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

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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The price of a used 3012R might be around $2,500. I am suggesting the price of a newly remade N3012R (N for new) built by SME today might be $4,000. I would pay more than $2,500 for a NOS 3012R if I could find one, but I don't seem to have an insider's track. I have asked to buy one for a project I am considering.
If you think the new one should be 4000, that makes sense, as used is usually $2000
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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If you think the new one should be 4000, that makes sense, as used is usually $2000
Kedar, if you find a 3012R in what you think is great condition for $2,000, please send me the link in a PM. I have been searching with no luck.
 

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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Kedar, if you find a 3012R in what you think is great condition for $2,000, please send me the link in a PM. I have been searching with no luck.
I have just started reducing price after some guys went the other way
 
May 30, 2010
15,506
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Portugal
Kedar, if you find a 3012R in what you think is great condition for $2,000, please send me the link in a PM. I have been searching with no luck.
You can find a nice looking one at a good price in the German eBay, but it comes with a large Thorens TD 520!
 
Likes: Lagonda

Lagonda

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Feb 4, 2014
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You can find a nice looking one at a good price in the German eBay, but it comes with a large Thorens TD 520!
Thats the way Jürgen got his, with a free TT;)
 
Likes: shakti
May 4, 2013
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I have discussed the reintroduction of the sme 3012r on many many occasions with sme, if introduced today would be in the region of £7500 they feel the market is limited for the investment required.
 
Likes: bonzo75

dminches

Active Member
Oct 22, 2011
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You can find a nice looking one at a good price in the German eBay, but it comes with a large Thorens TD 520!
My first real turntable was a Thorens TD321 so I just had to buy one.

Thorens TD521.jpg
 

Tango

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Mar 12, 2017
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I have discussed the reintroduction of the sme 3012r on many many occasions with sme, if introduced today would be in the region of £7500 they feel the market is limited for the investment required.
Good. You can sell nos at 7000 Pound.;)

In the mean time, you can send me one or 2 or 3 at $3,500. :p

I am no kidding.

Tang
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
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North Shore of Boston
I have discussed the reintroduction of the sme 3012r on many many occasions with sme, if introduced today would be in the region of £7500 they feel the market is limited for the investment required.
This makes sense and is consistent with David's point that there are many used 3012Rs available on the used market because so many were sold originally. I can see how SME concludes that the market is too limited to be worth the investment required. They would probably sell quickly at the beginning to those who are in the market for this arm, and then the buyer pool would dry up.

However, I wonder how this relates to the production of the M2? arm. That arm seems like a "reimagining" of the 3012R, or at least a newer version. I've read that people don't like it as much as the 3012R, and it is considerably cheaper than 7,500 pounds, so there must be more too it than what I understand.
 
May 4, 2013
65
36
18
This makes sense and is consistent with David's point that there are many used 3012Rs available on the used market because so many were sold originally. I can see how SME concludes that the market is too limited to be worth the investment required. They would probably sell quickly at the beginning to those who are in the market for this arm, and then the buyer pool would dry up.

However, I wonder how this relates to the production of the M2? arm. That arm seems like a "reimagining" of the 3012R, or at least a newer version. I've read that people don't like it as much as the 3012R, and it is considerably cheaper than 7,500 pounds, so there must be more too it than what I understand.
The M12R is by far the best tonearm sme produces today musically the current wiring has much to be desired but the the M12R is a highly capable the unsung hero in the sme line up.
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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Utah
This makes sense and is consistent with David's point that there are many used 3012Rs available on the used market because so many were sold originally. I can see how SME concludes that the market is too limited to be worth the investment required. They would probably sell quickly at the beginning to those who are in the market for this arm, and then the buyer pool would dry up.

However, I wonder how this relates to the production of the M2? arm. That arm seems like a "reimagining" of the 3012R, or at least a newer version. I've read that people don't like it as much as the 3012R, and it is considerably cheaper than 7,500 pounds, so there must be more too it than what I understand.
I don't see why a 3012-R should cost more than the M2-R but talking to SME the company seems to have no desire to put it back into production.

david
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,963
498
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Utah
The M12R is by far the best tonearm sme produces today musically the current wiring has much to be desired but the the M12R is a highly capable the unsung hero in the sme line up.
It's more than the silver wiring that they use IMO M2's bearing is what takes the life out of the tonearm, the steel tube and headshell isn't enough to bring it to 3012-R level. That bearing is contrary to everything 3012's designer had in mind.

david
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
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North Shore of Boston
Thanks 108CY. I just look it up on their website. The M2-12R looks very similar to the 3012R but has a threaded arm pillar for thumb turning VTA, which seems like a nice feature. The bearings are also different. Have you compared the M2-12R to the 3012R? If so, how do they sound different?

I gather the biggest criticism of the magnesium arm tubed designs like the V series is that they are overdamped and lifeless sounding compared to the stainless steel arm tube designs.
 
May 30, 2010
15,506
714
113
Portugal
(...) However, I wonder how this relates to the production of the M2? arm. That arm seems like a "reimagining" of the 3012R, or at least a newer version. I've read that people don't like it as much as the 3012R, and it is considerably cheaper than 7,500 pounds, so there must be more too it than what I understand.
Peter,

Cost of the M2-12 and M2-12R is 1990 and 2690 euros, not 7500 pounds (8700 euros). And no, it is not a re-imaging of the 3012-R, it is a completely different tonearm.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,632
496
83
North Shore of Boston
It's more than the silver wiring that they use IMO M2's bearing is what takes the life out of the tonearm, the steel tube and headshell isn't enough to bring it to 3012-R level. That bearing is contrary to everything 3012's designer had in mind.

david
Thanks David. Looks like our posts were written at the same time. The contribution of the arm tube material versus the bearing type is fascinating to me. I just read an account on line of a stainless steel arm tube on an SME V prototype. Some people also prefer the aluminum arm tube to the stainless steel arm tube of the 30XX arms. I've never compared them.

These different arm tube materials all have different resonant frequencies, so perhaps the match with the cartridge and how that energy is handled by the headshell and arm tube is perimount.
 

Tango

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Mar 12, 2017
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Have you compared the M2-12R to the 3012R? If so, how do they sound different?
108CY compares everything Peter. He even compared two SATs of the same model..a very very resourceful person.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,632
496
83
North Shore of Boston
Peter,

Cost of the M2-12 and M2-12R is 1990 and 2690 euros, not 7500 pounds (8700 euros). And no, it is not a re-imaging of the 3012-R, it is a completely different tonearm.
Fransisco, I don't think it was I who suggested a new 3012R would cost 7500 pounds. Thanks for sharing the prices of the M2 arms. Could you describe how the M2-12R and the 3012R are "completely" different? I see different VTA adjustments and different bearings, but otherwise, they seem similar to me. I see the former as an evolution of the latter. Clearly, I am mistaken and would like to learn why.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,632
496
83
North Shore of Boston
108CY compares everything Peter. He even compared two SATs of the same model..a very very resourceful person.
I'm sure he does which is why I asked, Tango. His collection of turntables, arms, and cartridges certainly helps. He also has a few interesting prototypes in that collection.
 
May 30, 2010
15,506
714
113
Portugal
Fransisco, I don't think it was I who suggested a new 3012R would cost 7500 pounds. Thanks for sharing the prices of the M2 arms. Could you describe how the M2-12R and the 3012R are "completely" different? I see different VTA adjustments and different bearings, but otherwise, they seem similar to me. I see the former as an evolution of the latter. Clearly, I am mistaken and would like to learn why.
As far as I know, completely different counterweight system and materials, different bearings, different wall thickness (although I could not confirm it from SME), different wire - all that seems common is the horizontal bearing system, the shell mount and and the shell.
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,963
498
83
Utah
Thanks David. Looks like our posts were written at the same time. The contribution of the arm tube material versus the bearing type is fascinating to me. I just read an account on line of a stainless steel arm tube on an SME V prototype. Some people also prefer the aluminum arm tube to the stainless steel arm tube of the 30XX arms. I've never compared them.

These different arm tube materials all have different resonant frequencies, so perhaps the match with the cartridge and how that energy is handled by the headshell and arm tube is perimount.
The choice of materials and mass are only parts of the total a good designer will choose the materials based his sonic goals and the overall design of his product. 3012 Series 1 was born with a steel arm tube, it was a complete and finished final design from the headshell down to the the arm's base with the grommets and all resonance was managed in the design without any additional dampening aside from the base grommets, pure genius. Introducing the aluminum tube in Series II was to join the herds and appease the loudmouths claiming lighter designs being more suitable for mm cartridges of the day and IMO a mistake. 3012 design wasn't optimized for the resonance of an aluminum arm tube, hence the ringing and tracking instability with many mc cartridges. I'm sure someone at SME realized the mistake and reintroduced Series 1 with some ergonomic differences as Series II Improved. As Francisco mentioned the M2 is a completely different design from the 3012 and sticking the same or similar looking arm tube in there will not make it a 3012 alternative.

david
 

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