I will apologize in advance, this post will probably be a bit scattered and long winded. The story here starts with my friend itching to upgrade from his Michell Gyro SE with SME 309 tonearm. After he decided to get the new SME 15/V tonearm, and I had setup his new deck with the trusty Koetsu Rosewood Sig. Platinum, we were both astounded at just how much more there was to come out of our records. This turntable is a thing of beauty, and if you have the means it should be in your mind if you ever consider a similar upgrade. The side benefit to me here, was a reasonably priced, perfectly cared for Michell Gyro SE with SME 309 tonearm and HR PSU, that I have long wanted since before persuading said friend to buy one in the first place (he has been an avid study in hifi since retiring and getting really back into music about 5 years ago.) Now, the last few years, I have had a Michell Tecnodec/Tecnoarm combo with a 2M bronze, and then later a Quintet Bronze. The Quintet Bronze was clearly a different league for me, and is my first LOMC (though I get to hear and setup quite a few for other people, since I do a lot of turntable setup.) That said, something was never quite right, tracking was never perfect no matter how hard I tried with setup. So, a few months ago I sent it back to Ortofon USA. Louis who handles warranty issues was amazingly helpful, and able to identify the issue right away. Ortofon sent me a new replacement, and I just wanted to mention this to highlight the excellent service that he an Ortofon gave me in this scenario. My new Quintet tracks perfectly, and is everything I expected a cart at this level to be. While the tecnodec/tecnoarm combo is a really nice, neutral platform for any cartridge, the new setup has me absolutely swimming in sound (as it should for the price differential!) I feel like I gained two octaves of response and definition in the low end, and smoother much clearer extension from the mids on up. I can feel myself in the halls of certain recordings, and sometimes as if players are in my room for others. And of course, the Aesthetics of this combo are, IMO, hypnotic and really attractive. Another note, for those out there needing dustcover, who don't want to pay Ginkgo prices. A company called JMK displays in New York, just made me a custom cover to my own dimensions, with handle cutouts, and cable cutouts in the rear for approx $160 shipped to me in Seattle. It looks incredible, and they did great work. If you need a cover, don't pay crazy money for it! I will try to attach a pic, but haven't quite figured that out yet on this forum. The last and not least piece to this puzzle is a phono stage. The stage in my Yamaha AS1100 is actually pretty decent. On par performance wise (though with a different sound signature) with the Lounge LCR or Graham Slee Gram Amp 2 phono stages. In the next couple weeks I will be patching the Quintet into a Bobs 1131 SUT, into the Yamaha. And then eventually looking for a good MM only tube stage. But, it all sounds so good, I am in no hurry. PS - I know that the SME Van Den Hul cables get crapped on a lot across forums, but I will say, since I tried the 501 silver/hybrid cable that came with my friends SME V (he had a really nice Cardas cable already) I think it is a fantastic cable. I had been using for several months a fairly expensive Kimber Tak-AG silver phono cable, which I thought was really good. But by comparison, the VDH 501 cable has more of everything. The Kimber in my system was actually quite laid back and more 'hi-fi' like, and by comparison to much so for my taste.