SME 3009 S2 and MC cartridges

F456GTM

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2015
45
1
88
Pinecrest, FL
#1
Hello Chaps,

After fifty seven years trying to find an audio nirvana I am now using a SME 3009 S2 not- improved which, according to the UK SME Gods, is incompatible with MC cartridges. My two previous tonearms were a Goldmund T3F and a Breuer Dynamic Type 8.

My dear British friends keep chastising me for even thinking of trying to install a MC cartridge in my 3009. They say that there's too much mechanical energy floating around from the cartridge, especially in those SME 'cheese grater' headshells that are known to flex. Those SME knife edge bearings simply aren't designed to be rigid. They'll 'work' but not optimally, with resonances compromising arm behaviour / tracking performance, and may increase stylus wear and record damage. So, I ended with an AT 440MLB.

Then, out of the blue, browsing through the Media forum, I came across Steve Williams turntable/cartridge set-up, I simply could not believe my eyes, I was left dumbfounded, my head shaking in desbelief. A pair of old SME 3009 S2, like mine, mounted on an Air Force One, one arm with a ZYX Universe Premium cartridge and the other one with a Van den Hul Colibri Signature Stradivarius.

Does anyone care to comment?

Cheers,

Horacio
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
4,909
1,631
680
Utah
#2
Hello Chaps,

After fifty seven years trying to find an audio nirvana I am now using a SME 3009 S2 not- improved which, according to the UK SME Gods, is incompatible with MC cartridges. My two previous tonearms were a Goldmund T3F and a Breuer Dynamic Type 8.

My dear British friends keep chastising me for even thinking of trying to install a MC cartridge in my 3009. They say that there's too much mechanical energy floating around from the cartridge, especially in those SME 'cheese grater' headshells that are known to flex. Those SME knife edge bearings simply aren't designed to be rigid. They'll 'work' but not optimally, with resonances compromising arm behaviour / tracking performance, and may increase stylus wear and record damage. So, I ended with an AT 440MLB.

Then, out of the blue, browsing through the Media forum, I came across Steve Williams turntable/cartridge set-up, I simply could not believe my eyes, I was left dumbfounded, my head shaking in desbelief. A pair of old SME 3009 S2, like mine, mounted on an Air Force One, one arm with a ZYX Universe Premium cartridge and the other one with a Van den Hul Colibri Signature Stradivarius.

Does anyone care to comment?

Cheers,

Horacio
Horacio,
SME Series II Improved or -R type. which Steve and many others use here is different from your S2. The issue isn't the bearing but the arm wand material, your S2 is aluminum and Series II Improved -R type is steel.

david
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
4,909
1,631
680
Utah
#4
David,

Noted, but the headshells and knife edge bearings are the same in both.

Regards,

Horacio
It's the same type of bearing design but not interchangeable, the head shells are all the same.

david
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#6
Hello Chaps,

After fifty seven years trying to find an audio nirvana I am now using a SME 3009 S2 not- improved which, according to the UK SME Gods, is incompatible with MC cartridges. My two previous tonearms were a Goldmund T3F and a Breuer Dynamic Type 8.

My dear British friends keep chastising me for even thinking of trying to install a MC cartridge in my 3009. They say that there's too much mechanical energy floating around from the cartridge, especially in those SME 'cheese grater' headshells that are known to flex. Those SME knife edge bearings simply aren't designed to be rigid. They'll 'work' but not optimally, with resonances compromising arm behaviour / tracking performance, and may increase stylus wear and record damage. So, I ended with an AT 440MLB.

Then, out of the blue, browsing through the Media forum, I came across Steve Williams turntable/cartridge set-up, I simply could not believe my eyes, I was left dumbfounded, my head shaking in desbelief. A pair of old SME 3009 S2, like mine, mounted on an Air Force One, one arm with a ZYX Universe Premium cartridge and the other one with a Van den Hul Colibri Signature Stradivarius.

Does anyone care to comment?

Cheers,

Horacio
hi Horacio

as David said mine is different. It’s a 3010R and my other is a 3012R. My sound is wonderful. There is a huge SME tonearm following here thanks to ddk
 

Alrainbow

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2013
1,851
511
345
NYC , USA
#8
The 3012mk2 and Denon 103 is a classic combo. No reason the 3009 won't work with many MCs.
So is the issue MC or Cart compliance ..?
 

Alrainbow

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2013
1,851
511
345
NYC , USA
#9
I had a Denon DL-103R and I did not like it, neither in the SME nor in an AT ATP12T, I was hoping to get a Koetsu Black.

What Arm resonance were you seeing
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
7,054
2,208
660
North Shore of Boston
#13
It was probably uncompatibility that made it sound dull. Accuracy is not a matter of taste.
This may be true, but how is accuracy to be assessed? Accuracy to what reference: live music, a mic feed, or the first generation recording? Some listeners do not care about accuracy per se but prefer listening to a flavor they enjoy. I think both accuracy to live and personal taste is why we have so many different components and systems, almost no one having the same approach with the gear they choose.
 

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