I believe there is a difference besides the color of the print. I can't remember what I read, but I think it has to do with type of wiring and perhaps the bearing. I'd send an email to SME and ask the question.
Wise decision ... The SME30 base is a precision device that locks perfectly in place. I considered it, just to have an SMEV and a Graham 2.2 in the SME30. BTW, as far as I know the silver/gold lettering is now just a cosmetic option, all current SMEV's come with vdH silver litz wire of type MCS150.
You're welcome Bruce. In case of the V/12 I agree with you, it is easier to swap out arms on armboards than changing cartridges. I'm sure if you look around you can find older V/12s if silver is an issue, it is for me.