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SME Model 20/12


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Precision turntable

A larger and more massive version of our well known Model 20/2. It will accept nine, ten and twelve-inch arms but is especially directed at the exciting Model 312S. This offers a performance some 27% better than a nine-inch arm in respect of angular error distortion. The wand and headshell are pressure die-cast in magnesium and are 27g lighter than they would be in aluminium. Probably the stiffest and lightest twelve-inch arms ever made these dual problems are at last addressed and on listening, the benefits of minimal tracking error and harmonic distortion are clearly revealed. A turntable should address the problems of extraneous vibrations. These emanate from numerous sources including air and structural vibration from loudspeakers, groove modulation, stray electrical fields and mechanical imperfections in moving parts. In the Model 20/12, superb instrument quality machining is allied with fundamental physics. The higher the mass and stiffness of a body the less it will flex and vibrate; the duration of a vibration can be shortened by suitable damping.

Model 20/12 weighs approximately 33.5Kg (73.7lb), significant in relation to its size because it is density that matters. For example, the same weight of metal spread over a large enough area would be aluminium foil! The sub-chassis measures only 20 1/2” (520mm) by 14 3/4” (375mm) but weighs 8.0Kg (17.6lb). Its thickness, 5/8” (16mm) resists flexing at low frequencies whilst high frequency resonance is attenuated by efficient extensional damping.

Model 20/12 has no `sonic footprint'. The sub-chassis is suspended on forty purpose moulded ‘O’ rings which ensure freedom from feedback. A large centrally placed fluid-damper disciplines sub-chassis movement with a pleasing sense of security when handling records on and off the platter.

In addition to a cartridge’s electrical output, mirror image acoustic signals reacted in the arm and record, will pass into the sub-chassis in the course of dissipation. However the usual closed loop design does not address the problem of their differing phase so in the Model 20/12 the structural interfaces concerned have received special attention to provide paths of the required impedance.

This control of vibration is fundamental to the design of the player and goes much of the way to explaining the stunning tonal and dynamic neutrality that it exhibits.

Model 20/12 is available in two formats

MODEL 20/12
Equipped for but not including a pick-up arm.

MODEL 20/12A
As above but fitted with Series 300 Model 312S precision pick-up arm.

Dimensions: 520 x 375 x 173.5mm.
Packing: Substantial case.
Net weight with power supply: 35.5kg (78lb)
Shipping weight approximately: 45.5kg (100lb)



Graph compares angular error distortion of typical nine-inch and twelve-inch arms, with null points selected to equalize distortion at maximum and minimum recorded diameters.

  • Stable four point suspension.
  • Sub-chasis suspended on eighty strands of rubber in the form of forty purpose moulded ‘O’-rings.
  • Trimming screws for suspension adjustment.
  • Central fluid damper controls sub-chassis motion and offers resistive ground-path for acoustic signals.
  • For transport lock down screws secure the sub-chassis and seal the damper.
  • 19mm diameter main spindle machined from high-chrome steel hardened, ground and super finished. Runs in a sealed oil bath.
  • Reflex clamping system minimises record resonance.
  • 6.5Kg (14.3lb) machined platter with unique Isodamp face.
  • Generous use of extensional damping and resistive loop construction ensure sonic neutrality.
  • Adjustable ball feet with optional compliant inserts.
  • Four jacking screws built into the sub-platter allow the thrust bearing to be off loaded for transit.
  • Driven by a 3-phase, 6 pulse, inductance motor, with 8 pole Neodymium magnets and 3 integrated Hall position sensors.
  • The power supply houses an electronic controller using a high performance microcomputer, optimised for motor control. Closed loop speed control is implemented using a pseudo sine wave commutation sequence and a proportional-plus-integral (PI) algorithm.
  • New design incorporates a 4 layer surface mount technology pcb with on-board user adjustable speed variation control.
  • Large diameter strobe disc supplied allows precise adjustment of standard speeds.
  • Speeds ranges: 33.3, 45 and 78 rpm.

  • 100 % Money Back Guarantee !

    As with all the products we sell. If your not 110% happy with the products & services you receive from us we will give you a 100% money back guarantee. On not only the price of the product but as well the cost of the shipping. That�s how confident we are in all the products we sell.


    Full Ten Year Warranty !

    When you purchase any of our new production SME products.

    Be it tonearms or turntables we give you a full ten year warranty.

    Bumper to bumper !

    Short of leaving your turntable in the garden over the winter or using your tonearm as a pry bar to open a can of paint, we will cover what ever goes wrong with your newly purchased SME product.

    All we ask is that you retain your original receipt.

    We realize and understand that you have made an enormous investment in your analogue playback system & we want to reassure you that we will be there to stand behind it.

    The warranty we offer is unmatched and unrivaled in the analogue playback industry.

    We here at www.smetonearms.com have been rebuilding, rewiring & restoring SME arms for almost fifteen years now and SME England has been in business building tonearms & turntables for well over fifty years now & counting.

    I don't think either of us are going away !

    Welcome to our hugely successful SME Trade In & Trade Up Program.

    For more than a decade now our SME Trade In & Trade Up Program
    has enabled our clients to move to higher level SME arms while getting more
    than fair market value for their old SME tone arms.

    How it works is simple.

    You own an older SME arm and wish to move to a newer more advanced SME arm
    or higher up the SME ladder.

    Not a problem.

    Simply give us a call or send us an email & within a few short minutes
    you own a new SME tone arm or turntable at a wonderfully discounted price.

    We buy back your well loved SME arm or SME table and you get a brand new in the factory sealed box SME arm or SME table complete with our industry exclusive ten year warranty.

    Here are the trade in allowances we will give for your vintage SME tone arms.

    SME 3012 Series I – up to $1,500.00
    SME 3009 Series I – up to $1,000.00
    SME 3012 Series II – up to $1,000.00
    SME 3009 Series II – up to $500.00
    SME 3009 Series II Improved – up to $500.00
    SME 3012-R – up to $1,200.00
    SME 3010-R – up to $800.00
    SME 3009-R – up to $700.00
    SME Series III – up to $500.00

    We will also buy your older SME arms outright if you do not wish to trade your vintage SME arm in against a new replacement SME arm.

    Simply give us a call at 705-737-6773 or send us off an email through our contact section.


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