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  • SME 3012 Tonearm

    Originally posted by david k View Post

    Complex engineering doesn't equate into better sound! I don't see where you get the less parts or simplicity from Myles, today's arms claiming SOTA come with tons of bells & whistles and wild claims the regarding materials they use, even the glorified chopsticks are much more complex and more parts that what we had.

    david

    David, Have you compared your SME 3012R to an SME V-12? I'm just curious if there are sonic differences? I'm not familiar with the 3012R so I do not know if the features and adjustments are even the same? Any information that you could share would be greatly appreciated.
    SME 30/12A, SME V-12, SME 3012R, vdH Grand Cru, vdH Master Signature, Pass Labs XA160.5, XP-32, XP-27, Magico Q3, DIY cables

  • #2
    Hi Peter,

    Besides sharing the same sled base design the two arms have nothing else in common, sonically or otherwise. In fact they're exact opposites in in their design philosophy and engineering, and by extension in sound quality.

    david
    Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
    Distribution: NEODIO

    Special Sales: van den Hul
    Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher

    Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers
    http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
    http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by david k View Post
      Hi Peter,

      Besides sharing the same sled base design the two arms have nothing else in common, sonically or otherwise. In fact they're exact opposites in in their design philosophy and engineering, and by extension in sound quality.

      david
      Now you have me intrigued, David. At first glance, I image it would have to do with rigidity, damping, resonance control with the V-12, but I could be completely wrong. Could you briefly explain the sonic differences? Perhaps it is too big a topic, or you have explained this all before, but I am quite interested in reading about the differences. Someday I hope to also hear them. I really only became aware of the 3012R by reading about your system on WBF.
      SME 30/12A, SME V-12, SME 3012R, vdH Grand Cru, vdH Master Signature, Pass Labs XA160.5, XP-32, XP-27, Magico Q3, DIY cables

      Comment


      • #4
        Everything in vinyl is about resonance, materials have a direct impact as does the design. Rigidity isn't always desired nor is absolute dampening, there are other things involved that are beyond my pay grade but I know that they come into play. Sometimes resonance and certain amount of flexibility can yield better results.

        Describing the differences between the arms isn't a big topic Peter but its one that I try to avoid when I could be stepping on a friend's toes. Its obvious that 3012 is my favorite arm, there are other excellent ones but the 3012 is extremely well balanced, uncolored and "Natural", specially in the bass. Set up is straight forward and the geometry is near perfect, set the overhang once properly and forget about it. From an engineering standpoint and in terms of design, materials the V is more sophisticated but sonically I find it lacking. For me the V and the V-12 sound very colored and the bass is completely wrong with these arms, that's why they never appealed. They might work in some systems and on some tables but not in mine.

        david

        Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
        Distribution: NEODIO

        Special Sales: van den Hul
        Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher

        Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers
        http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
        http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MylesBAstor

          If people want I can create a new thread.
          You can move it to a new thread if you like, fine with me.

          david
          Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
          Distribution: NEODIO

          Special Sales: van den Hul
          Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher

          Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers
          http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
          http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

          Comment


          • #6
            Manana.
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MylesBAstor

              If people want I can create a new thread.
              That would be fine with me too. SME 3012R and SME V-12: What are the differences? Or something like that Myles. Thanks.
              SME 30/12A, SME V-12, SME 3012R, vdH Grand Cru, vdH Master Signature, Pass Labs XA160.5, XP-32, XP-27, Magico Q3, DIY cables

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by david k View Post
                Everything in vinyl is about resonance, materials have a direct impact as does the design. Rigidity isn't always desired nor is absolute dampening, there are other things involved that are beyond my pay grade but I know that they come into play. Sometimes resonance and certain amount of flexibility can yield better results.

                Describing the differences between the arms isn't a big topic Peter but its one that I try to avoid when I could be stepping on a friend's toes. Its obvious that 3012 is my favorite arm, there are other excellent ones but the 3012 is extremely well balanced, uncolored and "Natural", specially in the bass. Set up is straight forward and the geometry is near perfect, set the overhang once properly and forget about it. From an engineering standpoint and in terms of design, materials the V is more sophisticated but sonically I find it lacking. For me the V and the V-12 sound very colored and the bass is completely wrong with these arms, that's why they never appealed. They might work in some systems and on some tables but not in mine.

                david
                Thanks David. That is a good summary. I'll have to try one in my system at some point, though with the limited LF extension of my system, the differences in bass quality may not be that easily heard. I am also getting ready to insert a Technics SP10 Mk3 with V-12/AirTight Supreme into my system for a direct comparison to my SME 30/12.
                SME 30/12A, SME V-12, SME 3012R, vdH Grand Cru, vdH Master Signature, Pass Labs XA160.5, XP-32, XP-27, Magico Q3, DIY cables

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by david k View Post
                  Everything in vinyl is about resonance, materials have a direct impact as does the design. Rigidity isn't always desired nor is absolute dampening, there are other things involved that are beyond my pay grade but I know that they come into play. Sometimes resonance and certain amount of flexibility can yield better results.

                  Describing the differences between the arms isn't a big topic Peter but its one that I try to avoid when I could be stepping on a friend's toes. Its obvious that 3012 is my favorite arm, there are other excellent ones but the 3012 is extremely well balanced, uncolored and "Natural", specially in the bass. Set up is straight forward and the geometry is near perfect, set the overhang once properly and forget about it. From an engineering standpoint and in terms of design, materials the V is more sophisticated but sonically I find it lacking. For me the V and the V-12 sound very colored and the bass is completely wrong with these arms, that's why they never appealed. They might work in some systems and on some tables but not in mine.

                  david
                  Yes, these two arms are completely different. IMHO many people use the SME V in the wrong turntables - and then its bass can become boring and slow. I have owned two of them and only enjoyed it with the SME30 - it complemented the turntable very well creating a seamless balance, helping to forget about the mechanical aspects of vinyl, with great spaciousness.

                  The SME 3012R- got it only a few weeks ago - has however a greater immediacy - re-listening to Paniagua Harmonia Mundi LPs was a great experience. There are less constrains in the music, the sound of instruments starts immediately when they are hit, and bass is not a linear well behaved process any more - you feel its fast composed rise and decay. The long time question can be if the lack of coloration David refers is not taking away anything. Curiously the SME 3012R reminds me more of the Eminent Technology II type of sound than that of the SME V.
                  My opinions rely on listening mainly to acoustical, non amplified music. I do not care about electronic music or listening to rock at stadium levels, but I enjoy Mahler and Shostakovitch.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PeterA View Post

                    Thanks David. That is a good summary. I'll have to try one in my system at some point, though with the limited LF extension of my system, the differences in bass quality may not be that easily heard. I am also getting ready to insert a Technics SP10 Mk3 with V-12/AirTight Supreme into my system for a direct comparison to my SME 30/12.
                    If you mean your speakers they're extended enough Peter, the differences aren't subtle.

                    David
                    Manufacturer: American Sound Turntables and The Nothing Rack
                    Distribution: NEODIO

                    Special Sales: van den Hul
                    Industry Representation: Lamm, Kharma OLS Speakers, Ortofon, ZYX, Keith Monks, Audio Desk, Jensen Transformer, Venta Airwasher

                    Unique Items: Vintage Horn Speakers
                    http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...stening-room-1
                    http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...earfield-setup

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I bought one of my SME 3012R arms from David. I have a second NOS waiting for me when I get time to add another armboard and cart. I have tried at least four other 12" arms and none come close to making the music the 3012R does. It is even handed, the bass is never over done. In my case the other arms always sounded fat and ill defined compared to the 3012R. The arm tracks wonderfully and never fails to keep me listening.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by microstrip View Post

                        Yes, these two arms are completely different. IMHO many people use the SME V in the wrong turntables - and then its bass can become boring and slow. I have owned two of them and only enjoyed it with the SME30 - it complemented the turntable very well creating a seamless balance, helping to forget about the mechanical aspects of vinyl, with great spaciousness.

                        The SME 3012R- got it only a few weeks ago - has however a greater immediacy - re-listening to Paniagua Harmonia Mundi LPs was a great experience. There are less constrains in the music, the sound of instruments starts immediately when they are hit, and bass is not a linear well behaved process any more - you feel its fast composed rise and decay. The long time question can be if the lack of coloration David refers is not taking away anything. Curiously the SME 3012R reminds me more of the Eminent Technology II type of sound than that of the SME V.
                        Thanks for this, microstrip. Have you ever compared the V to the V-12? I owned both and did a direct comparison on my turntable. The V-12 is considerably better in terms of resolution, smoothness and extension. It was like comparing a two way to a three way speaker, but with no loss of coherence. It is smoother, throws a bigger soundstage with a better sense of space. I did not hear the slightly quicker more dynamic sound some have attributed to the 9" relative to the 12". They sound quite different and I do think the V-12 sounds very natural.

                        However, my interest in piqued now about the 3012R and I may have to figure out a way to audition it in my system.

                        Has anyone heard the 3012R with either the AirTight Supreme or the MSL Signature Gold?

                        SME 30/12A, SME V-12, SME 3012R, vdH Grand Cru, vdH Master Signature, Pass Labs XA160.5, XP-32, XP-27, Magico Q3, DIY cables

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PeterA View Post

                          Thanks for this, microstrip. Have you ever compared the V to the V-12? I owned both and did a direct comparison on my turntable. The V-12 is considerably better in terms of resolution, smoothness and extension. It was like comparing a two way to a three way speaker, but with no loss of coherence. It is smoother, throws a bigger soundstage with a better sense of space. I did not hear the slightly quicker more dynamic sound some have attributed to the 9" relative to the 12". They sound quite different and I do think the V-12 sounds very natural.

                          However, my interest in piqued now about the 3012R and I may have to figure out a way to audition it in my system.

                          Has anyone heard the 3012R with either the AirTight Supreme or the MSL Signature Gold?
                          I never had the opportunity to listen to the V-12, my only reference was the SME V. But the differences are not the type of difference you feel going to a larger speaker - they are not of more, but in fundamental aspects. Please note I am not saying that one is better than the other, just different. I still do not own an adequate turntable to the SME 3012R, it is assembled temporary in a Scheu with a 80mm thick platter. BTW, I saw a SME3012R at eBay today at an interesting price, but I already got two of them, I do not need a third one!
                          Last edited by microstrip; 02-25-2016, 05:09 PM.
                          My opinions rely on listening mainly to acoustical, non amplified music. I do not care about electronic music or listening to rock at stadium levels, but I enjoy Mahler and Shostakovitch.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pcosta View Post
                            I bought one of my SME 3012R arms from David. I have a second NOS waiting for me when I get time to add another armboard and cart. I have tried at least four other 12" arms and none come close to making the music the 3012R does. It is even handed, the bass is never over done. In my case the other arms always sounded fat and ill defined compared to the 3012R. The arm tracks wonderfully and never fails to keep me listening.
                            You guys are making me want to try a 3012R when I get my new table that will accommodate three arms one of these days.
                            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                            ________________________________________

                            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                            -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by microstrip View Post

                              I never had the opportunity to listen to the V-12, my only reference was the SME V. But the differences are not the type of difference you feel going to a larger speaker - they are not of more, but in fundamental aspects. Please note I am not saying that one is better than the other, just different. I still do not own an adequate turntable to the SME 3012R, it is assembled temporary in a Scheu with a 80mm thick platter. BTW, I saw a SME3012R at eBay today at an interesting price, but I already got two of them, I do not need a third one!
                              I saw that one on Ebay. There is also one on Audiogon, but it does not look complete. I am concerned about the RCA termination going down through the massive SME 30/12 arm board. It is very thick and with the termination going off to the side, it does not look like I could get cables in there. The other issue is that the termination is different from the DIN plug in my V-12. The last thing I want to do is buy another phono cable that might cost more than the arm.

                              David, you know a way around what looks like a connection issue in my particular situation? To do a proper direct comparison, I would want to use the same cable. Another issue is that I can only mount one tone arm on my turntable. SME says that it will not design a table for two arms, even though many have asked them to do it. Someone is offering a high quality two-am aftermarket option for the new SME Model 15 turntable.

                              I am going to reach out to Albert Porter who has extensive experience with the 312S and V-12. He has compared them to a few of the current top arms, though I do not know if he has tried the 3012R.
                              Last edited by PeterA; 02-26-2016, 05:36 PM.
                              SME 30/12A, SME V-12, SME 3012R, vdH Grand Cru, vdH Master Signature, Pass Labs XA160.5, XP-32, XP-27, Magico Q3, DIY cables

                              Comment

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