SME: Their IV – an extensive test review

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The rather wonderful thing about audio and in particular tone arms is how they are in effect a pure interface between art and science. Someone once said that an art is a process of discovery that contains more than three variables interacting at any given moment. What’s interesting about the SME IV in my experience is, it tells us something, perhaps a great deal, about the tensions and contrasts between necessary world-class engineering and how that is an insufficient part of the overall recipe of the art. The thing about a tone arm is that its sound is the result of a multitude of interactions between components, just like a guitar. And sometimes what is done for good scientific reasons (like adding rigidity) will turn out to have incalculable and negative effects on other aspects of performance.

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