The SME 3009 S2 Tonearm & our Performance Upgrades

The SME 3009 S2 'Pre-Improved' in its original condition as shown above

The first SME precision pick-up arm appeared in September 1959. Production was 25 units per week composed entirely of individually machined components. The 3009 and 3012 (9" and 12" respectively) tone arms which were widely adopted for audiophile and broadcast use during the 1960s and 1970s, at the higher end of the market. These arms featured a polished stainless steel main tube with a lightweight headshell, knife edge horizontal bearings, and an anti skating bias provided by a weight that hung by a nylon string. Versions were produced with both fixed and interchangeable headshells;

 The SME 3009 S2 'Improved' shown below.


The SME V Tonearm

The iconic SME-V shown here has been designed with the bearing axis aligned with the cartridge headshell.

It is this bearing axis to headshell alignment that we have corrected with our conversion kit for the SME 3009 & 3012 Series 2 tonearms.

When the SME 3009 Series 2 tonearm were manufactured it was not realised that the alignment between the headshell and the knife edge would be so critical in bringing improved listening quality. In later models this was corrected (see SME V above). If the alignment is not correct, then 'azimuth roll' will occur.

True Point (UK) Ltd acknowledged that the SME 3009 Series 2 tonearms are the best for their time and wanted to bring the tonearm up to date by making a kit of parts manufactured to the highest quality while maintaining the 'SME look'. The kit is designed to fit the existing tonearm and correct the alignment problem that causes azimuth roll, and improve the bearing properties of the knife edge by using ruby sapphire v-groove bearings.

The Benefits

All together, a noticeable improvement . . . . . 

"Sonically, compared to the standard bearing the up-graded V Blocks tighten the bass, improve mid-range and high-end definition which gives a sound quality that is more open and detailed".

"An affordable up-grade that helps you realise the full potential of your existing cartridge. Do not replace your cartridge without doing this change first".

"This is a cost effective improvement for the SME tonearm, with considerable benefits, irrespective of the type of music  listened to".



True Point (UK) Ltd's Performance Upgrades

for SME 3009 Series 2 Tonearms

All of our precision component upgrades are designed to bring out optimum performance while maintaining the SME visual esthetics.

The Phase 1 Upgrade Kit for the SME 3009 & 3012 Series 2

The image above shows the tonearm with the upgrade fitted.


The images above show the Knife Edge bearing and the Saddle with the corrected angle. The Yoke assembly that supports the Knife Edge has been made wider than the original SME yoke in order to accommodate the angled Knife Edge, this extra width has the advantage of increasing lateral stability in the arm.

The Knife Edge is made from hardened and tempered steel, thus ensuring long life.

Ruby V-groove sapphires are used to reduce friction on the Knife Edge. Using sapphire as a bearing surface has long been known for its enhanced tribological properties.

These upgrades have been sympathetically designed to blend in with the 'SME look', while having a major impact on improving the performance of the tonearm allowing it to compete with more modern tonearms costing much more.

The Phase 1 Upgrade Kit for the SME 3009 & 3012 Series 2 (Improved & pre-improved) consists of the following components : -

  • New Lower Yoke, fitted with Ruby V-groove sapphires.

  • New Upper Yoke Top cover and bias weight rod support.

  • New Saddle and Knife Edge.

Please note : -

  • The headshell, arm tube, bearing pillar, counterweight and rider weight shown in the above image are from the donor tonearm.

Fitting of the Phase 1 Upgrade Kit must be carried out by a competent audio engineer. The tonearm wiring has to be disconnected and re-routed through the newly assembled tonearm and then re-terminated.

If we do the fitting for you, the internal wiring is continuity checked prior to and after we reassemble the tonearm. If necessary we can rewire with silver wire or Cardas OFHC copper wire.

Prices : -   Please contact us for the latest prices.

We also buy SME Tonearms. Please let us know if you have one to sell.

We would like to thank friends, SME enthusiasts and customers for their help in putting this page together, also a special acknowledgement to Vinyl Engine ( whose information proved invaluable.

We will be updating this page on a regular basis. If there is any information that you believe is incorrect or should be added please let us know.

        Copyright True Point (UK) Ltd