Has anybody taken the plunge and upgraded from a SME MK1 turntable, any model number, to the equivilent MK2 version?
If so, was it a night and day difference?
It is something I cannot afford to do. The “cost to change” figures equal an awful lot of vinyl!!!
I didn’t own an SME mk1 but I heard a 20/3 some years ago over a few hours listening and although what I heard was a very clean, controlled and detailed sound it lacked the last word in transient speed. When I heard a SME 12 mk2 a couple of months ago (with the improved AC power supply and motor) that short coming wasn’t there. I subsequently bought a 20/3 mk2 and am really enjoying it. Better in most areas of sound than the Naim Solstice that I owned before with excellent build quality that hopefully will lead to trouble free ownership.
They are built down the road from me and I always liked the look of them. I suppose at the price it should better the Solstice (mind you your mods tot he solstice probably bring the price to a similar level. What would you describe as the differences?
Good question Ryder. The Solstice with an ARO2 like the LP12 with an ARO1 has that lovely fluid midrange. On certain types of music the appeal of that is obvious. The SME doesn’t quite match those decks in that area but bass is better defined and the top end more expressive. There’s definitely better control when things get complex over those other two decks. The sound is super grain free also. So I’ve been playing a lot of my Classical collection which I wasn’t much with the Solstice. You own a very good deck that you say has given you zero problems so enjoy.
This topic is relevant for me as I’m looking to upgrade my tt next year so as to do proper justice to my incredible Ortofon A90 MC. While I’d prefer to spend less money I am considering the SME Model 12 Mk2 (w/309 arm) or even the Kuzma R w/4 Point 9 arm (inc Cardas Clear cable upgrade).
I have to admit I quite like the look of the SME and when I was first getting into hi-fi SME was always that aspirational brand that I lusted over but could never see myself affording so I am partly drawn to the Model 12.
Would the Model 12 Mk2 be goof for someone looking for a neutral deck that is punchy, has a deep.tight bass and can resolve complex passages? I listen primarily to heavy metal hence the sound I’m looking for.
Based on what I heard I’d say yes. Lots of options on the market for you to choose from.