Many thanks in advance for any suggestions and advice on the below. I own an older model Linn Sondek LP12 with an Ekos arm, with an older Linn cartridge. I will be (1) installing a new Lyra Delos cartridge, and (2) comparing the Linn with the new cartridge to an SME 15 with Series V arm with the same Lyra Delos cartridge. Both will then have the same newer cartridge, so it will be a valid comparison, side by side, of the turntables and tonearms. In the event the SME combination is superior, I will buy that table and arm and then transfer the new Lyra Delos to that when it arrives. If the SME combination is not audibly superior, then I will keep the Linn LP12 and have a new cartridge. My question concerns the installation of the cartridge — on both my older Linn Ekos, and by a dealer on a new SME V. As you probably know, Linn insists that the Ekos arm must be removed from the table to install and tighten a cartridge. Failure to do so, Linn warns, will damage the bearings of the tonearm if the cartridge is tightened on the arm with the arm mounted on the table. I own a Linn setup jig, and am willing to follow those instructions — if they are really necessary — for the installation of the cartridge. (I’m doing this myself because the only Linn dealer is a considerable distance from my home and the SME/Lyra dealer is closer. In addition, Linn dealers normally sell only Linn cartridges, and I have no reason to believe that the equivalent Linn cartridge is clearly superior in order to justify two long trips to both drop off the table and then retrieve it from the Linn dealer.) Two questions: (1) Is it really necessary to remove the Linn arm from the Linn table in order to install a cartridge, which is a bit of a time consuming procedure? (2) My local SME dealer has never heard of such a thing, and says that he never removes an SME arm from the SME turntable when installing a cartridge, and has never done it on any other tonearm or turntable, for that matter. But logic would suggest that if it is necessary for the bearings on a Linn Ekos arm, wouldn’t the same procedure be necessary for any other tonearm? Any expensive tonearm should have delicate bearings, and would not be any different from a Linn arm in that respect. So shouldn’t the same procedure be followed with any expensive tonearm? If it is really necessary and prudent to remove the Linn arm from the table when installing a cartridge, isn’t it also prudent to insist that any expensive tonearm be removed from a table by a dealer, when installing a cartridge? On the other hand, if removing the tonearm is not necessary in the case of the SME or other expensive tonearm/turntable combinations, why is the Linn different in that respect? Any comments and advice would be greatly appreciated!