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SME Series III

Low-Mass 9" Tonearm (1978-1983)

review this tonearm (26 reviews)

with adjustable overhang, vertical tracking force, anti-skate and arm height

sme series iii iiis tonearms
sme series 3 headshells
SME Series III


The state of the art in independent tonearms, the SME series 3 precision pickup arm is the culmination of research and development extending over more than seven years.

It embodies a number of significant breakthroughs as well as evolutionary improvements over its distinguished predecessor.

For example: Nitrogen hardened titanium tubing having a wall thickness only twice the diameter of the average human hair provides a previously unattainable strength to weight ratio.

The arm has a soft core and an internal fibrous lining which results in a natural damping of the vibration fed into the arm by the cartridge.

'S' models where a cut-down version without the expensive rack and pinion adjustment and with the fluid damping as an optional extra.

Later, modified arm tubes used a revised geometry optimised for 12" records. Please see the CA-1 instructions for identifying which version you have.


Mounting distance: 215.4mm

Effective length: 229mm (original), 233.2mm (modified)

Overhang: 16mm (original), 17.8mm (modified)

Null points: 60/117mm (original), 66/121mm (modified)


An entirely different sort of sound and very distinctive in it's own right, the SME series III is a very interesting performer - Noel Keywood HFN 1978

Colouration was comparatively low and the overall sound pleasantly relaxed. Stereo imaging was to a good standard and the bass registers reasonably detailed and extended - III £120, IIIS £90 HiFi Choice 1983


flyer  English - bernard1

instruction/owners manual  English

instruction/owners manual (alt scan)  English - PopeyeMills

instruction/owners manual  Francais

instruction/owners manual  Italiano - Altetedj

parts list  English - Tuza

service manual  English - Tuza

CA-1 arm instruction/owners manual  English

III/IIIS brochure  English

III/IIIS mounting template (not to scale)  English

S instruction/owners manual  English

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SME Series III 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.