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Lost the finger lift for SME headshell

Posted: 13 Aug 2019 22:36
by 62vauxhall
A small crisis.

When installing a cartridge on the new-to-me (as of last Saturday) SME 3009 II, the finger lift went bye bye.

I wasn’t anticipating a finger lift not being affixed.

Are replacements really $22 to $26 US like I’ve seen on e-bay? Being in Canada that translates into $40 give or take plus shipping. Which would be pushing $50 CDN. That seems like a lot for what it is.

I was hoping to learn of a less expensive source if such a thing exists.

Re: Lost the finger lift for SME headshell

Posted: 13 Aug 2019 23:12
by goatbreath
From Hong Kong though..
The SME stuff was made with pretty high precision,although I agree much of it is over priced..
The Hong Kong may be a bit hit and miss..


https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/401717861127?r ... %3D2385738

Re: Lost the finger lift for SME headshell

Posted: 14 Aug 2019 01:43
by 62vauxhall
Wow, thanks GB!

That’s more like the budget I had in mind. Will place an order when I get home in a couple of hours.

EDIT: I looked at one that wasn’t for sale this morning and there’s not much to it. Can’t imagine country of origin making much if any difference with a part like a finger lift.

But I've said that before.

Re: Lost the finger lift for SME headshell

Posted: 14 Aug 2019 04:05
by 62vauxhall
Order placed. Presumably $3.71USD with free shipping to Canada.

The same Hong Kong vendor appears to have multiple e-bay posts for the same item. Some with slightly different prices. The first one I clicked on advised "will not ship to Canada" but the second one was without that disclaimer.

Re: Lost the finger lift for SME headshell

Posted: 14 Aug 2019 07:44
by bernard1
62vauxhall wrote:
13 Aug 2019 22:36
When installing a cartridge on the new-to-me (as of last Saturday) SME 3009 II, the finger lift went bye bye.
Glad you find a cheap replacement part, but how could you lost the original one ? I mean, it flew over the room and you were not able to find it ? :?

Re: Lost the finger lift for SME headshell

Posted: 14 Aug 2019 10:30
by Mr Pig
bernard1 wrote:
14 Aug 2019 07:44
Glad you find a cheap replacement part, but how could you lost the original one ?
I was about to ask the same thing? I mean, it's small but it's not that small. Dog eat it? Large spider grab it and run away?

You do realise it will turn up the second the new one arrives? :0)

Re: Lost the finger lift for SME headshell

Posted: 14 Aug 2019 13:04
by 62vauxhall
I wasn't at home, I was at the store where I picked up the turntable. The owner was mounting the arm while I installed the cartridge and attached new leads. In hindsight, I do remember the finger lift being present but as I said, did not anticipate it being a detachable part.

Putting on the cartridge leads was somewhat finicky, gently squeezing the clips repeatedly with tiny needle nose pliers so they'd be snug on the pins. That process occupied my train of thought to the extent that when it was time to bolt on the cartridge, I completely overlooked the fact the finger lift was absent.

In other words, I f**ked up.

There were more turntables, parts etc in the same area I was sitting at and the finger lift was small enough not to be glaringly noticeable. At least by me anyway.

By the time I returned to the shop two days later (preceding day was Sunday therefore closed), it likely got brushed onto the floor or something. We both searched but it was nowhere to be seen. Could also have been pocketed by another customer I suppose.

Re: Lost the finger lift for SME headshell

Posted: 14 Aug 2019 13:31
by Mr Pig
Ha ha, I understand!

A few years ago I straightened a very buckled mountain bike back wheel. I was so bad I had to massively tighten some of the spokes to get it straight and I wasn't sure if it would be safe to ride.

I took the wheel to a legendary but rather quirky wheel builder I know to see what he thought. He removed the QR skewer to put it on his stand but I didn't notice he'd not put it back until I got home. I drove over again the next day to get the skewer back but we couldn't find it. He'd put it on the floor and the floor had so much junk on it that we couldn't see it!

And a skewer is bigger than a finger lift.

Re: Lost the finger lift for SME headshell

Posted: 15 Aug 2019 04:13
by 62vauxhall
The shop owner felt my pain. He robbed a finger lift from some other headshell for me. Not close to stock but I don't think it looks bad at all. At least I'm not fumbling around lifting the arm by the tube.

The Hong Kong replica will get here eventually and I will likely use it just for the originality factor.
IMG_4128.JPG
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Re: Lost the finger lift for SME headshell

Posted: 15 Aug 2019 08:39
by Mr Pig
Looks like a decent finger lift.

Re: Lost the finger lift for SME headshell

Posted: 15 Aug 2019 08:49
by goatbreath
Looks much better quality than the original to be honest..

Re: Lost the finger lift for SME headshell

Posted: 15 Aug 2019 12:06
by bernard1
I do not agree. The original SME arm lift is a nice piece of stamped (?) metal. This one looks like molded alloy. Heavier too...

Re: Lost the finger lift for SME headshell

Posted: 15 Aug 2019 15:35
by totem
When your new purchase gets in let us know how it compares, I've got a lift missing also
and have to agree your replacement is a little chunky but certainly does the job!

Re: Lost the finger lift for SME headshell

Posted: 15 Aug 2019 22:06
by goatbreath
The SME part is very springy and like their Swiss Cheese headshell,very susceptible to vibration.
Why the standard fix way back when was adding the ADC magnesium alloy headshell..
I don't use the original headshells on my Series 2 Improved detachable arms..
They are pretty well known for making things hazy sounding..
I know they go for a fortune now,because of collectors etc.
Yes the mass goes up a bit,SME themselves by the 1980s went for a much more rigid design in the series V..
The pre Improved series 2 was a medium Mass Arm,that was adaptable to be a higher mass arm..
So are the Improved detachable arms..

Having the ability to replace the headshell and change/adapt the counterweight makes this arm way more versatile..
I change the mass by using different headshells for different cartridges of differing compliance..
i also adapt the counterweight rather than spending a fortune on the different SME parts..
When SME originally designed the arm they had cartridges like the SPU in mind,,they weighed a lot..
The main weak point of the arm was when the Swiss Cheese headshell arrived,yes it was lower mass..
It was also much lower rigidity..

Why I said that the non original part may be better,,unless you are running a very high compliance cartridge that is..
Then again the the ADC XLM II that the ADC headshell often came with was 40 CU,considerably higher than the Shure V15 III...

My first SME 3009 was the Series II non detachable,you couldn't remove the headshell as you know..
The fix for this was using Balsa wood to improve the rigidity of the headshell..
This was over 30 years ago now,I got myself a 3009 Series IIIs as a replacement and it certainly sounded better than the 3009 series II non detachable..SME usually refer to the detachable as the S2,I use the full description to avoid confusion..

Anyway my favourite earlier SME is the Improved Detachable,the 9.5 gram one..
That said I have never owned a pre Improved series II,, 12 and a half gram effective mass arm..
Many people say they sound better still because they are more rigid and substantial..
Maybe why they go for a premium,but then again it could just be because they are Older/Vintage..
The Series IIIs was better with cartridges of 25 CU and up..
Again SME designed out the Swiss Cheese headshell and springy finger clip..

SME designed the Series V from looking at their mistakes,the optional fingerlift on the series V is much more substantial...The headshell collar is removed to get mass down...
Might as well use what the detachable arm was designed for, changing headshells..
If cheaper later ones work better as they are more rigid,use them as an upgrade..
SME's version of doing this was very expensive,there are ways around that though..


There are new Swiss Cheese style headshells that actually sound a lot cleaner than the original SME ones...
They can be had for a fraction of the price of the original SME ones..
They also have a built in fingerlift,it makes quick cartridge changes a breeze...
I actually have both the originals and these among my armoury,
I know what ones I prefer,""OH ! but the Swiss Cheese headshell is part of the original sound""..Sarcasm.. :D
In that case don't clean the dirt off your records because that is part of the original sound too...

The Swiss Cheese headshell and spring fingerclip is pretty much a thing of infamy..

These sound better than the original SME headshells.. :D :D

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BLACK-Metal- ... 2475626269

Much more Rigid,still pretty low mass,headshell wire capacitance seems low enough etc,
the wires are a bit chunky..They are still lowish mass and much more rigid than the SME version..

Re: Lost the finger lift for SME headshell

Posted: 15 Aug 2019 23:32
by Copperhead
goatbreath wrote:
15 Aug 2019 22:06

The Swiss Cheese headshell and spring fingerclip is pretty much a thing of infamy..
A bit harsh, but unfortunately true. The connector also has a habit of becoming loose from the headshell itself. I also lost the fingerlift, but made my own one out of a thin steel filler knife. At the time the cheapest one was around £16. Refused to pay that for a bit of spring steel.

At one time there was a Chinese seller listing exact copies, minus the SME badge, for less than £10. Badges were available from another seller.