Thinking about obtaining a SME M2 - 12R tonearm mated with some type of spu

Feb 11, 2019
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#1
I would like to know if any of you think that moving away from my Grraham 2.2 and dynavector cartridge and obtaining the SME arm would be am provement. I've gone through some changes in my system and the system that I currently have I'm finding an inability to listen to some of my albums. Actually a large portion of them. Things have improved since I've moved to the zenwave audio cables, improve greatly. But I would like to have more listen ability with my vinyl. The turntable maker recommended a SME 3012 in his instruction manual said it is a wonderful mate to his turntable. I'm just wondering if it'd be worth the expense over my current tonearm and cartridge.
Any help would be greatly appreciated thank you
 

Vienna

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Oct 14, 2018
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#2
What’s your turntable?
 

Solypsa

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Jun 7, 2017
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#4
Also, while the sme plus spu combo is a classic, a little more back story will help. For example did you ever like the dynavector (which model?) or was it part of the "changes" making vinyl replay unlistenable?
 
Feb 11, 2019
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#5
I'm sorry I didn't list everything that I have. When I joined I listed all of my equipment I thought it was available to all member but my turntable is a Verdier La Platine.
Regarding the 3012 R, I would consider it over the M2 but cannot locate one that's been rebuilt.
 

Vienna

Active Member
Oct 14, 2018
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#6
I would be careful with used 3012, unless I could find NOS, which is now very rare
 
Likes: Ralph Smith
Jan 27, 2019
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#7
M2-12R was a decent tonearm and I was fairly happy with it running SPUs, though I can't say the ownership experience was particularly special.

I replaced mine with an Ortofon 309 Limited (variant of the 1990s Ortofon 309i reissue made in Japan for the Japanese market). That was definitely a step up in quality but generally speaking I prefer the liveliness you get from dynamic balancing so for me, the preference was probably predictable. Obviously the whole aim and purpose of this arm was for use with SPUs and it does that very well.

As I drifted away from using SPUs towards Miyajima and Ikeda cartridges, I changed fairly recently to the Ikeda IT-407 which is a significant step up from both. Throughout all this time I had first a Fidelity Research FR64S then an Ikeda IT-345 for comparison at the 9in arm position (12in at the back, all on a TD124). This was what convinced me to spring for the IT-407, though in fact my early IT-407 is a bit of a different beast to the post-2011 IT-345, happier with more compliant cartridges than the the shorter but undoubtedly massier IT-345 (all that chrome ... the 12in arm is a brushed stainless finish).

Which SPUs do you plan to use it with and which Dynavector are you moving away from? I have to say the presentation of Graham/Dynavector is going to be rather different to any of the 12in arms above none of which have the Graham's multidimensional on the fly adjustability. They do all however have the massive benefit of removable headshells.



Ortofon 309 pictured with Fidelity Research FR-702
 
Last edited:
Feb 11, 2019
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#8
I do like my Graham for its multi-dimensional on-the-fly adjustability. I was looking at one of the EMT or ortofon cartridges I have no experience with them I thought I would give it a try. I have the dynavector xx2 I am not totally unhappy with the cartridge. Just want a cartridge/arm that is musical and will work with all my albums, make them all sound good rather than a limited number of them. The Zenwave audio cables have drastically helped. I was shocked. I will look at the arm and cartridge you are using. Thank you for your time
 
Feb 11, 2019
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#9
Also, while the sme plus spu combo is a classic, a little more back story will help. For example did you ever like the dynavector (which model?) or was it part of the "changes" making vinyl replay unlistenable?
It was a new cartridge, I had it with my old system which my son, when he was playing around destroyed it. I sent it back to dynavector and it was rebuilt. I listen to it with an all tube system at the time. Now I have a VAC IQ 170 integrated with a pass lab XP 17 phono stage. A Verdeir turntable. Things have much improved since I've replaced my cables with zenwave audio cables
Thank you for your time
 
Jan 27, 2019
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#11
It's possible to fit an Ortofon SPU N or Royal N to a regular tonearm using the adapter that comes with them. That way you could try out the SPU sound without throwing out your tonearm.

 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
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London
#13
I would like to know if any of you think that moving away from my Grraham 2.2 and dynavector cartridge and obtaining the SME arm would be am provement. I've gone through some changes in my system and the system that I currently have I'm finding an inability to listen to some of my albums. Actually a large portion of them. Things have improved since I've moved to the zenwave audio cables, improve greatly. But I would like to have more listen ability with my vinyl. The turntable maker recommended a SME 3012 in his instruction manual said it is a wonderful mate to his turntable. I'm just wondering if it'd be worth the expense over my current tonearm and cartridge.
Any help would be greatly appreciated thank you
Perart1 has a verdier with Graham III, and dynavector, Lyra Etna, AN IO Ltd, and Allaerts boron mk2. You might want his feedback too. He is liking the Allaerts a lot these days but then he has a SS phono for it.

What kind of music do you listen to on vinyl? If it is SPU specifically you want to listen to, SME, Ikeda, FR 64s might be the way, though SME and fr64s are great value arms anyway from a price perspective. I love montesquieu's vinyl set up but the old Ikeda is expensive

Is the phono within your vac? Can it do low output carts?

Having heard the pnoe with BD4 and BD5, would love to listen to your lamhorns with the BD2
 
Jan 29, 2012
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#14
It was a new cartridge, I had it with my old system which my son, when he was playing around destroyed it. I sent it back to dynavector and it was rebuilt. I listen to it with an all tube system at the time. Now I have a VAC IQ 170 integrated with a pass lab XP 17 phono stage. A Verdeir turntable. Things have much improved since I've replaced my cables with zenwave audio cables
Thank you for your time
Ralph,
What Zenwave model did you end up getting?

Thanks,
Jeff
 
Feb 11, 2019
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#15
Perart1 has a verdier with Graham III, and dynavector, Lyra Etna, AN IO Ltd, and Allaerts boron mk2. You might want his feedback too. He is liking the Allaerts a lot these days but then he has a SS phono for it.

What kind of music do you listen to on vinyl? If it is SPU specifically you want to listen to, SME, Ikeda, FR 64s might be the way, though SME and fr64s are great value arms anyway from a price perspective. I love montesquieu's vinyl set up but the old Ikeda is expensive

Is the phono within your vac? Can it do low output carts?

Having heard the pnoe with BD4 and BD5, would love to listen to your lamhorns with the BD2
 
May 30, 2010
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#16
I would be careful with used 3012, unless I could find NOS, which is now very rare
Why? Spare parts are available from SMEand the arm is extremely simple, no hidden or critical parts. IMHO used SME 30XX tonearms are safe buys.
 
Jan 27, 2019
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#17
Why? Spare parts are available from SMEand the arm is extremely simple, no hidden or critical parts. IMHO used SME 30XX tonearms are safe buys.
Agreed on that - lots of expertise around on servicing them too.

Though personally I'm not much of a fan of knife-edge bearings, preferring the security and durability of a quality gimbal arrangement, properly set up.

(I'm not a fan of unipivots either the wobble drives me nut).
 
Feb 11, 2019
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#18
Thank you for your reply I listen to a wide variety of music but like jazz, classical, vocals, some rock if I can stand the recording, country and I have found almost any of the reissued 45 RPM albums most sound just wonderful.
My VAC IQ 170 integrated I got without a phono stage. Prior to getting that I listen to a pass Labs XP 17 and that's what I wound up getting. It took a lot of work but the people at the needle doctor help me get my settings correct for my cartridge which helped a lot but it wasn't until I got the zenwave audio cables that I started being able to listen to more of my collection. The XP 17 can run any cartridges. With XLR it has 75 db gain. And it has about infinite loading capability. I had a tube phono but the xp 17 was so dead quiet and open when I heard at it I thought it might be a good mate with VAC. I changed tubes in the VAC from the Russian kt88 to Sophie electric Coke bottle blue kt88 which gave me more of that musical density I was missing. I had a set amp and tube line and phono stage prior. Richard at Sophie electric is very nice. I used his set princesses in my 300b monoblocks.
 
Feb 11, 2019
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#19
Agreed on that - lots of expertise around on servicing them too.

Though personally I'm not much of a fan of knife-edge bearings, preferring the security and durability of a quality gimbal arrangement, properly set up.

(I'm not a fan of unipivots either the wobble drives me nut).
Thanks
 

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