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
 
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Comments

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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I like the external arm pod in theory, but looking at it (for example the Kuzma Reference) would make me nervous that I did not have the pivot to spindle distance correct and that the pod might accidentally get moved and throw off the geometry of the set-up.
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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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.
Apart from the table's tower, I was curious if the cutout in the plinth was the same.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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Peter, I am very happy that you have decided to embark upon this experiment. You will be breaking new ground in our effort to understand and compare the sonic attributes of the 3012R and the V12.
 

XV-1

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2010
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Peter,
I would PM @Halcro. He made three very interesting arm pods for his Victor turntable project. He documents the construction of these arm pods on his Audiogon virtual system page.

https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/758
The Victor turntable has no suspension, therefore the armboards also with no suspension do not move against each other.
As Solypsa said, the SME 30 has suspension, thus creating a theoretical issue.
 
May 30, 2010
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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
Because the turntable chassis is permanently moving as it is suspended by flexible O-rings. The motor is fixed to the base, not the chassis.

IMHO outboard pods should be used with suspensionless turntables.
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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Because the turntable chassis is permanently moving as it is suspended by flexible O-rings. The motor is fixed to the base, not the chassis.

IMHO outboard pods should be used with suspensionless turntables.
Thanks, I understand now and theoretically agree with you. I haven’t used a suspended tt since my LP12 back in the 80’s and forgot about suspension issues. IIRC Linn’s suspended armboard created the sag issues, do SME tables have the same problem? But then there’s the benefit of isolation with an outboard.

david
 
May 30, 2010
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Thanks, I understand now and theoretically agree with you. I haven’t used a suspended tt since my LP12 back in the 80’s and forgot about suspension issues. IIRC Linn’s suspended armboard created the sag issues, do SME tables have the same problem? But then there’s the benefit of isolation with an outboard.

david
The SME suspension is damped with silicone and the chassis is really suspended, not supported. It is much more stable and does not have the sag issue. IMHO putting a suspension inside the loop of the platter - tonearm interface is against nature! See for example https://audiocirc.com/?s=emt+927 - the arrmboard is correctly fixed to the chassis, not to the lower section of the shock-absorber frame.
 
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PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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Because the turntable chassis is permanently moving as it is suspended by flexible O-rings. The motor is fixed to the base, not the chassis.

IMHO outboard pods should be used with suspensionless turntables.
Fransisco, I agree with you. I fully realize that this is not an ideal installation and if the results are less than expected, it will certainly be criticized precisely for the issue that you raise. I discussed this in earlier posts. The issue is relative movement between the platter surface plane and the arm pivot. This is well understood.

I am attempting an experiment which I hope will be fun. I do not see how to get around this issue with the suspended SME tables. I will say that the suspension of my table is far less compliant than is the one on the Linn LP12 and other such designs from what I can tell. My suspension is fairly stiff and has a quick recovery time. There is very little oscillation in the system. A lot of force is needed to move the top chassis in any direction. The suspension is to isolate the top chassis which supports the armboard and platter from the motor.

I thought about fixing a second armboard directly to the top chassis via a clamp or screws the way Tango had one fixed to his EMT table. Unfortunately, as I explained earlier, the SME is a highly engineered solution where each of the four suspension towers is different and designed specifically for the fixed load that it has with the known load of one arm. Adding a second arm and armboard to the top chassis will cause imbalance in the suspension system and stability for the system.

I am going to proceed and see where it leads me. If it fails, I will move on.
 
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PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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Apart from the table's tower, I was curious if the cutout in the plinth was the same.
The cutout appears to be the same. I am aware of one SME Model 20/12 in London that was custom made by SME to allow the stock armboard to be shifted slightly on the top chassis to accommodate a 3012 arm. I do not know how they got around the RCA terminal connection. Perhaps that was also adjusted to suit.
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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Peter,
I would PM @Halcro. He made three very interesting arm pods for his Victor turntable project. He documents the construction of these arm pods on his Audiogon virtual system page.

https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/758
Thanks Jeff. I followed that thread at the time. The Victor is round and provides much more flexibility for armpod placement. My Model 30/12 has that rectangular top chassis with an offset platter. The varying distances to the left side and the back side make for some complication, as does interference with the suspension towers and the exposed top plate surface of the ballast plate above the Vibraplane. There is only so much space on which to place the armpod. The space and distance restrictions are much greater than the ones Halcro faced.

It is not such an easy thing to figure out exactly where there is clearance and how to shape the armpod. I am now working on a paper template with accurate distances as supplied by SME to determine a viable and flexible solution. Ideally, I want an armpod that will work in both locations with a variety of arms that have SME mounts. I will revisit Halcro's thread and perhaps reach out to him for advice on materials. At this point, I am considering a simple rectangular block with a post and cantilever design similar to those used on Micro Seiki tables and the AS2000 because they seem the most flexible and avoid the issue of having to provide a cut out access point for the phono cable RCA inputs.
 
May 30, 2010
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(...) I thought about fixing a second armboard directly to the top chassis via a clamp or screws the way Tango had one fixed to his EMT table. Unfortunately, as I explained earlier, the SME is a highly engineered solution where each of the four suspension towers is different and designed specifically for the fixed load that it has with the known load of one arm. Adding a second arm and armboard to the top chassis will cause imbalance in the suspension system and stability for the system.

I am going to proceed and see where it leads me. If it fails, I will move on.
It is always possible to add a symmetrical "counter-weight" to keep the center of gravity in place. Oracle did it in version IV of their turntables and had a movable weight in the first versions. The extra-load will only affect very slightly the resonance frequency - perhaps less than the effect of the ageing of the O-rings along ten years, keeping stability.

BTW, would you consider mounting the SME 3012-R in the main chassis and the SME V-12 in the extra position?
 
May 4, 2013
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The cutout appears to be the same. I am aware of one SME Model 20/12 in London that was custom made by SME to allow the stock armboard to be shifted slightly on the top chassis to accommodate a 3012 arm. I do not know how they got around the RCA terminal connection. Perhaps that was also adjusted to suit.
P1090970_zps54223f54.jpg
 

PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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Thanks, 108CY. That's the one I was remembering. I don't know about the phono cable accomodation. Did you ever compare the sound of that arm and the V-12 on that table? Of course, if SME had positioned the armboard so that both the vintage and contemporary arms could be mounted, that would have been great.

I am speculation, but I believe SME feels strongly that the V series is the better arm based on recent conversations I had with the factory. I suspect that with the original Model 30 they wanted to design a table specifically for the V arm though I do not know if the 9" version of the 3009 fit in that 9" original table. The 12" versions of the table and arm are considerably later designs.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,583
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It is always possible to add a symmetrical "counter-weight" to keep the center of gravity in place. Oracle did it in version IV of their turntables and had a movable weight in the first versions. The extra-load will only affect very slightly the resonance frequency - perhaps less than the effect of the ageing of the O-rings along ten years, keeping stability.

BTW, would you consider mounting the SME 3012-R in the main chassis and the SME V-12 in the extra position?
Fransisco, appreciate your many suggestions and interest in this project.

I do not have the math ability to calculate accurately the different effect on each of the four towers if I were to clamp on the armboard and 3012R to the top chassis. Adding additional weights to counterbalance the other four sides would A) look a bit freakish, and B) probably put a great deal of strain on those O rings, even if the proper loads could be calculated. The tower designs are quite different between the Model 20/12 and 30/12 tables. I have no interest in interfering with the performance of my stock turntable as configured for the V-12 arm.

Regarding switching the two arms' locations, of course I would consider that, especially for evaluating their respective performances, but haven't we discussed a few times now that it is not possible to drop the 3012R into the stock arm position on my turntable. It is not possible without modifying the arm or table in some way, as far as I know.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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i might suggest that you reach out to SME and see if they have any ideas on how to mount a vintage 3012r to your SME30/12.

you never know; they might have tried it (or assisted someone doing it) and have something constructive to offer.
 
May 4, 2013
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i might suggest that you reach out to SME and see if they have any ideas on how to mount a vintage 3012r to your SME30/12.

you never know; they might have tried it (or assisted someone doing it) and have something constructive to offer.
Sadly there was never any interest to do so, i have mounted a 3012r to the 30/12 I will call peter
i might suggest that you reach out to SME and see if they have any ideas on how to mount a vintage 3012r to your SME30/12.

you never know; they might have tried it (or assisted someone doing it) and have something constructive to offer.
Sme were never interested in comparing the 3012r on the 30-12 as the 30/12 was launched in 2009 well after the end on the 3012r. I have personally tried a 3012r with a external pod and experimented with various materials. I will phone peter in the next day or two to discuss in detail.
 
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PeterA

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Dec 7, 2011
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Sme were never interested in comparing the 3012r on the 30-12 as the 30/12 was launched in 2009 well after the end on the 3012r. I have personally tried a 3012r with a external pod and experimented with various materials. I will phone peter in the next day or two to discuss in detail.
Thanks Mik. I look forward to your call.
 
May 30, 2010
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The SME 3009R fits my SME30/2 perfectly. Aparently all that is needed is a pair of Switchcraft 3502RABAU Right Angle 90° Degree Gold Phono RCA short body plugs to replace the straight plugs of the cable - or we can simply look for similar adapters . Unless the SME30/12 cut and arm mount are very different it should be an easy experiment.

a1.jpg b1.jpg
 

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