SME turntables

Just curious. SME tonearms are in high esteem. What about their turntables? They don't seem to be as popular.
Hi Inna,

Thanks - I appreciate the clarification. I agree with Jperry - the SME tables are really underrated, and I would say are quite a bit better than the SME tonearms. In terms of sound of the SME tables, in my experience, they are very neutral, with no significant weaknesses (other than the fact that you can only mount one tonearm on them). Compared to my Verdier La Platine, the Verdier is warmer, richer, with more density in the midbass, but not as "clean" or "stable." Moreover, the SME is superior at the frequency extremes (low bass and upper treble) - fully extended in both directions.

As one Audiogoner previously put it, the SME is almost the CD of belt driven turntables (I do not mean that pejoratively) - it is extended in the frequency extremes, precise, neutral, dynamic (both in the micro and macro sense), and of course, absolutely bulletproof; maybe a different way to put it is that it combines the strengths of digital and analog. It will tell you everything about the arm and cartridge you are using with it, but still presents music in that analog way we know and love.

I have only heard the Acutus (not the latest SP Reference) in my local dealer's system and at audio shows, but in that experience, I would say it is a little more colored than the SME 30, without the same level of resolution of low level detail. (At least in the past, resident Audiogon analog guru Rauliruegas stated that he preferred the SME to the Avid). With that said, some may prefer the Avid's tonal balance (or appearance) to the SME; in any event, either of these tables can be exceptional with the appropriate tonearm and cartridge.

However, there is also something exceptional about a well implemented direct drive turntable - for lack of a better term, they possess an authority and a continuousness (meant in the HP sense) that really stand out - even going back to the Goldmund Studio / Reference, and the top of the line Japanese tables before then, like the SP-10 Mk III. Recently I have heard both the Tech Das and the Wave Kinetics NVS at various shows, both of which I would propose as being essential auditions in their respective price ranges.

And to think that I just saw a Victor TT-81 in perfect working order on a Canadian auction site for $400. I seriously doubt that anything mentioned so far is going to out class it even at 75 X's its price!
Listen to the Kronos Pro with upgraded motors and a black Beauty tonearm.

My friend went from a SME 30-V12 arm to the Kronos.

He and I agree the Kronos is better.

He used the same cartridge and same gear ,only changed the TT and arm.

Beautiful three dimensional sound.
I'm always a bit underwhelmed by SME arms. Never heard their turntables. But IMHO SME arms seem to suck out the live of the music. Over-dampened or something. For tonearms I prefer Reed, Kuzma, Ikeda and Dynavector. But a 12" Jelco arm can be a real "giant" killer with the correct cart.
Hi Rzado,
Thank you for a detailed post. The way you generally described SME sound, it is very close to how some others described Simon Yorke sound. I am somewhat surprised that you don't appear to think highly of SME tonearms, especially compared to their tables.
Lacee, would you care to elaborate on Kronos? It might be more three dimensional than SME, what about the other elements?