Proudly Made in Sheffield
Inspired by the great idler drive (ID) turntables of yesteryear such as the Garrard 301/401s and Thorens TD124's, SMD Acoustics has spent 3 years in the development and manufacture of an all-new ID turntable – the V2.0. Every component has been painstaking designed from scratch, and then machined in the UK [with a Swiss precision motor].
Above the SMD V2.0 standard black chassis with polished pillars, platter and arm board
The V2.0 incorporates the design concepts that made these turntables great, but because of SMD Acoustics in-depth understanding of them they have been able to produce a modern design which builds substantially on those of the past. By harnessing the very latest motor and materials technology, insisting on ultra-precision engineering with stringent quality control, and using a unique, double skeletal chassis Sorbothane® decoupling system, we are confident that the V2.0 will establish its place as the benchmark, high-end, ID turntable .
Above with hammer finish chassis, polished pillars, arm board and platter
SMD Acoustics is one of only a tiny number of manufacturers in the world producing totally brand new ID turntables. ID turntables are notoriously expensive to produce, and so were only commercially viable in the days when there was a very large market – now, despite the known advantages of the ID, the vast majority of new turntables being offered are the relatively simple (and easier to produce) belt drive design.
There are three main drive systems that have been employed over the years: belt drive, ID and direct drive. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and so each design must inevitably be a compromise. However, at SMD Acoustics they believe that of the three, the advantages of the ID outweigh its weaknesses significantly more than the other two designs.
If you have heard an ID turntable you will already know all about the characteristic sound they produce: the incredible bass control and extension, the grip of the music and the superb timing that only an idler drive can truly achieve.
To deliver the very best of these inherent qualities, the V2.0 idler wheel is precision ground to ensure concentricity of just a few microns, and is housed in a CNC-machined idler body with high quality bushes which ensure smooth and ultra-silent rotation.
DC Motor & Power Supply
The V2.0 features a high-torque ironless rotor design using rare earth magnets , the motor has no magnetic cogging torque a high linearity ensuring giving a totally smooth servo drive , this Swiss made DC motor from maxon has been developed and custom manufactured specially for SMD Acoustics. The motor is housed in the lower chassis decoupled from the upper chassis and platter with energy absorbing Sorbothane®. Electrical connection to the motor is via a high-grade DC jack plug.
The motor is driven by the all new SMD Acoustics Power Supply which incorporates a full velocity servo amplifier , which incorporates feedback system using an adaptive IxR feed back from the motor , speed is compensated for minute changes in load & temperature.
The servo controller’s feedback loop is also matched to the motor characteristics to ensure accurate speed control this cutting-edge servo drive circuitry ensures the speed locks-on exactly to either 33 1/3 or 45 rpm.
This is one of the areas that the latest technology coupled with the superior ID design really produces significant results. The power supply servo drive samples the back EMF from the DC motor several thousands of times a second, and so, should any speed adjustment be necessary, it is made instantly thus ensuring absolute accuracy and stability in pitch.
The ability of the servo/ID combination to deliver controlled small instantaneous speed adjustments produces a major advantage over the belt drive, where any speed adjustment would cause the elastic drive band to stretch and subsequently contract when the "braking" effect was released thus blurring the sound output.
The V2.0 sound is rock solid and stable, resulting in incredible control of timing, great imaging and separation of individual performers along with a deep, coherent bass response.
Platter, Bearing Housing and Spindle
The standard platter is machined from solid aluminium and weights 2.9 Kgs. It rides on a precision made tool steel spindle and a bearing housing is machined from 303 Grade Stainless Steel.
The bearing is fitted with two "Oilite" bushes that are precision honed for the ultimate close running fit to ensure zero play and absolute minimal bearing noise.
Only "Oilite" bushes are suitable for such a close running fit because there is so little space between the bushes and the spindle it would normally be very difficult for oil to penetrate, but the "Oilite" bush is porous like a sponge so it absorbs oil thus ensuring constant lubrication between bush and spindle.
The bearing features an O ring seal at the bottom meaning no oil leakage and an oil delivery system within the bearing ensures oil is delivered equally to both the bushes.
The spindle is manufactured from high carbon, high chromium tool steel which offers superb wear resistance and toughness. After the spindle is CNC machined it is vacuum hardened to HRC 55 - 60, then precision ground to a tolerance of +0 - 2.5 microns. (this is well beyond the spec required for aerospace components as we discovered when trying identify a suitable manufacturer!). The spindle runs on a precision phosphor bronze ball in a Nylatron bearing cup to ensure quiet smooth running.
The material used for any platter mat is most important. The energy created by the stylus is reflected from the mat once it has passed through the record; this ‘out-of-phase’ reflection is again picked up by the stylus thus adversely ‘colouring’ the sound – a good mat design minimises this problem. The SMD Acoustics acrylic mat behaves like an extension of the record and allows the energy to pass through the mat (unlike say a rubber mat that would reflect it straight back once it hit the mat) to the platter where it is then reflected and then largely absorbed by the mat on its return thus markedly reducing the amount of undesirable reflected energy at the stylus.
The standard arm board has an SME cut-out, but virtually any 9 or 10 inch arm can be accommodated. Please contact us for details about the suitability of your arm. The arm board is machined from 303 Grade stainless steel and is removable for changes of arm etc.
Every part of the turntable has received meticulous attention to detail, even those parts that are not normally seen. The underside has a beautifully finished locking ring that secures the motor, and the underside of the chassis is finished to the same high standards as the visible surfaces. The three feet are fitted with non-slip pads which are fully adjustable for accurate levelling.
The V2.0 is machined in the UK from a combination of solid aluminium and stainless steel, it is available in a number of finishes selected at the time of order (see optional extras). The two-piece chassis is available in anodised satin black or hammertone grey (special colours upon request).
The platter is a one-piece design machined from solid aluminium. It is available as standard in the "as machined" condition, polished and white gold plated, or painted either satin black or hammertone grey (other colours available on request).
Pillars, feet and arm board are stainless steel, and as standard are supplied in the ‘as machined’ condition which is a very fine finish or alternatively these can be polished to a mirror finish.
Research & Development
How did SMD Acoustics arrive at the final design? The most influential IDs of the past such as Garrard 301's, 401's and the Thorens TD124's were stripped and examined to establish strengths and weaknesses within these designs. As many of you will know, SMD Acoustics have been dealing with refurbished Garrards for .... years and consider themselves to be experts in the field - they know these decks well. Initial designs were drawn up, and with the extensive use of CAD/CAM, prototypes, were built utilising a variety of materials and various technical solutions. Many ideas were tried, listened to and rejected in the development of the turntable. Finally 3 year later the efforts, involving hundreds of hours of work and a huge investment, have resulted in the SMD Acoustics V2.0 Turntable.
HiFi World April 2016 Highlights
"superb bearing that is likely better than all others" (from Noel Keywoods Welcome)
"one of the most stable rotational performances I have seen"
"It is beautifully built, solid and every bit a successor to the 401"
"It has also overcome the weaknesses of the 401, offering less colouration and more air and space in the stereo soundstage"
"OUTSTANDING - amongst the best"
View the full review by selecting download files in the tab above
- Dust Cover £399
- Tonearm/cartridge various options
The V2.0 upper chassis / platter / tonearm assembly is supported by a three point Sorbothane® decoupling system which eliminates room vibrations. Support pillars with adjustable feet house the decoupling system.
A tool steel hardened spindle is an "Oilite" bushed stainless steel housing riding on a precision phosphor bronze ball.
Motor drive electronics and drive:
SMD Acoustics V2.0 uses as a specially made DC motor with an idler drive system and a servo control power supply. Motor decoupled from chassis with Sorbothane®.
A one piece aluminium platter 2.9Kg mass.
An acrylic mat to match the characteristics of the vinyl disc.
Two piece skeletal CNC machined from solid aluminium.
Cut for SME but any arm can be specified (9 to 10 inch) at time of ordering for no extra cost.
- Width 425mm
- Depth 369mm
- Height 140mm (excluding arm)
- Weight: 15Kgs (excluding packaging)
Delivery & Prices
These are bespoke products built to order and current lead time is approximately 12 weeks dependant of your specification.
Prices include UK VAT at 20%.
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