Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by geoffr, Dec 4, 2019 at 12:29 PM.
SME Product Announcement - SME
SME has gone nuts. They've raised their prices so high they're literally in the 'Ferrari and Maserati' end of the business and nothing more.
This is just more greed.... they're forcing people to buy their turntables instead of just their tonearms.
Wow, this seems like another awful move from their side...
Only a matter of time before this most respected of engineering companies destroys its reputation. Happens to so many UK brands once the suits take over.
I don't feel forced to do anything.
I hope to get an SME turntable next so this doesn't really bother me.
Interesting. I'd be curious to look at their books for the arm side of the business in recent years. More and more people are buying TTs as "integrated units" with arms included so I'd imagine the market for their arms has shrunk considerably since their 70s heyday. Companies like this are probably going to go extinct as time goes on or face tough choices. If they can't get their production numbers up and the prices at a competitive level perhaps they can move to the ultra-high end market. If that doesn't work out...
For the market gap I'd imagine for mid-level enthusiasts that need a standalone arm, they'll just move to Jelco, Rega, modded Rega, Audiomods, etc.
There is comment already started on this here.
SME Price Increases
I just checked out their turntable prices in google. I'm sitting here in a thread about Ferrari pricing. Ha!
Time for me to move on before I tick someone off with my opinion on this sort of thing.
Excellent engineering but better sounding arms at lower cost these days ex SMEV ownner
I'm not worried. I moved to a Triplanar years ago- its a better arm than the SMEs IMO. And now that Technics is back in the game I simply don't understand why someone would want an SME turntable. Looks nice- expensive talking points, but IMO again I think Technics is a better option.
Talk about shooting yourself in the foot... Isn't modding a massive part of their user base? Now you can only use their arms on 7-20k SME tables??
“We were so good at doing something, we decided to stop doing it.”
Here's something to consider here - how many sans-tonearm turntables are sold today? I bought a stand-alone SME tonearm to pair with my Garrard build, but how popular a concept in the overall audio scene is that these days? Of people who own SME V arms, what percentage of them are on SME tables? Of people who are in the market for tonearms, how many of them balk at SME prices and go to Jelco or Schick?
There's always been a perspective around here that audio companies are extremely capricious in their operations and like to intentionally frustrate their customers for no reason. Shure allegedly had a profitable cartridge business and decided to stop making them to be mean, etc. Next up is SME, who can't possibly be making a data-driven decision here and must be being evil.
I don't think many people looking at Technics turntables are shopping them against SME.
Waiting for Thorens to make my turntable completely non-replaceable. First Shure got out of the cart biz, now SME getting out of the arm biz. Happy I got mine but to replace it would cost 10x's what I paid just 10 years ago. No wonder I like Schiit.
I wouldn't kick that Synergy System out of bed! Beautiful.
sure, it must make sense for them, but it also (at least for me personally) now guarantees that I will never purchase a SME product. That is, unless they plan on coming out with products that compete with Technics, Rega, etc.
Bad call SME....
SME products were already astronomically expensive before this announcement, so I don't really know what changed. I don't know the entire history of the brand save for the classic products like the 3009, but it doesn't seem they've ever been interested in the Rega/Technics price point. I was lucky enough to score an M2-12R back when they were merely a small fortune vs. WTF, but even then I could have bought an entire RP6 or 1200GR for that price.
My guess is the new owners don't want all the customer service questions and handholding that go along with the sale of separates. There are so many folks getting into vinyl playback for the first time that I imagine newbie questions are worse than ever.
That said, I think it's a big mistake for SME to no longer sell arms separately. There are still many, many tables out there that could benefit from a new arm. And what about an existing owner of an SME arm who wants to upgrade to a more expensive model? It just seems very short-sighted.
Personally I would never choose a SME arm or table, but that's just me. Many people appear to like them.
They have never really had products that competed with Technics and Rega so why would they now?
expand market share? profit?
Saved me a grand on new SME arm support board for Acoustic Solid. No SME for me ))
If they were looking to do that, why not go all the way and make turntables that compete with U-Turn and Audio Technica?
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