My friend has one and uses the SME V with good results. I have used the IV and 309 but not on that table. I just noticed that you have 8 arms, you didn't correctly pick the winner in the last world cup did you?
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No, I just either got really good deals or they came with other tables I have purchased at a good price. Some of them were broken and I put them back together. I seem to buy a couple of good tables a year and a few arms and cartridges at great prices. Thats the advantage of not needing to buy, you can grab a deal when you see it. But, I do have too much stuff now and need to cut back, which I have been doing, but I seem to have bought as many as I have sold. Ive also had 5 cartridges rebuilt by soundsmith. That is really a bargain if you can pick up the body for less than $100.
Since I have an SME 309, I'll probably put that on for now. You and RCCC seem to like the SME and Ive never had a problem with it.
Lighter, shorter, lo pressure pump, less noise. It's a better design, simpler with superior sound. I've craved one since I first heard one, I keep thinking I'm going to buy a Sota and add the Trans-fi arm. Email the guy who makes them, or give him a call (he's in the UK so give the time difference some thought when calling), great guy. Great arm.
I used to be a Sota Distributor and have installed many arms on the Sota. Personal favourites ET2 and SME V. ET2 - massive pinpoint soundstaging and excellent timing. SME V very organic warm and solid sound, we had success with Van den hul cartridges in this combo. ET2 I ran mostly Carnegie's and Koetsu's.
If you are running an ET2 I found the following mods to be useful - removal of internal dampening in armtube, removal of shrinkwrap on armtube and you can add magnetic dampening to the lateral movement by placing a fridge or cupboard door magnet under the bearing tube. This last mod is quite dramatic and doesn't have the disadvantages of a fl;uid dampening trough. I also removed the soft plastic inside the headshell and replaced it with carbon fiber.