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Based in Tokyo, LYRA is headed by Stig Bjorge from Norway, with American design engineer Jonathan Carr, and Japanese master craftsman Yoshinori Mishima making cartridges and supervising production. All products are manufactured in Japan with microscopic attention to detail under the direct supervision of these three.
Every detail of each LYRA product is thought through and executed with extreme care. LYRA is one of the few audio companies with truly original design development capability. Each new product is designed from the ground and up and introduces meaningful industry-leading advances.
The Skala is the first of LYRA designer Jonathan Carr's 5th-generation cartridge designs. At first sight the Skala appears to be made entirely of plastic, one of our distributors has even described it as a “formless white plastic blob”! However, we don't mind (not too much, anyway). The Skala is a thoroughbred design focused on delivering pure performance.
Close inspection of the Skala gradually reveals a central structure consisting of a vertical metal blade that carries the cantilever system, the magnets and the output pins, i.e. the entire functional core of the cartridge. The blade is clamped against the tonearm headshell by an outer white plastic base into which are drilled the mounting screw holes. Looking from the rear, you can see that the vertical blade passes right through the base and makes direct contact with the headshell. Since the cantilever system is also mounted directly to the blade, the cantilever has in effect a seamless connection path to the tonearm.
The metal blade of the Skala in effect functions without the resonant carapace of a traditional shell, in addition to being “nude” like the other Lyra designs.
The small contact “footprint” of the blade focuses the force imparted by the mounting screws, creating a high-pressure contact area which forms a more rigid bond between Skala and tonearm headshell than the larger mounting surface of a conventional cartridge could provide. The white plastic base forces the vertical metal blade of the Skala against the tonearm's headshell, and serves to constrain and damp resonances in the blade, and to reduce conductive material in the total body structure reducing eddy currents.