Brinkmann Bardo, Raven 1, SME 10

Has anyone compared these three turntables? They are all minimal footprint, medium mass, plinthless designs costing around $10K. In other words, they seem to be targeted to the same buyer. The Brinkmann is DD and the others are belt drive. Given that each can have its own brand arm, direct comparisons may be difficult, but I would be interested in general opinions about the designs and sonics.

I own the SME 10 but have not had either of the others in my system. Thanks.
I have heard the Raven in two systems but not the Brinkmann. My own thinking is that any advantage they would have over the SME is in the extreme low end which would probably not be relevant to your system and musical tastes. Leaving aside choice of arms and cartridges, which are of course very important, I think that the most that can be said is that all three should be capable of very good results; after about 50 years with turntables I still find it hard to separate the sound of the table from the arm and cartridge. The current Stereophile has a similar observation; the reviewer said that if he hadn't tried another arm on the table being reviewed he would never have known how good it was. I suspect that the V would be the best match for the 10 unless you were also going to change arms as well.
Hi Pete,
Are you asking the question for academic reasons or thinking of buying an additional 'Table?

I'm surprised to hear the R1 is as expensive as this now (would have expected closer to $4-5K). Sure it wasn't the AC you were thinking of?

These are 3 very different designs and will have characteristic sonic signatures. Very much a subjective choice.
Hello Moonglum,

I'm asking for academic reasons which was not clear from my question. I have just read the review of the Bardo in Stereophile, my friend owns the Raven 1 and I own the SME 10 with the SME V arm. From the superficial appearance they would seem to be similar with the exception of the Direct Drive of the Bardo. I mean they are suspensionless, medium mass, skeletal designs selling for $8-10K (I think), so I'm curious if they sound strikingly different from each other. I realize it would be difficult to separate the influence of the arm, cartridge, and cable and then set up each one optimally with loading etc. I guess I'm also a bit curious if a potential buyer could even find an opportunity to directly compare these tables to each other.

I'm just curious, that's all. I have no immediate plans to upgrade my TT.
I've lots of listening experience with the SME 10, but with the standard Model 10 arm. I've also heard the Bardo. The SME, in my opinion, suffers from price inflation--the same SME 10 sold for $6K just a few years ago. That said, I do like that 'table and I'm sure yours sounds better with an SME V on it, although I think you'd get more out of your arm on a better table.

The Bardo has much more on the bottom end and just "rocks" more than the SME 10. Of course, it's DD so that's maybe no huge surprise. I suppose the SME is a bit more airy and delicate sounding (some would say "less exciting.")

I've never heard the Raven. The Bardo is worth seeking out--it may or may not be your cup of tea, but a very cool table nonetheless.