At High End Munich 2018 SME CEO Stuart McNeilis Introduces the New "Synergy" Integrated Turntable

In this short video, SME CEO Stuart McNeilis gives viewers a guided tour of the company's first new 'table since the Model 15. It's the company's first "integrated" "plug'n'play" turntable and the first since McNeilis became CEO following SME's purchase by The Cadence Group.

The Synergy features a built in battery powered Nagara phono preamplifier, and comes fitted with Ortofon's excellent Windfeld Ti MC cartridge. The new 'table uses the Model 10's motor and Model 15's platter. The rest is new including a new power supply, suspension and various other parts.

McNeilis is in a tough position running an iconic company like SME. There's tradition and there's the need to move forward into the future. If he leaves things as they have been, the company risks being left behind by market trends and newer products. If he changes things too quickly, he risks alienating "the base" (not to mention the dustcover!) and trashing tradition.

Perhaps going forward SME will have two lines: the traditional lineup of Models 10, 15, 20 and 30 and a new line of 21st century designs using different materials and concepts. In the meantime for the first new product since the 15 launched five years ago, McNeilis has chosen a new product category—the "integrated" turntable—using familiar SME concepts in a new form factor: the "integrated turntable."

Of course there will be skeptics who dismiss the Synergy but I think they are wrong. I think there's definitely a market for a high quality integrated product that makes use of core SME technology in a new package featuring a built-in Nagra battery powered phono preamplifier and a premium Ortofon Windfeld Ti cartridge. "Plug'n'play" has never had it so good! For people who have the money and the interest but not the skills required to st up and cartridge, this is a great way to get into vinyl and experience and hear what it's all about.

The suspension system in this model is all new and features a newly developed elastomer. The power supply is newly developed as well. The familiar SME IV arm can be had in "standard" and extra cost snazzy chrome. I can see this 'table in the executive suite partnered with a pair of the Wilson TuneTots.

When I ran into McNeilis on Sunday afternoon at the show he told me that they'd sold "quite a few" between Thursday and Sunday, which didn't surprise me. One will be coming here for review as soon as production is finalized. Projected pricing in America will be between $15,000 and $17,000 complete.

Anton D's picture

I agree, if someone doesn't wish the fiddling and mixing matching that is part of the hobby, then this would be a killer alternative!

Plug that into a nice integrated amp, add speakers, dunzo!

Well considered ingredients in that package, too!

cdvinyl's picture

That look's so cool!

J. Carter's picture

If I was in the market for a turntable and had that kind of money to spend on it I certainly would put this on the top of my list of turntables to purchase. I hate the idea of having to futz with and adjust a turntable to make it sound its best. I want to set it, forget it and just enjoy the music playing from it.

PAR's picture

I have been an SME user since 1970. I am pleased that McNeilis seems both to have a good vision of where the company has to go and a respect for its traditions for both the audio and precision engineering aspects of the firm. I can't wait to find out what it is going to do going with the acquisition of the Garrard brand.

Thinks: time to get my SME V serviced after 20 years use.

eflatminor's picture

Not crazy about an integrated phono stage. I like the flexibility of experimenting, trying new components, so I go with separates. Still, it looks great and being an SME guy myself (I use a 312-S with a Nottingham Dais), I bet it will sound great.

Ortofan's picture

... the phono preamp to be battery powered?

nagysaudio's picture

Nagra BPS.

mraudioguru's picture

...he risks alienating "the base" (not to mention the dustcover!)

I still think you missed your calling :-)

Bluejimbop's picture

Heinz Lichtenegger says “Yah” a lot but at least he’s personable. SME might want to think about putting a different face out on the floor.