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Broke an SME 3009 Series III tonearm clip

Posted: 12 Nov 2018 00:56
by DarthMaul

I broke a tonearm cartridge clip on my SME 3009 Series III on the Thorens turntable I just got in the mail. It happened late last night because I was in a rush to hook up my latest Stanton cartridge (981HZS), and ended up pulling the green connector off. I stupidly pulled on the black sleeve, and the wire broke. (I was tired, which is no excuse.) I ended up having to go online and spend another several hundred dollars to get a replacement tonearm, which I will simply detach from the other tonearm assembly and put on the Thorens. This one appears to be the second variant, whereas the one originally on the turntable is the third variant (all black). I've read that the tonearm wand is a pain to take apart and replace the wires on. Later on, the clip on the white wire came off. Somehow I managed to get it back in place without breaking the white wire, so it's being left alone. I will not be using the Thorens until I get the replacement tonearm, and will pay off my savings in regards to buying this tonearm before doing any more online buying.

I need advice as to the proper way to put the cartridge clips on cartridges with this arm and with removing them. I need to stop doing it by hand.

However, if anybody here can actually repair the tonearm wand, I would be willing to have it sent so I have a second working one. I just don't expect miracles due to how hard it is to deal with it

Re: Broke an SME 3009 Series III tonearm clip

Posted: 12 Nov 2018 01:45
by audiopile
Own a couple of series 3's and have had to replace a couple of clips over the years. AS is obvious -there's only a certain amount of wire to work with so avoiding doing this again is a good idea. My first suggestion is a good work light -being able to see what you're doing is very helpful (strike that) -absolutely necessary. If you're a half blind ol fart like me - magnifiers are equally necessary. I would suggest two tools: 1.) what is sometimes described as a forceps -apparently more accurately a hemostat -basically a pliers like surgical implement used to seal off arteries during surgery - they lock closed. 2.) a set of needle nose pliers . You need both because if you switch carts often enough - you will sooner or later need to tighten the clips and two devices one to hold the clip at it's base and the other to close the clips up slightly (BTW-don't do this with the clips on a cart -doesn't work).If you've got to replace clips -have someone solder Michell cart clips on-the most rugged /reusable clips I know of.

Re: Broke an SME 3009 Series III tonearm clip

Posted: 12 Nov 2018 09:54
by bernard1
If the wire is broken, you can resolder it. Or have it resolder. I had to do this twice on mine. It's difficult because the wires are very thin, but not impossible.
The hardest part is removing the insulating sheath on a length of about 1 mm without cutting the conductors, on a very very thin wire. Then you apply some solder on the nude wire, and resolder the clip, and it's done !
Easier to say than to do, I agree.

Re: Broke an SME 3009 Series III tonearm clip

Posted: 14 Nov 2018 20:04
by ravelax
I have resoldered the cartridge clips on this arm a couple of times. Perfectly possible but very fiddly so it's easy to understand that one might want to avoid it. Audiopile makes a good recommendation when it comes to mounting cartridges, using a forceps and/or needle-nose pliers. That's how I've always done it. It's still advisable to be very, very careful even when using those tools, as the wires are so fragile.

If you want to play around with different cartridges, spending some money on rewiring one (or both) of the arm wands might be a good idea, replacing the original wire with something less delicate. I believe there are some companies (not SME themselves, unfortunately) that offer to rewire the Series III arm wands. That could be a good investment just to avoid junking vintage parts, if you don't want to do it yourself. It is doable but as you say, a pain of a job (I've done it).