Sme 3012 R

I know this old arm is good but I don’t know why David,Rockitman,Tang,Ron,Mike
Use or will use having top tonearm like Sat,EliteAxiom,Black Beauty,Durand

Why 3012 is so special?
I never had and I don’t understand
Only to know for my curiosity
Regards
Gian
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Comments

May 30, 2010
14,248
126
63
Portugal
Micro, I thank you, I just contacted SME directly and they have it :)

Cheers,
I know about it. But it is expensive if you have three 3012R's to feed ...
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,525
42
48
Utah
I know about it. But it is expensive if you have three 3012R's to feed ...
It's worth it Micro there are many fakes on ebay and you can't tell by just looking at them but they don't sound right.

david
 
May 30, 2010
14,248
126
63
Portugal
It's worth it Micro there are many fakes on ebay and you can't tell by just looking at them but they don't sound right.

david
Yes, you have to select the supplier. Curiously the fakes are usually more expensive than genuine!
But yes, I am confident because I have originals to use as a reference for comparison.
 

Stacore

Industry Expert
Feb 23, 2017
429
11
18
Gdańsk, Poland
stacore.pl
Yes, it is not cheap but I'm happy to leave my money with SME. Quality manufacturing is not easy. Making few pieces now and then is :)

Cheers,

EDIT: Micro, what are your impressions re nylon vs steel? Obrigado
 
Last edited:
May 30, 2010
14,248
126
63
Portugal
Yes, it is not cheap but I'm happy to leave my money with SME. Quality manufacturing is not easy. Making few pieces now and then is :)

Cheers,

EDIT: Micro, what are your impressions re nylon vs steel? Thanks
I was recommending SME original parts - just wanting to be environmentally conscious. Did not want to enlarge the CO2 footprint of my SME's! :D

Steel had more defined bass, nylon was mellower. If the system tilts towards aggressive highs perhaps people can prefer the nylon. In my case I preferred steel. I only compared them in a Scheu with a 80 mm thick acrylic platter, I never tried nylon in the EMT 927.

People wanting to change the saddle should know that we need good tools, sighted eyes and dexterous fingers to carry the change!
 

Stacore

Industry Expert
Feb 23, 2017
429
11
18
Gdańsk, Poland
stacore.pl
Muito obrigado! I agree with the eyes and the fingers and will add experience. First change took me 2 hours, incl arm demounting and re-fixing. Second, about 10mins with the arm in its place. The main tool is a toothpick (or a thin screw driver) to keep the grounding socket in place, while the other hand changes the bearing :)

Cheers,
 

XV-1

Active Member
May 24, 2010
1,596
15
38
Sydney
I just fitted the dyna XV-1s onto the SME headshell. First time I have used the SME headshell. I did not realise the headshell is so thin - had to think outside the box with the mounting screws as the tapped holes are not very deep. the dyna is a large cartridge and it fit quite nicely.
I am already ejoying it more than the SPU Royal.

44404664624_43393584e6_b.jpg

30187503127_8927ae9e2c_b.jpg
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,525
42
48
Utah
I just fitted the dyna XV-1s onto the SME headshell. First time I have used the SME headshell. I did not realise the headshell is so thin - had to think outside the box with the mounting screws as the tapped holes are not very deep. the dyna is a large cartridge and it fit quite nicely.
I am already ejoying it more than the SPU Royal.

View attachment 44043

View attachment 44042
The SME headshell works best with the 3012-r, I felt like that I lost something using other headshells.

david
 

XV-1

Active Member
May 24, 2010
1,596
15
38
Sydney
The SME headshell works best with the 3012-r, I felt like that I lost something using other headshells.

david
I made sure the SME headshell was the first onto the arm afta the SPU :D

The other point for non SME tonearm users, is the SME headshell only one place to screw the cartridge in and use the base to position back n forth - very different to any tonearm/headshell I have used before.
Funnily with the tonearm in the centre of the base from the SPU, I really did not have to move the arm much at all. not sure if that is a fluke, part of its design or the dyna setup specs are close to the SPU.

cheers
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
2,050
239
63
Bangkok
I made sure the SME headshell was the first onto the arm afta the SPU :D

The other point for non SME tonearm users, is the SME headshell only one place to screw the cartridge in and use the base to position back n forth - very different to any tonearm/headshell I have used before.
Funnily with the tonearm in the centre of the base from the SPU, I really did not have to move the arm much at all. not sure if that is a fluke, part of its design or the dyna setup specs are close to the SPU.

cheers
Dear Shane,

Once you have ddk's stylus alignment jig, you will find moving big parts (move the arm base) is easier than moving small parts of the arm. You no longer have to worry about damaging the stylus because there is no longer stylus inplay when you moves things to get to to null points of the db protractor. Easy peasy. Be clumsy all I want. This is another reason why this arm is great.

Tang
 

rockitman

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2011
6,894
26
48
Northern NY
Dear Shane,

Once you have ddk's stylus alignment jig, you will find moving big parts (move the arm base) is easier than moving small parts of the arm. You no longer have to worry about damaging the stylus because there is no longer stylus inplay when you moves things to get to to null points of the db protractor. Easy peasy. Be clumsy all I want. This is another reason why this arm is great.

Tang
yes...the jig is a dream to use !
 

Attachments

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,543
9
38
Metro DC
Let's put it this way. When I was at David's house for 4-5 days and heard all of his turntables all of which could accept multiple arms, when he set them all up, I will never forget when he brought a huge handful of arms out of his supply room . He must have had at least 6-8 arms and every one was an SME 3012R. Inn David's comments to me he stated that over the years he has used most every tone arm and it is only the SME3012R which he has found to be the "MOST NATURAL SOUNDING". And we all remember David's mantra..."above all else it must sound natural"

He found me an NOS SME3012R which was still in an unopened box

I use this arm with my ZYX Premium 99% of the time as it outclasses and outperforms my other arm (albeit an 10.5")
What a great audiophile story. I always love when someone emerges form a backroom with something special.
 

Stacore

Industry Expert
Feb 23, 2017
429
11
18
Gdańsk, Poland
stacore.pl
So, I've changed the nylon bearing to the SME original steel one. What can I say...what a fantastic change in my circumstances (SPU Meister Silver)! More direct, cleaner and present sound. More resolving, "aggressive" groove reading. The upper mids and HF more refined, flowing, with a lot of inner structure exposed. Esp. on operatic alto its easier to discern the lyrics. The dynamical contrasts better exposed, following the work and idea of record engineers is easier. Definitely my cup of tea, this is what I was looking for! The other side of the medal is a bit less tolerance to record imperfections - surface noise and groove damage more exposed.

A tip to those considering this change - unscrew first the rear bearing screw. Then *before* unscrewing the front, carefully put a thin screwdriver or a toothpick inside the arm to hold the grounding connection in place. Then make the change with one hand, holding with the other the toothpick in place. Saves lots of time (from initial 1.5h to about 15mins in my case).

All in all a fantastically invested 200GBP, together with a change to medical grade tubes at the RIAA (which was more icing on the cake compared to the bearing).

Cheers,
 
Likes: XV-1

XV-1

Active Member
May 24, 2010
1,596
15
38
Sydney
So, I've changed the nylon bearing to the SME original steel one. What can I say...what a fantastic change in my circumstances (SPU Meister Silver)! More direct, cleaner and present sound. More resolving, "aggressive" groove reading. The upper mids and HF more refined, flowing, with a lot of inner structure exposed. Esp. on operatic alto its easier to discern the lyrics. The dynamical contrasts better exposed, following the work and idea of record engineers is easier. Definitely my cup of tea, this is what I was looking for! The other side of the medal is a bit less tolerance to record imperfections - surface noise and groove damage more exposed.

A tip to those considering this change - unscrew first the rear bearing screw. Then *before* unscrewing the front, carefully put a thin screwdriver or a toothpick inside the arm to hold the grounding connection in place. Then make the change with one hand, holding with the other the toothpick in place. Saves lots of time (from initial 1.5h to about 15mins in my case).

All in all a fantastically invested 200GBP, together with a change to medical grade tubes at the RIAA (which was more icing on the cake compared to the bearing).

Cheers,
Hi Jarek. sounds like my sort of change too.

Where do you buy the SME original steel bearing? SME or ??
 

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