SME 3009

snap, crackle and pop
JaS
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SME 3009

Post by JaS » 05 Nov 2013 00:00

Split Topic

pivot
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Re: SME 3009

Post by pivot » 06 Nov 2013 16:16

Have you spent any time looking at how the SME-III adresses some, if not all, of the issues you raise about the 3009 design? (..and has issues of it's own)

Have you spent anytime playing with the brass after market replacment knife edge bearing for the 3009? I have also seen some different conterweights that attempt to address the "not at cartridge height" issue you raise.

I have always thought the SME headshell was less then ideal if left stock, rings like a chime - but easy to address by mods or replacment.

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Re: SME 3009

Post by pivot » 07 Nov 2013 15:16

What is the correct profile? How does the SME knife edge compare to other arms that use a knife edge pivot? - been a long while since I played with a "Black Widow" but I in memory they were very similar pivots.

Longevity is an interesting question. I recall a number of high-end-ish arms that had captive ball race style pivots get sticky or freeze up completely. Older Linn arms are infamous for exhibiting non-repairable pivot issues.

A moderately ham fisted audiophool (like me) can get into 3009 knife edge pivots and clean/polish/repair/replace them.

I am not arguing the 3009 is the best tonearm ever made - obviously the designer moved on and changed over 50 years. However, with the right cartridge depending on which version of 3009, it is still useable if not bleeding edge high end.

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Re: SME 3009

Post by robgil » 07 Nov 2013 16:10

I was never impressed with it, I think I was expecting way too much from it, but reading about it on the net and looking at second hand prices one could be forgiven for thinking it was going to perform well compared to later, more modern arms.
I'm sure old SME arms have their place.

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Re: SME 3009

Post by KentT » 07 Nov 2013 22:20

Old SME tonearms have their place indeed, on my plinth. Any ya don't want, you can fling them my way. I like them, warts and all.

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Re: SME 3009

Post by Terry Robinson » 07 Nov 2013 23:50

Yes, the S.M.E. pickup arms are now an old design, but their still good. My first was a Series II (Improved) dated 1974, and I was very pleased to obtain a brand new Series II after S.M.E. stopped making them. This came directly from S.M.E.

Good on S.M.E. for continuing to look after their customers. And good on them for making the Series M2-12R; a pickup arm designed for very heavy moving-coil pickups, and plug-in heads like the Ortofon SPU.

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Re: SME 3009

Post by pivot » 08 Nov 2013 20:01

Sorry to see this thread kinda dry up.

Was hoping for an exchange about SME knife edge period arms, their strengths and shortcomings and possible corrections. Ah well.

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Re: SME 3009

Post by pogo » 09 Nov 2013 01:32

pivot wrote:Sorry to see this thread kinda dry up.

Was hoping for an exchange about SME knife edge period arms, their strengths and shortcomings and possible corrections. Ah well.
I've owned one that I got on a table that I bought on craigslist for $120. It was okay, but not good enough to stop me from selling it on ebay for $300. I still have the turntable.

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Re: SME 3009

Post by pivot » 09 Nov 2013 03:15

SME 3009 covers at least 5 versions: Original, now called "series 1", Series II, Series II improve with non-detachable headshell, S2 improved with detachable headshell and 3009 R.

The SME III and IIIs are sometimes refered to as a 3009 variant but the series III is different enough most folks think of it as outside the 3009 family.
Interesting review of the III by J Gordon Holt here:
http://www.stereophile.com/content/sme- ... ii-tonearm.

Note the mention of the Series II in comparison to the III here:

"....the arm has little sound of its own and, in fact, makes some cartridges sound almost overly rich in quality. (The SME 3009 Series II, by contrast, was rather bright and a little harsh.)"

I have mounted cartridges on a variety of SME 3009 series II both "improved" and "non-imp". My take is the "bright and a little harsh" can be blamed, to at least some extent, on the "swiss cheese" headshell. If the user does not replece the headshell with a better damped unit, or modify the stock headshell to be better damped, s/he is not hearing the best from the series II 3009.

Another possible issue that can cause harsh sound and mistrack is dirty or damaged knife edges. As I mentioned before not difficult to repair/clean/replace the pivots. I do agree with the OP that 3009 exhibit " lack of vertical bearing alignment to the stylus axis". This is a known issue that the bearing alinement in the SME III tried to address. I do wonder given a fairly unwarped LP if this error is gross enough to have audible effect.


I should note all the series II I have played with had the plastic/nylon knife edge pivots, none were the metal variety. I have no experiance with the "series I".

With a damped headshell and the right cartridge, a good NOS Grace F9e is one, a 3009 S2 detachable can sound quite nice.

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Re: SME 3009

Post by pivot » 09 Nov 2013 15:50

Also...adding mass to the counterweight, meaning the counterweight is closer to the pivots when the arm is balanced, decreases the effective mass of the arm. Increasing or decreasing effective mass is neither good nor bad but effects the compatabilty with various cartridge compliance.

There is an SME chart on thiis topic reproduced here:
http://www.analogue-classics.com/html/s ... _3012.html

"Effective mass" is directly related to "inertia". To lower the resonace of a given cartridge/arm combination the effective mass must be increased, which MUST inceased inertia. If you lower the effective mass of the arm/cartridge combo the resonace rises in frequency due to decreased inertia. The most effective way to add effective mass to an arm is to add weight to the point farest from the pivots. That would be the headshell. SME sold (sells?) two different headshell weights, 2 grams and 4 grams, for the SME III for exactly this purpose.

There are arms, the Dynavector is one, that have a rather high effective horizontal mass and lower effective vertical mass. There is mod for Rega arms I recall that added outboard lead weights on bearing nuts, increasing horizontal mass.

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Re: SME 3009

Post by alternativeroute » 09 Nov 2013 19:04

I have a distinct love/hate relationship with the SME 3009 SII

I have owned about three or four of them and my favourite was this one: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8046/8106 ... f33c_n.jpg
SME 3009 S2 (early) - In Play

This was was by far the best sounding 3009 that I have had. What gets me is that I cannot say what was different mechanically with that arm that it sounded so much better than the other SME 3009 arms I have had...

The worse one I owned was the 3009 SII 'improved'. I could not get that arm to sound nice. Perhaps the one I had was just 'worn out' or something... Or, perhaps I never found the 'right' cartridge for it...

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Re: SME 3009

Post by pivot » 09 Nov 2013 22:31

Mass and inertia are directly related. One cannot change mass without changing inertia. Higher effective mass = higher inertia, lower effective mass = lower inertia. A change in one is a change in the other.

Inertia = the resistance an object has to a change in its state of motion.

"Mass is that quantity that is solely dependent upon the inertia of an object."

Newtonian Physics, not just a good idea, it's the law.

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Re: SME 3009

Post by vinylrayk » 15 Nov 2013 13:37

I took a spare 3009/S2 Improved (SN 197057) that I have and made some measurements in order to run a few calculations. I highly recommend that you draw the 3009 arm model on a piece of cardboard with the knife edge bearing axis on the cardboard edge. Tilt the cardboard around that edge to simulate the arm riding a warp. It will help you visualize what's happening.

To model this, one of the measurements I had to make is the angle by which the vertical pivot (the knife edge) deviates from the "effective length" line that runs through the stylus point and the pivot. Because the 3009 is a "J" shape arm, this angle must be measured separately, since it is not the same as the offset angle.
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I'll call this angle T (tau), and on this 3009 it appears to be 'exactly' 15deg. The total angle between the cartridge axis and the perpendicular of the knife edge axis, which I will call B (beta), is

B = T + Offset Angle = 15deg + 22.6deg = 37.6deg.

The common base for tying everything together is the geometric plane that the arm is in. This 'tonearm plane' tilts or rotates about the arm's vertical pivot, i.e., the knife edge bearings. The location and orientation of the cartridge in this plane determines whether and by how much the cartridge azimuth will rotate, or shift, because of the knife edge angle when the cartridge rides up and over a warp.

For the analysis, let's consider a hypothetical 1/4 inch (6.35mm) warp. We first have to project the effective length of the arm to the effective length acting to rotate the tonearm plane about the knife edge axis.

Projected arm length = (231.2mm) x (Cos 15deg) = 223.32mm

The 1/4 inch (6.35mm) warp acts on this projected arm length to rotate, or tilt, the tonearm plane.

Tonearm plane tilt = Arcsin(6.35mm/223.32mm) = 1.63deg

Sounds reasonable. Now we need to translate that into azimuth shift experienced by the cartridge. The amount of this 1.63deg tonearm plane rotation that gets translated into cartridge azimuth shift is proportional to the Sine of the angle B. Thus:

Azimuth shift = (1.63deg) x (Sin B)
= (1.63deg) x (Sin 37.6deg)
= 0.99deg

So, in this 3009, the cartridge riding up and over a 1/4 inch warp also rotates counterclockwise for an azimuth change or shift of 0.99deg. Let's do a quick reality check on the math model. In arms where the vertical pivot bearing axis is perpendicular to the cartridge axis, the angle B is zero, and so the azimuth shift on a warp is (1.63deg) x (0) = zero. A classic and clear visual example of this is a Dual 1019.

So, how audible would a 0.99deg shift in azimuth be? Well, that's one of those questions where, if you ask 3 people, you get 4 answers. I would think at this point that that the direct audible effects of the warp (flutter effects due to stylus scrubbing or skipping due to the cartridge body bottoming out) would be of more concern than the azimuth shift.

For comparison, I looked at a SME M2. I don't have one of these but the dimensions are in the VE database. The M2 is a straight tube design with an offset angle at the 'headshell'. This is easier to analyze because, in this case, the angle T is zero and the angle B is simply equal to the offset angle. For a 1/4 inch warp:

Effective Length = 233.62mm
Offset Angle = 23.62deg

Tonearm Plane Tilt = Arcsin(6.35mm/233.62mm)
= 1.56deg

Azimuth Shift = (Plane Tilt) x (Sin B)
= (1.56deg) x (Sin 23.62deg)
= 0.62deg, which is about 1/3 lower than the 3009.

Speaking of the effects of azimuth shift, consider this:

The warp that's causing the azimuth shift in the cartridge is also causing an azimuth tilt in the record surface itself. Think about it:
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Let's say there's a 1/4 inch warp at the outer edge of the record. The record label is still sitting flat on the platter. (If the label is warped too, then the record is most certainly toast.) For a 1/4 inch rise over the distance of the recorded area (5.75 - 2.375 = 3.375 inches), the record surface itself has a tilt of:

Arcsin(0.25 inch/3.375 inches) = 4.25deg

Whoaa!! The azimuth tilt in the warped record surface is far greater than the azimuth shift caused by the 3009 vertical knife edge being "sub-optimally" oriented. Now, here is where it gets really interesting. Because the 3009's azimuth shift is in the same direction as the azimuth tilt in the record surface, the relative azimuth shift between the cartridge and the record surface deceases, rather than getting worse, i.e., the combined effects subtract instead of adding together.

Conclusion:

The calculated data contradicts the widely held belief that the azimuth shift experienced in the 3009, when riding over a warp, is design fault. In practice, the effect of the azimuth shift in the 3009 appears to be beneficial, as it helps compensate for some of the azimuth tilt introduced by the warp in the record surface itself. This would also hold true for other arms that have a vertical pivot orientation similar to the 3009 but, as we used to say here in Detroit, your mileage may vary.

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Re: SME 3009

Post by pivot » 15 Nov 2013 13:48

vinylrayk wrote:I took a spare 3009/S2 Improved (SN 197057) that I have and made some measurements in order to run a few calculations.....
Nicely done vinylrayk! Just the sort of thing I was hoping this thread would yeild up.

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Re: SME 3009

Post by vinylrayk » 16 Nov 2013 15:42

oops... #-o

I didn't upload the latest graphic. This should look better...


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