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

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,886
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113
London
#21
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.
Then keep the Graham and get an Allaerts boron mk2 on the used market and play it through the pass phono. PM Perart1 who has the Graham 3 and same TT as yours and the Dyna
 
Jan 29, 2012
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#22
I'd also check our Tang's thread on the 3012R. He seems to prefer the arm to very expensive arms like the SAT with uber high end carts like the Air Tight Opus. There is no issue with the knife bearing, this is a red herring brought up by SME's competitors.
 
Jun 7, 2017
117
17
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Seattle
www.solypsa.com
#23
The arm will dictate to some extent the cartridge choice. If you're intrigued with spu and other heavier low compliance carts an SME 3012 (or FR66 or....) makes a lot of sense. If leaning more towards mid compliance carts then optimizing a Graham or similar might be smarter...
 
Feb 11, 2019
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#25
Sounds very reasonable. I will check out Allaerts
Thank you
Sounds very reasonable. I will check out Allaerts
Thank you
I've done some searching for the a l l e r t s cartridge. 1. I was only able to find one of them on the used market and it's in England. It's the entry level ECO. It has 35 dbl channel separation but the others have 60. I've never seen a cartridge so high.
2, I had never heard of them before and so I was a
little shocked at the price :)
3. Do you think I would be able to pick up a extra arm possibly a 12in arm for the Graham if I post it here on this site. I don't know if they made a 12in arm for the 2.2 or not.
Again thank you for your time
 

XV-1

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2010
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48
Sydney
#26
I have owned a Graham Phantom for quite a few years. I mainly use a dynavector xv-1s with it.
I picked up a used 3012-R and used it with my SPU classic E and Royal mk2. The best my SPU have sounded.
I moved my xv-1s to the 3012-R -wow, best it has probably sounded and better than than SPU's.
 
Likes: Lagonda
#27
. It's the entry level ECO. It has 35 dbl channel separation but the others have 60. I've never seen a cartridge so high.
I have a lot of respect for allearts...but 60db is very optimistic. Doesn't detract from how well they perform.
 
Last edited:
Likes: Ralph Smith
Feb 11, 2019
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#28
Ralph,
What Zenwave model did you end up getting?

Thanks,
Jeff
For the interconnect I went with D 3.5 and my phono cable D4 at his recommendation. Dave is a very nice person. He sent me a loner cable to listen to and compare for two months. He didn't charge me shipping or anyting just send it to me. I haven't heard everything but I compared analysis plus solo Crystal, Auditorium 24 SE, Steger solid silver and his D 3.5. It was such a clear winner I was shocked. I was distraught at being unable to listen to my collection. Now with both in place I am much much happier. The phono cable just arrived and I've only been able to listen to it for about 3 two four days.
 
Feb 11, 2019
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#29
I have owned a Graham Phantom for quite a few years. I mainly use a dynavector xv-1s with it.
I picked up a used 3012-R and used it with my SPU classic E and Royal mk2. The best my SPU have sounded.
I moved my xv-1s to the 3012-R -wow, best it has probably sounded and better than than SPU's.
Thank you for the information. I cannot locate a 30 12r that hax been upgraded/ refurbished only a M2 12r.. it's listed in England.. I like the easy adjustability of the Graham are the SME that way?
 
Mar 17, 2012
77
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Cheltenham
#30
As I seem to have been mentioned a couple of times in this thread I will weigh in. My only experience with the SME was a V on my Verdier and it just did not work for me. I used a SME 345 on an Oracle once and it was a superb match. So synergy rules. As far as the SME M2-12r and the 3012r are concerned, a friend of mine who has a lot more experience than I have and used to refurbish the earlier arm now uses the M2-12r on his Raven for his SPU's and would not go back. Just as an aside; the Viv Rigid float works well with the SPU and any other cart you can throw at it.

As was mentioned in a previous post I have a number of carts all are used on A Graham III with 12" wands. The Verdier Platine has been modified to optimise its performance; power supply, motor suspension etc. So any comment i make should take this into account. The Allearts MC-1 cartridge is beautifully made; it takes Jan a week to make one! The precision and quality conrol is probably unequalled. Because of this they are easy to set up but are sensitive to vta. Essential to have an arm that enables you to optimise this. How does it sound? I have not got a clue. All that I can say is that it is the most coherent cartridge in my system. It sounds glorious whether it is being fed into my Lyra phonostage or the Kondo KSL step up. It is a cartridge where I listen to the performance not the performers. Like most things in Hi Fi it is system dependent. Getting the synergy right that satisfies your preferences is what it is all about. In a nutshell; it is the last cartridge I would sell.
 

XV-1

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2010
1,647
55
48
Sydney
#31
Thank you for the information. I cannot locate a 30 12r that hax been upgraded/ refurbished only a M2 12r.. it's listed in England.. I like the easy adjustability of the Graham are the SME that way?
No it does not have the adjustability of the Graham, however it is easy to set up, then forget. I think it loves heavy cartridges, although many say the 3012-R works well with lighter darts as well.

There is what looks like a nice 3012-R on ebay in Japan now which seems reasonable price. see below link

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Beautif...7:g:XncAAOSw9m5cHCGi:rk:2:pf:1&frcectupt=true
 
Likes: Ralph Smith
Feb 11, 2019
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#32
As I seem to have been mentioned a couple of times in this thread I will weigh in. My only experience with the SME was a V on my Verdier and it just did not work for me. I used a SME 345 on an Oracle once and it was a superb match. So synergy rules. As far as the SME M2-12r and the 3012r are concerned, a friend of mine who has a lot more experience than I have and used to refurbish the earlier arm now uses the M2-12r on his Raven for his SPU's and would not go back. Just as an aside; the Viv Rigid float works well with the SPU and any other cart you can throw at it.

As was mentioned in a previous post I have a number of carts all are used on A Graham III with 12" wands. The Verdier Platine has been modified to optimise its performance; power supply, motor suspension etc. So any comment i make should take this into account. The Allearts MC-1 cartridge is beautifully made; it takes Jan a week to make one! The precision and quality conrol is probably unequalled. Because of this they are easy to set up but are sensitive to vta. Essential to have an arm that enables you to optimise this. How does it sound? I have not got a clue. All that I can say is that it is the most coherent cartridge in my system. It sounds glorious whether it is being fed into my Lyra phonostage or the Kondo KSL step up. It is a cartridge where I listen to the performance not the performers. Like most things in Hi Fi it is system dependent. Getting the synergy right that satisfies your preferences is what it is all about. In a nutshell; it is the last cartridge I would sell.
Thank you again for your reply. I do not have much experience with turntables, arms or cartridges. The Verdier, Graham2.2 and Dynavector xx2 are my first and only Rig. I live in a small town in texas and do not have much ability to hear other systems. I had an all tube system in the past. 300B mono blocks and a Supratek Syrah line/phono. I was using Stager Solid Silver Interconnects and Phono cable with Analysis Plus Copper speaker wire. My 300B amps were constantly breaking down and the supratek compared to the new equipment very nosy and rolled off. Though the system was easy to listen to. I decided to change the system. I am 64 and figured I better get something now before I get to closer to retirement. My wife is all ready complaining about the cost of my hobby. I have Lamhorn 1.8 speakers with AER bd 2 b drivers along with 2 Revel B15 subs with internal crossovers. Mr Lamarre the designer of the speaker , who is very nice by the way, sent me his recommendations on how to set up the internal crossover to mate well with the Lamhorns. I wanted to simplify my set up to be more wife acceptable so I decided on an Integrated amp and only have an out board phono stage. I thought I would look to the Phono stage first. I reak lots of great review about the new Pass Labs xp17. I have a dealer who would send me the unit and give me a 15 day audition. I purchased the unit and when I hooked it up to start the audition, about 30 min in to the audition my amps stopped working and I was no longer able to listen. I decided to keep the Pass Lab. I was at a loss ad what to do. I then started looking for and Integrated amp. I decided on the VAC IQ 170 for 2 reasons. 1. My Lamarre had told me the over the years of listening to his speakers he felt that he likes more powerful amps better than low power set systems for some reason 2. VAC has a preout where I can run into the Revels and set the crossover as Mr Lamarre described. I also believe they are a very good company and have a unique auto bias circuit built into the amp. I purchased the amp from my closest VAC dealer which is in Flordia. I hooked everything up and started listening. I was sick. the system sounded so harsh, edgy I could not listen to the system for long. I changed the Kt88 first. I Replaced the Russian Golden Lion Kt 88 with Sophia Electric Bleu Coke bottle Kt 88. Then broke down the turn table and set up everything again, called Pass Labs and had them help with proper loading of the unit. They sent me to a gentleman at the Needle Doctor who specialized in Dynavectors. He gave me the final loading recommendations. Ran the Dynavector in for over 100 hrs and started listening again. Only a little improvement, still edgy, sibilant and harsh. I was sick. The gentleman at the needle doctor told it my be by cables. He had two customers with the new Pass Labs unit and they state that it is not bright or harsh. I called the cable company and they have a cable lending library. They sent me out Analysis Plus Solo Crystal, and Audience 23 SE to try for 15 days, both are copper cables and Dave Cahoon of Zenwave Audio sent me his D3.5 cable XLR which is a gold/silver alloy with a copper ground. to throw into the mix. The Zenwave Audio cables were shocking. I only put it in place between the phono stage and the amp. It helped so much that I started enjoying the system a little. Analysis Plus and Audience 23 sounded better than my Stager Solid Silvers but dark and compressed, not as alive, open, lit up and clear like the Zenwave Audio. I ordered the D3.5 Interconnect and a D4 Phono cable, which Dave recommended. I just received them a few days ago and the improvement in listening ability has vastly improved. I removed all the Stager Silver and replaced the interconnects going to the subs with copper wire until I get all Zenwave D3.5 in place. I am much happier but my tone arm is over 20 years old. Parts are not available from Graham any more so I thought it may be a good time to look for a new arm and upgrade and get a second cartridge. There is still a trace of harshness at times in the system that I would like to banish. I would like to ask you what tool would you recommend for VTA adjustments. I have heard so many conflicting things. You need the rear of the tonearm slightly down,No others say slightly up at the rear. In your experience what is the most likely stetting and what tool would help me achieve this. I would like to get a good 12 arm. I dont know if I can get a 12 inch arm wand for my Graham 2.2 to start with. I will look out for the Allearts mc1 and let you know if I find one.

Again thank you so much for your time and help
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
9,886
511
113
London
#33
It's MC1 boron mk2 that you are looking for.

But though I really like it you don't have to hold yourself up for one cart if you don't get it. It is known to have very high, possibly the highest channel separation, the difference in sonics with the dyna should be very similar to what Fremer mentions in his detailed compare of the Allaerts with the Lyra titan. It is also very long lasting and the service is reputed to be very slow.
 
Likes: Ralph Smith
Feb 11, 2019
16
0
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#34
As I seem to have been mentioned a couple of times in this thread I will weigh in. My only experience with the SME was a V on my Verdier and it just did not work for me. I used a SME 345 on an Oracle once and it was a superb match. So synergy rules. As far as the SME M2-12r and the 3012r are concerned, a friend of mine who has a lot more experience than I have and used to refurbish the earlier arm now uses the M2-12r on his Raven for his SPU's and would not go back. Just as an aside; the Viv Rigid float works well with the SPU and any other cart you can throw at it.

As was mentioned in a previous post I have a number of carts all are used on A Graham III with 12" wands. The Verdier Platine has been modified to optimise its performance; power supply, motor suspension etc. So any comment i make should take this into account. The Allearts MC-1 cartridge is beautifully made; it takes Jan a week to make one! The precision and quality conrol is probably unequalled. Because of this they are easy to set up but are sensitive to vta. Essential to have an arm that enables you to optimise this. How does it sound? I have not got a clue. All that I can say is that it is the most coherent cartridge in my system. It sounds glorious whether it is being fed into my Lyra phonostage or the Kondo KSL step up. It is a cartridge where I listen to the performance not the performers. Like most things in Hi Fi it is system dependent. Getting the synergy right that satisfies your preferences is what it is all about. In a nutshell; it is the last cartridge I would sell.
Hello again, I have been looking for a Allearts. I have found one on Highend audio. a mc1 ECO at about 1600 us. I saw your post when a member purchased a mc1 boron of a very low price. any recomendations... Thanks
 

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