sota Reflex clamp. DO NOT buy the Nobsound it is absolute JUNK! The internal collet is cheap aluminum and will crack and break after so many cycles. What you will notice is better pitch stability as these clamps flex the record into the platter and remove minor warps. Only vacuum clamping is better. Next is get a better isolation platform. The one that comes with your turntable has opposing magnet feet which might help isolate from high frequency noise but never from environmental rumble. A isolation suspension has to have a resonance frequency of between 1 and 3 hertz. The MinusK is the best. There are a few less expensive platforms that might work but I have no experience with them. The Suspension has to be tuned to the weight of the turntable. If the manufacturer does not issue different units matching the turntables weight, stay away. This will give you blacker backgrounds and isolate you from such things as foot fall skipping. Lastly is have a dust cover made you can use during play. A dust cover is only a problem if it is connected directly to the turntable chassis. If it is not it is actually a benefit as it further isolates the cartridge from airborne vibration, the stuff you are listening to! It also keeps things cleaner. Turntables and tonearms do not like dust.

Thanks to jcarr of Lyra for interesting information.

He wrote: "The Lyras will work OK in tonearms of 10~12g eff. mass (for example SME Type V, Technics SL-1200G), but will sound progressively better as the effective mass increases. Normally I’d suggest 16~18g as the sweet spot"

I run a Lyra Atlas (standard high output version) on a SME V arm. Should I add mass - even 6 g - to the arm?

Thanks for info!


Michael, I think you were questioning JCarr's implication that a higher effective mass tonearm will produce more robust bass from your cartridge, even when the calculated resonant frequency is already within the generally accepted range of 8 to 12Hz (or lower than 8Hz, if you follow Kuzma's line of reasoning).  Far be it from me to put words in JCarr's mouth, but I suspect the reasoning to back up his advice on increasing effective mass is related to the fact that the cartridge/tonearm/headshell are resonating at all frequencies in relation to the program material and that low bass frequencies induce the most energy and hence resonance into the upstream system.  The equation we use is for the resonant peak, but there is resonance at higher frequencies, probably always inversely proportional in magnitude to the frequency.  Hence bass frequencies produce more resonant energy than treble frequencies.  Therefore, it may be that a higher effective mass than what is absolutely minimally necessary to place the peak below 12Hz helps the cartridge to control itself while trying to traverse grooves encoding low bass music.  At least this makes perfect sense to me, and is in keeping with my own direct experience.  Typically, the added effective mass will not be deleterious, i.e., will not drag the resonant peak down much below 8Hz so as to render the system sensitive to footfalls, or other environmental sources of disturbance.

Thank you all. I've learned a lot!  

HA, shame on me? I took too long to move on the Lyra and someone else bought it!  It was an 'open box'- I can't do a $3,600 cart. right now.

Plus... I was very much on the fence with adding mass to the arm as the solution to the lack of symbiosis described by @jcarr.  A few years ago I had only the F9e, and was buying a new stylus, Peter Green at SS, said I might try to add a blue-tac weight (measured 1@gm) to the arm. It didn't work for me.

The Korf discussion is fantastic:

It clearly shows the Why, which was part of my quest after @jcarr wrote to the subject. 


+10 @jcarr 

+1 @lewm 

+1 @tomic601 

+1 @rauliruegas 

and everybody who helped me save $1,900 on a cart that's not right for my TT!


Let’s not leave out @solypsa 

The century plus of experience was reflected in @jcarr statement to seek out an MC that sounds good on your arm. 

Effective mass and engineering resonance transmission and control are interrelated, within a small range the added bits can work, but not always….

I run both an additional weight / spacer w a Lyra on my Triplaner, and a Kuzma….

Enjoy the music all !



Experimenting with adding mass to a tonearm (presumably to the headshell) may help dynamics and low-frequency weight and extension, but doing so will also push the counterweight farther away from the tonearm pivot, which may trigger adverse side-effects such as reduced maximum tracking ability.

Pragmatically this may not be such a great concern, as on most LPs you may not notice any difference in tracking performance.

Nonetheless, the overall results will likely be better if it is also possible to add mass to the counterweight, so that the distance between the counterweight and vertical bearing can remain the same as with the unmodified tonearm, or be reduced.

hth, jonathan

There is another solution to the tracking problem along with graded counterweights and that is a flat record. One can rig almost any turntable with a reflex clamp, vacuum clamping is the best. The records that are beyond the capability of reflex and vacuum clamping should be returned as defective. Aside from not upsetting the tonearm and cartridge the pitch stability of a flat record greatly helps the sensation of a live performance.

@lewm , that is definitely my experience bass being better with higher effective masses. I always push the resonance frequency down to 8 Hz and sometimes a little below. Having a suspended turntable helps avoid the problems associated with a very low resonance frequency. I always measure the resonance frequency and never depend on equations. There are too many variables to depend on equations. Cartridge compliance and tonearm EF tolerances are not that tight. Test records will not break the bank and they help greatly with other issues. 

@ jcarr recommended observing the cantilevers angle for adjusting anti skate. With his cartridges, cantilevers hanging out in the breeze, it is very easy to observe using the tonearm lift to raise and lower the cartridge watching which direction the cantilevers deflection goes when the suspension compresses. For fun I used that technique then checked skating with the WallySkater. It landed right on 11%! Unfortunately, this technique is difficult with many cartridges, but if you have a Lyra or Clearaudio cartridge it works very well.

A key role of a tonearm is to function as a mechanical high-pass filter for the cartridge.

Roughly speaking, above the resonance frequency the tonearm stays still and allows the cartridge to follow the LP groove, below the resonance frequency the tonearm moves to alleviate the cartridge cantilever and suspension from having to reproduce non-music inputs. These include off-center LPs (horizontal perturbations at 0.55Hz), warped LPs (largely vertical perturbations, generally considered to occur around 5~6Hz, although the affected frequencies may be higher if the warps are steep), plus the act of cuing a cartridge onto an LP (mainly vertical perturbations, with affected frequencies depending on whether an elevator mechanism is used or not, how much damping is applied to the elevator, and how quickly / slowly the cartridge is lowered if the cuing is done by hand).

Therefore, choosing a cartridge / tonearm resonance frequency that is on the high side may be good for tracking performance, but not so great for sound, as the tonearm will move to cushion the cartridge from LP groove signals that it should be tracking.

If there are no issues with the turntable suspension, including the stand structure and floorboards, and the motor(s) are quiet, like @mijostyn I tend to prefer the sound of a cartridge / tonearm resonance frequency in the lower 8Hz ~ upper 7Hz range.

However tracking performance (as well as pop / click noise levels) are also impacted by bearing design, counterweight design, and bending / twisting resonances of the headshell and armtube (a completely separate issue from the cartridge / tonearm resonance), with less rigid / more resonant tonearms more likely to benefit from setting the cartridge / tonearm resonance to a higher frequency.

Conversely, super-rigid tonearms like the SATs or Kuzma SAFIR-9 are likely to sound better with cartridge / tonearm resonance frequencies that are lower than would be prudent with most other tonearms.

hope this will be useful to someone, jonathan

@jcarr , Way to go Johnathan. You have designed what is to my ear the finest cartridge I have ever listened to in my system. My other cartridges are fine units but one does not match with my phono stage well and the other while having more gain rounds over the details just enough to lessen the frisson. The Altas SL has a way of sounding very detailed without any edge whatsoever. The ascending violin of Vaughn Williams The Lark Ascending brings tears to eyes. I have never heard it reproduced this accurately without any pain. The same holds true for female voices. I have no words to describe the reproduction of #21 "In Trutina" of Orff's Carmina Burana. 

Thank You, 


@JCarr - thanks a lot for advice! I am now testing added mass to my SME V arm with Lyra Atlas. Ca 5g at the top of the headshell, 30g on top of the counterweight. This way, I did not have to screw the counterweight further back. I am using coins fastened with bluetac. VTF at ca 1.71g. Initial results: interesting. Some more bass. A sense of stability. Less hard/harsh treble, maybe. Sound a bit more soft, perhaps. Must test more. No clear minus so far - the cart tracks a warped LP ok. I should probably fine-tune weight,  oil chamber damping, etc. I wonder, are other SME/Lyra users trying this modification?