SME 3009 Series III weight system

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DarthMaul
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SME 3009 Series III weight system

Post by DarthMaul » 19 May 2019 01:28

Using the SME 3009 Series III, what combination of weights is best for the Stanton 981HZ-IIs cartridge? I need to get it to track the Telarc 1812 Overture record well. Many records sounded fine with my previous setup. The Thorens TD-126 MK III turntable that it is installed in is back in service again but not ready for use yet.

pivot
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Re: SME 3009 Series III weight system

Post by pivot » 19 May 2019 02:23

The number of weights used in the SME III counter weight depends on the weight of the cartridge. If you don't have the manual download it from the library here.

Not every cartridge, no matter how well set up, will track those damned canon shots on the infamous Telarc 1812. Why do you feel you have to play back that recording?

You may have to set tracking weight to the max the cartridge is rated for, or perhaps slightly more.

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Re: SME 3009 Series III weight system

Post by DarthMaul » 19 May 2019 03:29

I could probably grab a Stanton 881s and weigh that. It would weigh the same. Not dismounting the 981 from its tonearm now. Beginning to think the cartridge is likely to be 5.5 grams. I will deal with the rest of the turntable's setup prior.

My Stanton 881s on my Technics SL-1200MK2 is able to track those cannonshots, so if worse comes to worse, I will use that turntable for the record.

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Re: SME 3009 Series III weight system

Post by DarthMaul » 19 May 2019 04:55

Pivot,

I have an original manual. No need for the library. The weight of the cartridge is 5.5 grams. The manual states to use the heaviest combination of weights compatible with that cartridge. Is #4 correct? Or should I use #5 or #6?

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Re: SME 3009 Series III weight system

Post by pivot » 19 May 2019 12:52

Use the heaviest combination of weights that allows the tonearm to neutral balance during setup before applying VTF. Heavier weight puts the counter weight closer to the pivots and lowers effective mass.

If that cartridge will track those cannons it will do so on the SME III. It was the State of the Art arm when it hit the market.

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Re: SME 3009 Series III weight system

Post by pivot » 19 May 2019 14:56

Did a little back ground on the Stanton 981HZ-IIs as I am not that familiar with it. You have a very good chance at getting the cartridge to track the canons with two provisos.

First - I assume you have a NOS factory stylus. An aftermarket stylus or even a Stanton labeled stylus from the past few years will probably not be up to the task.

Second - I hope the age of the stylus has not hardened the elastomer in the suspension of the cantilever.

Back in the day when this was a newly released recording it was a favorite of Audio showroom jockeys everywhere. I recall losing a sale of an otherwise wonderful sounding cartridge/arm combo, a Denon 103D on a Magnepan Unitrac tonearm, because it could not track that section of the disc.

Frankly this is not a very good performance of the 1812 despite it being excellent sounding and challenging to track. I would rather have a cartridge that does justice to the sound of massed violins than canon shots. (In my other hobby I am a living history interpreter, "reenactor", and I am in a group that performs canon firings for Philadelphia Orchestra's performance of the 1812 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in August. So I like 18th century smoothbore artillery as much as the next guy - probably more )

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Re: SME 3009 Series III weight system

Post by DarthMaul » 19 May 2019 15:08

pivot wrote:
19 May 2019 14:56
Did a little back ground on the Stanton 981HZ-IIs as I am not that familiar with it. You have a very good chance at getting the cartridge to track the canons with two provisos.

First - I assume you have a NOS factory stylus. An aftermarket stylus or even a Stanton labeled stylus from the past few years will probably not be up to the task.

Second - I hope the age of the stylus has not hardened the elastomer in the suspension of the cantilever.

Back in the day when this was a newly released recording it was a favorite of Audio showroom jockeys everywhere. I recall losing a sale of an otherwise wonderful sounding cartridge/arm combo, a Denon 103D on a Magnepan Unitrac tonearm, because it could not track that section of the disc.

Frankly this is not a very good performance of the 1812 despite it being excellent sounding and challenging to track. I would rather have a cartridge that does justice to the sound of massed violins than canon shots. (In my other hobby I am a living history interpreter, "reenactor", and I am in a group that performs canon firings for Philadelphia Orchestra's performance of the 1812 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in August. So I like 18th century smoothbore artillery as much as the next guy - probably more )
The stylus isn't an aftermarket one. It came with the cartridge. I don't think the elastomer has hardened. I do have to mention that my SL-1200MK2 with a Stanton 881s cartridge was able to track the cannon shots.

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Re: SME 3009 Series III weight system

Post by DarthMaul » 19 May 2019 15:25

pivot wrote:
19 May 2019 14:56
Did a little back ground on the Stanton 981HZ-IIs as I am not that familiar with it. You have a very good chance at getting the cartridge to track the canons with two provisos.

First - I assume you have a NOS factory stylus. An aftermarket stylus or even a Stanton labeled stylus from the past few years will probably not be up to the task.

Second - I hope the age of the stylus has not hardened the elastomer in the suspension of the cantilever.

Back in the day when this was a newly released recording it was a favorite of Audio showroom jockeys everywhere. I recall losing a sale of an otherwise wonderful sounding cartridge/arm combo, a Denon 103D on a Magnepan Unitrac tonearm, because it could not track that section of the disc.

Frankly this is not a very good performance of the 1812 despite it being excellent sounding and challenging to track. I would rather have a cartridge that does justice to the sound of massed violins than canon shots. (In my other hobby I am a living history interpreter, "reenactor", and I am in a group that performs canon firings for Philadelphia Orchestra's performance of the 1812 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in August. So I like 18th century smoothbore artillery as much as the next guy - probably more )
Just tested the record. After setting the anti-skate to slightly less than the tracking force, it was able to track all the cannon shots without skipping. But not all would track cleanly. I normally have my anti-skate set at 0.25 with a VTF of 1.5 so the stylus stays in the center. Trying to use the Thorens white paper method.

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Re: SME 3009 Series III weight system

Post by pivot » 20 May 2019 15:55

Are you using the damping trough and paddles?

Experiment with fewer lead weights in the counterweight. This will move the weight farther from the pivots, slightly increasing effective mass lowering the resonant frequency. May track the cannons better.

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Re: SME 3009 Series III weight system

Post by DarthMaul » 21 May 2019 01:07

I will try that at a later date. Currently listening to mono LPs using the mono Stanton D810 stylus. Not going to obsess with that record for now. I will deal with it when I get near the point of wanting to record from it. I'm currently in the midst of the Baroque period music, and nowhere near that of Tchaikovsky. Not using the D98IIs stylus for the mono LPs to save stylus hours, except for those with complex grooves. (Toscanini's Beethoven cycle with the NBC Symphony Orchestra is the exception.)

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