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  »  New  Here is my new tonearm...  Korvet TT in German...  Analog Playback Forum     9  119794  12-11-2004
  »  New  Which SME 3009?..  Changing EAR834P loading...  Analog Playback Forum     10  74915  07-01-2005
  »  New  Middle step (non ultimate) turntable ..  Middle step (non ultimate) turntable ...  Analog Playback Forum     0  11710  07-29-2005
  »  New  Low output MC?..  ..way out there......  Analog Playback Forum     22  114096  02-07-2007
  »  New  Active Tonearm Monitoring System...  The most idiotic idea I’ve ever seen...  Analog Playback Forum     2  24508  07-14-2009
  »  New  Lithuania enters the game: Reed 12" Tonearm..  It is even worse...  Analog Playback Forum     11  74432  12-03-2009
  »  New  Stupid SME question about rubber grommets..  Stupid SME question about rubber grommets...  Analog Playback Forum     0  9012  03-10-2008
  »  New  Schroder Tonearms..  "Too many notes, Mozart"...  Analog Playback Forum     61  385726  12-15-2009
  »  New  SME M2..  Re: SME M2...  Analog Playback Forum     1  15636  08-09-2005
  »  New  The tales of two phonostages: Allnic and 834PT...  The tales of two phonostages: Allnic and 834PT....  Analog Playback Forum     0  14385  12-21-2011
07-26-2004 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 111
Reply to: 111
SME M2-12 tonearm

It is always difficult objectively deal with tonearms. The tonearms is very difficult subject, performance of which might be severally masked by thousands associative parameters. However, the biggest problem is that it is imposable to talk with people about the tonearms. A huge amount of people who might be potential collaborators about the tonearm’s performance usually suffer form many diseases that disqualify them form any valuable perspective tonearm collaborator: the people might have “wrong” turntables, have inappropriate for the arm cartridges, have no skills to set the arm/ cartridges properly, have crapy phonostages, have no idea how “it” should sound, have no understanding of civilized Music, or just not qualified audio or methodologically wise.

A few months ago when the Flat Earth Audio folks told me that the 3012 arms are gone out of productions and the new SME 12-incher become available I was kind of queries. It was little scare that Sumiko handled a distribution of the new SME arms. The SME-Sumiko arms, the IV and V did not impress me, and the industry’s propaganda about the SME IV and V “supremacy” met in my feline soul a compassionate but a pity smile.

I still was king of queries about the new SME 12-incher (probably because I like the 3012 too much) but I was afraid that they would make the new arm too anal-retentive and too rigid, like the most of the contemporary arms. (Actually it is not because the contemporary “bad engineers” make the arms too rigid but because the modern-days tastes for the analog performance are too screwed by the contemporary hi-fi-ness, titanium klutz-kluts tweeters, turntable with a mass less then my Cat when she is with her full stomach, the rubber suspension ported fart-machines that “they” call bass channels, the drivers made form bulletproof jackets and with the listeners desire for instant, even false, gratification.)

Anyhow, I did call to the Sumiko-guys to ask him about the new arm. Well, I have seen BS in audio that presented with a lot of pretentious meaning and self-pomposity but this guy was too much, even for my sense of humor. He spent 10 minutes explaining me that I must not use or even attempt to peruse 12-inch arms because there is a very special secret formula that describe the relationship between a total mass of TT and the length of the arm. According to him (welcome to the Sumiko-distribution world) the heavier turntable is the shorter the arm should be used. Probably the fact (according to him) that he never had the 12-inch arms on his stock and never had them available for sale helped him to come up with this reticules conclusion.  Interesting that when I ask his how light the TT should be in order to use 12-inch arm (I was holding my laughing) he said: “Forget about it. Get 9-inch arm it will be better”.

I certainly did not argue with him but expressed “a concern” after witch the Sumiko-distributor-guy begin to pump himself with throwing to the table his credentials: “Come on Romy! Trust me! You guys have no idea how to use tonearms. I do. I have been doing it for 22 yeas and I have set up 33.000 turntables.” (It was thirty three thousands or 1.5 turntables for each single day!!!!!!! I wonder was he setting up a turntable while he was taking with me?) Anyhow, I was openly afraid of this guy when we finish the conversation. I am sure that when I hanged up (saying to myself that I would prefer to mount a cartridge in my Cat’s tail instead of an arms form the Sumiko-dude) he added to his log a notch with a title: “Turntable # 33.001 was set up successfully for  Romy the Cat”

..............................

The world is a big place with numerous opportunities…. I a few weeks a friend of mine let me  tohave the SME M2-12 and here she is:

It is very interesting arm with few remarkably pleasant and remarkably damn amendments compare to 3012. It is kind of too fresh and I did not have time and opportunity to spend the necessary attention to it. I set it up and loaded into it a cartridge... Despite of some resolvable tribulations with this arm, that I have already experienced, my initial reaction (before any listening!!!) is quite positive, not thrilling as I wish but just positive. It might be OK arm for a not-heavy and soft suspension cartages. It is what I would use it with when I will be able to listen it. I will post my observations and findings later on…

Rgs,
The Pussy.




"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
10-06-2004 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 190
Reply to: 111
A verdict: SME M2 tonearm

Actually, the M2-12 turned out to be a good arm. It really does Sound very good. I used it with Denon 103M and 103D. It has very “interesting” midrange in a way more interesting then SME3012 but not as dry as the SMEV. I detected just 3 limitations:

1) Price. The 12” version of M2 retails for near $2K.
2) Extreme LF. With all proper resonanses the arm for whatever mystery reasons has “different” lower LF. However, 99.9 % or audio-people out there should not worry about it, as thier playback systems do not operate in that region properly anyway. Also, I would say that the M2 has ~1/2-1dB more LF then it should be (with all other equal and balanced conditions). This LF “boos” should be very much welcomed by most of the audio audio-freaks.
3) There is no extra space on my TT to accommodate 4th tonearm…:-(

Anyhow, M2 is quite good and now I do like all its features and all-together quite positive performance…

Rgs.
The caT



"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-10-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 13121
Reply to: 111
The new SME 12" tonearms.
fiogf49gjkf0d

Yesterday I removed and packed all tonearms for my turntable and thoughts about tonearms flew in my head.

It is know my admiration of SME 3012 tonearms, which I consider is good enough do not look for anything better arm. A few year back SME made the newer version:

http://www.sme.ltd.uk/content/Series-M2-1331.shtml

http://www.sme.ltd.uk/uploads/images/seriesm2big.jpg

I have the 12” of M2 and I am not a huge fun of it. However, what I discovered was that SME has newer arms.

One of them Model M2-12R, which is the M2 arm in 3012 configuration and without the idiotic M2 bayonet:

http://www.sme.ltd.uk/content/Series-M212R-1536.shtml

http://www.sme.ltd.uk/uploads/images/M2-12R.jpg

Another is Series V-12. The V-12 is the M2 arm in Series V configuration.

http://www.sme.ltd.uk/content/Series-V12-1515.shtml

http://www.sme.ltd.uk/uploads/images/v12photo.jpg

I never was a big fun of Series 3, 4, 5 but who know what the V-12 does.

All of the arms are 12” and are currently in production. Will then be stand up to the sound of 3012 is hard to say…

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-10-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
oxric
Posts 184
Joined on 02-12-2010

Post #: 4
Post ID: 13123
Reply to: 13121
SME-V12
fiogf49gjkf0d

Romy:

I wonder whether the above post does not reflect a niggling doubt surfacing that you might find a better tonearm after all, than your very venerable  SME 3012R. I cannot comment on how the 3012 compares with the latest iteration, the technical measurements as they appeared in a recent issue of Hi-Fi World suggest that it is very good and a clear step-up. It does show a couple of worrying anomalies for the perfectionist and certainly does not measure as well as the V and V12.

I do not have your level of playback and so cannot be of assistance but my next tonearm adventure will be the 312. I am having some difficulty sorting out a slate plinth for my Garrard but a few days ago managed to reclaim 500kg of 2 inch think welsh slate from a building site in Chelsea London. I guess this whole thing about the Garrard is anathema to your ears but then, I have to be careful budget wise and the Garrard is a great analogue device with infinite potential for real-world money even with the reputation and following they have garnered in recent years.

My quandary is this, or will be once I am ready to replace my 3012 (I have two). I could sell one of my two SME3012 and buy the latest 312, compare the two and decide if the expense was worth the trouble. Alternatively, I could bite the bullet and just buy the V12, which I think might be better again. but then I should have to sell both my 3012s, so no side by side comparison then...

As an aside, but this problably deserves its own thread, although I suspect Garrard aficionados are not particularly welcome here, would anyone care to comment on the theoretical advantage of using a 4 inch (2 layers bonded together) slate plinth over one where say birch ply or panzer holz was used to alternate with the slate. I know it doesn't have to be slate, but I cannot quite justify using the slate to add a footpath in my small back garden!

safe journey to your tonearms and you
Rakesh

03-10-2010 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 13124
Reply to: 13123
SME M2-12, V12, M2-12R and just about the tonearms…
fiogf49gjkf0d

Rakesh,

I think no one sane would feel that a better tonearm imposable. Anything is possible “better” but it is not the point. In my view, the point of selection an audio elements for own playback is not to find what is abstractedly “better” but to find what fulfills  person’s demand in sound reproduction.  I do not my position that 3012 is good and could not be better.  In fact I do not really care how absolutely better it is it.  But in what I have experienced in LP playback made me extremely content with 3012 and whatever I need/understand about Sound the 3012 handles perfectly fine. Can be a better sounding arm? Probably, but to acknowledge what is “better” would require me to understand what “better” might be. I do look forward somebody or something to demonstrate this state of “better” to me. Always do, not only in tonearms. We all do. This is partially what we all do collaborating about audio. Still, it is important to differentiate if this demonstrable state is “better” has any projection to a new state of sound understanding vs. it has to do only with audio person pay allegiance to myths, brands or just plain stupidity. 

In my experience the latest is the most common sentiment and it is unfortunate that I sometime was a subordinate of this sentiment.  Over time I had three 3012 tonearms and I did feel that they did the best among what I have tried. What a sane person would do – keep them and use them. Unfortunately I did not as in my interest “if anything better” made me to use other arms for different cartridges.  So, reaching a state of LP maturity (I hope!) , I would gladly exchange any of my tonearms to 3012 ( this is a standing offer).

About the V12, M2-12R and the rest of arms. I do not know what to think about them.  In my view my M2-12 is not as “relaxed” as 3012 and it has more rubber-like sounding lowering end. I do not know if this would apply to the V12, M2-12R arms.  Also, and it is very important to understand, that I use my better cartridges in 3012 and do not look any reference performance from my M2-12 (that runs just second cartridges). This is what differentiates my judgments from a judgments of a “reviewer” - I am concern ONLY about myself and do not have objectives to make my views to be universally applicable.

It is sad that we can’t borrow tonearms or cartridges and are forced to pay attention what others say. Pay attention that when I asked Frank Schröder how he subtract the advances of his tonearms out of better sound of his customers then instead of the answer I was given a stream of pure BS literature. This is a sign for me.

Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-23-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 15621
Reply to: 111
A fight with SME M2 tonearm
fiogf49gjkf0d

Since I left with only 3 arm for my TT I asked myself what arm  I will use for my mono cartridge.  I would like to have 12” arm an arm that is comfortable. I have an old 3009 but it is original vision Mk1. The collectors love it but I do not find it’s locking and lifting mechanisms are compostable. So I will get rid of it. It would be great if I make the SME M2-12 to be my mono arm. The SME M2-12 is very good and the arm very firmly hold it’s geometry.

The problem with SME M2-12 is the idiotic headshell and sound. Both of them are bad. The SME M2 is like playing basketball in a gym with Kautschuk floor.

First I started to deal with SME M2 headshell. My mono cartridge is Ortofon Mono that has the old SME bayonet. The new SME M2 has it’s own bayonet – good quality in my estimation but absolutely not in compliance with anything else. So, I took the Ortofon Mono out it’s own Ortofon headshell and mount it on one of the SME M2 headshells (I have a few). The complete Ortofon Mono assembly is 30g, the cartridge itself without headshell is about 5g, the Ortofon Mono in the SME M2 headshell is about 14g. I mounted everything on the SME M2, set it up and played it at 3.7g VTF and very flat VTA. The sound instantly reminded me why I am not a huge fun of the SME M2.

Then I “read” the commentary of Romy the Cat:  “Say “no” to the light tonearms.”

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1868

The SME M2 has an effective mass good for 12-14g headshell but I need at least 2-3 time heavier arm to play my Mono needle in the way how I’m accustomed.  I took 5g sorbothane sheet, dropped a few drops of melted paraffin on the headshell and dumped the sorbothane in melted paraffin. Then atop, with the same paraffin gluing I added 25cents, with is 5g. The effective mass went to 11g more. Sonically it was MUCH better – exactly as I expected. The lower bass lost it’s rubber-ness and the arm started to be less mechanically sounding.

SME_M2-12_ExtraMass.JPG

I would like to do another 10g but the VTF setting on the arm can’t handle it. If I am not mistaken the SME does not produce the extra weight for their M2 arms. So, I need to talk with my machinist to do the twice heavier contra weight. Alternately I might use some kind of spring and to do the combinated contra weight but I am not sure for now. The point is that if to add to the M2 arm more mass and to make it with effective mass of 25-30g then it look like perfume much better and very possible that as it might be acceptable.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-14-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
N-set
Gdansk, Poland
Posts 454
Joined on 01-07-2006

Post #: 7
Post ID: 15772
Reply to: 13124
M2-12R?
fiogf49gjkf0d
I've got  a reasonable offer on this arm.
Has anybody tried it, esp. comparing to 3012?
Strangely, the arm has already been around for some time
but there is hardly any info around, not to mention good info.

Cheers,
N-set



Cheers,
Jarek
03-14-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,145
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 8
Post ID: 15776
Reply to: 15621
Euro Tire Weights
fiogf49gjkf0d

Some time ago I got a bunch of Euro-style tire weights, which I have long used to add mass to my tonearms (at the headshell).  This style of weight is thin lead strips of nominal 7g sections, each of which has peel-and-stick self-adhesive.  Strips and/or sections can be cut cleanly with tin snips.  Some tire stores have these lead strips.

If trying to counteract/balance added headshell mass, I have found that it is well to fasten a compact tail mass (eg, lead) snugly to the tail, so it cannot wiggle independent of the arm. I have preferred a snug poly sleeve (or such like) between the arm and the weights, as opposed to the usual naked metal set screw.  Anyway, independent wiggling of the counterweight is certainly not good for the sound, as I first seriously discovered when playing with a stock Rega arm, which stock counterweight jiggles away on rubber o-rings.

Caveats, however; there is such a thing as too much mass, and it is possible to get the too-heavy counterweight too close to the pivot, especially with static-balance arms.

Best regards,
Paul

10-24-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Pani
Posts 1
Joined on 10-24-2011

Post #: 9
Post ID: 17217
Reply to: 111
Rega, Origin Live tonearms
fiogf49gjkf0d
Romy, this is my first post on this forum and I am also on the verge of buying my first ever turntable. Have you ever heard a Rega or Origin Live tonearm ? Do you have an opinion about them ? I am looking to add a 12" tonearm to my TT and looking to buy a cost effective (under $1.5k) yet musical arm.
10-24-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 17218
Reply to: 17217
Read the site.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Pani, if it is your first post then you might invest some time to read the site, perhaps to find answers and perhaps to get familiar with the site culture. If you do then you would know that not one consults at this site about anybody specific purchasing decisions.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
12-11-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
glaesemann
New York
Posts 22
Joined on 12-18-2007

Post #: 11
Post ID: 17511
Reply to: 15621
M2-12R specs
fiogf49gjkf0d
I'm going to give the M2-12R a try with my SPU Classic.
In case anyone is interested........
Like the 3012r the M2-12R is extruded thin wall stainless steel. M2-12R has an even higher effective mass of 18g compared to 3012r's 14g. Plug in heads up to 46g! Here are the specs:
DIMENSIONS   SPECIFICATIONS
A - Distance from pivot to stylus308.81mm   Effective Mass18.0g
B - Distance from pivot to turntable centre295.60mm   Cartridge balance range: 
C - Cartridge fixing centres12.70mm   In S2-R headshell: up to38.0g
D - Offset angle17.62º   Plug-in heads: up to46.0g
E - Linear offset93.47mm   Vertical tracking force VTF: up to5.0g
F - Overhang13.21mm   Maximum tracking error0.01º/mm
G - Height above mounting surface87.00mm max   Null points: Inner radius66.04mm
 63.00mm min   Outer radius120.90mm
H - Mounting surface to underside of headshell69.75mm max   Weight: net834.0g
 45.75mm min   Audio Lead: 
J - Depth below mounting surface46.00mm   1.2m balanced hybrid cable with gold plated connectors
K - Balance weight radial clearance85.00mm



"I'd rather know than believe." - Carl Sagan
Page 1 of 1 (11 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  Here is my new tonearm...  Korvet TT in German...  Analog Playback Forum     9  119794  12-11-2004
  »  New  Which SME 3009?..  Changing EAR834P loading...  Analog Playback Forum     10  74915  07-01-2005
  »  New  Middle step (non ultimate) turntable ..  Middle step (non ultimate) turntable ...  Analog Playback Forum     0  11710  07-29-2005
  »  New  Low output MC?..  ..way out there......  Analog Playback Forum     22  114096  02-07-2007
  »  New  Active Tonearm Monitoring System...  The most idiotic idea I’ve ever seen...  Analog Playback Forum     2  24508  07-14-2009
  »  New  Lithuania enters the game: Reed 12" Tonearm..  It is even worse...  Analog Playback Forum     11  74432  12-03-2009
  »  New  Stupid SME question about rubber grommets..  Stupid SME question about rubber grommets...  Analog Playback Forum     0  9012  03-10-2008
  »  New  Schroder Tonearms..  "Too many notes, Mozart"...  Analog Playback Forum     61  385726  12-15-2009
  »  New  SME M2..  Re: SME M2...  Analog Playback Forum     1  15636  08-09-2005
  »  New  The tales of two phonostages: Allnic and 834PT...  The tales of two phonostages: Allnic and 834PT....  Analog Playback Forum     0  14385  12-21-2011
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