30 year old SME 30/2


I am looking at a used 30/2.  It's an older one made in 94.  The arm is new and so is the motor controller.  the main deck is original.  I'm wondering if anyone has any advice about this deck and one this old, if there is anything to look out for.  It's hard to know what the value is since it retailed for much less than the current 45K.  I tried to ask SME a few questions about any potential issue with the  suspension or anything else but the never returned any of my emails which doesn't make me feel that great either.  

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Is it available for your direct inspection or only from photos? If the former, you are in a good position to evaluate it for functional defects. Check suspension and platter speed stability. Difference in cost between 90s and now is purely a function of the marketplace. I’d wager there are no important functional or structural differences that are not available as upgrades.

$45K for that TT! What a rip off price! Buy the $4K Technics.

I worked for a dealer selling those tables when they came out

 

 

Long story short nicely made the sound was good not amazing

 

 

There are way better tables our favorite table will smoke the sme

 

In 40 years of sudio Sales and setup only two tables stand out gor extremely good sound quality snd a uperior design

 

The original townshebd rock

 

And the Merrill Williams real

 

The merill table 12k sounded as good as a 40k Kronos

 

Dave and Troy

AUDIO INTELLECT NJ

MERRILL DEALERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 40 years of sudio Sales and setup only two tables stand out gor extremely good sound quality snd a uperior design

The original townshebd rock

And the Merrill Williams real

Yep - I used to sell the original Rock TT. It could sound good if you were one of the lucky folk who did not get a wobbly platter or an Excalabur tonearm that "dropped its bearings". I still have a letter from Max with instructions on how to "fix" the arm every time the bearings dropped.

As for the Merrill Wiiliams - I think it was one of Rube Goldbergs favourite toys.

The SME 30 properly set up should have smoked at least the Merrill.

 

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FWIW, SME revised (lowered) the viscosity of the damping fluid used in their suspended turntables at least 20 years ago resulting in a more natural, less-dark presentation.

The suspension bands are unfortunately a proprietary moulded affair which are not inexpensive and there are 60 used in the 30/2 + another used between the lower base plinth & subchassis to offset drive-belt tension. In normal low ozone environments they seem to last 10~15 years and may be swapped around if needed. A feeler gauge is part of the supplied tool kit for optimizing suspension height and establishing suspension band wear (stretch). Thoughtful design allows variable damping through suspension gap.

Owner’s manuals are available on their website which show users more detail than is typically provided:

https://sme.co.uk/service/manuals/

SME are virtually bomb proof and stand the test of time IMO.