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..