Saturday, 14 February 2015

Restored and Ready Converted SME Tonearms to MK1 Standard

Hello to everybody

interested into the conversion to the legendary MK1 version with a heavy stainless steel armwand.

Beside the sale of a conversion kit for do-it-yourself I will offer completely converted SME 3012 arms as I will offer commissioned conversions on customer requests. This process includes a complete restoration of the classic vintage SME armparts from the 3009/12/II/(R)-series together with all necessary refurbishments to bring out the technical advancements together with extraordinary aesthetical wonderfull vintage look for the unsurpassed use of low compliance cartridges. (The R series is not really recommended for such conversions)

From now on I will extend my offerings of the well established kit with a separate offer for completely refurbished and rebuilt SME 3012 tonearms to like new condition were the kit has been used. This offer has been set up after several requests and is dedicated to customers who want a perfectly refurbished like new arm, combined with the merits of the more rigid heavy arm mass known only from the rare first version. Beside ready arms I will offer commissioned conversions of customer owned arms for people who don't have the confidence to process the conversion theirselves. Common attributes of the converted arms are are the heavy stainless steel armwand, steel knife edge bearings and adequately customized weights to match perfectly the different cartridge/headshell masses. With pure silk isolated 4N-solid silver wires of 0.1mm thickness the internal wires are matching the highest possible standard to be used (Ikeda is the only brand selling the same wire at 499$ for the 12 inch set). The refurbishment will include a polishing of the v-shaped counter bearing part of the saddle, as well a cleaning and adjustment of the wo vertical ball bearings inside the main shaft. Both acts end in a play free, frictionless adjustment of the vertical and horizontal movements.
These finalized arms will be fitted with a new designed contact terminal equipped with rhodium plated RCA-sockets and a extra earth wire connector/plug for improved integration of the shielding into the component earthing.

Here you can look at actual converted arms which are offered for sale right now:




Both alternative weights, left the 220 g weight and the 160 g weight mounted.
New RCA-socket terminal with earthing wire and dedicated contact

These tonearms are the perfect partner for the classic idler wheel turntables like Garrard 301 and 401, Thorens TD124s, Rek-O-Kuts, Commonwealths, Connoisseurs, Lencos, Fairchilds and similar types. Together with the all time favorite low compliance cartridges like the Ortofon SPU's, the Denon DL103's  (specially with the LignoLab bronze housing), the Ikeda's, the Fidelity Research's and the Koetsu's, the arms improve the dynamic attitude of these sets in a unknown way. Together with the legendary Platine Verdier players (both Versions) it is getting a perfectly matching unsurpassed dream team. Read what customers say with their own experience with such converted arms. In difference to the vintage classic SME 3009/12/SII/R arms, I do not supply a antiskating option. As with the original first MK1 version, the weight of the armwand is double mass of any later version, it does not need a skating compensation, in particular not with heavy cartridges like the SPU and therefore applied weights of 3 pond or more. Of course the necessesary parts can be delivered on special order.

Polished pillow bearing for the knife edged saddle by using 1200 grade sand paper with oil.


Optional parts for the antiscating assembly

Silk isolated solid 4N silver wire of 0.1 mm

According to the increase of prices for vintage SME 3009 and 3012 arms, which is a typical market reaction to the dwindlingly disappearance of originals, the prices will fastly climb in future. I did observe the prices of vintage SME arms for the last twenty years, it was obvious that the prices have hardly risen within the last two years. In the same time the former permanent presence of used 3009/SII's has been changed into disapearance in massive numbers. This means it will get hard to find good acceptable originals for high quality conversions or even for normal use within sophisticated audio implementations.


The current price for a such like new improved SME 3012 tonearm is actually set to 1499,00 EUR. The price will be adjusted to movements of the market prices for vintage similar arms and that means it is definitely not static, it will climb. Take your chance to get one.

Commissioned arm conversion on special request: Several additional work is necessary to match the different sizes of the late R ams (headshell and extension tube connector, knife edge, armwand length  here shown at a SME 3012/R in order to create the best SME tonearm of all times combining the mass an rigidness of the MK1 type combined with the luxury and ease of use of the late R-types for use with low compliance cartridges:



Customized cinch socket terminal with special made shielding can




Here you will see some examples of classic series two arms which I have converted and refurbished during the past two years: