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wrenchone 11th June 2006 11:14 AM

SME3009 II with Kenwood KD500
I have some old SME 3009 II tone arms. I'm thinking of mating one to a Kenwood KD500 TT. Worth doing? Is the bronze bearing upgrade for the SME tonearm worthwhile? Is this tonearm considered to be a low mass arm? I have a Grado Gold and an original Sumiko Blue Point. which would be a more appropriate combination with the SME arm? Is there a rule of thumb fro compliance vs. effective mass?

phn 11th June 2006 11:44 AM

I cannot see why not, though I personally think the tonearm is the most overrated component on a turntable. It's medium mass, by today's standard. Analogue Classics.

The bronze bearing, as you know, gets favorable reviews. But I think only you can decide if the price tag is justified. Yours at least has a steel bearing and not the plastic one found on some later models. The Sumiko looks like a perfect match.

wrenchone 11th June 2006 11:49 PM

Actually, I misspoke. It's the 3009R I have with the nylon bearing, so I think I would want to change that out.

phn 12th June 2006 12:05 AM

Might not be a bad buy. After all, you have everything else. Aren't we all grasping for that brass ring?

wrenchone 12th June 2006 12:14 AM

I'll probably try one of the arms as is before I spring for the new bearing. However, I have to keep in mind that the arms (3 of them) have been jumbled around in a box for a while, and the plastic bearings may have suffered. They were discards from the college radio station where I DJ. Between the 3 arms, I have enough bits and bobs to get at least one working.

phn 12th June 2006 09:06 AM


Originally posted by wrenchone
I'll probably try one of the arms as is before I spring for the new bearing.
That's how I would do it.

sreten 12th June 2006 10:02 AM


The Grado Gold is more likely to sound well with the SME than the Blue Point IMO.


phn 12th June 2006 02:53 PM

The recommended tracking force of the Grado (of which I have no experience) is 15 mN and 18 for the Sumiko. I can be wrong, but I doubt there could be much improvement either way. On the other hand, why argue? Test and see which you prefer.

Nam402 19th June 2006 11:21 AM


I also have an SME 3009 arm (mk11 improved fixed headhshell). I've had conflicting advice on a suitable cartridge and I'm now muddled.

Is this arm too light for a MC cartridge and if so which MM to go for?

Hope I'm not hijacking this thread, just have the same kind of problem!

Cheers, Nam402

phn 19th June 2006 01:35 PM

Nam402, you can use pretty much any MC cart that works with the modern SME and Rega arms. You have to look for a high-compliant cart, under 15 mN. The problem is that they tend to be expensive. At least I know of no cheap one. Hopefully somebody that uses high-compliant carts can recommend something.

As for MM, Goldring should do. Of course, so will Ortofon, Shure, and any other MM cart. I like Goldring. But I'm not the kind of guy that recommends on thing over another. Only you can decide what suits you best.

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