Tonearm/Cart Matching Assistance - SAEC 407/23

Has anyone used this tonearm? Can you tell me whether it is suitable for high/medium/low compliance cartridges?
Thanks, Travis

@harpo75 : The Warning because he puts that way comes in the operation manual of the SMC 10 LOMC designed by Dr. Sao Win. That cartridge came from 2018 and Dr. Win manufactured too a Srain Gauge cartridge and TT too.

I sold my sample and I don't have any more the manual. By coincidence SME changed from knife/ball historical bearings to ABEC9 gimball in its SME V and you can be sure that did it for good reasons.

Thak’s lewm.



Thanks.  I used to sell Micro Seiki turntables and Saec back in the 80’s.  One thing was the Saec double knife edge bearings were much better then most other companies.  Even Micro Seiki used them on their turntables and even at the audio shows when demoing.  Anyway I’ve always had high regard for the sound quality from them.  Not saying they are the best or anything but extremely good.  
But after installing my Technics EPC-U205C mk3 (headshell is very critical to the sound. Lighter the better & wood seemed best) and a EPC-205C mkIV on two different Saec arms.  A WE-308L (fonolab upgrade) which was on a Thorens TD-125L (very modded) and a WE-407/TM on the Micro I kept having tracking issues.  I’m quick burst, whether vocal or instrument, I would hear a kind of thump which I finally realized was miss-tracking after working on every area forever.  So yes I tend to believe there is an issue between the cartridge and arm.  I’ve done literally ever to try to remedy this.  
I got ahold of an old Signet TK-6020 cartridge analyzer and test record and no matter what I did, seemed like combinations of adjustments and tweaks and dampening  even, I couldn’t get rid of the tracing issue.  I have gotten it to sound absolutely wonderful otherwise but that “pooffpp” sound sometimes on quick dynamic parts is annoying to say the least.  That’s the best I describe the sound it makes.  It’s kind of like the sound of a turn-on thump but very quick.  
All this to say yes I do believe what you are saying.  I really love the Saec arm but if I don’t find a cartridge that can give me the sound quality that I like from the Technics using the 407 I’ve considered maybe looking at the Technics arm to use with the 205C mkIV. 

@harpo75  : The knifge type of tonearm bearing " tend " to rattle.

Yes, you are rigth because japanese audiophiles loved the SAEC tonearms, its reality is that are a beauty toour eyes.I owned those 3 models from new that I bougth in LA ( Ilive in Mèxico city. ) Japanese Stereo importer that was if I remember in Wilsher Blvd.

Well,If you still own the EPA-100 this is very good option for your MK4 great cartridge performer.




Never owned an EPA-100 arm but thinking I would like to!

Yes the store was on Wilshire. I had a small store in Orange County, CA and sold Micro, Saec and many other products like Quad, Counterpoint, Music Reference, etc. Those were fun days before digital but then everything just became another black box.

Managed to purchase a Technics EPA-100 mkII to match with the Technics EPC-205mkIV cartridge on my Micro Seiki BL-99V table.  So far so good.  Not perfect yet, still tweaking.  The tonearm is very light and easily adjusted with VTA and anti-skate on the fly and the ability to adjust for compliance is very nice.  The arm seems to be in very good condition but will probably have it rebuilt soon to make sure it’s perfect.  Getting much better tracking and the imaging is very good with the EPA-100mkII although still not quite to the overall sound quality o was getting with the Saec 407/TM.   But as I said still tweaking. The bass is still a bit light compared to the Saec arm but have a lot to play with still. 
I did get a Stanton Epoch II HZ7S is excellent condition that I mounted on the Saec and wasn’t all that impressed with.  It’s OK, nice overall sound but lacks detail and imaging compared the Technics 205/IV.  Also have a Pickering XSV-4000 on the way to play with.  That should have a very nice midrange quality.  Mainly hoping to get the Technics 205/mkIV sounding its optimum with the EPA-100mkII arm.  The 205/mkIV with the Jico SAS stylus is just so good I just want to get it to sound its best.