SME, the British engineering and specialist high end audio company, has just announced the launch of Synergy. This is their first integrated turntable featuring a magnesium tonearm, moving coil cartridge and built-in phono stage.
With a compact footprint, Synergy’s main chassis is precision machined from a solid billet of premium grade aerospace aluminium. This hands it an inert and stable base for the suspension and sub-chassis to reside on. After 10 CNC machining processes it then goes through multiple and extensive finishing processes. It finally receives significant hand finishing to reach the standards the company is famous for. Only then does it get its unique black SME paint finish.
Either side of the SME logo is the main on/off button and a Low Voltage indicator.
The turntable is supported on four large polymer isolators inside adjustable feet, which allow for quick and easy levelling. Machined from another single billet of aluminium, the trilateral sub-chassis is mounted on three suspension columns.
The main spindle is 19 mm (3/4-inch) machined from high chrome tool steel. It is machine ground, super finished and supported in a sealed housing with individually matched sintered bronze bearings of generous proportions needed to support the platter.
That platter is machined from aluminium alloy and weighs over 4.6 kg (10 lbs). It is dampened with an ultra-specialist space grade isodamp material unique to SME. The top surface is diamond-turned with a fine scroll carefully calculated for firmly engaging records to the platter. The substantial chrome-plated and logo engraved reflex clamp ensures the largest possible platter contact, even when an appreciable record warp is present.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing elements of this new SME turntable is the integrated phono stage. This has been specially developed for Synergy by NAGRA. Firstly, it is battery powered. This offers complete isolation from other power sources.
The amplification is provided by individually selected and matched bipolar transistors combined with audiophile-quality capacitors and precision MELF (Metal Electrode Leadless Face) resistors.
Additionally, the MC input transformers are designed and wound in-house by NAGRA. Finally, the built-in phono stage resistor values are fully adjustable should you want to change the cartridge in the future.
Motor and control
The turntable is driven by a 3 phase, brushless out runner motor with 8-pole Neodymium magnets and three integrated hall effect sensors. Contained within a precision-machined housing, the total motor assembly is virtually vibration-less. The 2.5 kg (5.5lbs) unit is isolated from the sub chassis by urethane mounts and spikes.
The electronic control unit uses a high-performance microprocessor, optimised for motor control. You can select 33.3, 45, and 78 rpm. Further fine tuning can be had at increments/decrements of +/-0.01% of the selected speed.
Based on the renowned SME Series IV, Synergy’s tonearm uses the same unique one-piece pressure die-cast magnesium arm tube.
Internally damped to be acoustically inert, it is mounted on a precision yoke housing. The yoke is mounted to the 23mm diameter heat treated, ground and honed steel pillar. The cartridge head shell mounting is precision machined and enamel free to avoid interference resonance. Internal wiring is supplied by specialist high end audio cable manufacturer Crystal Cable.
Last, but not least, Synergy comes with a factory fitted and set-up Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti moving coil cartridge. The MC Windfeld Ti is fitted with Aucurum coils of gold-plated 6NX oxygen free copper. A specially designed cantilever, which holds the company’s Replicant 100 diamond, known for its thin and light profile and extraordinarily large vertical contact surface. A low output impedance of 7 ohm and a medium output voltage of 0.2 mV makes this high calibre cartridge the perfect partner for Synergy’s integrated phono pre-amp.
Price and availability
Synergy will be available from authorised SME retailers from September 2018, with an estimated UK retail price of £14,950.00 (inc. UK VAT calculated at 20%).
For further information about SME and its products, visit www.sme-audio.com