mr neds

sme 3009 s2 improved with detachable headshell- which cartridges are suitable?

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I’ve been looking at info about the 3009 series and it seems that mine is a specific weight, meaning not all carts are suitable- I need high compliance? Currently using an AT 110, which sounds very good, but was going to buy an AT VM95EN. Any ideas out there? Must have replaceable stylus, no vintage models where stylus isn’t readily available and budget is around £100. It’s on a TD 125 mk. 2, by the way

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I heard a 3009s2 with an Ortofon 2m Blue cart on it & it’s sounded pretty good to me. Although the Blue is a bit over £100, the Red is just below that price.

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Super Wammer

The Grado Prestige series was first designed about the same era as the SME, and they’re still around.  They begin at Black, and ascend with Green, a selected version of the Black. Then comes Red and Blue, same idea.  Then they’re outside budget. 

Look for the newer 2 suffix models, which are quire recent.  They seem to start at £79.

Here is my Black 1 from a few years ago. 

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Super Wammer

Their is a large choice out there  but if i was in your shoes I would choose from Ortofon (red and blue), Grado ( a number of models but read the reviews some people have had hum problems), Goldring (E3 ..What hifi 2020 award winner but don't let that put you off they have had stonking reviews all over), Audio Technica VM95FML but that is £149 (but you could get the straight VM95E and upgrade to ML or Shibita come stylus replacement time).

I have not had the chance to compare all of the above and they each have their distinctive presentation .. if you are unable to audition before you buy then I would check out every review you can find on google and try and make a decision.  

I will add this (which may or may not help) I bought a Decca Export (the silver conical stylus) as a spare (since retipped with an extended fine line stylus) and compared it directly to my Decca Supergold (extended fine line) .. the overall characteristics were the same (the magical Decca transient response) and it missed out by a few whiskers on resolution of fine detail (but not enough to make it a night and day difference) and was quieter on some old records (a conical and to a certain degree an eliptical, sits on the bottom half of the groove whereas and extended contact fine line, microline or shibita is contact with more of the groove so it will pick up any imperfections at the top of the groove and can result in more "noise" ).  Now the Decca is no match for the SME (or in budget) but I am trying to explain that whilst a super stylus will resolve more detail it may not end up as a better listening experience.  

Good luck in your choice - if you have the fixed head SME a bit of extra weight at the headshell as it may make the arm mass a better match to the cartridge you choose (try some blue tac on top and see if the extra mass improves the sound - if it does you can buy a headshell weight or try one of those natty new cartridge isolator inserts ..).   Many years ago one of the out of the box reviewers (not sure if was Jimmy Hughes or not) did an experiment adding mass to a number of arms and spoke of magical improvements to be had (take that with a pinch of salt but it may make a difference).

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Super Wammer

I'm running my recently acquired 401/SME 3009 S2 with an A&R P77, and it sounds superb (+ stylus expert or Jico can sort you out with replacements) the deck originally came with a Pickering AME2 (&2 spare stylii) which your more than welcome to have a play with. If you like the sound then Im sure we can agree a very reasonable price. 

There's this P77 currently on eBay. 

Screenshot_20201028-210320.png

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Spent the day looking into high compliance cartridges and there’s not a lot of choice in the modern world! I’ll look into P77 s- surely extremely venerable by now? - but the Pickering offer is most kind. I’ll get back to you tomorrow 

cheers John

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Hi John. The P77 looks like it might become problematic re stylus. The Ortofon OM 20 seems to be another recommended high compliançe cart? I didn't realise that the Pickering was even older than both of them, but the spare stylii are very appealing, so yes, I'd like to give it a try. 

Cheers

Neds

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Super Wammer
4 hours ago, mr neds said:

Hi John. The P77 looks like it might become problematic re stylus. The Ortofon OM 20 seems to be another recommended high compliançe cart? I didn't realise that the Pickering was even older than both of them, but the spare stylii are very appealing, so yes, I'd like to give it a try. 

Cheers

Neds

PM me your addy and ill get the Pickering posted off. 

As for P77 stylii, Jico do an SAS microline with boron cantalever for it so no probs with keeping it running. 

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