Goldfinger Statement, Lyra Atlas or Ortofon Anna?


Hello, I'd like to get a new high-resolution MC cartridge for my Versa Dynamics 2.3 turntable.

My favorites in alphabetical order are:

Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement
Lyra Atlas
Ortofon MC Anna

My former cartridges were Clearaudio Insider Reference Wood, Dynavector DRT XV-1s and Ortofon MC A90.

The sound of my system is nearly well balanced, perhaps it is a little bit on the cooler side. Cartridges with too "hot" high frequencies will also not harmonize.

I am looking for: Beautiful Tone colors / timbres, very good sound on strings and nice soundtage with "body" and good depth. Dynamics are not so important to me, my systems sound is already very dynamic.

Perhabs nobody has ever compared all three of the mentioned cartridges, or maybe not even two of the three. But perhaps you have heard one of them or have some impressions and thoughts.

I probably listen to 1/3 jazz, 1/3 classical and 1/3 chorus/vocal.
My phonostage is Audio Research Ref Phono 2, speakers are Genesis II.

What do you thing?
Which not to choose?
Which one to choose?

I look forward to any other suggestions.
Thanks in advance for all of you help and inputs.
Alex
al2

In order to better understand your voicing, what is the rest of your system?

All three of these cart tend to offer high speed and resolution over tonal color.

A friend of mine just got the Atlas and it is very impressive, and easily competes with the Goldfinger for less money, I would say that the Atlas is the most sane choice out of these three, the new Anima is also really good, howerver, the Ortophon cart tend to be a bit on the clean but boring side.

The Atlas is very well balanced please contact me for more info, or if you have specific questions.
The Ortofon Anna is not shipping yet - I have mine on order :-) Have had the A90, the Clear Audio Insider ref wood and the XV1S too, as already stated all are great cartridges.

Of all of them I tend to prefer the Ortofon's the best they are for lack of a better word - neutral, which is why the Anna is on it way soon, I was considering the Goldfinger Statement too.

ClearAudio's greatest strength is dynamics and the Dynavector's have a great "flow" to them - very musical. The Ortofon's seem to be somewhere between the two others far as musicality and dynamics - again neutral.

I don't have much experience with the Lyra's other than a Linn Arkiv, and a ArkivB a few years back. The Linns are made by Scantec same makers of the Lyra brand

My two cents

Happy listening

Peter
All 3 are very good. You might add the Allaerts MC2 Finish and possibly the Airtight supreme....Sorry to add more. (some might also recommend the higher end Koetsu's)

I went from a Lyra Skala (which is below the Atlas) to the Allaerts (I did this 6 months for the Atlas came out). It's pretty amazing...but low output. I have heard a friends Airtight Supreme often and it excels also at tonal colors.

Which of your previous 3 cartridges did you like best? It's really hard picking a cartridge via a forum, system matching and set up are so crucial.

I want to pick up a Atlas soon...I have loved my other Lyras..but again this just my opinion in my system...
A platinum Koetsu will be a possible answer to your preferences.
I did not see a mention of your tonearm. I think the matching of the tonearm and cartridge might perhaps be the critical factor in determining which of these three is best in an absolute sense. However, as was written by the others, it may just come down to your personal preferences and how each cartridge interacts with the rest of your system.

Very few have actually heard the Anna yet, and I agree with Jfrech, the Air Tight Supreme could be considered along with those others. I own it and in my system, it is quite neutral, extended and detailed, but also portrays tonal color and timbre accurately, IMO.
..just wondering if you've also auditioned the Benz LPS? It deserves your attention.
Dear Audiofreakgeek, Peter, Jfrech, Peterayer and Stringreen

thanks for your kind and helpful words.

My system is:

Turntable: Versa Dynamics 2.3i (which has it own linear tracking arm)
Phonostage: Audio Research Ref Phono 2
Preamp: Audio Research Anniversary
Poweramp: VTL MB-750 Ref (maybe I will add an Audio Research Reference 250 which perhaps will better harmonize with my preamp)
Speakers: Genesis II

Phono cable: MIT Phono Ref (from 1996, 1 Meter) and Nordost Valhalla (1 Meter)
Interconnect cable: Nordost Valhalla (7 Meter)
Speaker cable: Nordost Valhalla (2.5 Meter)

Power cords: Elrod EPS-2 Sign. (2)
Power cords: Elrod EPS-3 Sign. (6)

Rack: Finite Pagode Master Reference (2)
Power conditioner: Burmester 948
RCM VPI HW-27 Typhoon

Because I live in Germany prices are a bit different here:

10.500 Euro: Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement
9.900 Euro: Lyra Atlas
5.975 Euro: Ortofon MC Anna

For the Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement I would get a very nice trade-in price of 6.500 EUR because I have a good working Insider Ref Wood.
So the Atlas is 50% more in price for me.

Because Mike Lavigne has a MC Anna I thought it is already available in US.

I can not reliable judge the Ortofon MC A90. I sold it very fast for a good price because the MC Anna just came out after I bought the A90.
The Dynavector DRT XV-1s is excellent on Classical Music in my system.

The Insider Ref Wood is a little bit thin and aggressive on massed strings (with higher modulation) in the upper midrange and lower treble.
But for Jazz the Insider is still fantastic on my system (I listen to lot of Jazz 1950-1970 like originals or Music Matters Blue Note reissues at 45rpm etc.).
May be you will smile, because my Insider is nearly 10 years old!

I never heard the Goldfinger v1 or v2 or Statement - are they very different from my Insider?

Perhabs the sonic differences are enhanced because of imperfect SRA/VTA adjustment.
I am still in love with my Versa Dynamics 2.3i turntable but the crux with SRA/VTA is this: Because my tonearm is ultra short (effective length ∼ 53 mm) changing the height of my tonearm to only 0,9 mm results is changing SRA for 1 angular degree!
So perhaps I soon should buy a USB Dino-Light Microscope (thank you Wally) to find a better SRA reference point of 92 degree before further fine tuning by ear?

I would love to hear the Airtight Supreme but it is very rare in my country.

Maybe richer sounding cartridges like Miyajima Kansui or Koetsus would perhaps better fit tonal to my system. But I am afraid that I will miss resolution because I lived so many years with these kind of cartridges.

Many many moons ago I heard a Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum when I visited Michael Kays Lyric in NYC. It was a fantastic sounding audio system with Well Tempered turntable ARC preamp, Manley 500 and Manly 300 driving Infinity betas and a full set of MIT cables. It was one of the best set-ups which I have ever heard: Tonal positively warmer. What was most impressive was not only the wonderful soundstage. Shocking good was the kind of soundspace (!), the believable body of the instruments.

With the right recording and lights shut down you could hear so much body and between the instruments nothing, no smearing. I never heard that again in my life.

Maybe it was a combination of the Koetsu, Manley amps and the fuller more organic than my Valhallas sounding MIT Cables? Not to forget top room acoustics and a perfect set-up done with great knowledge and patience by audio veteran Elliot Goldman.

(Sorry english is not my native language)

No, I haven't auditioned the Benz LPS. My friend had a Benz LP and was not so impressed, but I heard that the LPS is very different.

Any further input would be very appreciated.

Alex
You might want to consider your cabling rather than cartridge. No matter how much drive your preamp has once you go beyond 2-3 metres you are running into signal loss or attenuation of the high frequencies at least. I would suggest MIT Oracle interconnects/speaker cable, short interconnects, long speaker cable will greatly your system, particularly in terms of coherence and musicality.
I think the matching of the tonearm and cartridge might
perhaps be the critical factor in determining which of these three is best in an
absolute sense

Yes, this can be important when you listen very often and you want to keep your
cartridge alive for a longer time. Anyway, taste is different and like rolling a
dice. From the technical side, go for the one from those 3 which
- is minimum weight overall
- has the strongest cantilever
- has the highest VTF
I still can't see my post from yesterday, so we go again.

"My favorites in alphabetical order are:

Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement
Lyra Atlas
Ortofon MC Anna"

I heard the first one in the list. IMO a platinum Koetsu would match your preferences best.
Partnered with the ARC phono ref2 & Ref2SE, the Lyra Atlas was the most satisfying sound I have made in my system I currently have the dynavector XV1t, VDH xgp ref mk2, lyra titan i in my system. Used to have the airtight PC1, Koetsu coralstone, My Sonic Lab ultraeminent. Briefly tried the airtight PC1 supreme and an older goldfinger. I have listened to the A90 in many systems but have never felt the urge to commit.

Before the Atlas, I have 3-4 carts that I like equally as they have different strength and weaknesses. With the Atlas, I can confidently pick a number one. The resolution, dynamics and the new found tonal density and naturalness are something to behold. The entire Lyra line has great quality control with excellent channel matching, channel separation, properly aligned and perpendicular stylus.

My listening taste is similar to yours with mostly classical and jazz. The Atlas is a superb match to the ARC ref2/2SE and will not disappoint. The MSL, Airtight line have a slightly mellow top end and richer timber. This can compensate for a lean system. All very dynamic but slightly behind the lyra (atlas and titan) in their portrayal of transient: not only just the attack but also the sustain and decay. The note still start and stop with the AT/MSL but the lyra tells more on how the notes build and dissipate. Along with the tightly tracked transients, the phase info (when present in the recording) are preserved. This produce a breathe taking sonic landscape.

Before tweaking room acoustics, I prefered the airtight and MSL line for its warmth and bass dynamics. As the reverb time of the room decreased, the system/room became more capable in resolution. I reached a limit with MSL/airtight light. The lyras, VDH, xv1t were pulling more and more from the grooves.
i've not heard the Atlas; but i hope to at the Newport Beach show next week.

i have had the Anna since January; and it's the finest cartridge i have heard. simply amazing. i owned 3 A90's and it builds on the strengths of the A90 but has a richer tonal pallette while being more extended, but in particular it is more dynamic and energetic, it has balls!

with all this energy the music happens so easy, it flows and everything is just so natural. it also uncovers more detail than any cartridge i have heard, really master tape like to my ears.

i owned the Olympos SL for 2 years, and it is one of my favorite cartridges. to me the Anna has a touch of the Olympos in terms of tonal sweetness added to the transparency of the A90 plus more energy.

i could not recommend the Anna more highly. if you can listen to an Anna in a familiar system.
Syntax,

By strong cantilever I'm guessing you mean highest hardness/ lowest mass?

As for overall mass do you mean moving mass? Lower moving mass is generally considered an asset.

Highest VTF. You lost me on that. Care to expand on that opinion?

Regards,

Sean
Sytnax,

Now that I think about it in the case of the OP's tonearm higher vtf may make sense for a air bearing tonearm. Air bearing tonearms needing lower compliance in the horizontal plane. Is that the reason for the recomendation?

Regards,

Sean
Hi Dover,

thanks for your advice. I am not shure if can agree.

There is a lot of discussion between better to use short or long interconnect cables.

Never thought that 6-7 Meter interconnect is a problem if output / input impedance between preamp / power amp is considered.

I always prefer to have my analog setup on the long wall and only the mono amps between my speakers. My last system had also a 6 Meter (XLR) MIT Cables with excellent results.

Output-impedance of my ARC Anniv. primp is 600 ohms balanced and input-impedance of my VTL amp is 137k ohms so I do not see a problem.

"As a general rule of thumb, you're safe if the preamp's highest output impedance spec is 1/10 of the amp's input impedance (or the amp's input impedance is 10x the preamp's highest output impedance)"

Valhallas values seems also not critical to me: inductance 508,0 nH/m / resistance 12,8 mOhm / capacity 27 pF/m

What I will do soon is to reterminate my 7 Meter Valhalla to XLR because my ARC preamp seems sounds better on balanced outputs.

But I have to concede that for the last 15 yrs. I did not try short interconnects.

Alex
Thanks Mike
that sounds quite encouraging about the MC Anna.

Do you have an opinion on the Clearaudio Goldfingers?

Do you don't like them?

Best regards
Alex
Please excuse any misspelling it is late over here ... and a nice Riocha ...
hi Alex,

i've have only heard the Goldfinger at shows in unfamiliar systems, and i'm not sure i've heard the most up to date version at all. my impression was favorable but not very useful; sorry. 10-12 years ago the Clearaudio Insider Gold was my reference cartridge, until i fell under the spell of the vdH Colibri; which i thought at the time was much better and especially more alive sounding.

sorry i can't be more help.
Hi Mike,

I am deeply grateful for your prompt response.

You have done a lot for this beautiful passion of "high fidelity" and music, thanks again.

Very kind regards
Alex
Audiofreakgeek:

"A friend of mine just got the Atlas and it is very impressive, and easily competes with the Goldfinger for less money, I would say that the Atlas is the most sane choice out of these three, the new Anima is also really good, howerver, the Ortophon cart tend to be a bit on the clean but boring side."

Please tell me where you heard the Ortofon MC-Anna. They have not shipped yet and as far as I know, I had the only
two out.

Also, your description of the Ortofon could not be further from the truth.

Please disclose your commercial affiliations.

Jonathan Tinn
Wave Kinetics
The Atlas paired with ARC ref2(SE) was the best sound I have made out of my system. I currently have the titan i, vdh xgp ref mk2, dyna xv1t. Previously had the airtight PC1, my sonic lab ultraeminent, koetsu coralstone. Briefly tried PC1 supreme and goldfinger (forget v1 or v2) .

I am also a mostly classical / jazz listener. Before the Atlas, I have 3-4 favorite carts as they have some unique strength and weaknesses. After the Atlas, all the other carts were much less played. The resolution, dymanics, detail, along with the new found tonal naturalness made the Atlas very addicitive.

The airtight line (pc1 and the supreme) are very dynamic and reasonably detailed. They are rich sounding and have a smooth treble. A little laid back. This can complement an overly bright/lean system. Airtights do not track the transients as faithfully as the lyras. The attack, sustain and decay are all there but not very interesting. The lyras will tell you more about how the note builds and disspipate. The VDH, XV1T are great in this respect too.

In my system, Goldfinger was quite similar to the MSL which was a little better than the airtight. A friend of mine found happiness with the new GF statement but I have not had the pleasure to hear.

I have listened to A90 many times but not in my system. I never felt the urge to try one but my experience is limited by systems showcasing the A90. Anna may be a lot better.

The lyra line have excellent QC as well. Excellent channel matching, low crosstalk, near perfect orientation of the stylus The Atlas will not dissappoint.
Thanks Syntax and Sarcher30.

Can someone describe how the newer Clearaudio Goldfingers compare to my older Insider Reference Wood?

Only even more resolution?

No change in tonality?
I tried to respond but the post did not make it.

In short, the Lyra Atlas is a great match to the ARC phono 2 or 2se which I have. My listening taste is similar to yours mostly classical and jazz.

I have tried many carts and the Atlas is the best of them.
ZYX 4D, have you listened to ?
Hi Alex
As a recent owner of the Atlas ...my 2 bits. The Atlas is everything you may have read and still better. However, the prices you mention in USD terms are a wee bit stratospheric. I know it's not in your initial short list but a Titan I is a superb cart and the best part is you can get a very competitive package as and when you want to upgrade to a Atlas. Send me a PM if you feel so inclined.
NJoy
Pradeep
Hi Pani, no I haven't heard a ZYX 4D.

Before my mentioned cartdridges I had three v.d. Huls (Grasshopper IV and Black Beauty).

But for my speakers they had too much rising high-end. Otherwise I liked them for their vivid sound.
Thanks Sunnyboy1956, I have the Atlas still clear on my "radar".

But price in Germany is 50% higher compared to Ortofon Anna and Goldfinger Statement (with trade-in of my Insider).

I would invest that sum if I could be confident in the strength of the Atlas in synergy to my system.
Is there anybody out there who upgraded from Clearaudio Insider Reference Wood to the Clearaudio Goldfingers?

Improvements? Change in tonality?

Regarding the Goldfinger Statement Jonathan Valin wrote in TAS Issue 216, October 2011:

"You’re going to find this hard to fathom—I certainly did—but in tonal balance the cartridge that the Statement most resembles isn’t the Goldfinger v2 or the Ortofon A90, which is what you might expect; it is the Koetsu Blue Lace! Yep, this is a voluptuous-sounding transducer—the polar opposite of the traditional Clearaudio sound.
Now, I don’t know if this gorgeous tonal palette will change with further break-in. But at the moment this is one ravishingly beautiful cartridge to listen to. Let me be more precise here, lest you get the impression that the Statement is a highly colored cartridge. It is not. But it is warmer and sweeter and fuller (i.e., closer to lifelike with a touch of romance) than any Clearaudio I’ve heard—ever."

Can someone agree or is this only "reviewers hyperbole" ??
If anyone believes ANYTHING Valin says then good luck! I'll agree his writing skills are good but he changes his tune based on many factors, one of which are his long term "loans" of equipment !
Al2,

I did compare the two carts from your quotation. I'm not sure when this post will show up. Can you give me an email?
Audiofreakgeek: ....
Also, your description of the Ortofon could not be further from the truth.

Please disclose your commercial affiliations.

Jonathan Tinn

Audiofreakgeek:
That was Blasphemy ...(Don't ruin a presale, hype, game changer status, best
ever in our Universe.... with such comments ...)
----> otherwise
Hi Emil_f I asked audiogon to help, because I can not find the "send email" button to contact you. When I have the answer you will hear from me. Thanks.
Hi Glai thanks for your input. Did you also try the Atlas on the "Low Gain" setting of your ARC Ref 2 ? I suppose Atlas output is to low for the "Low Gain" setting.

I prefer the sound of the ARC Ref 2 on the "Low Gain" setting. In my system it sounds smoother and slightly fuller.

"High Gain" sounded more detailed to my ears.

I heard the reason is that in "Low Gain" setting the Ref 2 is a pure tube phonostage with no FETs in the signal path.

With my 0,7 mV Clearaudio I can use both settings.
The low gain was a hair quieter background for me. I usually run high gain as low gain puts the preamp close to unity gain for the quieter recordings.

The GF statement may be great as well, just I have not listened to one.

The earlier versions are quite heavy so check compatibility with your arm.
Hi Audiogon Community,
hi Emil_f,
some minutes ago audiogon mailed me this: "We currently do not have an email feature on our site."

So I established a temporarily mail-address. I appreciate if someone wants to contact me with further - perhaps more private - opinions/ informations:

mm5p.h2hfta@yahoo.de

Thanks Alex
Versa Dynamics V2.3 is the ultimate expression of this unique record player - from the responses regarding which arm you use, it is clear the poster(s) are not familiar with the Versa. In a nutshell - Versa is linear tracking headshell on air bearing, to be precise, it is SHORTER in effective lenght than your average headshell ( IEC/SME type ) - and has all the goodies necessary to support such a short arm in practice - meaning it has got to have vacuum down clamping system for the LP to be flat and not create too gross variations OF VTA, which become very audible even for relatively low warpage, which goes mostly well tolerated on conventional lenght pivoted arms. It goes one step beyond that - it adds air bearing for the platter ... I consider it to be still the best record player in existance, all things considered.

Before you splash not an inconsiderable amount of money, please consider this type of arm is ideal for high compliance cartridges. The following actually happened about 10 or so years ago: a friend finally got his Versa and since I am known to be good with turntable setup agreed I will do it. Knowing the complexity of the Versa, I chose not to risk an expensive cart for the initial set up and generally getting acquainted with the design and its numerous adjustments - one oopsa can be quite costly, as you all well know. I chose Ortofon OM 20 Super ( a superb cartridge, far underestimated by the fact equipment usually paired with can not possibly do it justice ) for the initial setup . Flying colours - never before (or since) did I measure/observe on an oscilloscope signal from vynil this good. I remember actually checking out whether signal generator has actually been unplugged from the mains, so clean was the reproduction of test signals from test LPs !

Theoretically and practically, Versa/OM 20 Super is match made in H-V-N. It sounded simply impeccable, Maria Callas in particular. So, if the table sound this good with a comparatively low priced MM, imagine how much better still it should be with the flagship MC - another Ortofon, MC 7500 at the time. That was the reasoning of my friend/owner, but I had reservations and said, well, listen to Versa /OM20 Super for a couple of days. NOOOO ! Ok, down went 20 and on 7500. Well, I did feel sorry and pity for my friend, as the Versa / MC 7500 produced the looooongest face I have ever seen in audio. Try as I might, the too low compliance of the MC 7500 was a definite no go with the Versa - ultimately, it was paired with Helius Cyalene, a heavy pivoted arm, where it finally started to sing.

VERY good results with Versa are achievable with Benz Rubys and Ebonys and TRs - all of which I have adjusted, heard and have long term satisfaction feedback from my friend. Please note these Benz carts were not the latest brass housings, which in my opinion are too heavy - but YMMV. I remember original Lyra Clavis and Parnasus were very good match with the Versa, as both Benz and Lyra, at least back then, did not use too stiff suspension/too low a compliance. Clearadios are stiffer and I would not buy it before I heard it with Versa. Orofon MC Anna also seems to be a low compliance design - a no go with Versa. For those not familiar with Versa effective masses - horizontal it is quite high, the mass of the cartridge plus at least 30 grams, but vertically can be as low as 2 and not more than say 7 grams, depending on the material of the cartridge holder/headshell one is using with.

If you do take the challenge and actually decide to try Ortofon OM 20 Super, please restrain yourself from on paper better styli 30 ( Fine Line ) and 40 ( VdH II ). If you feel elliptical on Stylus 20 is not enough, send it to a good retipping facility for at least VdH II or Gyger II - the suspension on cantilever of Stylus 20 just sounds ( and measures ) better than either 30 or 40.
Versa Dynamics V2.3 is the ultimate expression of this unique record player - from the responses regarding which arm you use, it is clear the poster(s) are not familiar with the Versa. In a nutshell - Versa is linear tracking headshell on air bearing, to be precise, it is SHORTER in effective lenght than your average headshell ( IEC/SME type ) - and has all the goodies necessary to support such a short arm in practice - meaning it has got to have vacuum down clamping system for the LP to be flat and not create too gross variations OF VTA, which become very audible even for relatively low warpage, which goes mostly well tolerated on conventional lenght pivoted arms. It goes one step beyond that - it adds air bearing for the platter ... I consider it to be still the best record player in existance, all things considered.

Before you splash not an inconsiderable amount of money, please consider this type of arm is ideal for high compliance cartridges. The following actually happened about 10 or so years ago: a friend finally got his Versa and since I am known to be good with turntable setup agreed I will do it. Knowing the complexity of the Versa, I chose not to risk an expensive cart for the initial set up and generally getting acquainted with the design and its numerous adjustments - one oopsa can be quite costly, as you all well know. I chose Ortofon OM 20 Super ( a superb cartridge, far underestimated by the fact equipment usually paired with can not possibly do it justice ) for the initial setup . Flying colours - never before (or since) did I measure/observe on an oscilloscope signal from vynil this good. I remember actually checking out whether signal generator has actually been unplugged from the mains, so clean was the reproduction of test signals from test LPs !

Theoretically and practically, Versa/OM 20 Super is match made in H-V-N. It sounded simply impeccable, Maria Callas in particular. So, if the table sound this good with a comparatively low priced MM, imagine how much better still it should be with the flagship MC - another Ortofon, MC 7500 at the time. That was the reasoning of my friend/owner, but I had reservations and said, well, listen to Versa /OM20 Super for a couple of days. NOOOO ! Ok, down went 20 and on 7500. Well, I did feel sorry and pity for my friend, as the Versa / MC 7500 produced the looooongest face I have ever seen in audio. Try as I might, the too low compliance of the MC 7500 was a definite no go with the Versa - ultimately, it was paired with Helius Cyalene, a heavy pivoted arm, where it finally started to sing.

VERY good results with Versa are achievable with Benz Rubys and Ebonys and TRs - all of which I have adjusted, heard and have long term satisfaction feedback from my friend. Please note these Benz carts were not the latest brass housings, which in my opinion are too heavy - but YMMV. I remember original Lyra Clavis and Parnasus were very good match with the Versa, as both Benz and Lyra, at least back then, did not use too stiff suspension/too low a compliance. Clearadios are stiffer and I would not buy it before I heard it with Versa. Orofon MC Anna also seems to be a low compliance design - a no go with Versa. For those not familiar with Versa effective masses - horizontal it is quite high, the mass of the cartridge plus at least 30 grams, but vertically can be as low as 2 and not more than say 7 grams, depending on the material of the cartridge holder/headshell one is using with.

If you do take the challenge and actually decide to try Ortofon OM 20 Super, please restrain yourself from on paper better styli 30 ( Fine Line ) and 40 ( VdH II ). If you feel elliptical on Stylus 20 is not enough, send it to a good retipping facility for at least VdH II or Gyger II - the suspension on cantilever of Stylus 20 just sounds ( and measures ) better than either 30 or 40.
Versa Dynamics V2.3 is the ultimate expression of this unique record player - from the responses regarding which arm you use, it is clear the poster(s) are not familiar with the Versa. In a nutshell - Versa is linear tracking headshell on air bearing, to be precise, it is SHORTER in effective lenght than your average headshell ( IEC/SME type ) - and has all the goodies necessary to support such a short arm in practice - meaning it has got to have vacuum down clamping system for the LP to be flat and not create too gross variations OF VTA, which become very audible even for relatively low warpage, which goes mostly well tolerated on conventional lenght pivoted arms. It goes one step beyond that - it adds air bearing for the platter ... I consider it to be still the best record player in existance, all things considered.

Before you splash not an inconsiderable amount of money, please consider this type of arm is ideal for high compliance cartridges. The following actually happened about 10 or so years ago: a friend finally got his Versa and since I am known to be good with turntable setup agreed I will do it. Knowing the complexity of the Versa, I chose not to risk an expensive cart for the initial set up and generally getting acquainted with the design and its numerous adjustments - one oopsa can be quite costly, as you all well know. I chose Ortofon OM 20 Super ( a superb cartridge, far underestimated by the fact equipment usually paired with can not possibly do it justice ) for the initial setup . Flying colours - never before (or since) did I measure/observe on an oscilloscope signal from vynil this good. I remember actually checking out whether signal generator has actually been unplugged from the mains, so clean was the reproduction of test signals from test LPs !

Theoretically and practically, Versa/OM 20 Super is match made in H-V-N. It sounded simply impeccable, Maria Callas in particular. So, if the table sound this good with a comparatively low priced MM, imagine how much better still it should be with the flagship MC - another Ortofon, MC 7500 at the time. That was the reasoning of my friend/owner, but I had reservations and said, well, listen to Versa /OM20 Super for a couple of days. NOOOO ! Ok, down went 20 and on 7500. Well, I did feel sorry and pity for my friend, as the Versa / MC 7500 produced the looooongest face I have ever seen in audio. Try as I might, the too low compliance of the MC 7500 was a definite no go with the Versa - ultimately, it was paired with Helius Cyalene, a heavy pivoted arm, where it finally started to sing.

VERY good results with Versa are achievable with Benz Rubys and Ebonys and TRs - all of which I have adjusted, heard and have long term satisfaction feedback from my friend. Please note these Benz carts were not the latest brass housings, which in my opinion are too heavy - but YMMV. I remember original Lyra Clavis and Parnasus were very good match with the Versa, as both Benz and Lyra, at least back then, did not use too stiff suspension/too low a compliance. Clearadios are stiffer and I would not buy it before I heard it with Versa. Orofon MC Anna also seems to be a low compliance design - a no go with Versa. For those not familiar with Versa effective masses - horizontal it is quite high, the mass of the cartridge plus at least 30 grams, but vertically can be as low as 2 and not more than say 7 grams, depending on the material of the cartridge holder/headshell one is using with.

If you do take the challenge and actually decide to try Ortofon OM 20 Super, please restrain yourself from on paper better styli 30 ( Fine Line ) and 40 ( VdH II ). If you feel elliptical on Stylus 20 is not enough, send it to a good retipping facility for at least VdH II or Gyger II - the suspension on cantilever of Stylus 20 just sounds ( and measures ) better than either 30 or 40.
Versa Dynamics V2.3 is the ultimate expression of this unique record player - from the responses regarding which arm you use, it is clear the poster(s) are not familiar with the Versa. In a nutshell - Versa is linear tracking headshell on air bearing, to be precise, it is SHORTER in effective lenght than your average headshell ( IEC/SME type ) - and has all the goodies necessary to support such a short arm in practice - meaning it has got to have vacuum down clamping system for the LP to be flat and not create too gross variations OF VTA, which become very audible even for relatively low warpage, which goes mostly well tolerated on conventional lenght pivoted arms. It goes one step beyond that - it adds air bearing for the platter ... I consider it to be still the best record player in existance, all things considered.

Before you splash not an inconsiderable amount of money, please consider this type of arm is ideal for high compliance cartridges. The following actually happened about 10 or so years ago: a friend finally got his Versa and since I am known to be good with turntable setup agreed I will do it. Knowing the complexity of the Versa, I chose not to risk an expensive cart for the initial set up and generally getting acquainted with the design and its numerous adjustments - one oopsa can be quite costly, as you all well know. I chose Ortofon OM 20 Super ( a superb cartridge, far underestimated by the fact equipment usually paired with can not possibly do it justice ) for the initial setup . Flying colours - never before (or since) did I measure/observe on an oscilloscope signal from vynil this good. I remember actually checking out whether signal generator has actually been unplugged from the mains, so clean was the reproduction of test signals from test LPs !

Theoretically and practically, Versa/OM 20 Super is match made in H-V-N. It sounded simply impeccable, Maria Callas in particular. So, if the table sound this good with a comparatively low priced MM, imagine how much better still it should be with the flagship MC - another Ortofon, MC 7500 at the time. That was the reasoning of my friend/owner, but I had reservations and said, well, listen to Versa /OM20 Super for a couple of days. NOOOO ! Ok, down went 20 and on 7500. Well, I did feel sorry and pity for my friend, as the Versa / MC 7500 produced the looooongest face I have ever seen in audio. Try as I might, the too low compliance of the MC 7500 was a definite no go with the Versa - ultimately, it was paired with Helius Cyalene, a heavy pivoted arm, where it finally started to sing.

VERY good results with Versa are achievable with Benz Rubys and Ebonys and TRs - all of which I have adjusted, heard and have long term satisfaction feedback from my friend. Please note these Benz carts were not the latest brass housings, which in my opinion are too heavy - but YMMV. I remember original Lyra Clavis and Parnasus were very good match with the Versa, as both Benz and Lyra, at least back then, did not use too stiff suspension/too low a compliance. Clearadios are stiffer and I would not buy it before I heard it with Versa. Orofon MC Anna also seems to be a low compliance design - a no go with Versa. For those not familiar with Versa effective masses - horizontal it is quite high, the mass of the cartridge plus at least 30 grams, but vertically can be as low as 2 and not more than say 7 grams, depending on the material of the cartridge holder/headshell one is using with.

If you do take the challenge and actually decide to try Ortofon OM 20 Super, please restrain yourself from on paper better styli 30 ( Fine Line ) and 40 ( VdH II ). If you feel elliptical on Stylus 20 is not enough, send it to a good retipping facility for at least VdH II or Gyger II - the suspension on cantilever of Stylus 20 just sounds ( and measures ) better than either 30 or 40.
This may be a record!
As an Ortofon dlr who also owns A90 and now the new Anna I can say the Anna will amaze! If slightly more warmth and tone color is what you're looking for, the Anna will provide those and dynamics, rock solid imaging, and by far the most musical presentation possible. I must state that personally I have not had the opportunity to compare the Anna to the Goldfinger or the Lyra Atlas. I'm using the Anna in a Spiral Groove Centroid arm on the SG1.1 table and in a Tri-Planar arm as well with stunning results.