SME 3009 Tonearm Parts Guide

We offer a complete range of spare parts for SME 3009 Series II and Series II Improved tonearms.

There is much confusion surrounding identifying SME 3009 Series II and Series II Improved tonearms. We often see them offered for sale completely wrongly labelled. However, there are clear variations in the parts used on these tonearms and the easiest way to check if an arm is a Series II or Series II Improved is to look at the balance or counterweights on the back of the arm. There is further confusion about Series I tonearms. These arms are much rarer but the easy way to see if it's likely you have one is to look at the dashpot. The dashpot is the device that raises or lowers the arm tube in relation to the record. If the lever has a round ball on the end rather than a long black cap, you may well have a Series I arm.

You may also struggle to work out if you have an SME 3009 or SME 3012 tonearm. This is easy. On the back of the tonearm you will see printed on the sub assembly an SME logo. To the left and right of this is will also say "Model" and "3009 or "3012". At various stages people have manufactured conversion kits to turn an SME 3009 in to a 3012. It is unlikely a converted model with aftermarket parts will have the correct badge on the Sub Assembly.

SME 3009 Series II Early Balance Weight. Early two part split weights are available, or single piece counterweight. The Series II Improved has a different countweight which is available in several weights. 90 and 110g are the most popular. The screw in to a black plastic part called a Spider which also secures the Rider Weight and Wayrod.

SME 3009 Series II Wayrod and Rider Weight. We offer this as a package for Series II arms. An additional or extra rider weight is also available to add mass in this area. The SME 3009 Improved has a different Wayrod and Rider Weight which does not accept an additional or extra Rider Weight.

SME 3009 Series II Bias Weight. A frequently lost part! The bias weight comes with the cord to attach the weight to the pole of the yoke. A standard weight fits early and improved arms. Series III is a different weight.

SME 3009 Series II Bias Guide. The Series II version and early Series II Improved is a single metal piece. Later Improved examples had a plastic housing at the top with a wheel and there is another version that is all metal with a metal wheel.

SME 3009 Series II Long Yoke. We offer this part with the original screws. There are some subtle variations. The earliest ones had a textured finish, later ones were a bit smoother. The Series II Improved has a shorter pole on the Yoke.

SME 3009 Series II Armtube. Early Series II or "unimproved" or "non improved" Armtubes are suitable for detachable headshells only. At the rear of the arm is a stub that is coupled to the rest of the armtube with a rubber, sometimes called "elastic" coupling. These can perish and cause the rear of the armtube to droop. Most Series II armtubes allow the headshell socket to be rotated in the armtube to adjust Azimuth (the angle that the stylus sits at in relation to the record). This is regulated by a hole in the armtube that allows a screw to poke through the headshell socket. However, very early Series II armtubes had pushfit headshell socket armtubes. On these there is no hole on the base front of the armtube. The Series II Improved Armtube is different. It does not have a stub or rubber coupling. Instead it has a plastic part called a Spider that the Counterweight and Wayrod screw in to. It is important to understand that the Series II Improved armtubes come in detachable headshell and fixed headshell versions. Each is a differnet length to compensate for the length that the headshell socket adds.

SME 3009 Series II and Series II Improved all use the same headshell socket. However, on very early pushfit headshell tonearms, the design of the headshell socket is the same but the screw hole is blanked off and not used.

SME 3009 Series II and Series II Improved work with a variety of headshells. There are several different SME designs which differ in appearance and weight. There are also third party headshells available. The fingerlifts for these headshells are not always supplied with the headshells.

SME 3009 Series II and Series II Improved tonearms use different design arm rests but they are interchangable. The Series II featured a metal hoop retaining clip, the Improved was all plastic. Note some early Series II Improved tonearms had the early Arm Rest.

SME 3009 Series II and Series II Improved tonearms have arm cueing/lift lower devices called dashpots. Series II and some Series II Improved arms use the same dashpot which raises the armtube by pushing it with a black round part that rises out of the dashpot. Later Series II Improved arms had a different design dashpot that had a larger T Bar piece on it to raise the armtube.

SME 3009 Series II and Series II Bedplates are interchangable. However, the appearances differ. The Series II has red graduated marking on the top. The Improved does not. Bedplate Grommets are normally fitted on bedplates which surround the screw holes. Some people choose not to use these and fit washers instead.

Acorn clamp nuts and bolts are the same for Series II and Series II Improved tonearms. The bolts fit in the bedplate and secure it to the Sub Assembly. They also allow the Bias Guide to be secured to the Sub Assmebly. A special plastic tool allows the Acorn Nuts to be tightened without using a Screwdriver and risking damaging the heads on the nuts. Few bother with this tool as a screwdriver is fine if you are careful.

SME 3009 Series II and Series II Improved have different Sub Assemblies. Further, there are variations within each model. The Series II is usually found with a vertical arm cable socket and a Sub Assembly with either a dark black SME logo or a light grey/brown coloured logo. However, there is also a horiztonal arm cable socket verision that is less common. The Sub Assembly is normally protected by a Screening Can. The 3009 Series II Improved has two different types of Sub Assembly. Earlier versions had a horizontal arm cable socket with the traditional SME connection. Later versions had horizontal RCA sockets instead.

SME 3009 Series II and Series II Improved tonearms use Knife Edge Bearings. These are secured by two screws in to the armtube. The Series II uses a Metal Knife Edge Bearing but most SME 3009 Series II Improved use Plastic, sometimes called Nylon Knife Edge Bearings. The first Series II Improved tonearms had plastic bearings with "wings" on them to allow the dashpot to raise or lower them regardless of the position of the arm. Later examples did not have this as they had the T Bar dashpot which did the same job in a different way.

SME 3009 Series II and Series II Improved tonearms usually use the same arm cable that has standard hifi RCA plugs on one end and the special SME connector on the other end. There are a couple of variations to the design. The earliest ones had a open connector, later ones had a plastic triangular socket. Eventually the SME 3009 Improved Tonearm was changed to have RCA sockets on the Sub Assembly and the arm cable design was changed at this point to have RCA plugs at each end.

We stock all these parts at Chorlton Analogue and ship them worldwide. We only send them on tracked services so we can ensure reliable delivery. Our parts are genuine SME used parts. This guide is not totally definitive but should help people find their way around the tangle of parts that makes up these fine tonearms.

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