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No more SME arms!

Discussion in 'audio' started by JensenHealey, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. Cereal Killer

    Cereal Killer 432 Point5

  2. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    I hope so! ;)

    I have had every model of SME's tonearms through my hands over the last 30+ years. Back in the late 1990s, I got SME to make a special version of the 3012-R which I called the 3012-GTA. This had special wiring and a different bearing (both fitted by SME) which sounded amazing. This is the model "Rockhopper" refers too earlier in the thread. I proved over 25 years ago how much better the 3012-GTA was over the SME IV and the SME V, because it had much more emotion and energy, especially when partnered with an SPU. I demonstrated this at both London and Frankfurt HiFi shows. Having compared the 3012-R/GTA and the M2-12R, I can report the M2-12R is even better. Looks like mine is now a keeper then... :)
    hairyderriere and masterwizard like this.
  3. masterwizard

    masterwizard Member

    It sure makes me laugh the 3012r while a fantastic arm is no match for the M12r, but many dismissed the M9r and M12r. I currently own both and there is certainly no comparison.

    I actually think the earliest 312 with way way superior to the much later 312s maybe this was due to the aluminium arm tube, is even better than the m12r. The early 309 tonearms this the aluminium tubes sounded so much more musical than the later models which seemed to just rob the music.
  4. Weekender

    Weekender pfm Member

    Cool: I have a 312 on a CTC Garrard.*

    *No tecnical knowledge.
  5. myrman

    myrman pfm Member

    Out of interest how much better are the M2-R versions over the non R models? Is it just aesthetics or do they actually perform at a significantly higher level?
  6. masterwizard

    masterwizard Member

    The R versions in my opinion are vastly better they have a greater sence of space, where they really excel is in the midrange.
  7. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    Looks like SME have removed all reference to their tonearms off their website...
  8. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    Sounds like they're serious.
    hairyderriere and masterwizard like this.
  9. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    Seems a strange move, I would of thought they would sell more individual tonearms than turntable and tonearm combos, perhaps not given the recently elevated prices of the tonearms. I suppose good news for other tonearm manufacturers.
  10. MikeMA

    MikeMA pfm Member

    I'm guessing SME don't make money on the arms, and they reckon the capacity can be deployed more proffitably elsewhere, perhaps on turntable manufacture, or whatever else it is that SME do these days.

    I'd not be at all surprised if SME's new owners don't end up taking the company down the pan.
    hairyderriere likes this.
  11. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    Apart from the 3012-R and the M2-12R, I don't rate any of their other modern tonearms as there are much better tonearms out there which will give far better performance.
    hairyderriere, Mike Reed and mikeyb like this.
  12. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    Possibly, once that steller reputation is tarnished it could have a very serious effect on the whole brand. SME were always best known for making tonearms, not turntables, although their turntables came a lot later in their product history...
  13. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    Maybe they’re going to concentrate on making lp12 upgrades?
    geodiak likes this.
  14. 2N3055

    2N3055 pfm Member

    Its all very strange. Seems nonsensical. I guess we will find out what it's all about in due course.
    masterwizard likes this.
  15. geodiak

    geodiak pfm Member

    Well I have just bought the last SME IV my dealer had in stock ...
    with an JA Michell Gyro SE.
  16. k90tour

    k90tour pfm Member

    Congratulations! I have the same. What cartridge will you fit?
    geodiak likes this.
  17. geodiak

    geodiak pfm Member

    Benz Micro Glider S.
  18. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    It has been suggested on another forum that because SME are increasing and diversifying their deck manufacturing, there is only enough arm manufacturing capacity to satisfy their deck+arm record player combos. Sounds feasible. Otherwise, with R & D etc. well and truly covered for most of their range, they'd be biting the hand that feeds them if they curtailed arm production unnecessarily.
  19. G T Audio

    G T Audio Trade: Manufacturer and Distributor

    I don't buy that. High-end turntable sales are incredibly small and have been for some years. Maybe their Asian market is enough for them, but they have very serious competition in this sector as they have done very little turntable research since the 20 and 30 models were launched. Don't forget AR-A did most of the testing, development and listening work on the turntables and tonearms and he passed away back in 2006. Even 10-15 years ago a certain german TT manufacturer's turntables blew the doors off the SME 30, and it was a third of the price and just as well made.

    Like a lot of companies today, it is easier to sell a product which has a well known and established brand/name than build a new one, which is why Cadence bought Garrard.
    hairyderriere likes this.
  20. PerF

    PerF Member

    So true

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