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SME 3009

Knife-Edge Bearing Tonearm

review this tonearm (20 reviews)

sme 3009 series i tonearm
sme 3009 series i bias adjuster
sme 3009 improved
sme 3009r
SME 3009


Classic 9" J shaped arm with knife-edge bearings. Adjustable overhang, vertical tracking force, anti-skate and arm height. Later models had optional fluid damping.

The series I and II had removable headshells, series II improved had a fixed headshell and S2 improved had a lightweight removable headshell (type S-2).

The 3009 R was a reintroduction of the original series II that ended production in 1972, but featured a new arm tube, counterweight, low mass headshell (type S2-R) and revised geometry.

Sensitivity and strength combine with versatility to ensure the continuing popularity of the 3009.

Built throughout with instrument standards of quality, the SME 3009 has all parts precision machined, heat treated and ground where necessary.

Finished in satin chrome plate, gun black and polished stainless steel.

A unique weight system enables the arm to be balanced longitudinally and laterally.

This important feature makes levelling unnecessary.

Reproduction is unaffected even if the arm and turntable assembly are tipped through 30 degrees from horizontal, demonstrating the excellent groove contact maintained.

Models 3009 and 3012 are of similar construction, the essential difference being the length of the tonearm.


The purchase of an SME 3009 arm is a wise investment for anyone interested in the highest quality of reproduction from discs - £25 HiFi News 1961

I know of no other arm possessing all the qualities of the SME. Among these qualities versatility and precision are paramount, and the refinement of the original model into the series II has been an eminently worthwhile operation. Purchase of this arm should be regarded as an investment of capital, not an expenditure - £25 7s HiFi News 1973

Perhaps one of the most popular high quality tonearms ever made. Reasonably clear if somewhat lifeless in sound quality. Bass performance was considered good if a bit soft at times, but it was judged reasonably extended and in good balance with the rest of the performance - S2 improved Noel Keywood HFN 1978

The tonal balance was fairly open, but the sound lacked precision and stereo focus was felt to be impaired throughout the frequency range - 3009R £190 HiFi Choice 1984

A well built and finished product which may be available at an attractive price. Sound quality was characterised as somewhat brash and lacking in bass definition - 3009 improved HiFi Choice 1984


arm identification  English

brochure  English

instruction/owners manual  English

(alt scan) instruction/owners manual  English - limerick23

early alignment protractor  English

improved mounting template (not to scale)  English

R brochure  English

R instruction/owners manual  English

R mounting template (not to scale)  English

R (alt scan) instruction/owners manual  English

S2 instruction/owners manual  Deutsch

S2 instruction/owners manual  English

series I bias adjuster instructions  English - gummybun

series I mounting template  English - gummybun

series I (with bias adjuster) instruction/owners manual  English - gummybun

series II brochure  English

series II instruction/owners manual  English

series II instruction/owners manual  Francais

series II mounting template (not to scale)  English

series II service manual  English

series II spare parts list  English

series II imp brochure  English

series II imp flyer  English

series II imp instruction/owners manual  English

series II imp instruction/owners manual (alt scan)  English - Terry Robinson

series II imp mounting template (not to scale)  English

series II imp service manual  English

series II imp spare parts list  English

series II imp spare parts list  English

series II S2 imp brochure  English

series II S2 imp instruction/owners manual  English

series II S2 imp mounting template (not to scale)  English

series II S2 imp spare parts list  English

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SME 3009 owners manual, service manuals and schematics are for reference only and the Vinyl Engine bears no responsibility for errors or other inaccuracies. The PDF files are provided under strict licence. Reproduction without prior permission or for financial gain is strictly prohibited. This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by SME.


Bedplate Grommets

Recently discovered that my 3009 Series II arm sounds significantly better on my TD-124/II without the bed plate grommets installed. Bass tightened significantly and is more controlled, some mid bass bloat disappeared, everything sounds a bit cleaner and more dynamic, and in general it images a bit better.

The grommets were originally fitted to provide isolation between the arm and the arm board in unsuspended decks with idler drives which could have significant levels of LF vibration.

YMMV, and don't destroy the grommets when removing them in case they are required on a particular turntable.