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Modifying SME 3012 S2 to 18 inches!

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 21:51
by aviasom
I found an ad for 16 and 18 inch SME 3009/3012 compatible wands.
I have an SME 3012 S2 and would like to turn it to 18 inches!
Manufacturer says that with 16 inches, the tonearm will have 19g of specific mass!
Use will be exclusive with Ortofon SPU!
Has anyone done this kind of experiment?
Does anyone think I'll have problems?

https://www.fvpzjmisdesign.xyz/sme-3012 ... 38351.html

Re: Modifying SME 3012 S2 to 18 inches!

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 22:44
by totem
Hum, from bedding to other goods doesn't leave me over confident.

Re: Modifying SME 3012 S2 to 18 inches!

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 23:14
by tlscapital
No sorry, I can't say. But I believe in improving what I have first. Like for every tweak, upgrade or improvement, they should be unwindable, cheap and re-sellable if ever and done one at a time for comparison.

So may we ask why you would like to turn your SME3012 SII into an 18" one ? Any issue with it as it is ? Or are you seeking 'tracking' improvement or anything else to suit better your playback pleasure ?

So long it is, what turntable do you intend to have it sitting on ? Any possibility for an armboard broad enough for a proper overhang setting ? Or are you aiming to have it standing on an "external" base ?

Have you ever dismantle and mounted back such an SME3009/3012 S2 tonearm ? It's not that it's that hard but it does require steady handy hands, the tools (evidently) and at times 3 hands are not that too much.

Finally, the price is indeed not over expensive indeed. Yet I wonder if it's build is up to it. The question for the wires length comes in and the tube/wand dampener ? Not that these 2 last shouldn't be unsolvable...

Re: Modifying SME 3012 S2 to 18 inches!

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 23:32
by aviasom
totem wrote:
03 Dec 2019 22:44
Hum, from bedding to other goods doesn't leave me over confident.
You can buy it from ebay, it's from the same seller, but it costs twice the price, which one do you prefer?

Https://www.ebay.com/itm/264247220513?ul_noapp=true

Re: Modifying SME 3012 S2 to 18 inches!

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 23:39
by nat
Leaving aside the mass issue, what happens to the resonant behavior of the arm and the arm board? Whatever gains might be had in the tracking error department might easily be outweighed by worse sound all around. And what about the bearings - are they up to it?
If I wanted a very long tonearm, I suspect I would make one - much cheaper, and no risk of harming a valuable arm. Lots of info about such projects here and at other sites.

Re: Modifying SME 3012 S2 to 18 inches!

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 23:59
by aviasom
tlscapital wrote:
03 Dec 2019 23:14


So may we ask why you would like to turn your SME3012 SII into an 18" one ? Any issue with it as it is ? Or are you seeking 'tracking' improvement or anything else to suit better your playback pleasure ?

So long it is, what turntable do you intend to have it sitting on ? Any possibility for an armboard broad enough for a proper overhang setting ? Or are you aiming to have it standing on an "external" base ?
The idea is to improve tracking and have fun with the new tonearm!
I will use it on a Kuzma XL, I will have no difficulty installing it on the Kuzma tower!
I also believe that it will not be difficult to change the wand on my SME 3012, but doubts always appear!

Re: Modifying SME 3012 S2 to 18 inches!

Posted: 04 Dec 2019 00:03
by aviasom
nat wrote:
03 Dec 2019 23:39
Leaving aside the mass issue, what happens to the resonant behavior of the arm and the arm board? Whatever gains might be had in the tracking error department might easily be outweighed by worse sound all around. And what about the bearings - are they up to it?
If I wanted a very long tonearm, I suspect I would make one - much cheaper, and no risk of harming a valuable arm. Lots of info about such projects here and at other sites.
By the resonance calculator, I will have no problem, as for bearing, I don't know what to say!

Please, if you can put a link to cheaper and fun solutions, I appreciate it!

Re: Modifying SME 3012 S2 to 18 inches!

Posted: 04 Dec 2019 00:27
by tlscapital
aviasom wrote:
04 Dec 2019 00:03
By the resonance calculator, I will have no problem, as for bearing, I don't know what to say!

Please, if you can put a link to cheaper and fun solutions, I appreciate it!
Cheaper SME tube/wand alternative replacements; I haven't seen one yet. About the bearing endurance all I can say is that I have gradually enhanced my SME3009 'Improved' SII tonearm effective mass from heavier, to heavy and onto very heavy. And those knife edge bearings do give their best presentation through that extra mass anchorage.

Wear is inherent of any phono playback practice. Damage is another issue. Mind you I did experience in the last stage of my effective mass enhancement that I had to have a heavier bias and rider weight as well as the whole mass and ergonomic was then off balance. Do pay attention to that as well if ever you pursue that 18" tube/wand conversion.

Re: Modifying SME 3012 S2 to 18 inches!

Posted: 04 Dec 2019 00:49
by aviasom
Yes, I understand that there will always be wear!
I'm talking to the seller if there is an evolution and post here!
Thank you for participating in the topic!
 

Re: Modifying SME 3012 S2 to 18 inches!

Posted: 04 Dec 2019 08:16
by tlscapital
Wear on the knife edge bearing I was referring to. Evidently more so when one is adding effective mass/inertia. But wear to the stylus and records as well for those who enjoy playing their records ;) A tiny bit more with extra VTF if one reckons that the thumb rule is heavier VTF for lower compliant cartridges that do benefit from higher vertical bearing inertia.

As for the better tracking factor on longer tonearm this is evidently common sense. But I've also read that it is also much trickier to adjust as evidently the "perfect" overhang and alignement adjustment positioning will prove crucial and tedious. For the rest some seem to prefer 12" SME to 9" already... Is the resonance factor at stake there or something else ?

Re: Modifying SME 3012 S2 to 18 inches!

Posted: 04 Dec 2019 16:20
by aviasom

Re: Modifying SME 3012 S2 to 18 inches!

Posted: 04 Dec 2019 16:27
by aviasom
Answer from the wand maker!

"If you look at the graphics, display the 16 ", almost the same benefits as the 18", but as you say, with less mass. I always recommend a 16 "arm over an 18" unit. You can make an 18 "unit if you prefer and the effective mass will be 21 grams. The 80mm tip can be saved.
I plan on trying the 16 inch wand!"

Thanks for the contributions, if you go ahead, come back to post the results!
 

Re: Modifying SME 3012 S2 to 18 inches!

Posted: 04 Dec 2019 21:48
by nat
By cheaper I didn't mean parts for SMEs, I meant completely DIY arms. There are plenty of people who have built arms of various qualities and various lengths. Some have gone on to sell them.
Really simple ones tend to be unipivots using a ball point pen tip as the pivot. Don't know how long that will last, but replacing is easy and cheap. The arms themselves are usually a light wood. I can imagine them sounding quite good if done well.

Re: Modifying SME 3012 S2 to 18 inches!

Posted: 05 Dec 2019 09:35
by aviasom
I would love to have a small workshop, and skills to do with my own hands, but I do not have the workshop and I fear not having the skill, I just do small assemblies! I admire the friends who can bring small pieces to life!

Re: Modifying SME 3012 S2 to 18 inches!

Posted: 05 Dec 2019 11:40
by Solist
Afaik, there is absolutely no benefit in going further than 11 and something inches. All you will get is resonance problems which increase with lenght, as people already mentioned.

If the industry stopped at 12 inches there must be a reason for that. And there are a lot of good salesman's who will try to convince you otherwise.