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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Around 1969 the3012 series 11generally got nylon bearings the big vertical ball racer was a abec 1 then went to Abec 3 in the 3012r .I had ones specified that had abec 7s generally Alister sent out every 3012r with Nylons but on occasions customers should specify differently hence the metal bearings etc I got some sme brass bearings to made up at the time. The interesting thing was even more than the bearing type was the way the bearing was held and tightened at the time I remember Alistair demonstrating to me the small differences in tightening and loosening the bearing actually made to the sound, he always insisted "dear boy" its the way the bearing is positioned and held that is the key. I remember in stokes at the famous music room being demonstrated this and have heard from myself how vastly different arms can sound by the way they were built. No doubt these arms in sheer concept were ahead of there time.
 
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Around 1969 the3012 series 11generally got nylon bearings the big vertical ball racer was a abec 1 then went to Abec 3 in the 3012r .I had ones specified that had abec 7s generally Alister sent out every 3012r with Nylons but on occasions customers should specify differently hence the metal bearings etc I got some sme brass bearings to made up at the time. The interesting thing was even more than the bearing type was the way the bearing was held and tightened at the time I remember Alistair demonstrating to me the small differences in tightening and loosening the bearing actually made to the sound, he always insisted "dear boy" its the way the bearing is positioned and held that is the key. I remember in stokes at the famous music room being demonstrated this and have heard from myself how vastly different arms can sound by the way they were built. No doubt these arms in sheer concept were ahead of there time.

Nice to read from someone who has been listening in the famous music room - in my dreams my retirement system will have four heavily modified ESL63 speakers in double L configuration.
I once tried this set up with four regular ESL 63in an wide room and the soundstage was fabulous - making the room disappear got a new meaning for me.

Do you know if there is any truth in the rumor I read somewhere that part of the ceiling of the room has collapsed a few years ago?
 
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Nice to read from someone who has been listening in the famous music room - in my dreams my retirement system will have four heavily modified ESL63 speakers in double L configuration.
I once tried this set up with four regular ESL 63in an wide room and the soundstage was fabulous - making the room disappear got a new meaning for me.

Do you know if there is any truth in the rumor I read somewhere that part of the ceiling of the room has collapsed a few years ago?

When are you retiring?
 
Here is the history of the 3009/3012 arms and their different versions:

I think the reason 3012R arms have the Series 2 dedication is because SME started making the 3012" improved " model in 1972, with aluminum tube that was actually considered inferior by many to the earlier series 2 arm. They then went back to the heavier series 2 with steel tubes in 1984 with the R arms o_O
So a Series 2 could be aluminum or stainless steel?

I must admit I am fascinated and had one of these arms years ago acquired in a trade and I never played it. I thought it was antiquated at the time..... now I wish I had kept it. I have a FR64 and would be interested in how these vintage arms compare. I will stay on the look out. The naming convention is quite confusing though- and unless you are there to handle the arm you may get the aluminum version unwillingly.
 
So a Series 2 could be aluminum or stainless steel?

I must admit I am fascinated and had one of these arms years ago acquired in a trade and I never played it. I thought it was antiquated at the time..... now I wish I had kept it. I have a FR64 and would be interested in how these vintage arms compare. I will stay on the look out. The naming convention is quite confusing though- and unless you are there to handle the arm you may get the aluminum version unwillingly.
Final Series 2 tonearms with -R designation have steel tubes. Earlier S2 tonearms prior to -R type came with aluminum ones. Occasionally you might come across an S2 that someone modified with a steel pipe but that’s rare.
david
 
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Nice to read from someone who has been listening in the famous music room - in my dreams my retirement system will have four heavily modified ESL63 speakers in double L configuration.
I once tried this set up with four regular ESL 63in an wide room and the soundstage was fabulous - making the room disappear got a new meaning for me.

Do you know if there is any truth in the rumor I read somewhere that part of the ceiling of the room has collapsed a few years ago?

It was indeed a Pleasure to spend time with Alistair Robertson Aikman and visit the the music room on many many occasions as it evolved, there is and will ever be only one ARA an institution into himself. In fact ARA personally showed me how to set up a tonearm and cartridge as a kid. He also explained and practically so many times how one gets the best performance when building them and how small adjustments result in big sonic merits.

There were moments when I could say that I was utterly speechless to what he was able to achieve in that music room of course on the right material. I was just a small boy of 12 when I first visited the music room, prior to the launch of the turntables being made Alistair was using a Goldmund Reference turntable with a Sme tonearm. I heard the system with heavily modified quad 57 stacked and later the modified 67.

As per the rumour that the ceiling collapsed there is some truth in this, after the passing of ARA there was a leak in from the flat roof as water would build up into a puddle due to a lack of a proper slope. A small section of the ceiling had collapsed and some of the wall also suffered damage. The music room still remains intact as it was left. The widow of ARA still uses the room to this very day.
 
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Find one that doesn't have the Series II on type R bases. As I mentioned above AFAIK there was only one generation of R type and no S1-R.

david
Francisco @microstrip,

I was informed that there were 3012-Rs without the Series II on the base plates so I checked the ones I have installed and saw a couple of them say Model 3012-R otherwise they're exactly the same tonearm as the ones that say Series II 3012-R
How does one tell what they have? I have 2 of these but really don’t k so what material the tube is made of.
What Mik said, all the 3012-Rs came with stainless steel wands.

david
 
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Francisco @microstrip,

I was informed that there were 3012-Rs without the Series II on the base plates so I checked the ones I have installed and saw a couple of them say Model 3012-R otherwise they're exactly the same tonearm as the ones that say Series II 3012-R

What Mik said, all the 3012-Rs came with stainless steel wands.

david

Here is a photo of my base plate: Model___________3012-R

IMG_0359.JPG

I took my arm apart today, confirmed that I have the nylon bearing and learned how to reassemble it all. The arm tube extension seemed a bit loose, so I disassembled it and tightened it all up. In the process, I had to set it up again. This included the lateral balance mechanism. You can see from this photograph that the aft arm tube extension behind the pivot and bearing that holds the counterweight is offset to the right by about 1/4" relative to the main arm tube in front of the pivot/bearing. This is adjustable with an allen wrench allowing it to move left/right. So after one confirms vertical balance (floating the arm before applying VTF), one also does it for horizontal balance so that the arm does not float or drift inward toward the spindle or outward toward the armrest. This is all explained in the very comprehensive manual. The arm is back on the armpod , all realigned and set up, and it sounds great.

IMG_0363 2.JPG

One difference I notice is that some 3012R arms have a black arm lift mechanism and some have silver ones. Mine is black. I don't know if this designates a particular year of manufacture. Perhaps they were experimenting with style. Other than the color of the plastic, the arms seem identical.
 
Here is a photo of my base plate: Model___________3012-R

View attachment 71403

I took my arm apart today, confirmed that I have the nylon bearing and learned how to reassemble it all. The arm tube extension seemed a bit loose, so I disassembled it and tightened it all up. In the process, I had to set it up again. This included the lateral balance mechanism. You can see from this photograph that the aft arm tube extension behind the pivot and bearing that holds the counterweight is offset to the right by about 1/4" relative to the main arm tube in front of the pivot/bearing. This is adjustable with an allen wrench allowing it to move left/right. So after one confirms vertical balance (floating the arm before applying VTF), one also does it for horizontal balance so that the arm does not float or drift inward toward the spindle or outward toward the armrest. This is all explained in the very comprehensive manual. The arm is back on the armpod , all realigned and set up, and it sounds great.

View attachment 71406

One difference I notice is that some 3012R arms have a black arm lift mechanism and some have silver ones. Mine is black. I don't know if this designates a particular year of manufacture. Perhaps they were experimenting with style. Other than the color of the plastic, the arms seem identical.
I think the silver arm lift models are the early ones that also have the better sounding rca cable. Mine is also a late model with black arm lift. You are not using a lot of anti-skating that is for sure ;) 2B7ABBE4-F014-4B29-B139-920D80C9AB47.jpeg
 

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