Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SME factory tour

Attempting to learn what I can about the manufacture of quality tables, I came across this video tour of SME's plant in the UK from 2007. The link is to part 1, there are further parts to link on from there, be sure to watch 2 and 3 a they offer good detail on the arm construction, and are less noisy than part 1 which goes through the machine rooms. Lots of interesting perspectives and views here, and real evidence that making a hi-end table is no trivial matter. Good info here on the real differences between models and arms, love the quote about improving the bearings on the lower arms to bring them up to V5 standards, and some understated remarks from the ever patient SME service manager, Brian Laker, who notes that some audiophiles don't like Van den Hul wire. Watch these and then you might better understand why some tables cost a bit more. Best quote comes at the end when the interviewer says SME's are the Rolex of turntables and asks Brian, 'is there a factory outlet store?' 'Certainly not!' shoots back Brian, whose look of distaste is sadly not captured on camera.

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