The American Sound Turntable- Beyond's Minimalist!

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,624
495
83
North Shore of Boston
#41
No, we had a kick ass tool & die division in my factory, I had it backward engineered and slightly modified, then we updated the motor, controller and the pump that came with the unit. My guy was one of those old school genius mechanics who could make anything and we had all high end precision machinery needed for the job in house. We used to make everything ourselves back then.

david
I see. So is your AS table modified with the updated motor, controller and pump? Were you able to hear any differences between the updated original and these newer copies? Have you thought about producing another run of ten or so and what would be a ball park selling price? I'm sure jam and others would love to know.

I find this fascinating and am curios why no one else has attempted such a project. I mean, the TechDas is a success at $100K. Surely there is an opportunity for someone with the requisite experience to produce something like your AS for considerably less than that. The other thing that intrigues me about the AS is that it seems fairly uncomplicated so that it would be relatively trouble/service free for years and apparently offers outstanding sonics.
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,963
498
83
Utah
#42
I see. So is your AS table modified with the updated motor, controller and pump? Were you able to hear any differences between the updated original and these newer copies? Have you thought about producing another run of ten or so and what would be a ball park selling price? I'm sure jam and others would love to know.

I find this fascinating and am curios why no one else has attempted such a project. I mean, the TechDas is a success at $100K. Surely there is an opportunity for someone with the requisite experience to produce something like your AS for considerably less than that. The other thing that intrigues me about the AS is that it seems fairly uncomplicated so that it would be relatively trouble/service free for years and apparently offers outstanding sonics.
Mine are the original ones, I already had two and didn't need another one. I wanted the updated motor/controller and pump but just like the barber who has the worst haircut in the shop, I never got around to making them for myself, but its on the to do list! If I ever get 6 people then I can check and see how much a small run would cost today.

There are more turntable manufacturers out there than you think, we have our Win here with his marvelous Saskia, a very unique player, ask him what's involved in marketing it. Building it is one thing, making money doing it is another. The old adage make it and they will come is only in the movies, real life is very different. Believe it or not even at $100k msrp the margin on AF1 for the manufacturer isn't much, then deduct the infra structure, marketing and operational costs, repairs, updates, R&D dept. and you're left with a sliver.

david

(Edit) You shouldn't forget that by 2002 all the high end turntable manufacturers including Micro Seiki were gone, there was no market or incentive for anyone else to jump in back then. We're lucky to have this unexpected revival at this point in time, we owe it to digital's failure to deliver the "Perfect Sound Forever" promise :D!
 
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audio-land

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May 10, 2015
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#43
Mine are the original ones, I already had two and didn't need another one. I wanted the updated motor/controller and pump but just like the barber who has the worst haircut in the shop, I never got around to making them for myself, but its on the to do list! If I ever get 6 people then I can check and see how much a small run would cost today.

There are more turntable manufacturers out there than you think, we have our Win here with his marvelous Saskia, a very unique player, ask him what's involved in marketing it. Building it is one thing, making money doing it is another. The old adage make it and they will come is only in the movies, real life is very different. Believe it or not even at $100k msrp the margin on AF1 for the manufacturer isn't much, then deduct the infra structure, marketing and operational costs, repairs, updates, R&D dept. and you're left with a sliver.

david

(Edit) You shouldn't forget that by 2002 all the high end turntable manufacturers including Micro Seiki were gone, there was no market or incentive for anyone else to jump in back then. We're lucky to have this unexpected revival at this point in time, we owe it to digital's failure to deliver the "Perfect Sound Forever" promise :D!
The last paragraph is so undeniable too good to be false... let's spin side B....Happy spinning
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,624
495
83
North Shore of Boston
#44
(Edit) You shouldn't forget that by 2002 all the high end turntable manufacturers including Micro Seiki were gone, there was no market or incentive for anyone else to jump in back then. We're lucky to have this unexpected revival at this point in time, we owe it to digital's failure to deliver the "Perfect Sound Forever" promise :D!
When was the SME 30 introduced? Perhaps this is an odd case because SME was only making tonearms before the 30 was introduced. I thought it was around that time. Perhaps it is not considered "high end" by the standards of the Japanese firms, but they sure were selling a lot of tonearms and perhaps this turntable in 2002.
 

BruceD

VIP/Donor
Dec 13, 2013
992
48
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#45
I've owned and used SME arms since the 60's--on those days when you rang the factory for support you got Robertson-Aickman himself on the blower-ha!--wonderful personal service and parts supply without question

Like David states and I agree the early Knife Edge versions "sound" the best of the brand--they seemed to have gone slightly off course of late-but superb product nevertheless

I've heard the V12 arm on a TechDas AFOne with the Toshiba Cart and it was superb.

Brit Audio is alive and well there:)

BruceD
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,963
498
83
Utah
#46
When was the SME 30 introduced? Perhaps this is an odd case because SME was only making tonearms before the 30 was introduced. I thought it was around that time. Perhaps it is not considered "high end" by the standards of the Japanese firms, but they sure were selling a lot of tonearms and perhaps this turntable in 2002.
Not exactly sure Peter, I think that the first SME table was introduced much earlier than that. They were sold there from the start but probably gained momentum when Japanese high end tt manufacturers went away. Late 90's was a strange time, the high end brands disappeared almost overnight, only a few short years after introducing some amazing Statement designs. That's why I did that small run of AS tables for friends, the company was long gone and we couldn't buy it anymore. No more Micro Seiki or EMT either...
david
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,963
498
83
Utah
#47
I've owned and used SME arms since the 60's--on those days when you rang the factory for support you got Robertson-Aickman himself on the blower-ha!--wonderful personal service and parts supply without question

Like David states and I agree the early Knife Edge versions "sound" the best of the brand--they seemed to have gone slightly off course of late-but superb product nevertheless

I've heard the V12 arm on a TechDas AFOne with the Toshiba Cart and it was superb.

Brit Audio is alive and well there:)

BruceD
Good old days Bruce. Shame they killed the 30xx arms, the replacement M arms aren't anywhere as good.
david
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,624
495
83
North Shore of Boston
#48
Just got word from a good friend who owns a Model 30. He has an early table and it is 20 years old, so that would be 1995. Aickman himself brought the first prototype to CES and it made quite a sensation. That 20 year old table is still running like a clock and he uses it daily along with his 30/12.

I think SME just quietly chugs along. Little advertising, few reviews, no shows. But they sell many tables and there is a waiting list for the bigger ones.

Back to the American Sound. Sorry for the diversion. I just thought I would mention that SME never went away during the CD heyday.
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,963
498
83
Utah
#50
Yes....the American Sound. Thinking about still keeps me awake at night!

I should make a t-shirt out of this:D
LOL Jam! Wait till you hear it, you'll never fall asleep after that.

david
 
May 30, 2010
15,499
710
113
Portugal
#51
Good old days Bruce. Shame they killed the 30xx arms, the replacement M arms aren't anywhere as good.
david
You can get an excellent condition used SME 3012 in Europe typically for around euro 1000. A few years ago they would sell for one third of this value. :(
 

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