SME introduces the Model 12A A new entry level high-end turntable from the finest turntable manufacturer in the world

Launched today the Model 12A, created for the discerning high end audio enthusiast delivering the ultimate and personal listening experience.

9th May 2019 – Steyning, England. SME, the British engineering and specialist high end audio company, is proud to announce the launch of the Model 12A, a valuable addition to the range of precision turntables mirroring the exact standards and engineering excellence of the senior Models. The design aim was to create high mass, small footprint and high performance to deliver a pleasing detailed sound balance that encourages fresh exploration of any record collection.

This exciting entry level turntable uses the unique styling of Synergy and comes complete with the highly acclaimed SME 309 tonearm and internal Crystal Cable wiring as standard with an option to upgrade to Series IV or V tonearms.  The Model 12A is available in three paint finishes of traditional SME Black, Dark Grey and Dark Blue with contrasting detailing.

The Model 12A is available from authorised SME retailers from May 2019.

UK Retail Price £7,949.00 GBP (inclusive of UK VAT calculated at 20%).

Main Chassis

With a compact footprint, the main chassis is precision machined from a solid billet of premium grade aerospace aluminium, ensuring an inert and stable base for the suspension and sub-chassis to reside on.  With multiple CNC machining processes of this crucial component, once machined the main chassis goes through an extensive handcrafted finishing programme to reach the standards SME are famous for.


The turntable is supported on four large polymer isolators inside adjustable feet, which allow for quick and easy levelling. Machined from a single billet of aluminium, the trilateral sub-chassis, which firmly holds the close tolerance main bearing and tonearm, is mounted on three suspension columns, providing impressive isolation.


The main spindle is 19 mm (3/4″) machined from high chrome tool steel.  It is machine ground, super finished and supported in a sealed housing with individually matched sintered bronze bearings of generous proportions needed to support the platter.


Machined from aluminium alloy and weighing over 4.6 kg (10 lbs), the platter is perfectly dampened with an ultra-specialist space grade isodamp material unique to SME. The top surface is diamond-turned with a fine scroll carefully calculated for firmly engaging records to the platter. The substantial chrome-plated and logo engraved reflex clamp ensures the largest possible platter contact, even when an appreciable record warp is present.


The turntable is driven by a 3 phase, brushless out runner motor with 8-pole Neodymium magnets and three integrated hall effect sensors.  Contained within a precision-machined housing, the total motor assembly is virtually vibration-less, as its 2.5 kg (5.5lbs) weight is isolated from the sub chassis by urethane mounts and spikes.

Speed Control

The electronic control unit uses a high-performance microprocessor, optimised for motor control. Closed loop speed control is implemented using a proportional plus integral (PI) algorithm. Speed ranges are 33.3, 45 & 78 rpm, with fine pitch speed adjustment allowing increments/decrements of +/-0.01% of the selected speed.

The electronic control circuitry and power supply unit are housed in an external one-piece CNC machined case. This new design offers complete isolation and support and is the perfect environment for the electronics.  Speed selection controls are mounted on the front facia panel with LED indicators.


The Model 12A comes equipped with an SME Model 309 one-piece magnesium tonearm that uses advanced metal techniques to produce an exceptionally rigid arm. With a detachable magnesium headshell that features an advanced style coupling, the Series 309 tonearm offers the convenience of rapid cartridge interchange without any reduction when it comes to rigidity. Constrained layers within the tonearm work to dampen any minute residual vibrations through the SME Series 309 Tonearm, making it one of the most acoustically inert tonearms available on the market. Internal wiring is supplied by specialist high end audio cable manufacturer Crystal Cable.

With the new Model 12A, SME have once again demonstrated audio engineering excellence delivering a world class precision turntable for the discerning audiophile and high end audio enthusiast.

Johannes Kraemer