No, you don't have to. It's not necessary, you'd better upgrade a cartridge. Silver is not better than Copper even if you want to believe it is better.
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Chakster and mijostyn, the wiring would be replaced by the service expert as part of his installation of my new AT cartridge. I haven't seen anything in the forums suggesting that a professional has ruined a tonearm during a service like this.
Do you still recommend against replacing the internal wiring? I have seen numerous comments that the wiring used in the early SME V's was one of its few weaknesses.
Hearsay is dangerous in the audio world. The "service expert" is just as likely to damage the arm as anybody. Accidents happen.
The SME V has been around for a long time and there are many on the used market. Just like cars audio hobbiests love to hop things up just so they can brag about how special their SME is.
The only thing that changing your wiring will do is give you bragging rights. In my book that is just not worth the risk. And, why are you not installing your own cartridge? Bouncing your turntable and arm around town is not a good thing to do. Once you have a turntable set up you leave it where it is. If you know how a screw driver works you can change cartridges. The money you save on service will pay for the few tools you need. With the stylus guard on it is very hard to damage the cartridge.
The best place to get an SME rewired is by SME themselves.
SME still service their arms, and will rewire upon request.
Their service is superb, not cheap, but often they replace parts, even the whole armtube if they are not up to scratch. Your arm comes back as new.
I would not let anyone else rewire it.
If you send it to SME for service, best wire is Kondo fairy wire.
Yes it is silver, I pesonally dont like most silver cables, but the Kondo is in a different league. I doubt the naysayers above have ever heard a Kondo wired SME.
Dear @keegiam : The best wire/cable qualituy performance level are made it with pure silver, cooper is not even near the fenomenal silver quality.
I never heard in a tonearm the Kondo silver rewire but I listened in my system the Audio Note KONDO SUT that is 100% silver by KONDO extremely expensive but not in a diferent league than my AU-1000.
What I recomend to you is to rewire your V with Audio Note ( UK. ) silver wiring all the road to the phono stage inputs, this is that the IC cable is just continuous from the cartridge output pins directly to the input phono stage. This is the best you can have it no matters what.
This is Audio Note:
Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
Maybe it's the last thing I could do, but the time is now.
This technician works at the same shop where I bought my SOTA Star Sapphire 30 years ago, just a few blocks away. He already has the table and is replacing the bearing. He will be installing the new cart and re-setting the SME to match. I am not going to dismount the arm and send it to SME for new wiring. I'd rather stick with the original.
It's now or never. You may be right that replacing the wiring is not a major improvement. But my choice is yay or nay. I would probably go with AudioNote instead of these cheap kits, but - why not?
Actually, replacing the wiring of my ET2 arm three times (Cardas, Discovery and lastly AudioNote silver) taught me just how much difference tonearm wire can make. It made significant improvements; especially the AN which resulted in a major improvement in refinement, clarity and speed, all without harshness. Highly recommended! I would however heed Dover’s advise and have the work done by SME themselves and would have it done as Raul suggests, straight, uninterrupted shot from cartridge clips to RCA plugs. Good luck.
Ah, the power of suggestion. Any sane person is bound to look like an idiot. Keegiam will have his wire replaced and will think it made an amazing difference in sound quality like Raul and Frogman.
Keegium, that "expert Tech" is now 30 years older and has a shake and bad eyesight. Anybody who is an "expert tech" would not be in this business. They would be doing something useful like fixing jet engines. You can actually make a living doing that.
Anytime someone says a minor change makes a huge, amazing, stunning and or phenomenal improvement, RUN away. There is no such thing in tweakdom. Just vivid imaginations. Going from Rogers LS3 5A's to Sound Labs 845's is an example of a huge, amazing, stunning and phenomenal improvement.
I would probably go with AudioNote instead of these cheap kits, but - why not?
It’s up to you.
I have replaced internal wires only when original was broken.
Been using Cardas, Discovery, Van Den Hul silver, never used Audio Note silver (that one is the most expensive).
I use many vintage tonearms and I have no intention to rewire them, the sound is nice as it is.
As for the external wire I can’t hear a benefit of silver over copper, so I am skeptical about it (snake oil).
Once I bought EPA-100 tonearm I asked the seller to rewire with his "expert" and there was a problem with ground after I received my rewired tonearm. Sometimes it’s better not touch/replace anything if it works fine.
But I agree than manufacturer can do the job properly, but their price is usually higher.
**** Ah, the power of suggestion ****
Ah, the power or idiocy and pent up anger. Or, is it just payback?
So, you don’t think that cables can offer significant benefits in sound quality? If you don’t, then please ignore the following. If you do, does it not make sense, never mind what one actually hears, that the first several feet that the cartridge’s very low level signal passes through would be very susceptible to the effects of cabling?
The stock cable on SME V tomearm is GOOD ENOUGH, period.
Internal wiring Capacitance 15.0 pF per channel
Resistance 0.5353 ohms per conductor
It was designed and used by SME engineers for any cartridges mounted on this tonearm, and this is NOT cheap old junk tonearm that require cable replacement.
If you think someone knows secret formula of the silver that is superior to everything else than it’s like saying that SME engineers know nothing about phono cables.
SME V stock cable is the last thing to replace in analog system.
Chakster, of course you’re right. Of course it is “good enough“; that arm’s pedigree is well established. Is it as good as AN or Kondo wire? I don’t know, but if my comparisons to Cardas and Discovery are any indication, the differences are not subtle. So, anyone with an open mind can extrapolate from that. Moreover, we are talking about a couple of different things here. Quality of the wire and its potential upgrade and the opportunity to eliminate at least two plugs and two solder joints from the delicate signal path on its way to the preamp by going “shotgun”. Anyone who hasn’t done or experienced this doesn’t have a clue as to the kind and magnitude of improvement in overall refinement and clarity that are possible by doing this.
I totally understand the concern about possible damage caused by less than expert technicians, but if SME were to do the work as has been suggested, why the staunch resistance by you and others to offering, as the OP requested, impressions based on first hand experience? He can then make up his own mind and make his own decision to go ahead or not. More information usually means a more intelligent decision.
Funny, “good enough” has got to be one of the least used phrases in an audiophile forum 😊
Dear @keegiam : I respect mijostyn but he is only ( I think in good shape ) distressing you in something that is way important for you and that makes a paramount difference for the better, the up-date is real.
And @frogman put the nail where hurts: the extremely sensitive cartridge signal is the one that we want to enjoy at maximum quality level we can achieve and things are that the very first system link that not only touch but that where the cartridge beloved signal must pass through around 1.5m from the output cartridge pins to the phono stage input is exactly the tonearm wire and IC cable.
Other than the cartridge/tonearm ( mechanical match. ) the most importan system link is those ones no matters what. Any tiny cartridge signal you losted in that 1.5m. not only we can’t recovery it’s lost for ever and goes against the quality levels of what we are listening and additional to that a superlative wire as the AN puts lower levels of everykind of distortions developed during the 1.5m. signal trip.
As tou said this is the rigth time to do it for you and think that the rewiring is not at all rocket science as some gentlemans think and maybe they think that way by very low knowledge levels.
If I was you then I go a head with, don’t distress about just do it.
Btw, tell the technician that he uses too female silver conectors in the tonearm rewired input.
Dear @cardani , if I remember you have a true SME expert technician that even refurbish SME tonearms and is in Canada. Maybe you can help to the OP with the email or something. Sorry to disturb you.
In my opinion once you're buying a High-End tonearm on SME V level it's better to stick to the original tonearm internal cable unless there is a problem you can't live with.
There are some people who always think they are smarter than all the engineers who actually design legendary toneamrs. In my opinion you'd better trust original designer and his choice than a stranger.
You can give a call to SME if possible
@rauliruegas yes i bought a SME 3009 S2 from Alfred Kayser in Canada. smetonearms.com (not associated with SME UK, just a former SME distributor ). He does his rewires using Cardas all the way from the pins or headship input depending on the arm to the male rca,s, 1.2 mts away from the arm so that way you don't need an extra phono cable and there is no signal interruption with extra connectors. Sounds very good is all i can say, but have not compared the before and after, since I bought it already rewired. @Keegiam , I also have a SME V but it is a recent version which is factory wired with Van Den Hul silver cable. I understand earlier versions used a different internal cable. I think if you go the SME UK route they might rewire the cable with this new one but dressed with Din female connector, and you would use your own phono cable, I don,t think they would make or want,t to make you a full headshell to male rca,s like Kayser in Canada if that is what you want.
Yes, thank you for that advice re: smetonearms.com. I checked immediately: $350 + shipping. Includes a thorough cleaning and new parts where needed. Cardas 4x33 18k gold litz, 1.25 meters to Swiss 18k gold rca connectors. Seems very reasonable, and they've rewired 1,850 SME arms this way. This place sounds like an SME mecca.
It seems like a no-brainer to have this done before I mount a new cartridge.
Frogman & raul know that an uninteruppted run from cartridge to phono stage make a noticeable improvement. I’ve experienced this myself.
Check out Tim Corn
He recently rewired my FunkFirm FXR with AN silver/KLE Absolute Harmony RCAs. Nice work.