My new Soundsmith Straingauge cartridge

Well, after a bit of dillying and dallying, I finally got 'round to trying a home trial of this cart. After a couple of hours dialling in vtf, and esp. azimuth, it basically sold itself, and I bought it an hour later!
It's without doubt the fastest cart I've ever experienced, surpassing the Decca London Reference, but with none of that cart's tipped up 'whiteness'. But this blazing speed is combined with the natural sweetness of the Lyra Parnassus. It has the neutrality of the Transfiguration Orpheus with the dynamics and involvement of the ESCCo-modded Zu Denon 103. So, fast AND sweet, and neutral AND involving, combinations often too challenging for other so-called SOTA carts. All the carts I've mentioned I've had in my system over the years. But I admit, I haven't heard current contenders to the crown (Lyra Titan/Atlas, Ortofon Anna, Clearaudio Goldfinger etc) to make comparisons.
It's tracking really is superlative, 3d soundstaging/dimensionality is beyond the room constraints, and I really believe it has the least artifact-laden sound of any cart I've heard, with NO aural evidence of a diamond carving thru wax. It's really complimenting what's already a neutral, fast and dynamic analog rig in my system (Trans Fi Salvation direct rim drive tt/Trans Fi Terminator air bearing linear tracking arm)
Hi Cfluxa. I would really urge you to push for a home demo. Spkrs and cart are the two components that I believe set the character of an analog fronted system the most, and you need to be 110% sure you like that character.
Your 3 points - 99.9% of installs are going to be in a pivoted arm, so the q was more if the SG would work in my ultra short 3" wand linear tracker: there should be no issues with a 9" or 12" pivoted --- I don't have any experience of tube phonos, although I run a tube pre (Hovland HP200) and tube monoblocks (Audion Black Shadow SETs) and am a convert to the sound of glowing bottles: all I can say is that the SG is the most liquid sound I've yet heard from analog, that I don't wish for anything --- and re challenging lps: the consensus is to go for the slightly cheaper "5" stylus profile as opposed to the priciest "6". I believe the "5" comes as standard with the kit. The 6's ruthlessly revealing nature makes it a stellar performer with some lps, and too challenging with substandard ones, whereas the 5's more forgiving nature avoids all this hair pulling. My 5 stylus leaves me wanting for nothing.
Lewm, I see you're a convert to rim drive/direct drive. I myself have moved to direct rim drive w/an equally leading edge air bearing linear tracker. The fast, transparent, essentially neutral SG cart has an amazing synergy, and I've been happy to put away my phono, don't class this as a disadvantage at all. Tbh the carts I was looking at in comparison would have cost me well in excess of the SG entry ticket. And I'm really happy that at the point I need to attend to stylus wear, I'll be shelling out only $400-$600, rather than $3000 on a retip. The SG has replaced a previous SOTA Transfiguration Orpheus into the Tom Evans Groove Plus SRX, no slouch itself.
I have tried to read everything available on the internet about Peter's SG cartridge and am very close to buying one because of their obvious design advantages.

I just have one simple question that I can't get answered.

I understand that a strict adherence to RIAA is not critical to SQ (i.e., +/- .1db is marginally audible and probably over-kill).

I understand the speed, coherence, sound staging,(et. al.) of the SG is well worth a mild response variance from RIAA. Peter has publically disclosed this variance as +/-1db between 50hz and 14khz.

What I don't understand is why there is no disclosure about the magnitude of roll off from 50hz down to 20hz and the magnitude of upward tilt from 14kz up to 20kz both of which are in the audible range and generally not disputed?

I understand that a displacement sensitive design will not require any where near the equalization of a velocity sensitive design and will thereby stay fairly close to flat with no phono-stage equalization; but on the ends of the sonic spectrum Peter admits the tolerance exceeds +/-1db but refuses to quantify this variance. He seems to prefer to simply tell us it doesn't matter. Peter is beyond brilliant, but I just don't get this approach.

This technology is phenomenal and the RIAA variance has spooked many an audiophiles unnecessarily only because it diverges slightly from what is considered the norm. In turn, many technocrats in the industry cant get their perfectionist heads around what they perceive to be a deficiency.

The best speakers in the world have several dB humps and troughs at their cross-over points that are measured and then viewed as "character" by the audiophile community. (Think if an archaic manufacturing practice led to a strict linear response definition at the expense of speed, coherence, sound staging and so on in the speaker market. Seems pretty silly right?)

I don't get why Peter doesn't simply quote variation for the entire audible frequency response range, own it for what it is, take away the big mystery, and rule the world.
My experience has been that some LPs that sounded terrible with my previous Airy 3 sound fantastic with the SG and vice versa. Most LPs sound fantastic, especially mono LPs
Spirit, I would say that I am a convert away from belt-drive and that my personal experience with my Lenco is very favorable indeed. I love it. Apart from the Lenco, all my other (four) turntables are direct-drive. I confess I do have some doubts/questions about rim-drive, as it is implemented in your type of tt, using an external motor with a small diameter drive wheel that makes contact with the platter via O-rings. I would never say that that is not a good idea, but I would want to audition it for myself to see how it compares to what I've gotten used to. (I think the Trans-fi set-up is superior to the rim-drive of TT Weights and VPI, however.) As you know, on the Trans-fi Terminator, I am a big fan, from afar so far. It would be my choice among SL tonearms, if I were willing to put up with pumps and such.

Cfluxa, why would you say that the SG is "solid-statey"? It depends upon mechanical energy induced into the mechanism via a stylus. To me, that's analogue. Maybe you refer to the SG power supplies?