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SME M2 and Ortofon 2M Black
2010-04-13, 12:02
Post: #1
SME M2 and Ortofon 2M Black
Looking for some advice...

After considering the alternatives (gyrodec etc) have concluded that my LP12 (mid 80s, Valhalla, RB250, dynavector DV10X4) makes great music and is worth keeping. My only complaint is that on complex music, it loses the plot a bit and becomes rather rough around the edges. I listen almost exclusively to classical music.

I'm guessing this is down to the arm (old and not that good) and the cartridge (old and probably worn). I have checked the cartridge set up and it's OK (although adjusting a cartridge in a RB250 is not particularly easy).

My plan is to fit an SME M2-9 (well engineered and easy to fine tune) and an Ortofon 2M Black (considered by many to be the best MM available - I have a good Graham Slee MM phono stage but no MC). Have considered a new DV10X5 but quite like a change.

Of course many would say stick to Linn products - so the alternative would be a new Akito and Adikt. But sense that the SME/Ortofon are slightly better for the same money.

Finally, I want to get a Cirkus upgrade installed - guess this is a no-brainer really.
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2010-04-13, 12:22
Post: #2
RE: SME M2 and Ortofon 2M Black
(2010-04-13 12:02)Beethoven Wrote:  Finally, I want to get a Cirkus upgrade installed - guess this is a no-brainer really.

Indeed. IMHO it is the first step in sorting out the "on complex music, it loses the plot a bit and becomes rather rough around the edges" characteristic of the 80's spec LP12 Smile

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2010-04-13, 19:10 (This post was last modified: 2010-04-13 19:12 by Julian H.)
Post: #3
RE: SME M2 and Ortofon 2M Black
Hi Beethoven

Well the Cirkus is certainly a no brainer IMO.

As far as your suggested arm cartridge combination goes, I would not go there. I have no doubt that both are very fine products but Linn put a lot of time to make sure their turntable "system" works as a whole so whilst the combination you suggest may sound better on another deck [possibly the Michell you mention] the synergy of an all Linn combo I reckon will win the day.

If you go for an Akito make sure its the later, made in Scotland variety but as an alternative seek out a really nice Ittok which, if it is in good order, is still a superb arm. Put a new Adikt in it and be happy [very, very happy actuallyBig Grin]

Finally, whilst you at your dealer getting all this sorted, ask them to look at your Valhalla. If it is not in top notch condition get them to service it too [or replace it with a Hercules if they can't]

the HM

Strathklyde Sondek [by Cymbiosis] Big Grin
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Everythin' else is from Salisbury baby Wink
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2010-04-14, 09:14
Post: #4
RE: SME M2 and Ortofon 2M Black
Thanks for the advice guys. I can see the benefit of sticking with all Linn components - and I will probably get a warmer welcome at the dealer if I do so! My only concern is that the Akito II and the Adikt will not be much of an advance on what I have now (albeit benefitting from being new and unworn). I really like the build quality and adjustability of the SME arms (and they are good value for money) - the cartridge I am indifferent about.

Had a close listen to my LP12 last night and it actually sounds pretty good. I think the problem is mistracking on complex/loud passages, particularly at the end of side of the LP (at its worst on female voices). A bit more clarity in the midrange wouldn't hurt either.

So will an Akito and Adikt improve tracking if properly set up?
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2010-04-15, 00:05
Post: #5
RE: SME M2 and Ortofon 2M Black
I feel honeymonster's advice is spot on.

I wouldn't be worrying about not getting an improvement. The Akito II is vastly superior to an RB250, especially on an LP12, and the Adikt is a truly fine cartridge and well suited to the Akito. I won't argue whether it would be radically better than your Dynavector as I haven't done the comparison but I wouldn't be surprised. One of the guys who used to work here felt that a DV20X was needed to better the Adikt and then not by a lot.

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2010-04-18, 17:14
Post: #6
RE: SME M2 and Ortofon 2M Black
Second TOK - don't underestimate the Adikt on a well-set up LP12. Amazing how much better the cartridge gets as you improve the 'table!

LP12/Radikal/Keel/EkosSE/Mogami/Adikt/Harban Plinth/Rega Aria phono stage/Magnum Dynalab MD-106T/Audio Research LS26/VS60/ProAc D25's
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