In April this year I purchased a Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2 (GFS from here on out). It was a struggle at first.
I loved my Lyra Atlas, had a few friends that owned them also so got to hear in a variety of systems. And the Atlas was my 5th ! Lyra over the years, Lydian Beta, Helikon, Skala (x2 a oops moment) then the Atlas. I had zero complaints about my Atlas until my dealer brought a Allaerts MC2 Finish over one day. The beauty and speed it posssed along with just killer ability to unravel things got me wondering. I went back and for from the Atlas and Allaerts over about a 3 year period. Would listen to one for 6-8 months and swap to the other. My Nagra VPS barely able to amplify the Allaerts properly (.2mv) vs the Atlas at .54mv.
Early this year my dealer brought a GFS buy my home. It was his demo unit and at .6mv I was thinking a great match for my phono stage. The Nagra has been tough to replace...other things beat it here and there...but it somehow wins out when you add everything up. I think I've had the Nagra for 8 years now? It's been quite a stretch...Back to the GFS. At first I didn't' like it. Felt like it had the beauty but was missed the deep bass explosion of the Atlas...and just sounding thin. I sent it back.
My dealer was surprised.
He talked me into a 2nd audition. Tweaking the setup a bit more. I still reacted the same way. Then when he came to retrieve it, and hearing the same things as I was...started checking everything. Turns out the Spiral Groove Pivot to spindle gauge was off a touch (~2mm) and that required us to drill a new armboard. Also, having Transparent cabling, I knew my phono interconnects were tuned for the Lyra vs the GFS...so off those went and I borrowed my dealers Opus Phono tuned to the GFS (vs my Magnum Opus tuned for the Lyra)
So first goes in the new arm board, and proper alignment. We were able to get proper alignment before via a Fieckert Protractor, it just never looked right in headshell. Now with the spindle to pivot right, perfect alignment, I began to hear what others have discussed on the GFS. Just a killer inner resolution, a beauty that's hard to to match, deep extended and very textured bass and imaging that is wide deep and unravels better that the Allearts.
I was also hearing the "tuning" of the Transparent cables...when my cables came back, the flesh, meat on the bones and the better Magnum Opus wire began to shine.
So I ordered it. Musical Surroundings has a neat supply chain...more centralized, so dealers usually don't have to wait more than 48 hours for delivery (a big deal I think)
Takes about 100 hours to settle down. Is tight and lean at first...but over the course on the break in period...begins to shine, relax and has that rare combination of beauty, hi rez and unravels better than anything I have heard so far.
Very happy GFS owner ! Ne Plus Ultra in Austin, Tx is my dealer.
PS, I had posted here and elsewhere during the audition that I wasn't totally sold on the GFS...time to set the record straight. The GFS is fantastic and the cartridge I've yet owned !