Vinyl music is riding the crest of a popularity wave at the moment, with Nielsen Music recently confirming growth in the US for the 12th consecutive year. While there are many affordable turntables available on which to play new and old singles and albums, heading into audiophile territory can quickly prove to be a very costly exercise. Particularly when you find that your high-end turntable doesn't work out of the box, needing additional components like a tonearm, a cartridge or even a power supply. The UK's SME has you covered with its complete Synergy solution.
The first integrated turntable from SME, the Synergy's main chassis is made from a solid block of machined aluminum, hand finished and painted black, and mounted on four polymer isolators inside height-adjustable feet. The subchassis is also fashioned from a single block of aluminum and isolated via three suspension columns. This is where the Series IV magnesium tonearm and main bearing system find their homes.
The chrome steel main spindle rises up through the center and supports the dampened aluminum alloy platter, which weighs in at 10 lb (4.6 kg). The 3-phase brushless motor that drives the belt is reported to be contained within a "virtually vibration-less" assembly that's isolated from the chassis by urethane mounts and spikes. The Synergy turntable supports playback at 33.3, 45 and 78 rpm, with fine adjustment included.
At the end of the one-piece pressure die-cast magnesium tonearm you will find an Ortofon MC Windfield Ti moving magnet cartridge. SME says that the built-in, battery-powered phono stage was specifically designed for the Synergy system by Nagra and is connected to the tonearm by Crystal Cable to reduce the risk of interference.
Taking isolation even further, SME has loaded all of the system's electronic control circuitry and its power supply unit into a separate machined case, which sports playback speed controls and LED indicators.
Even though SME has packaged everything you need to hook up the turntable to an amplifier and speakers, and get the audiophile party started straight away, the Synergy system will still cost you £14,950 (about US$20,000) when it goes on sale in September.
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