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SME Model 6 Turntable

SME Model 6 Turntable


Product Code: SME0000007
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The Model 6 and Model 6 Classic are both available. The Model 6 comes with the M2-9 Tonearm and the Model 6 Classic comes with the M2-2R.

The Model 6 is equipped with an improved version of the highly acclaimed SME M2-9 tonearm with an impressive cartridge weight range capacity of 2 to 12 grams and suitably designed for both MM and MC cartridges. The turntable chassis is CNC machined from a unique polymer high density resin material providing a high mass, small footprint and superb resonance absorption delivering a unique sonic performance. Main bearing, spindle and drive pulleys are precision made to the same exact standards as all SME high-end turntables. In addition the Model 6 comes with a new generation highly sophisticated electronic speed control unit providing fine pitch speed adjustment within a wide band range.

The Model 6 is a class leading integrated turntable delivering audio engineering excellence whilst maintaining the definitive craftsmanship that SME is famous for, coupled with technologically advanced new materials.

The Model 6 brings the legendary SME engineering excellence and craftsmanship to a wider audience than ever before. The turntable chassis is CNC-machined from a high density polymer resin, providing high mass with a small footprint; the result is superb resonance absorption and the musical, dynamic sound quality for which SME is famous. The main bearing, spindle, and pulleys are built to the same exacting standards of precision as all SME turntables. Speed control is provided by a new, sophisticated electronic speed control, housed in a separate enclosure crafted from the same polymer as the chassis. Speed adjustment is provided over a wide range, set by a rotary control.

The Model 6’s integrated tonearm is an improved version of the highly-regarded SME M2-9, in a black chrome finish to match the turntable. Suitable for use with both moving magnet and moving coil cartridges over a wide range of weight, 2 to 12 grams, the arm has a removable headshell which simplifies both initial set-up and subsequent cartridge changes.

SME Model 6 - It’s Not Just Another Turntable

People unfamiliar with SME might look at the Model 6 and see an ordinary-looking turntable with an MDF plinth, a plain acrylic platter and Sorthobane feet. They might assume the Model 6 is built to hit a price point then a badge is slapped on.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. The Model 6 is a highly engineered turntable that offers phenomenal performance for its price. If you know SME, you know SME would never put their badge on anything that was not truly extraordinary.

As a result of their work with some of the world’s leading aerospace, medical and Formula 1 manufacturers, and their 75 years of precision engineering expertise, SME has access to a wealth of engineering and materials science knowledge that makes it unique in the audio industry.

A few years ago the new management at SME began to ponder the nature of future generations of SME products and began experimenting with polymer resin materials. As they developed various formulations SME discovered this material had superb vibration damping and isolation properties. After much testing SME arrived at one formulation for the turntable plinth and another for the turntable footers.

The plinth of the Model 6 is not constructed from MDF; it is made from a solid block of the harder polymer resin formulation which is then CNC machined to take its final shape with the desired cut-outs. The plinth offers an outstanding level of vibration damping – much better than MDF, and it is also very rigid. The polymer resin plinth is one of the secrets to the Model 6’s exceptional sonic capabilities.

The Model 6’s isolation feet are another important engineering accomplishment. SME settled on a softer formulation of their now proprietary polymer resin for the turntable’s four footers. The footers are specially shaped to be self-levelling and provide an exceptional degree of isolation.

Thanks to the elegant simplicity of their design the plinth and footers work together to provide the superb resonance control characteristics that are normally only found in much more expensive turntables.

Acrylic platters are often used in turntables to save cost and weight. Acrylic was chosen for the Model 6 to save weight but acrylic is not an easy material to work with. Acrylic tends to warp when it is machined, and the last thing you want on a turntable is a platter that is less than perfectly flat. There are many quality grades of acrylic but SME found only the very highest grade acrylic could be machined to the necessary standard.

Although it surprisingly costs more than an aluminum platter, the platter on the Model 6 delivers the low weight needed to match the low-noise motor system, and it also offers the anti-warping properties that will ensure the platter remains absolutely flat with zero runout over decades of use.

Three key engineering innovations that separate the Model 6 from the crowd are the plinth, the platter and the isolation feet. These three features enable the Model 6 to deliver a superior level of vibration isolation and damping. The Model 6 provides a stable platform which allows your phono cartridge to perform closest to its theoretical capability for a fraction of the cost of other turntables with similar properties.

You might be surprised to know the new VA Series tonearm on SME’s flagship Model 60, which is by a wide margin the best performing tonearm SME has ever built, is also made from a special SME polymer resin. Thus, some of the technology developed for the Model 6 is so advanced that it made its way into SME’s new reference Model 60! Therefore we confidently say: listen to the SME Model 6, it’s not just another turntable.

" The Model 6 sounds every inch an SME record player. Its sound has the unerring composure we’ve noticed in the company’s other decks. If you’ve always wanted one of the company’s turntables but could never quite stretch to buying one, go for this. In all the important ways, you won’t be missing out. "

What Hi-Fi? Five Star Award Winner, September 2020

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