SME Synergy All-In-One Turntable Lab Report

Lab Report

The platter, bearing and motor of the Synergy turntable clearly take their cues from the Model 10 and Model 15 [HFN Oct '15] – proven components reflected in the superb performance of this relatively compact belt-driven design. The three-phase, eight-pole motor offers user-adjustable speed control over 33.3, 45 and 78rpm and brings the 4.6kg alloy platter up to speed in a swift four seconds. As supplied, our sample was a mere –0.05% adrift in absolute speed with a low 0.015% peak wow – as evidenced by the sharp central peak in the W&F spectrum [Graph 1]. This value and the 'shape' of the spectrum is very similar indeed to that of the Model 15's and although the Synergy's peak flutter is fractionally higher at 0.035% (versus 0.030%) the shoulders at ±20Hz are necessarily at very low amplitude.

Wow and flutter re. 3150Hz tone at 5cm/sec (plotted ±150Hz, 5Hz per minor division)


Cumulative tonearm resonant decay spectrum, illustrating various bearing, pillar and 'tube' vibration modes spanning 100Hz-10kHz over 40msec

The Synergy's bearing – a 19mm chrome-steel spindle running in sintered bronze bushings – incurs a mere –71.4dB through-groove rumble, improving to –72.5dB with the record clamp in place. The deck itself proves to be quieter still with a through-bearing rumble of just –74.5dB (DIN B-weighted).

The partnering Synergy tonearm is evidently based on the Series IV [HFN Jun '10] which is less structurally complex than the V. The key section of the arm – the headshell, tapered tube, bearing yoke and counterweight rail – are all still fashioned from a single magnesium alloy die-casting. The result is an arm with an effective mass of 12g benefiting from an exceptionally simple and well-controlled resonance behaviour with a well-damped main bending mode at 140Hz and higher-Q harmonics/twisting modes at 355Hz, 440Hz, 485Hz and 668Hz. The pre-loaded bearings offer almost zero friction and no detectable play. PM

Turntable speed error at 33.33rpm 33.32rpm (–0.05%)
Time to audible stabilisation 4sec
Peak Wow/Flutter 0.015% / 0.035%
Rumble (silent groove, DIN B wtd) –71.1dB / –72.5dB (with clamp)
Rumble (through bearing, DIN B wtd) –74.9dB
Hum & Noise (unwtd, rel. to 5cm/sec) –60.1dB
Power Consumption 5W (<1W idle)
Dimensions (WHD) / Weight 370x178x350mm / 24.5kg
Price (with arm/cartridge) £14,950
SME Limited
Supplied by: SME Ltd
01903 814321