Thursday, 23 May 2013

SME Compability Chart of the Conversion Kit

This list contains the known conflicts and difficulties with different classic SME tonearm models:
  1. Early MK1 types have a clamp built in the front end of the stainless steel tube, so the headshell connector (diam. 8.0 mm) does not fit my tube (diam. 8.5 mm) without modification (difficult), better to be changed for a later socket with screwed fixing.
  2. First generation MKII arms have rarely a headshell connector which is pressed and not screwed, they fit in size but need little modification to be fixed in the tube (possible). The socket needs to be drilled and cut a thread into. With 1.6mm screws it can be fixed.
  3. From second generation onwards 3009/II and 3012/II can be converted with respect on the length of the wayrod. These are the most common arms and for these the kit is made.
  4. Early improved versions have a detachable headshell, here the wayrod needs to be replaced with a longer type. Later versions have a fixed headshell, to make it work you need a headshell connector socket and a longer wayrod (55mm). Some improved versions have the cueing bridge integrated into the vinyl saddle, here a cueing bridge from the S2 would be necessary.
  5. Late 3009R, 3010R, 3012R should not be converted since several parts do not match the inner tube diameter of my kit (headshell socket, extension tube holder). They cannot mount my steel saddle, otherwise the saddle has to be cut short by some 4mm to fit the extension tube holder or use the original short vinyll saddle. 

Original parts or spares which are still available through SME Ltd. (with partnumbers):

RCA socket conversion (around 100 EUR): No: 3826G Output Socket Coversion Kit
Steel saddle (around 350 EUR)  no: 2203S R0414PRO for 3012/R
Wayrods (around 50 EUR each): no: 1908 P0557 for S2; no: 2266/12 R0418/12 for 3012R
Headshell Sockets ( around 150 EUR each):

No: 1802/9    P0507   Socket inc. 2215 for S2/IMP
No: 1802/12   P0507/12   Socket inc. 2215/12 for S2/12
No:  2208/12   R0423/12   Socket inc. 2215/12 for R Type

Cartridges with a compliance higher than 12x10-6cm can not improve their low frequency response with the conversion to a heavy stainless steel tube. Here lighter arms like the original SME's with aluminium arm wand are recommended instead.

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