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SME IV or SME M2-9 for Linn LP12

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  • SME IV or SME M2-9 for Linn LP12

    I am curious to hear people's thoughts on this topic. I have a like new Linn LP12 Majik, the goal is to order an SME KORE subchassis and install either the SME IV or SME M2 and would like to know if anyone has experience with this issue. I am not sure which one would work better so before I undertake this project I would like to know what people think. Also please don't tell me I should get an Ekos or Ittok as I have these two tonearms new in box and not interested in spending more money on an Ekos which I am not sure is better than those two mentioned. Your thoughts are most welcome.

  • #2
    I really don't know, however I'm a fan of working together with ease. I installed an SME V on a SOTA a few years ago, and could never get the suspension to act nicely. I'd install a Linn arm and be assured.

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    • Rob
      Rob commented
      Editing a comment
      something was amiss with your deck. SOTA and the SME V was a very popular combination and endorsed by both the then SME importer (Sumiko) and SOTA themselves.

  • #3
    Strange as I have seen a lot of SOTA's with SME's. Also too late, lost out on purchasing a like new Linn Ittok LViii so will have to make one of them work. It can't be the weight as the EKOS SE is even heavier than the IV and definitely more than the M2.

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    • #4
      I have a Linn LP12 with a Zeta tonearm. My LP12 is a pre-Kore chassis with a Lingo power supply. The Zeta is a pretty stout tonearm. I have had no problems with this combination. I did have my table set-up by a certified Linn dealer(Getting a little harder to find these days) It was adjusted by them when I added the Lingo. Been working well for years. I will check on the effective mass. I am guessing that the Zeta is heavier then either of the SME arms you are looking at.
      CJ Gat, Lamm ML1.1, CJ Tea1 S3 phono, TW Acoustics Raven AC, Tri-Planer MK Vll SE, Vdh Crimson Stradivarius, Exemplar Modded 205(Tube Output & separate power supply), Rockport Avior ll Speakers, Shunyata Everest, Triton V3, Shunyata Sigma Power Cables, Sigma SC's & Python Zitron IC's. Audio Desk Pro LP Cleaner, Stillpoints & Stillpoints Aperture Panels.

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      • Hawk
        Hawk commented
        Editing a comment
        I did a little searching. Effective mass of Zeta arm is 16 grams. Effective mass of SME lV is 10 or 11 grams. SME M2 looks to be in 9 to 10 gram range. Hope this is of some help.

      • Hawk
        Hawk commented
        Editing a comment
        From a few sources the Ittok LVll = 11.5 effective mass. Ittok LVlll= 12 grams effective mass. Ekos SE= 11.5 grams effective mass.
        Surprised about EKOS. I thought it would be higher. My Zeta is from Ittok era. Very common for Koetsu users to use Zeta on LP12.

    • #5
      back in the day I was talked out of it by not one but at least three Linn dealers the were emphatic the SME IV/V arms were too heavy for the LP12. The M2-9 is probably a better fit.

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      • #6
        I assumed weight would not be a factor but I wonder if the SME IV might be too overdamped (?) for the LP12. think I am with you Rob that the M2-9 would be a better fit but I am still hopeful someone on this site has had first hand experience with either of these arms. Thank you all so far for your replies.

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        • #7
          Originally posted by Hawk View Post
          I have a Linn LP12 with a Zeta tonearm. My LP12 is a pre-Kore chassis with a Lingo power supply. The Zeta is a pretty stout tonearm. I have had no problems with this combination. I did have my table set-up by a certified Linn dealer(Getting a little harder to find these days) It was adjusted by them when I added the Lingo. Been working well for years. I will check on the effective mass. I am guessing that the Zeta is heavier then either of the SME arms you are looking at.
          For every cartridge, there is an optimum total effective mass (tonearm effective mass + cartridge mass) based on the cartridge's compliance. The arm effective mass is not directly related to the arms total mass (weight) and is a totally different thing. The Linn's spring suspension is designed/tuned for a specific arm weight range and will not perform optimally (likely oscillate) when off balance. Ideally, everything attached to the Linn's subchassis moves at the same time and is in "equilibrium". Having tried a couple of different arms on the LP12, I always went back to the Ekos, it just sounded better.
          Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
          Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
          Analog 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable w/ 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Silver Cube Phono Preamp
          Analog 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable w/ 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
          Analog 3: Studer A810 R2R tape w/ Bridge Console. Using built-in tape preamp
          Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
          Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
          A/C Power: Extensive System Upgrades, Sub-panel w/hard-wired power cables, and IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
          Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

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          • Hawk
            Hawk commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks Joe. Good point on Effective mass and total mass(weight). As far as my Zeta, I had a few speakers back in the day that were kind of forward(Hales Signature's for example) I never did listen to the Ekos. With my set up I preferred the Zeta to the Ittok. With the help of my dealer, we still have a nice Linn bounce(equilibrium) so to speak with the Zeta & the Linn suspension.

        • #8
          I too had seen SME V and SOTA mated together, but be assured the combination was not good - at least not for me.....I lost money on the trade, but was happy to do so.

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