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SME 15 - experiences?

Discussion in 'audio' started by iaxel, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. iaxel

    iaxel pfm Member

    Wondering if anyone auditioned/listened to the new SME 15 deck.
    Comparison between other tables in this price range will be interesting, as well as a comparison to the SME 20/3.

  2. paskinn

    paskinn pfm Member

    This model is only just coming out of the Steyning factory; I haven't heard one yet, but I have been using SME decks for 25 years and have some familiarity with the range. So I can try and give some pointers, all subject to actually hearing the deck!
    The Fifteen was originally intended to replace the unsuspended Model 10, but SME realised just how popular the 10 is, and decided to slot the 15 into the existing range. It is, of course, a three-point suspension rather than four, but the design ideas, and the execution of those ideas, fits straight into the range of SME suspended decks.
    As such, there is a strong likelihood that the Fifteen will sound stable, calm and pretty powerful in the bass...all characteristrics of the range in general. Hi Fi News has one for test, and I would bet the measured figures for speed stability and noise will be exceptionally good.
    In my opinion, you do get 'more' as you go up the range...SME aren't a stupid firm. But whether the extra performance is worth the high cost depends not just on personal taste but your system. If the system doesn't produce deep, powerful, bass, then the full advantage of spending extra will be lost. It may not be worth spending more.
    The other point here is that buying an SME is usually determined by a desire for the 'full package'....design, build, packaging, history, finish, factory long-term support. And you get that with any deck from the range.
    Sorry I can't be more specific, but, in truth, you have to hear these things for yourself . Personal taste is so crucial here. There are so many good rival decks that I wouldn't know where to begin, although the Michell Orbe with SME Five arm would be a place to start (for me anyway.)
    The world's your oyster when it comes to decks in 2015!
  3. iaxel

    iaxel pfm Member

    Thanks for the detailed response!
    A couple of years ago the 20/3A was on my TT upgrade list, but at the end I went and purchased a TW Acustic Raven GT.
    Didn't get to audition the 20/3A as the local dealer did not have it on demo.
    I very much like the aesthetics of the new 15.
    I assume it would be a side step for my TW - but you never know.
    Do you happen to know if the 15 will be available with a 12'' arm mount?
  4. abbydog

    abbydog pfm Member

    Maybe something to do with it being the best-sounding of the range? Maybe the 15 is an attempt to make a less dead sounding deck than the range toppers and make a few quid?

    Incidentally, ever since the Pink Triangle I thought the idea that more mass = more bass had been knocked on the head. Am I the only one who finds that more mass = more dead?

    Good to see the inspired and original three-point suspension though :)
  5. paskinn

    paskinn pfm Member

    I presume you haven't owned an SME deck....I loved my Pink Anniversary, in fact I like all Pink designs. But anyone who has owned both Pink and SME decks knows that the Pink will sound a bit 'swimmy' and unfocussed in comparison. However, they fight back with a most glorious, open, midrange. Lovely decks.
    As for mass and it's relationship to bass. I don't recall making any such claim, there could be all sorts of reasons for bass depth and power; mass might be one such factor.
    And pray tell, under what branch of physics would a heavier deck have to sound 'dead.'? I have owned light and heavy decks, and all points between. There are numerous factors in the design of a deck. Most can be made to work pretty well.
    It's like cooking, both ingredients and skill count toward the end result. And like cooking, we all have our favourites; that's why there are so many decks to choose from.
  6. kondo

    kondo pfm Member

    youre right the,michells are bargains,
  7. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Welcome back, Peter. pfm has been a bit moribund without your occasional thought provoking threads, and the forum needs analogue input. Far too many digits flying around !

    Incidentally, a friend has just bought a 20/3 with a Phantom 2 on it to replace his aged Orbe/SME V. Now he can experiment with swapping the Five and the Phantom. He hasn't set it all up yet, though.
  8. paskinn

    paskinn pfm Member

    Greetings Mike. I don't plan to contribute much, but as the query about the Model 15 had received no answer, I thought I would at least acknowledge the question.
    I presume that 20/3 with Phantom is the one from central Audio? If so, that was a bit of a bargain. He can use that for years and not lose a penny.. That's the way to do it!
  9. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Correct, Peter. I saw it, identified a good deal and let him know tout de suite. He followed up quickly !

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