SME exits the tonearm business!

May 30, 2010
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#21
Hopefully they will realize the error of their ways.
It is quite a gamble. My tonearms are in such demand people will buy our turnta bles. Frankly I don't see the up-side. You still have to make tonearms.
The market is crowded.
Good luck.
In fact the market is crowded, but is also moving fast. SME tonearms are expensive - built quality and excellent distribution and service comes at a price. It seems to me that the tonearm market is split between the very expensive and lower price class, there is little place for the typical SME products - I do not see people who buy digital sourced vinyl, most of the current LP sales, buying SME current tonearms.

I find that their new lower range of turntables is overpriced - the true SME's start with the SME 20/2.

I love armchair quarterbacks on issues they have no idea about, such as retail tonearm profitability.
Sorry, but we really enjoy it ... :)
 

XV-1

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2010
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Sydney
#22
Question is if they’ll continue to offer support and sell parts for the tens of thousands tonearms out there.

david
David

This is all your fault. having lots of audiophiles chasing used vintage 3012-R's instead of buying new SME tonearms . lol ;):p
 

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
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#24
They could just remake it and undercut the used market...
They are still baffled that everyone wants the discontinued arms
instead of the “ much improved “
newer arms.o_O
 

howiebrou

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2012
1,335
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#25
So they are not actually stopping the manufacture of tonearms, they are just not selling them independently of the tables. If that's the case and they continue making the same tonearms for their tables then support should continue just fine i think. Which begs the questions, that if you are making them anyway why not sell them if someone wants one? Nobody is going to buy a SME table to get the tonearm so you will just loose out on that income stream (although how significant that was I don't know). My Avid Acutus came with the SME V.
 
Likes: christoph

Folsom

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Oct 26, 2015
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#26
They are still baffled that everyone wants the discontinued arms
instead of the “ much improved “
newer arms.o_O
An example of stupidity in business. That reminds me of a local coffee shop that can't make enough chocolate croissants to keep them stocked for more than a few hours. But because they aren't as "french" as they want them to be, they don't make them at all now. :rolleyes:

If your patrons want it, sell it, don't not sell it and stand around with your thumb up your ass wondering why you can't make money...

We have lots of examples of business problems like this today... Star Wars anyone? I'm honestly losing count of people failing to understand how to sell things. Another example, Land Cruisers... Toyota can't understand how they aren't selling because they can't see the extraordinarily obvious reasons. It's like everyone's adopted the Chinese approach to "if it is a failure it isn't our fault, it's just circumstances from nobody knows what."
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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#29
Popeyes chicken sandwhich.e.g.
It does not matter whose fault failure is. The question is who bears the consequences.
Look we have seen this business model since the 1980's. Pay to much for a company and cut,cut,cut.
 
Likes: Barry2013
May 30, 2010
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#31
They are still baffled that everyone wants the discontinued arms
instead of the “ much improved “ newer arms.o_O
IMHO not everyone ... I think we must realize that we are just a few people centered around an audiophile forum and are not representative of the whole audiophile community. Most people buy the old used type 3009 or 3012 tonearms because they are really cheap. The R series become fashionable and expensive, we can see the same un-sold units since long at eBay.
 
Likes: IanG-UK
May 30, 2010
16,601
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#33
I think its a mistake. Their tonearms are their strength with regards to the companies audio products.
As far as I have read the audio products are now just a small part of the company business - they also manufacture precision parts for industrial, medical and aerospace purposes. The company was sold three years ago and a big investment was made in new machinery, I doubt that the new owner expected to pay for it just selling tonearms.

In fact, the advertising and show activity of SME was reduced in the last years, centered only in the new turntables.

IMHO the non-vintage mythical products of SME were the SME30 and the SMEV.
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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#34
Growth is the goal. Lack of sales is the only real reason to cut back on production..
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
4,647
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Utah
#35
IMHO not everyone ... I think we must realize that we are just a few people centered around an audiophile forum and are not representative of the whole audiophile community. Most people buy the old used type 3009 or 3012 tonearms because they are really cheap. The R series become fashionable and expensive, we can see the same un-sold units since long at eBay.
I don't know about e-bay in Europe but US isn't the place to buy 3012-R tonearms. Surprisingly the 3012-R discussions have reached a lot more people than I thought, almost everyday I get a few emails with questions about this tonearm but you're right we didn't change the world.

david
 

dcc

VIP/Donor
Nov 4, 2012
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#36
Some turntables were specifically offered with SME tonerarms: Audio Note Ginga and Transrotors among others. Avid and Michell were offering their top of the range turntables with the SME V. I wonder how these business partners are reacting to these decisions.
 

asiufy

Industry Expert/VIP Donor
Jul 8, 2011
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almaaudio.com
#37
Some turntables were specifically offered with SME tonerarms: Audio Note Ginga and Transrotors among others. Avid and Michell were offering their top of the range turntables with the SME V. I wonder how these business partners are reacting to these decisions.
They'll just find another partner, and SME will be the worst for it.
How many people considering an Audio Note Ginga or a Trans Rotor turntable will drop their choice for an SME turntable because, all of a sudden, it doesn't come with an SME arm?
Does SME really think they'll start selling more turntables because of this?
There has to be another explanation for this, that we're not privy to (nor likely will)...
 
Likes: Barry2013

Folsom

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Oct 26, 2015
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#38
Growth is the goal. Lack of sales is the only real reason to cut back on production..
Well not if the machinery and the customer/distributor support makes less money than new contractors for other things. If you owned a printer that could make you $0.50 a paper or $1.00 a paper.... it's not hard to see the point if that's happening.

Again, though, selling the business and let someone else invest in some machinery would be smart. I'd buy part of the business if I could replicate the 3012R perfectly. Then I'd sells loads of them.
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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#39
Of course if they are not making money... However piggybacking turntable sales on a successful tonearm business is another matter
IMO Risky at best. Then again I thought the Nats could not win WS w/o Harper.
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
4,874
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Eastern WA
#40
Of course if they are not making money... However piggybacking turntable sales on a successful tonearm business is another matter
IMO Risky at best. Then again I thought the Nats could not win WS w/o Harper.
Ya, if that's the idea... GOOD LUCK SME, you'll need about two dozen natural disasters to destroy all the competition.
 

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