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? 








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.




@whart , go ahead and swing away whart. To start things off I do not have a problem with linear tracking. It would be the ideal way to do it. The problem is many of the designs cause more harm than good. Arms that are essentially pivoted arms that are jockeyed across the record on transports with modern controls could work fine. There is one German arm that does that and some older Japanese designs. It is an expensive stunt to do well as the mechanics have to be extremely precise and quiet. The German arm is some $200,000. The best current designs are the Schroder LT and the Reed 5T. The LT in particular is a brilliant design. Air bearing arms fail because of their extremely high horizonal masses and the rushing air tends to cause high frequency noise. They are extremely sensitive to level and tend to skate in one direction or the other depending on which way they are leaning. They are actually more sensitive leveling devices then the bubbles people use to level them. They are a very unfavorable platform for a cartridge. Yes, they work, but there is a strong tendency for reviewers and turntable engineers to avoid them for a reason.  The amount of tracking error in a well designed and set up pivoted arm is inaudible. The cartridge is a very sensitive device. It is also a mechanical device that has to operate within certain limits to perform at it's best. 


Your turn.