SME Model 15 MK2 vs Feickert Blackbird or Firebird or Sota Millennia Eclipse

Considering possible turntable upgrades.  I have an SME IV.VI arm from about 10-15 years ago and an older Sota Star Sapphire table with vacuum hold down. 

Option 1 - SME Modem 15 MK 2 with new motor

Option 2 - Feickert Blackbird or Firebird

Option 3 - Upgrade my Sota to a new Millennia Eclipse

Thank you!



Ouch not a VPI.

Unless you want a new TT or the smaller footprint of the SME, I would recommend getting the SOTA serviced and upgraded - it is still a great deck, more than competitive today.

Similarly with the SME IV.VI - if you are worried, SME can do a full service, including checking the bearings, rewire with updated wire etc. Their servicing is usually very very good, new packaging etc included - I have also seen them replace arm tubes simply because the paint was tatty.

Put the extra cash into a really nice cartridge and or phono stage.

There have been more advances in phono stages in the last 10-15 years than any of the other items.


I went from a SME10 which is an excellent table for the money to a 

Feickert Blackbird and it was better, fuller bass all though the SME had a Triplanar and the BB has Thales tonearm.

The got a SL1200G then SL1210GAE sold the BB 

I wonder how much better the new MK 2 of the SME tables will be....not a lot of reviews out yet. 

I do really like the ability to have two arms on the Feickert.  

Of the tables you list I like the Feickert Blackbird but if it was my money I'd be getting the Kuzma Stabi R with 2 "wings". 

I say stick with your SOTA and upgrade if you want.  All the tables you list, including the TechDas, are fantastic.  None of them will fundamentally change what you get out of your records compared to the SOTA. I personally would think about a new tonearm (Kuzma 4 point 9? Audiomods?, Schroder?).  Don't know what cartridge or phono pre you are using.