TP14 or SME 3009 on a TD124?

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yak66
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TP14 or SME 3009 on a TD124?

Post by yak66 » 11 Oct 2019 11:34

Does anyone know the difference between a TP14 and a SME3009 over a TD124?
Has anyone owned both arms and told his story?
Can a TP14 be the best choice?
Thanks

tlscapital
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Re: TP14 or SME 3009 on a TD124?

Post by tlscapital » 11 Oct 2019 14:01

The TP14 tonearm is a dynamic forced tonearm with gimbal bearing where the SME's are static forced on knife edge bearings. Now I don't know what the effective mass of the TP14 is (medium to heavy I'd believe)n the SME's3009 range from 6.5 to 14 grams depending on the model. This should be considered for the cartridge choice.

The SME's evolutive potential is wide and the TP14 likely very small if any. If the TP14 should be considered a good enough (for the money) contender, but it's likely not considered a great one. Where the SME's have their strong supporters. But they also have their dislikers... This attest of the SME's character and specificities.

This to tell them some appart objectively. And my preference goes to the SME's evidently. Even though before owning one, I was put off at first of it's loose'N'wobly mount/design. After hearing it only, I totally fell under it's charms. Then once DIY tweaked, I was converted by it's design and a better understanding of it's own sonic signature.

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Re: TP14 or SME 3009 on a TD124?

Post by yak66 » 11 Oct 2019 15:33

Thank you very much tlscapital for answer.
"SME 3009 'Imp' converted into very heavy mass" : this is very interesting
I have a SME 3009 imp on a Linn LP12 .. I have the LP12 for 3 months
I don't know how I love this tonearm

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Re: TP14 or SME 3009 on a TD124?

Post by pivot » 11 Oct 2019 15:39

TP 14 is a limited arm and not Thorens best effort.

SME 3009 came in a variety of vintages and models. Modifications and upgrade parts are readily available. Go with the SME.

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Re: TP14 or SME 3009 on a TD124?

Post by mik666 » 12 Oct 2019 00:15

SME >>>>> TP14

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Re: TP14 or SME 3009 on a TD124?

Post by StephDale » 12 Oct 2019 12:37

I'm not 100% sure it's quite as clean cut as the previous postings have indicated - a lot will depend upon your cartridge choice. The TP14 is heavy, but has good bearings (although they're likely to need replacing or adjusting by now). If your preferred flavour is something like a Denon 103 or SPU, I suspect the TP14 would be a better choice than the SME.

Just one man's view, of course... ;-)

Steph

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Re: TP14 or SME 3009 on a TD124?

Post by yak66 » 12 Nov 2019 16:01

Someone prefers TP14
Someone prefers the SME-3009
Has anyone made a comparison?
I would like to use an M75ed cartridge
Thanks

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Re: TP14 or SME 3009 on a TD124?

Post by tlscapital » 13 Nov 2019 00:25

There seem to be different variations of models for the Shure M75 'ED' cartridges but since the recommended VTF is always advised between 0.75 to 1.5 grams (no manufacturer's compliance given), I'd guess it is in the the 'high' compliance league, and so for a theoretical match I'd advise a 'light' effective mas tonearm like the SME 'Improved' to stay in that classic turntable/tonearm league.

Caution (only) on your SME 'Improved' knife edge bearing option/choice; the nylon one is nowadays less preferred, the steel my (and quite a few others) favored and the bronze (hyped about) likely not the best for those alloy arm/tub wand SME generation (steel ones yes). But the match of cartridge, armboard material and amp should also come into the combination equation if ever...

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Re: TP14 or SME 3009 on a TD124?

Post by user510 » 13 Nov 2019 05:53

I recently auditioned a TP14 on a TD124-II earlier this year. I thought the arm/lift mechanism was overly complex. Otherwise it reproduced a dynamic and visceral delivery on rock records with a Shure M91E mounted.
I used the HFN 001 test record to get a measurement on arm/cartridge resonance with this setup. There was a system arm/cart resonance happening at 9hz in the lateral. I think this indicates that the arm isn't as heavy as many folks might want to believe.

I back calculated based on the known values and the test record measure and estimate roughly the Tp14 has an effective mass in the range of 14 - 15g. This indicates the arm to be in the medium/medium heavy effective mass range. It will have a useful range of cartridges that can work in it. And it rocks.

Later this year I acquired an M91E for myself and currently have it set up on a TD124-1 with an Infinty Black Widow tonearm. I like the sound of the M91e better in the BW arm than in the TP14. I get more detail and a better sense of atmosphere with this setup than I recall hearing when an almost identical M91E was heard on a TD124-II in the TP14.

Stylus differences. The first M91E I heard in the TP14 had an EVG elliptical stylus installed The second M91E I have in the BW arm has a Pfanstiehl #761 elliptical replacement stylus assembly.

http://www.theanalogdept.com/59805.htm article on the TD124-II with TP14 restoration.

My take is that the Tp14 arm is better than some would indicate but has its limits. And I don't like the arm/lift mechanism on it. It's like if you want to adjust VTA, you might end up compensating for that adjustment with a couple of other adjustments to get the arm lift back in its useful range. Overly complex. I have notes about it at the above linked article I wrote earlier this year. Fwiw, M2C and YMMV, etc.

-Steve

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Re: TP14 or SME 3009 on a TD124?

Post by yak66 » 13 Nov 2019 08:56

user510 wrote:
13 Nov 2019 05:53
I recently auditioned a TP14 on a TD124-II earlier this year.
wonderful answer and wonderful page (Project SN 59805) !
Thank you very much Steve !
the main problem is not the choice TP14 / 3009, but the general condition of the turntable and any problems that are difficult to restore (example the bent upper platter)
So the Tp14 has an effective mass in the range of 14 - 15g as (about) the TP16


Dear Steve, I want to read and study your wonderful page, I also own a M91 without a stylus, I usually use M75ed, because I like its sound.
Do you prefer SME3009 or TP14 on your TD124?

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Re: TP14 or SME 3009 on a TD124?

Post by tlscapital » 13 Nov 2019 09:17

user510 wrote:
13 Nov 2019 05:53
I recently auditioned a TP14 on a TD124-II earlier this year. I thought the arm/lift mechanism was overly complex. Otherwise it reproduced a dynamic and visceral delivery on rock records with a Shure M91E mounted.
So very few enthusiastic reviews on this TP14 tonearm where much much more for the TD124 evidently... A classic Thorens case. Although even the TP13 and TP13'a' get more reviews. And even more for the humble yet more sophisticated TP16 that tells the story of improvement made in the Thorens understanding over a decade of what they should provide their consumers with in terms of playback quality. I still don't like the TP14 idea of 'dynamic' force.

'Visceral'; Care to elaborate how does that sound ? :)
user510 wrote:
13 Nov 2019 05:53
I used the HFN 001 test record to get a measurement on arm/cartridge resonance with this setup. There was a system arm/cart resonance happening at 9hz in the lateral. I think this indicates that the arm isn't as heavy as many folks might want to believe.

I back calculated based on the known values and the test record measure and estimate roughly the Tp14 has an effective mass in the range of 14 - 15g. This indicates the arm to be in the medium/medium heavy effective mass range. It will have a useful range of cartridges that can work in it. And it rocks.
Measure it with a gauge or a scale at the tip of the headshell connector without the headshell and VTF off. But I should believe that this effective mass figure sounds about right.
user510 wrote:
13 Nov 2019 05:53
Later this year I acquired an M91E for myself and currently have it set up on a TD124-1 with an Infinty Black Widow tonearm. I like the sound of the M91e better in the BW arm than in the TP14. I get more detail and a better sense of atmosphere with this setup than I recall hearing when an almost identical M91E was heard on a TD124-II in the TP14.

Stylus differences. The first M91E I heard in the TP14 had an EVG elliptical stylus installed The second M91E I have in the BW arm has a Pfanstiehl #761 elliptical replacement stylus assembly.
Your Infinity 'BW' is of the (very as they intended) light effective mass tonearm and so likely a better match. Hence the comparison there is not fair on their respective built (knife edge (my favorite :P ) versus gimbal bearing of so-so quality), design, manufacture and production cost let alone the retail price if any for the TP14.

Now the stylus is evidently part of the comparison equation but likely in difference. Preference is another matter...
user510 wrote:
13 Nov 2019 05:53
http://www.theanalogdept.com/59805.htm article on the TD124-II with TP14 restoration.

My take is that the Tp14 arm is better than some would indicate but has its limits. And I don't like the arm/lift mechanism on it. It's like if you want to adjust VTA, you might end up compensating for that adjustment with a couple of other adjustments to get the arm lift back in its useful range. Overly complex. I have notes about it at the above linked article I wrote earlier this year. Fwiw, M2C and YMMV, etc.

-Steve

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Re: TP14 or SME 3009 on a TD124?

Post by user510 » 13 Nov 2019 18:26

tlscapital wrote:
13 Nov 2019 09:17


So very few enthusiastic reviews on this TP14 tonearm where much much more for the TD124 evidently... A classic Thorens case. Although even the TP13 and TP13'a' get more reviews. And even more for the humble yet more sophisticated TP16 that tells the story of improvement made in the Thorens understanding over a decade of what they should provide their consumers with in terms of playback quality. I still don't like the TP14 idea of 'dynamic' force.

'Visceral'; Care to elaborate how does that sound ? :)
user510 wrote:
13 Nov 2019 05:53
I used the HFN 001 test record to get a measurement on arm/cartridge resonance with this setup. There was a system arm/cart resonance happening at 9hz in the lateral. I think this indicates that the arm isn't as heavy as many folks might want to believe.

I back calculated based on the known values and the test record measure and estimate roughly the Tp14 has an effective mass in the range of 14 - 15g. This indicates the arm to be in the medium/medium heavy effective mass range. It will have a useful range of cartridges that can work in it. And it rocks.
Measure it with a gauge or a scale at the tip of the headshell connector without the headshell and VTF off. But I should believe that this effective mass figure sounds about right.
user510 wrote:
13 Nov 2019 05:53
Later this year I acquired an M91E for myself and currently have it set up on a TD124-1 with an Infinty Black Widow tonearm. I like the sound of the M91e better in the BW arm than in the TP14. I get more detail and a better sense of atmosphere with this setup than I recall hearing when an almost identical M91E was heard on a TD124-II in the TP14.

Stylus differences. The first M91E I heard in the TP14 had an EVG elliptical stylus installed The second M91E I have in the BW arm has a Pfanstiehl #761 elliptical replacement stylus assembly.
Your Infinity 'BW' is of the (very as they intended) light effective mass tonearm and so likely a better match. Hence the comparison there is not fair on their respective built (knife edge (my favorite :P ) versus gimbal bearing of so-so quality), design, manufacture and production cost let alone the retail price if any for the TP14.

Now the stylus is evidently part of the comparison equation but likely in difference. Preference is another matter...
visceral: producing a bodily sensation of pressure or concussion. With key word being body. I could add other descriptive terms like solid and weighty. Density of sound.

While at first glance it might seem absurd to compare the TP14 to the BW arm. Yet the fact that the same relatively high compliance cartridge was able to function and track accurately on both arms tells us something meaningful. Then there is the arm/cartridge system resonance of 9hz. This test result indicates that the TP14/M91E match-up scores within the acceptable range of 8 - 12hz. That score indicates some things. And so I repeat that the TP14 isn't as high mass as most folks tend to think of it.

It seems perhaps incredible that I make a comparison of the same cartridge on two radically different tonearms. Yet both arms carried the M91E without miss-tracking and it sounded good in both.

Further, and this somewhat deviates from the thread title, the M91e we tend to think of as having a high compliance, yet Shure never published that figure. But we might assume a compliance figure in the 20 - 25 range. But the test record score indicates a lower compliance if the 14gram effective mass is to be accepted for the TP14. Otherwise, we'd have to assume the TP14 to be an even lower effective mass arm. Hmmmm.

One other consideration; The M91e cartridges in this comparison both utilized aftermarket stylus replacements. And who is to say that the compliance of the cartridge wasn't modified by these non standard stylus assemblies. It really comes down to that elastomer donut within the tube. a modern replacement versus the original. Perhaps not the same donut substance.

Back to the topic:
The TP14 is one of three variations on the same original design by Thorens in their first company effort to produce an arm suitable for stereo cartridges. The first version was dubbed the BTD12S, Then comes the TP14, and finally the TP25. The main differences between them was in the arm lift mechanism design. The BTD12S and TP14 both used a pusher shaft within the body of the arm to lift the arm upward within its base structure. By the time of the TP25 the internal arm lift mechanism was removed and replaced by a simple external cable lift that we see on all Thorens arms thereafter. First in the TP13 and next in the TP16 and so on.

In my limited view the last version of the arm lift on the TP25 is the more intelligent approach while the earlier mechanisms were clever and perhaps within the 'think envelope' of Thorens history and their previous designs in wind-up motors, as well as 78 players. But far too clever and too complicated for the time period of the 1960's. But that is just my opinion.

All that said, the BTD12s, TP14 and TP25 arms, with their dynamic vtf (spring loaded weighting), do have a sonic signature which some folks might just prefer. It is also worth noting that EMT thought enough of the original design to use it in the EMT 929 tonearms which might be thought of as the same design but with a more robust, higher quality build. (and more expensive) Additionally you can find a knock-off of it in the Swissonor catalog that is currently available. It should work well with an Ortofon SPU cartridge.

Getting to the SME 3009 mentioned within the thread title.
I've owned two versions of the 3009. An S2 and the S2 improved. The S2 I did try on one of my TD124 players and thought well of it. Not the most detailed reproduction and worked well with cartridges of medium compliance. And even cartridges of higher compliance. I thought it tended to get into the important parts of the recording while not reproducing that last bit of air and detail but with a good sense of body and slam and with the reproduction of tonalities to suit my inner audio sweet tooth. Since then I've had other arms which suit me a bit better than either of those SME's I had.

If faced with the choice: SME 3009 S2 or TP14, I'd likely get the SME but keep the TP14 in reserve.
Just m2c.

-Steve

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Re: TP14 or SME 3009 on a TD124?

Post by yak66 » 13 Nov 2019 18:56

user510 wrote:
13 Nov 2019 18:26

Back to the topic:
The TP14 is one of three variations on the same original design by Thorens
....
-Steve
Reading what you write is very interesting !
Is there a possibility that you know the Micro Seiki MA 707?
It's just a curiosity
There is a TD124 near my house with that arm
I prefer to start my adventure with a "classic" TD124
I can bring my little experience:
I own a Linn LP12 with SME3009 and Shure V15VI
but I was not very satisfied ..
I replaced the V15IV with the M75ed and now I'm pretty satisfied.
The Linn was a purchase due to a friend who wanted little money, so ... why not try

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Re: TP14 or SME 3009 on a TD124?

Post by user510 » 13 Nov 2019 19:32

yak66 wrote:
13 Nov 2019 18:56
user510 wrote:
13 Nov 2019 18:26

Back to the topic:
The TP14 is one of three variations on the same original design by Thorens
....
-Steve
Reading what you write is very interesting !
Is there a possibility that you know the Micro Seiki MA 707?
It's just a curiosity
There is a TD124 near my house with that arm
I prefer to start my adventure with a "classic" TD124
I can bring my little experience:
I own a Linn LP12 with SME3009 and Shure V15VI
but I was not very satisfied ..
I replaced the V15IV with the M75ed and now I'm pretty satisfied.
The Linn was a purchase due to a friend who wanted little money, so ... why not try
In the end we all have our preferences and prejudices, likes and dislikes unique to ourselves and not necessarily in total agreement with everyone else. Fortunately there are enough choices of gear available to explore and exploit what we finally decide we like.
I haven't owned the MS MA-707 but many others have. Among its specifications listed are that it is a dynamic balanced arm. (spring loaded vtf)

Because the TP14 is also a dynamic balanced arm and one of its characteristics that I heard was of considerable substance, body and slam it might indicate that other arms using a dynamic vtf system might also exhibit a similar character. It does suggest to me that that little bit of spring loading to keep the stylus in the groove could be something worth exploration. I know my curiosity is somewhat tickled by that thought.

Micro Seiki was known for building quality product over their years of production. That's all I know about them.

I have also tried on my Td124 a Zeta tonearm, a modified Rega RB250, a Graham 2.2, the Infinity Black Widow, the SME 3009 S2 and perhaps another that I can't recall at the moment.
If you have access to any of the Linn tonearms you might try one of those on your Td124. The Zeta arm worked good, so should other arms that worked for you on the Linn.

One thing to keep in mind for the Td124 is that its aluminum chassis has a built-in armboard support for 9 inch arms. 10 inch arms won't fit because the mounting distance required would put the base mount of the 10 inch arm right into the outer part of the chassis frame. 12 inch arms on the TD124 are popular and can be mounted via an armboard mounted to the chassis or to an armboard that is separate from the chassis and therefore that has some isolation from the drive train vibrations.....The SME 3012 S2 is popular on this. Thomas Schick makes a very good 12 inch arm that works well on the TD124. Ortofon made a number of 12 inch arms known to work on the Td124. The list goes on.

-Steve

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