SME will exit the tonearm retail and OEM business with immediate effect - this is a bummer

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by geoffr, Dec 4, 2019 at 12:29 PM.

  1. geoffr

    geoffr Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
  2. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, Idaho
    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.
     
  3. jrjhoe

    jrjhoe Active Member

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Wow, this seems like another awful move from their side...
     
    Cyclone Ranger and jusbe like this.
  4. Sevoflurane

    Sevoflurane Forum Resident

    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    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.
     
  5. Not Insane

    Not Insane You talkin' to me?!

    Location:
    Kentucky
    I don't feel forced to do anything. :)
     
  6. IGD Positive

    IGD Positive Forum Resident

    Location:
    Inner groove
    I hope to get an SME turntable next so this doesn't really bother me.
     
  7. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    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.
     
    Andrea_Bellucci, MGW and McLover like this.
  8. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
  9. Not Insane

    Not Insane You talkin' to me?!

    Location:
    Kentucky
    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. ;)
     
    jusbe, caracallac and mkane like this.
  10. daytona600

    daytona600 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Excellent engineering but better sounding arms at lower cost these days ex SMEV ownner
     
    jusbe likes this.
  11. Ralph Karsten

    Ralph Karsten Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Paul MN
    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.
     
    Sterling1 likes this.
  12. Dougthesnail

    Dougthesnail The Big Gabagool

    Location:
    Winnipeg
    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??
     
    jusbe likes this.
  13. glide

    glide Forum Resident

    Location:
    NY, NY, USA
    “We were so good at doing something, we decided to stop doing it.”

    uhhhhh...wut?
     
  14. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    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.
     
    SeeDeeFirth, Shawn, Gumboo and 4 others like this.
  15. IGD Positive

    IGD Positive Forum Resident

    Location:
    Inner groove
    I don't think many people looking at Technics turntables are shopping them against SME.
     
  16. Steve Baker

    Steve Baker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbia, Maryland
    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.
     
    jeffsab likes this.
  17. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos

    Location:
    San Diego
    I wouldn't kick that Synergy System out of bed! Beautiful.:tiphat:
     
  18. james

    james Forum Resident

    Location:
    Annapolis
    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.
     
    jusbe likes this.
  19. GyroSE

    GyroSE Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    Bad call SME.... :shake:
     
    Cyclone Ranger, jusbe and caracallac like this.
  20. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    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.
     
    Seafinch, jusbe, googlymoogly and 2 others like this.
  21. Salectric

    Salectric Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    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.
     
  22. IGD Positive

    IGD Positive Forum Resident

    Location:
    Inner groove
    They have never really had products that competed with Technics and Rega so why would they now?
     
    caracallac likes this.
  23. james

    james Forum Resident

    Location:
    Annapolis
    expand market share? profit?
     
    jusbe likes this.
  24. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher

    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Saved me a grand on new SME arm support board for Acoustic Solid. No SME for me ))
     
  25. IGD Positive

    IGD Positive Forum Resident

    Location:
    Inner groove
    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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