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

Jul 26, 2010
253
16
18
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Thank you both, Kcin and micro, for taking the time to engage on this. I appreciate your help.

I am a member at VE and downloaded copies of the manuals and brochures they have available for the 3012R.

It's a bit of a curious situation. I wonder how much difference is due to Imperial vs. Metric units and decimal vs fractional statement of measure. And which is SME's native tongue?

The SME brochure for the 3009R/3010R/3012R states the 3012R Spindle to Bedplate center at 295.6mm / 11.638 inches. 11.638" converts to 11-41/64"

As you point out the manual has 294.1mm / 11-9/16 inches for this measurement.
11-9/16 inches converts to 293.69 mm (0.41mm shy of 294.1) and 11.56 inches.

(conversions per this calculator.)

Difference between the brochure and manual
... in metric is 1.5mm
... in decimal inches is 0.058"
... in fractional inches is 1/16"

And, the numbers vary slightly based on which way the conversion is done, from what to what.

--> In the end (heh) how much difference does it really make? <--

We're talking about the center point of the arm within the sled/slot and the position of the arm is not fixed there but slides back and forth. Wouldn't it be only at the very end of the slot that one could run out of room for stylus position by, eg. 1/16 of an inch?
I have never run out of room to mount any of the carts I have used with the SME 3012R. I have pretty much eye balled where center of the sled is and moved my TW Acustic armboard into position with the help of my WallyTractor. I don't think 1.5mm or a 1/16" is critical when the base is moving vs slotted headshell, where pivot to spindle is critical to get things lined up.
 
Likes: tima

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,588
469
83
North Shore of Boston
A new project. An open mind, and surprises and challenges ahead.

IMG_5361.JPG

IMG_5356.JPG
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,588
469
83
North Shore of Boston
I recently bought an SME 3012R (SN# 358638) to add to my system. I plan to design and have machined an outboard armpod on which I will mount the new arm to use in the back position on my SME 30/12A table. I found this arm for sale up in Canada from a link MTB Vince posted (#1156) on this thread. Thank you for that, MTB Vince.

The arm appears to be in great shape. There was some minor tarnish on some of the metal surfaces, and lots of fingerprints from years of use. I don't know if this will be helpful to others, but I found the best way to remove the tarnish and restore the finishes to their original conditions is to use a slight amount of lighter fluid on a cloth or Q-tip, rubbing back and forth and then wiping off. SME recommends the use of lighter fluid in the manual for my turntable, and the bottle I bought states that it can be used to remove "labels, tar, grease, and oil stains." Some of the grease from the screw mechanism used to move the counterweight fore and aft found its way onto the back arm tube and was sticky to the touch. The lighter fluid cleaned it right up.

I am very impressed with the build quality of this arm. The manual is a marvel of clarity and very comprehensive, as I have come to expect as a long time SME customer. I look forward to learning more about this arm and completing this project. It may take a while, but it should be a lot of fun. I may start a new thread to chronicle my progress.
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,924
449
83
Utah
I recently bought an SME 3012R (SN# 358638) to add to my system. I plan to design and have machined an outboard armpod on which I will mount the new arm to use in the back position on my SME 30/12A table. I found this arm for sale up in Canada from a link MTB Vince posted (#1156) on this thread. Thank you for that, MTB Vince.

The arm appears to be in great shape. There was some minor tarnish on some of the metal surfaces, and lots of fingerprints from years of use. I don't know if this will be helpful to others, but I found the best way to remove the tarnish and restore the finishes to their original conditions is to use a slight amount of lighter fluid on a cloth or Q-tip, rubbing back and forth and then wiping off. SME recommends the use of lighter fluid in the manual for my turntable, and the bottle I bought states that it can be used to remove "labels, tar, grease, and oil stains." Some of the grease from the screw mechanism used to move the counterweight fore and aft found its way onto the back arm tube and was sticky to the touch. The lighter fluid cleaned it right up.

I am very impressed with the build quality of this arm. The manual is a marvel of clarity and very comprehensive, as I have come to expect as a long time SME customer. I look forward to learning more about this arm and completing this project. It may take a while, but it should be a lot of fun. I may start a new thread to chronicle my progress.
The sticky oil residue on the back of the arm tube is typical due to age it can be easily removed with some alcohol, then use a few drops of very light lube on the tube for the counterweight to move freely.

david
 
May 30, 2010
15,435
668
113
Portugal
I recently bought an SME 3012R (SN# 358638) to add to my system. I plan to design and have machined an outboard armpod on which I will mount the new arm to use in the back position on my SME 30/12A table. I found this arm for sale up in Canada from a link MTB Vince posted (#1156) on this thread. Thank you for that, MTB Vince.
(...)
Congratulations Peter. How are you going to fix the an outboard armpod to the SME30 top plate?
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,924
449
83
Utah

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,588
469
83
North Shore of Boston
Congratulations Peter. How are you going to fix the an outboard armpod to the SME30 top plate?
Excellent question, Micro. There is very little room as the platter is pushed to the back and to the left of the top chassis. Each suspension tower is tuned and designed for a different load based on the weight of the top chassis, platter, one armboard and typical arm assembly. If I clamp a second heavy armboard onto the top chassis, and it manages to clear the towers, it will affect this tuned balance of the suspension towers, and I think create problems.

The plan is to design a free standing arm pod, heavy and tall, that will rest on the steel ballast plate below the turntable but on top of the Vibraplane. There is room behind the table as the ballast plate extends about 4-5 inches back. This armpod will have a swinging cantilever armboard, similar to those on the AS2000, unless I come up with a different design. Unfortunately, this places the arm on a separate platform from the platter. I realize fully that that is not ideal, but I see no way around it. The platter is very stable because the suspension is fairly stiff. Once the arm is fixed in place, there should be very little movement relative to the platter. Zero relative movement would of course be best. I may attach the armpod to the steel ballast plate with bolts at the bottom.

The other issue is that the SME suspension towers are designed to isolate the platter, upper chassis and armboard/arm from the motor. This suspension is very effective for that. The arm pod will not be isolated from the motor in the same way, so I will rely on mass and perhaps some compliant layer like Isodamp between the bottom of the arm pod and the top of the ballast plate supporting the turntable.

Alternatively, I am considering designing a custom armboard to mount on the top chassis in place of the one reserved for my V-12. It simply needs to be off-set with enough clearance for the RCA phono cable jacks. That will not be easy either. And the down side is that I would have to swap armboards to swap the two arms. My goal is to do a comparison between the arms and to have a second arm for my other cartridges, assuming the 3012R sounds good in this custom installation, so I am hoping the arm pod idea works.

It is a bit of a challenge, and if anyone has any suggestions, I am open to advice from others. I am in regular contact with David K about this project.
 
Last edited:

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
542
259
63
Denmark
Welcome to the club Peter !
 
Likes: PeterA

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
847
413
63
My goal is to do a comparison between the arms and to have a second arm for my other cartridges, assuming the 3012R sounds good in this custom installation, so I am hoping the arm pod idea works.
I'm vaguely recalling you started a thread about comparing the V-12 and 3012R.

Congratulations on starting your project - it should be lots of fun.
 
Likes: Ron Resnick

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
497
253
63
Cologne, Germany
It is a bit of a challenge, and if anyone has any suggestions, I am open to advice from others. I am in regular contact with David K about this project.

In the 80' many turntables followed a simple Design (like En Vogue Quasar) with external and separate Tonearm bases.

My "Blue Giant" turntable follows this direction.

The concept is mostly the same:

- heavy metal cylinder
length according demand

- top platter screwed with the individual Tonearm fixing

- base plate heavy metal (like the white Quasar) or separate coupled , like my Blue Giant, a customized Sylomer integrating base plate would be an interesting alternative :)

- for the use of SME tonearms a side opening for the cable is needed (can be seen on the bus base)

- SME 3009 or 3012 do favor bronce (or gunmetal) as base material. So a bronce spacer is added to the blue base

- Depending on the SME Tonearm the distance from base plate to cable connector is different, so the spacers do help as well to meet the side opening for cables measures.

- placing the SME cut out on the side and choosing the right radius for the cylinder makes it possible to use 9' , 10' and 12' SME tonearms (or graham or Groovemaster) by just turning the base around ( I had the 3012R fixed, now a 3009 gold)




51SW2Mp8HSL._SL1000_.jpg IMG_1055.jpg IMG_1054.jpg IMG_1053.jpg
 
May 30, 2010
15,435
668
113
Portugal
Peter,

Remember that you can easily modify the SME RCA connector plate to the vertical position, going downwards - we can get this part from eBay. This change is easily reversed, it will not affect the tonearm permanently.

IMHO using a free standing arm pod with the SME 30 will seriously affect its performance - would you consider using the SME 30 with the suspension locked? :)

a1.jpg
 
Likes: audioquattr

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,588
469
83
North Shore of Boston
Thanks Fransisco. I am considering a cantilevered armboard so the side connector plate would be fine. If I decide on another design, it is good to know this downwards option is available.

I do not know how using an arm pod will affect the 3012R performance with a suspended platter. I would suspect that locking down the suspension on the Model 30 is not optimal for its performance as designed for the V arm.
 
May 30, 2010
15,435
668
113
Portugal
(...)
I do not know how using an arm pod will affect the 3012R performance with a suspended platter. I would suspect that locking down the suspension on the Model 30 is not optimal for its performance as designed for the V arm.
The suspension is tuned to absorb vibrations, allowing elongation to avoid the transmission of vibration to the turntable chassis. It seems to me that if you separate the tonearm and the chassis you are maximizing feedback at the bandwidth that the suspension should isolate.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,588
469
83
North Shore of Boston
The suspension is tuned to absorb vibrations, allowing elongation to avoid the transmission of vibration to the turntable chassis. It seems to me that if you separate the tonearm and the chassis you are maximizing feedback at the bandwidth that the suspension should isolate.
The issue to me seems to be relative movement between the armbase and the platter surface made possible by the compliance of the suspension. It is not ideal, but I do not know how adversely it will affect performance until I try it. If it does not sound good, I will sell the arm or try a different turntable solution. This exercise is to simply try a second arm on my existing table. If it does not work, it does not work. Deciding to replace my table with one that is designed to use multiple arms is a decision for another day.
 

MTB Vince

New Member
May 11, 2019
23
7
3
55
I recently bought an SME 3012R (SN# 358638) to add to my system. I plan to design and have machined an outboard armpod on which I will mount the new arm to use in the back position on my SME 30/12A table. I found this arm for sale up in Canada from a link MTB Vince posted (#1156) on this thread. Thank you for that, MTB Vince.

The arm appears to be in great shape. There was some minor tarnish on some of the metal surfaces, and lots of fingerprints from years of use. I don't know if this will be helpful to others, but I found the best way to remove the tarnish and restore the finishes to their original conditions is to use a slight amount of lighter fluid on a cloth or Q-tip, rubbing back and forth and then wiping off. SME recommends the use of lighter fluid in the manual for my turntable, and the bottle I bought states that it can be used to remove "labels, tar, grease, and oil stains." Some of the grease from the screw mechanism used to move the counterweight fore and aft found its way onto the back arm tube and was sticky to the touch. The lighter fluid cleaned it right up.

I am very impressed with the build quality of this arm. The manual is a marvel of clarity and very comprehensive, as I have come to expect as a long time SME customer. I look forward to learning more about this arm and completing this project. It may take a while, but it should be a lot of fun. I may start a new thread to chronicle my progress.
You are most welcome PeterA. I happened to have read through much of this lengthy thread a few days earlier and then happened across the tonearm for sale. Great to see it is now in appreciative hands.
 
May 30, 2010
15,435
668
113
Portugal
The issue to me seems to be relative movement between the armbase and the platter surface made possible by the compliance of the suspension. It is not ideal, but I do not know how adversely it will affect performance until I try it. If it does not sound good, I will sell the arm or try a different turntable solution. This exercise is to simply try a second arm on my existing table. If it does not work, it does not work. Deciding to replace my table with one that is designed to use multiple arms is a decision for another day.
Why not simply living for a few weeks with the SME3012R in the SMEV-12 position?
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,588
469
83
North Shore of Boston
I'd be interested to know if the 3012R is a drop-in replacement for the V12.
It is not. I had thought it was a couple of years ago when I almost bought one, but someone pointed out on a different forum that their is not enough clearance from the right rear suspension tower. It is about 1/2" too long. Of course, that would have been the simple approach if it were possible.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,588
469
83
North Shore of Boston
Why not simply living for a few weeks with the SME3012R in the SMEV-12 position?
Not possible, Fransisco. A dealer wrote me that it may be possible to replace the rear arm tube stub with stock tubing and cut it shorter to make the arm fit, but that would mean the counterweight could not be moved by rotating the knob on the back of the arm, which is a nice feature. David wrote me that any modification to this arm messes with the sound, so I am hesitant to modify the arm, hence the idea for the outboard arm pod.
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,924
449
83
Utah
Not possible, Fransisco. A dealer wrote me that it may be possible to replace the rear arm tube stub with stock tubing and cut it shorter to make the arm fit, but that would mean the counterweight could not be moved by rotating the knob on the back of the arm, which is a nice feature. David wrote me that any modification to this arm messes with the sound, so I am hesitant to modify the arm, hence the idea for the outboard arm pod.
Actually the outboard pod is a better solution in every respect and the tonearm is isolated from the motor's and bearings vibrations, not sure why Micro is against it.

david
 
Likes: MRJAZZ

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio convertors (DACS), turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing