SME IV on SL-1200mk5

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audiopile
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SME IV on SL-1200mk5

Post by audiopile » 19 Sep 2018 06:09

I bought this combo awhile ago (several years) -it's been waiting for me to get to it - the guy I bought it from was somehow not happy with it. Demo'd that it at least worked and then took his cart and went home with my money. The only issue I've discovered is that you really do have to use the thicker platter matt or the pivot will be high (depending on cart -might not be a problem?). Also installed one of KAB's new spindle thrust plates - these finally do deal with the one part that was pretty much guaranteed to wear out with normal use (OK -lots of normal use -but you're using your 1200/10 lots ?) . This is probably the cheapest ,easiest 1200 mod and I think it actually DOES make the table a little quieter in terms of rumble ( I've only done three tables so far). So -mounted a Denon DL-301-II and away we go. I will freely admit to powerful expectation bias - I seem to run about 10 years between working on SME V arms and this is the only IV (of either variant) I've ever installed.Everytime I'm re-impressed with the linear flow of setting these up - you just go from step to step and you're done. None of this going back to see if adjustment d threw adjustment b out of wack. Always assuming that you are dealing with a new unmolested arm -these are the easiest to install tone arm I know of. And the other thing that I always notice is how remarkably dead these arms are -not in terms of what comes out of the cartridge but the arm tube just doesn't want to ring and this seems to impart a precision to the imaging - things like brushwork and cymbal shots just hover in place and decay there.Best bass I've gotten out of 301-II in any arm I've tried so far. My IV is the silver original model -which I think has been disco'd now for 25 years or so -this one still works fine . It is sorta strange that there still are national hi fi markets - used SME's go for pretty fair prices in the UK where they've always had a appreciative audience - we seem much more fickle about what's the arm de jour at any given moment here in the states.

cafe latte
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Re: SME IV on SL-1200mk5

Post by cafe latte » 19 Sep 2018 07:48

That is one combination I would love to hear, the stock arm with a damper is very good indeed, but I freely admit the sme309 and above will be the ultimate Technics sl1200.
Chris

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Re: SME IV on SL-1200mk5

Post by Sterling1 » 19 Sep 2018 14:25

I have thought about purchasing/installing a mounting plate and SME 309 to my new SL-1210GR but I have reservations. I do not know anything about electronics repair and I have no tools. I assume I'd need to know how to use a soldering iron, which I don't. So, that leaves me to having the work done but I know of no one in my area that does this sort of work. This has made me think I should forget the matter and just enjoy my turntable with factory tonearm which seems to be competent enough to get all there is to get from the groove.

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Re: SME IV on SL-1200mk5

Post by audiopile » 19 Sep 2018 16:59

Couple of further details about this combo: 1.) The stock dustcover and hinges work just fine. 2.) I tend to run four or five times as many MM carts as MC - arm capacitance is a big deal for me. So I plugged a Audioquest Wildcat DIN to RCA with ground as a replacement for the Van Den Hull cable that came with the arm. This requires drilling a 7/8" hole horizontally from the arm hole in the rubber base to the back of the turntable . I probably wasted more time trying to decide what of my small selection of actually factory new medium to high compliance carts to install (Effective mass of 10-11 grams) - the Denon 301-II seems to shine in that arm -running that into a AU-250 SUT ( this is the least expensive SUT Denon ever made-works a treat with their roughly 40 ohm carts- 33 in the case of the 301)-that then goes into a Lounge Audio LCR III phono stage. I still have one gripe with this combo - being a lazy guy -I'd really like to have a auto lift of some sort - but don't see anywhere to place one with this arm/table combo.Shoulda gotten around to this a lot earlier - its a pleasure to listen thru.

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