SME Model 60/Series VA Turntable Ajay Shirke

Ajay Shirke

In 2016, ten years after the passing of SME's founder, Alastair Robertson-Aikman, the hi-fi world's most iconic precision engineering brand moved out of family hands to be acquired by Ajay Shirke's Cadence group. Former aerospace man Stuart McNeilis was appointed as CEO, and the company signed up a UK distributor, Padood (also handling Nagra).


Ajay is an audiophile to his core, so while taking SME 'to the next level' he was also determined not to deviate from the path of the brand's founder. 'Our first new product was the Synergy [HFN Mar '19]', says Ajay, of the integrated turntable/arm/cartridge/phono stage solution that 'addressed the needs of people who did not have the time or even the expertise to choose and install a cartridge or optimise a phono stage'. Other decks followed but it was the Synergy that set the basis for SME's exploration of new-generation polymers and isolation techniques.

'It forced us to modify our CNC processes to machine non-metallic materials in a dry process', says Ajay. 'Not only was this key to developing the new Series VA armtube but it also enabled the successor for our flagship 30, the new Model 60.'

New materials will also shape SME's future roadmap. 'We will soon see many new products from SME, both above and below the Model 60,' reveals Ajay. 'The new material solutions offer the prospect of a longer tonearm (longer than 12in), as well as derivatives downwards from the Model 60 and a limited edition, cost-no-object Model 75.' PM

SME Limited
Supplied by: SME Ltd
01903 814321