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New SME Turntable

sme-meet-sys

Kostas is one of the most analog members of ACA. This summer he had the opportunity to change his old turntable (Pink Triangle Anniversary) with a newer and more technological advanced one. This turntable is the SME 20/3 with a VDH Condor cartridge connected to an SME V.

sme-meet-kostasIt took me about 2 hours to set up the turntable including the addition the SME V on it. The cartridge is refurbished because of an accident which led to its demise and its resurrection was done straight from the headquarters of VDH.

I do not believe that setting-up an analog turntable is as difficult as a lot of people believe. But if we would like to respect the term "high end" then we have to set it up perfectly. After the first set up I called two ACA members experienced with analog sound to get there view and perspective.

The set-up...

sme-meet-kiriakos-manos Manos and Kyriakos K. accepted my preposition about how I did setting up the turntable and to have a listening session.

On a sunny afternoon the two ACA boys came to my home. Kyriakos K. with his analog-setup-tools and Manos with lot of test-vinyl’s.

The first part was the set-up of the turntable.

The second step was the set up of the SME V specially the weight.

The third step was the anti-skate setting which helped by a anti skate test vinyl.

Finally the listening session started

It was honestly more than what I had wished for. I was never expected this difference in an analog stage upgrade.

Suddenly the music stopped and it was not because a song had ended, but because we had a black out. I mean an entire set up buildings where left without electricity without notice!

Could you believe that?

Finally after two hours and ten beers, the electricity came back. Manos had left. Kyriakos K. stayed with us about one hour to finish the listening session.

Now... What about the new turntable?

Sincerely, I couldn't believe it…It was better than the Pink Triangle specifically with Sound stage. In my life i have heard a few audio systems, to say the least and only in some of them you can find the soundstage that SME can give you. Speakers disappear and in the lost space you can see the orchestra, the instruments and the voices.

Dynamic range

It may seem weird how a a turntable can change the dynamic range compared to digital. It seemed real. It was legitimately three dimensional and live to me. The difference (just for comparisons sake) is the same between the dynamics of a B&W 800 and a B&W 805(yes, the small one).

Bass accuracy /speed/wmax

The third biggest difference was that the bass was accurate and tight.

Maybe this could be due to the turntables mass. It could have been because of the Pink Triangles age or the research put in for the SME, or, a combination of the three.

I only know that the SME proved beyond a doubt that analog is as good as a very expensive digital system but using analog you can listen to the original 1960 tape and not the remastered CD, something which makes the listening session not only complete but simply better.

By Alex Dalkalitsis

sme-meet-setup-2sme-meet-setup-3sme-meet-setup-4sme-meet-listen-1sme-meet-listen-2

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