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Thread: Advice on new table

  1. #1

    Advice on new table

    Hey. Just joined the forum after reviewing threads for sometime.

    I know this is a subjective question but would appreciate y'alls thoughts on a purchase I'm planning.

    I currently have an SME 20/2, which I purchased used about 14 years ago. It's been a great table, but I'm upgrading my whole system and am planning to purchase a much more substantial table.

    I was planning to buy a SME 30/12 because I have been so content with my current table, but for some reason I'm also very drawn to the VPI classic direct, which is a bit less expensive as well.

    Any opinions as to which of these I should buy? I listen primarily to rock, blues, some jazz.

    Associated equipment is audio research ref 6 preamp, audio research ref 3 phono, Mark levinson 536 amps, magico s5 mkii speakers



  2. #2
    Can I just say that Weisfield commented that the facilities don't exist to make Sp10 motors anymore - why I don't know - but he was talking about the VPI Classic. If you are spending the kind of money that will get you an SME 30/2 there's an awful lot of exotica that is likely to be able to float your boat so to speak - why the VPI Classic?

    For the price of the SME 30/2 you can get the first rung of the AirForce range and your SME v arm will go well with it

  3. #3
    Yes. Subsequent to my initial post, I now think I need to expand range. Now looking at AF2 or Kronos but need to go hear AF2 in person. AF2 would fit in my space a bit better and seems very cool with the suction and air bearing.

  4. #4
    What country are you in?

  5. #5
    US - texas

  6. #6
    Interesting - the US is a very good market for SME. The 30 - especially the 12 inch version gets a lot of plaudits - the 9 inch arm that you have will still work on it.

    I heard the Kronos - not really bowled over by it.

    What is it that you want in your new deck. Basis, for instance, are great value in the USA just like VPI. Brinkmann are a great deck too... I envy your choice and budget.

    What are your dealers like? Whenever I have spoken to US shops they are very enthusiastic and helpful. see if you can take some of ur own components to the dealer, better still ask for a home audition - at your kinda money the dealers ought to oblige imho

  7. #7
    Addicted to Best! PeterA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    North Shore of Boston
    The Kronos, TechDAS and SME are all good options. I have heard them all, AF1 though not the AF2 model, in different systems. You should definitely try to hear one or more in your own system, but that may be very difficult. The TechDAS AF2 I think can take two arms if that is important. Interestingly, these are all belt drive tables while the VPI is DD. You should read the HighFi News reviews of the SME and TechDAS. Specs are very close in terms of noise, wow, rumble, speed etc. It may come down to dealer proximity and service. The Kronos has the new power supply option for extra money. I suspect they do sound different, though I have never heard them in direct comparisons.

    You have some nice options. Enjoy the research and let us know what you learn.
    My system link on WBF:
    Analog: SME 30/12, SME V-12, My Sonic Labs Signature Gold, AirTight Supreme, VDH Colibri Platinum, MINT LP protractor
    Electronics: Pass Labs XA160.5 amp, XP-22 preamp, XP-25 phono, Cables: Transparent REF XL MM2,
    Speakers: Magico Q3, Magico Mini II, Essentials: Jim Smith RoomPlay, 3 Vibraplanes, Dedicated circuits

  8. #8
    I see that the Caliburn manufacturer has a new deck out:

    should be good

  9. #9
    Addicted to Best! awsmone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Canberra Australia

    All the suggestions above are good

    The other two I would suggest

    Kuzma M which is engineered to the same standard as sme with the incredible 4point arm, there is a great photo essay in this forum

    And Monaco direct drive which Roy Gregory just reviewed the new version

    Good luck
    "An audiophile is only done when they go to the great brick and mortar store in the sky"


  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    If I where to begin (or even ending) with a TT the only one I would choose would be the Thorens TD124 made by Swissonor with their own tonearm and voltage regulator.
    These guys really know what they do.
    They have been physically in touch with some of the engineers who worked on the creaton of this machine and have an indisputable knowledge of how to make this table sound like Music. They have tested nearly all the materials possible for the plinth, armboard, platter etc. and some can kill the sound easily. They made a new bearing also. Imagine if you worked about 15 years on a model with skill and passion : the result you could obtain...
    I wish I could have heard it sooner in my life and so have spared a lot of money and have the best sound from a TT I ever heard. Did I say «*sound*» ? Music would be a better world.
    I have no interest at all with Swissonor but let me tell you that when Schopper works a full day on restoring a 124, Swissonor’s tech works a full 4 days on it. This man wrote a thesis on how to restore a 124. He also is a confirmed musician playing clavichord. This syas much about his mechanics skill and ears for making TT sound good.

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