Lyra Olympos vs Parnassus naked original version

Has anyone ever compared Lyra Olympos vs Parnassus (original version)? I have just bought a Parnassus and was a really exciting experience listening to it . It was the first time I lived the vibration of the music in every little detail, with lots and lots of energy without any harshness or politeness. Is it wothing the extra cost to create an Olympos cartridge?

I must say Parnassus was nude and connected with a very unique step up transformer that will be in the market in a very limited quantities.

Thank you in advance.
The magnetic circuit lends a family resemblance between the two cartridges.

Unfortunately, the Parnassus I compared with an Olympos had quite a few miles on it, so I can't say for certain how much of the extra refinement came from the Olympos, and how much of the difference was due to (perhaps) a worn out Parnassus.

One thing is certain - they sound like very close siblings.

Both cartridges were compared on one of my Galibier turntables using two Schroeder References. Hopefully, this little bit of information can help in some way.

Thom @ Galibier
Hi Thom,
from your responce I understand that, regardless the miles they had on, these two cartridges have almost the same sonic quality since their magnet system is identical. Am I right?
I don't think, that they are more or less identical, because the Olympos uses the magnets only. The Olympos uses the Titan Body (I think I read it somewhere), this was made later when the Titan cartridge was introduced. Then there is the needle, the suspension which can be changed too (or more). You can ask Lyra for that special information.
Anyway, when you like the sound of the Parnassus and don't want to spend the money to go for Olympos, they will rebuild the Parnassus (they support their older Designs).
Dear Pentatonia: IMHO if you have the money that Lyra ask for then go for the Olympos, it is a great cartridge and better than the original stock Parnassus. That both cartridges have the Lyra signature sound IMHO does not means are similar but different.

Do you think that J.Carr was taking his design/voicing/manufacturer time to build the Olympos with similar performance than the Parnassus and for that charge that kind of money to his customers?

+++++ " Is it wothing the extra cost to create an Olympos cartridge? " +++++

at the level of quality performance that we are talking improvements over that performance are hard to achieve and pricey.
For me and other people can be worth to pay for it but maybe for other persons don't.

I think that you have to contact directly with J.Carr about.

Btw, IMHO the best step up transformer is no SUT but I respect other people opinion on the subject.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Hi Pentatonia,

To clarify my point, the magnetic circuit is one of many elements of a cartridge design, and it plays an important (but not exclusive) role in establishing the sonic signature of a cartridge.

I'll go out on a limb to say that it is similar in effect to choice of magnets in a speaker. There are those who would not let anything but Alnico grace their listening room - irrespective of the other virtues of the speaker design. Alnico advocates claim that a motor circuit employing alnico has a certain flavor - a je ne cais quois about it.

This alnico "flavor" is in part substantiated by measurements of eddy current in alnico motor systems. The point it doesn't address of course, is how a ground up design using (for example) neodynium can result in the same effect, but I digress ...

So, how does this relate to the platinum magnets in both the Parnassus and the Olympus? It's hard to tell. The similarities between the two may well have more to do with Lyra's knowledge, their goals, and their ability to achieve these goals.

Give Mark Knopfler a knock-off Chinese made Strat, and he's still going to sound like Mark Knopfler ;-)

Of course, all of the other components - body, cantilever/suspension, etc. play a role in the sound. I didn't think this needed emphasizing.

My main point is that there is a strikingly close resemblance between the two cartridges. It speaks to a mature concept of what Lyra is doing - one of continual improvement and refinement.

The point I can't answer for you is how good my Parnassus was in relation to a new Parnassus - was some of the lack of refinement due to wear and tear on my well used cartridge.

One thing is certain - the two cartridges are close siblings of each other SONICALLY. I cannot compare any of these to the current crop of "standard" Lyras, because my experience of the other Lyras is in unfamiliar systems.

Thom @ Galibier
While the Parnassus and Olympos share the same magnetic circuit, that's the only thing that they share. Everything else is different.

The stylus shape is different, the cantilever material is different, the coils are different, the dampers and suspension are different, the mounting of the cantilever into the cartridge body is different, the body shape as well as material is different, etc. The cartridge mass is also increased, which means that the tonearm interaction will be different. In my experience, every one of these factors will affect the sound, and not necessarily in a small way.

Neither was it ever my intention to make the Olympos into a cartridge that sounded particularly close to the Parnassus. When I revisited the Parnassus (after having the experience of the Parnassus DCt, Helikon, Titan et al), there were a few traits about the sound that I continued to find delectable and felt were worth carrying forward, but there were many things that left much to be desired, particularly in the areas of tonal neutrality, dynamic range, immediacy, transient impact, frequency extension, detail retrieval, soundstaging and image focus, and the sense of a solid "core" or "backbone" to the musical performances. The Olympos was designed specifically to overcome these weaknesses of the Parnassus, and bring it closer to the performance standards of the best cartridge that I knew of at the time (the Titan), while retaining the particular sonic aspects of the Parnassus that I still found attractive.

I agree that the choice of magnetic system has a noticeable effect on the sonic personality of a transducer, and to my ears, the Platiron magnet sounds more or less like a super-alnico. If you like the sound of alnico magnets, chances are that you will adore the sound of Platiron magnets (and chemically purified iron polepieces).

However, the magnet is only one small part of a transducer's design. To focus on that point, with the exception of the Olympos, the current Lyra cartridges all use the same magnetic system (although the material of the core is a little different on the Dorian and Delos as opposed to the Argo, Helikon, Skala and Titan. So these cartridges all sound like close siblings to each other, right? I don't believe that I have met too many listeners who claimed this (hardly any?), and to my ears and in my audio systems they certainly don't sound similar.

However, it appears that it is possible to put together an audio system which minimizes the sonic differences between the Parnassus and Olympos, so as with most things in audio, YMMV!

hth, jonathan carr
Thanks a lot for your opinions. Everything was quite useful to me. I will go for Olympos when I got the money.
Hello Jonathan,

I find this a very interesting thread. Can you tell us something about the speakers, phonostage and amplifiers, as well as turntable and arm that you use to voice your cartridges?


Jonathan Weiss
Thanks for the detailed history, Jonathan. I too would be interested in what components you frequently use. I recall your using the Graham 2.2 tonearm (eons ago) but can't recall much else.

The particular owner of the Olympos is indeed known to heavily tailor his system. On any given day, there may be multiple parts changes in his exotic, transmitting triode amplifier.

One problem I face in his system is that of plugging in a known "neutral" component. It rarely sounds neutral (I'm not using the term in the pejorative sense).

Frank can tell you a bit about his tastes. I was digging around for a temporary web page I built to document that evening, but can no longer find it.

Basically, we ran two Schroeder References on his Galibier Gavia - one of Jacaranda and (~15 grams eff. mass), and the other, an 18 gram Ebony.

If memory serves, the phono stage was an Artemis Labs PH-1 (Slagle/Intact Audio step-up transformer), feeding a Dave Slagle autoformer volume control, and then into the above referenced exotica, and lastly into some Lowther front loaded horns with supporting bass (Klipschorn) below that.

The system loves opera.

There was unquestionably a lack of refinement in the well worn Parnassus, but in this system, one could easily tell the lineage and resemblance between it and the Olympos - not to diminish the "goodness" of the Olympos in any way, and not to diminish the importance of all of the other elements in the implementation.

I think this speaks highly of your design sensibilities - back the the Mark Knopfler example (above).