SME Model 15 in the Test

The SME model 15 occurs subtly – visually as sonically. But more to deal with vinyl playback, and the closer one looks at the 15, the clearer is that it is this matte black drive to one of the most perfect turntable of the universe.

With around 10,000 euros, the SME model 15 is not really cheap. For if you buy the kind with the British drive turntable, which themselves bring analog professionals like Transrotor-chef Jochen Rake to the swarms. And that so good get else no one in the world. Räke can acknowledge therefore quite relaxed and envy that, because he sells SME for many years in Germany: virtually any upscale player model Bergisch Gladbach is located on an arm of Steyning.

Räke sold complete SME players also regularly, but long not so numerous as the own models. Measured their salted prices drives available only in matte black have no high glamour factor. You need a while to unfold their appeal. Maybe this article will help, to speed up this process in the one or other interested parties.

The strong conical magnesium arm tube of the 309 is moving in precise, backlash-free ball bearings. The plate has a finely sanded surface made of special plastic place mat. An elaborate Terminal intensified contact. The PSU learns about three Hall sensor in the motor precise position data and controls via PI algorithms (proportional-integral) sensitive to.

What also helps – at least if you ever dealt with fine mechanics and their manufacture: just any SME product way to decompose, for viewing the items and their interlocking alone. And to be amazed that each yet so insignificant-looking detail is well thought-out and executed when you wanted to participate in a Mechanical engineering concours d’ Elegance.

As an example, let’s take the counterweight of the tonearm 309, which does not consist as normal weights of one or two components, but with carriage, locking block, ball-bearing (!) Set screw, aluminum external enclosure, and tungsten weight using his seemingly so simple task rises to science and art. And presents the same, luxurious silk-matt surface the viewer or beta ster exactly like all other silver parts of the arm.

This perfect optical/tactile unity is a distinctive mark of all SME products, although much about their creation process reveals first rather cosmetic nature,: so consistent you get out only the items when you really all itself makes all. Actually, even the screws from SME our own production are to keep the tone arm. The British company, which earns its livelihood primarily not with turntables but with precision parts for Jet engines, affords a unique manufacturing depth.

In its reduced form – barely larger than an album cover – reminiscent of the new 15 his little brother model 10 technically, however, he has more in common with the larger models 20 and 30: 4,6 kg plate as he has inherited directly from the 20s, as the Sub chassis attached to 30 O-rings with its silicone damper tub beneath the main bearing, which makes the term “floating suspension” particularly suitable Central.

The damping is tuned so that the chassis practically not swinging to and any of acoustic energy as it prevents cheating is plate and pickup in the audio signal. The player is powered by a powerful (also here: completely revised in Steyning) Pope three-phase motor with external, processor-controlled power supply that allows in addition to 33 and 45 also 78 rpm and is in Superfine 0.01% adjust steps absolutely correct speed can be.

Who works 15 with wonder immediately whether other players actually intentionally so awkward, unstable and without designed: cartridge? Thanks to the SME typical overhang adjustment a breeze: it moves the whole arm in a lathe-like sleigh instead of fumbling around on the headshell. Start and stop? Quickly, permanently silent and spooky smoothly thanks to the intelligent controlled high end motor.

Hearing test

And the sound? Majestic calm, this incredibly dynamic – so we have also the larger model 20 in memory. The 15 is worse than pure drive not one whit and comes after points because his arms slightly shorter: the 12-incher of the model we tested 20-12 could bring out little more pliant, smoother sound from the mounted pickups virtue of its geometric advantage at comparable neutrality.

But also on the 15 and his highly universal, adjustable 309 finest needles before an almost infinitely wide, carefree sound horizon show fine in all parameters and reproducible what they really can: promote the individual beauty of each individual vinyl plate unfiltered for days and not always to amaze even experienced listeners with their detail and variety of colours. Clear case: If we test next issue once again expensive MC systems, these players – including a second quick exchange – 309 will serve the candidate as a worthy vehicle.

Conclusion

Who wants to be absolutely sure to never again buy a turntable, must either submit his vinyl collection or create a SME players. Even a hint of compromise, accompanied the small 10 mm the new means entering the world of eternally valid screwdriver 15. Much more compact and less expensive than its big brothers of 20 and 30, he maybe not quite so far sounds like this, but hardly poor bottom line.

 

Gallery

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Source: www.fidelity-magazin.de

Test-Fazit: SME Model 15A

Test-Fazit: SME Model 15A

Source: www.fairaudio.de

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Source: www.fidelity-magazin.de

SME Model 15 plus Model 309 SPD copy1

SME Model 15 plus Model 309 SPD copy1

Source: www.fidelity-magazin.de

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Source: www.fidelity-magazin.de

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Source: www.fidelity-magazin.de

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Source: www.fidelity-magazin.de

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Source: www.fidelity-magazin.de

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Source: www.fidelity-magazin.de

Test: SME Model 15A – Plattenspieler

Test: SME Model 15A - Plattenspieler

Source: www.fairaudio.de

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Source: www.fidelity-magazin.de

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Source: www.fidelity-magazin.de

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Source: www.fidelity-magazin.de

Test: SME Model 15A – Plattenspieler

Test: SME Model 15A - Plattenspieler

Source: www.fairaudio.de

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Source: www.fidelity-magazin.de

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Source: www.fidelity-magazin.de

SME Model 15, l’eccellenza più compatta

SME Model 15, l'eccellenza più compatta

Source: www.quotidianoaudio.it

SME Model 15

SME Model 15

Source: www.veteranhifi.se

Test: SME Model 15A – Plattenspieler

Test: SME Model 15A - Plattenspieler

Source: www.fairaudio.de

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Test SME Model 15 mit SME Model 309 SPD

Source: www.fidelity-magazin.de