What Does It Take To Surpass A SME V?

Thinking about the possibility of searching for a new tonearm. The table is a SOTA Cosmos Eclipse. Cartridge currently in use is a Transfiguration Audio Proteus, and it also looks like I will also have an Ortofon Verismo if a diamond replacement occurs without incident. 

The V is an early generation one but in good condition with no issues. Some folks never thought highly of the arm, others thought it quite capable. So it's a bit decisive. 

The replacement has to be 9 to 10.5 inches. I have wondered if Origin Live is worth exploring? Perhaps a generation old Triplanar from the pre owned market?

 Any thoughts on what are viable choices? 








Fwiw, I visited the always lovely Albert Porter recently. If I recall, he was a fan of the SME V and is currently using a pair of the John Holmes version of the Kuzma 4 Pt. on his SP-10mkIII, installed on the Porter Panzerholz plinth of his design.  Albert is pretty meticulous about set up. We got to hear two very different cartridges mounted on identical arms- a Koetsu Blue Lace and an Airtight Opus. It was instructive. But for the purposes of this thread, I think it is safe to say that Albert liked the big daddy Kuzma arm over the SME. Whether that would fit on the table in question is not an answer I can provide. I do have the 9 inch version, which does not afford VTA on the fly- it is well constructed and pretty easy to set up (though I did buy a Mint protractor to do so). 

I miss his posts here. Maybe he can weigh in. @albertporter.

I had a great time "visiting" with Albert. 

When I have time, I'll address @mijostyn views on linear trackers and high mass turntables. Mijo said he is suffering from flu, so I don't want to burden him with unnecessary stress- which is not good for recovery of flu symptoms. 

Bill (whart) we all enjoyed your visit, wish you could attend every session. Short answer is yes, I liked the SME V12 very much, it was wired with Purist best and mounted on the same MK3 modified Technics.

I first auditioned the 14” Kuzma 4Point and loved what it did. Not only it’s performance but the ability to adjust everything. I now have two Kuzma 14” 4 point, the original with steel bearing and the new one with synthetic (ruby?).

I did a review for Positive Feedback, should still be out there on the web. I was NOT a dealer at the time but became one after living with the 14" for extended time. I compared the 14” to a number of other arms and it was my favorite,  so maybe my listening habits make me more sensitive to tracking error.

I have not read this entire thread but for anyone that does not know, SME tonearms are no longer available for purchase separately, only when buying a complete SME turntable. I for one would not want an SME table, there are others I would put above it .

Anyone wanting to see my turntable set up, it’s part of my virtual system:




The SOTA is 2 years old, it's the current generation Eclipse with vacuum hold down. Yes the V is lighter in mass than it's visual appearance suggests, believe it's 9.5 grams. As I recall the V used a silver wiring. 

I have a ZYX 4D also, perhaps I will give it a trial once it gets back from having a new diamond installed. Not sure if the Ortofon Verismo has a compliant enough suspension. 

@mijostyn  I stand by both the following statements, both relating to the mentioned TT.

The SOTA Cosmos Eclipse is as exposed to the accusation of being a inferior design as all the others 'thrown under the bus'.

What I feel confident in saying is that the design used in your case, with whatever tonearm of a 9" - 10.5" Dimension, will be capable of producing an " endless experience of Successful Replays "

@lewm I don't do 'Angry', I do attempt Fair Play  to all. ( I persevere in my supplied content, as I know there are other who read Audiogon, and will never post and maybe never join. I think it's Fair they are seeing content where they are not left feeling ridiculed and shot down for choices that may have been made.  The usual Gon in-house Thread Development are what they are, no beef from my side their).

In the case of this thread I have made it known I have experience, (some regular) of TT / Tonearm Interfaces created using a variety of methodologies and using a variety of Materials used for the Structures Produced for mounting the Set Up.

I have made it known I am Wed to the Rigid Coupling Concept and have my own particular disciplines in place towards how I want to see it present. (which is the adoption of minimal parts in the assembly that can be used to create a structure that assists with the Functioning Mechanical Parts, as well as having inherent properties for being efficient at the management of Transferred Energies). 

I have made it known that I don't carry a prejudice towards other methods used to create a TT/Tonearm Interface, and from my assessment, all variants encountered of a TT/Tonearm Interfacing that has been experienced in use, each are in my view capable of producing a Successful Replay.

Even if I am choosing not to use a particular type of Set Up. I am not and will never, be the one, whom will be telling the end user of a TT>Tonearm in their own home, that their methodology for using it is a disaster.