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SME 3009 need cartridge rec - Page 3

post #31 of 54
Thread Starter 
Cool thanks a lot my friends. Interesting Jerome, I too was playing Aja this morning. I only have the CD version. What an awesome album that is. I need to get a really nice vinyl pressing.
post #32 of 54
Thread Starter 
OK peeps...one more quick question...

Why do I get occasional sibilant vocals but everything else sounds pretty darn superb? Can damage from crapp stylii on older records cause this? Could my cartridge alignment be the cause? Remember this is an older modded AR with SME 3009 imp with fixed headshell and Shelter 7000 cart.
Sorry to be a pest...lol
Man I have been really enjoying finding old records. I found an old copy of Duke Ellington's "Black, Brown and Beige" with Mehaliah Jackson...it is a mono from like 1959 on Capitol! awesome! Again, the higher freq's are scratchy due to 50 years of abuse but still the music is just awesome. I may clean it again and see what happens.

I just bought a used VPI 16.5 rcm and have been having a blast listening to my old(and pretty quiet now) records...lol! Amazing how good analog sounds. Mesmerizing sometimes.
post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fido2 View Post
Man I have been really enjoying finding old records. I found an old copy of Duke Ellington's "Black, Brown and Beige" with Mehaliah Jackson...it is a mono from like 1959 on Capitol!
Don't you mean Columbia? My copy is an original Columbia Six-Eye pressing.

--Jerome
post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fido2 View Post
OK peeps...one more quick question...

Why do I get occasional sibilant vocals but everything else sounds pretty darn superb? Can damage from crapp stylii on older records cause this? Could my cartridge alignment be the cause? Remember this is an older modded AR with SME 3009 imp with fixed headshell and Shelter 7000 cart.
could be worn records or misalignment, but I would first of all suspect miscompliance. Have you tried a test record?
post #35 of 54
My thoughts exactly. The Shelter 7000 does not seem to be a good match with low mass tonearms, but I have misread the chart before so I could be wrong.

--Jerome
post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by NU62 View Post
Technical comments notwithstanding, I stand by my previous post regarding the excellent sound created by the combination of the Denon 103 and the SME Improved tonearm. I use very efficient speakers (either Avantgarde Unos or Altec 601c's in custom cabinets) that reveal the shortcomings of everything in the audio chain upstream and the Denon 103 simply makes music! I would note that my AR turntable has been extensively modified by Eric at The Sound of the Wood, so the changes to the table are probably a major contributor to the synergy of this cartridge and arm in my system. In fact, when I bought the table and arm from Eric he specifically recommended use of the Denon 103.
I received a new DL-103 today. I mounted it on a Sumiko HS-12 headshell and then installed it on my SME 3009 Series II arm and dialed it in and adjusted my phono pre-amp. Compared to the other carts I have owned and used -- Benz Glider H2, Benz Wood M2, Benz Copper Reference, Ortofon Kontrapunkt a, and Ortofon Jubilee - the Denon really left me unimpressed. The bottom end lacked extension, and the entire frequency spectrum seemed to be void of the vibrancy and dynamcis that I am used to with higher end cartridges.

I wouldn't go so far as to say the DL-103 is bad. It certainly is possible, even likely, that the Denon just didn't gell well with my arm and setup. On another table and arm this cartridge would probably sound much different. I can listen to it and enjoy music, but there is something most definitely missing with the DL-103 that is present with the higher-end MC carts I have owned. I'll probably keep it as a backup, but I doubt I will do any regular listening with it. Right now I am back on my Ortofon Jubilee and it is miles ahead of the Denon, but since it retails for $2,000 more that should be expected.

--Jerome
post #37 of 54
I am on my second Goldring Elite with my SME VI now and still like it enough to not try anything else. Not sure how it would work with 3009 though.
post #38 of 54
Thread Starter 
Yes yes Jerome...sorry. the Duke Ellington B,B&B album is on Columbia, a six-eye..AND it is a promo white label! Cool! I also have a Serenade to Sweden Ellington LP with Alice Babs...just fantastic music, ethereal almost.

Yes I am beginning to agree that it must be a tonearm/cartridge compliance mismatch. Oh well, I can get a lighter more compliant cart for a few hun or a new table and arm for a few thou...hmmmm
post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fido2 View Post
Oh well, I can get a lighter more compliant cart for a few hun or a new table and arm for a few thou...hmmmm
A Grado would be a good place to start probably.
post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsaliga View Post
the Denon really left me unimpressed. The bottom end lacked extension, and the entire frequency spectrum seemed to be void of the vibrancy and dynamcis that I am used to with higher end cartridges.
The normal criticism of the DL-103 is that it's rolled off and grainy in the highs. This is made more accute by a lack of control from the arm so people tend to try and balance it out by loading more mass into the headshell, which you could maybe try. It may also need more of a run in?

My own experience of using it on a Rega RB250 is that the bass is it's strongest suite and midrange gives you a shade of that classic MC musicality, but highs are definitely lacking extension. It definitely plays to the RB250's strengths here, bringing some much needed colour and warmth to the pallid Rega midrange.

The most noticeable thing is that it just lacks finesse compared to more expensive MC's I've tried from Benz / Supex. I could understand why you'd find it crude compared to the precision of an Ortofon, especially in an SME 3009 II which has enough of it's own characterfulness anyway.
post #41 of 54
The Sumiko headshell comes in at 12.5g with the tonearm queing lift installed. Several SME 3009 Series II owners on Vinyl Asylum thought that it provided enough effective mass for the Denon DL-103...but perhaps not.

It could also be that I have been simply spoiled by some of the better higher end carts.

Not to completely hijack the thread...but I have been kicking around the idea of possibly changing out the SME 3009 Series II with a SME 309 or even a Series IV (they turn up on Audiogon from time to time at very good prices)...though I haven't thought through what such a move would do for me beyond resonance control.

--Jerome
post #42 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsaliga View Post
been kicking around the idea of possibly changing out the SME 3009 Series II with a SME 309 or even a Series IV (they turn up on Audiogon from time to time at very good prices)...though I haven't thought through what such a move would do for me beyond resonance control.
I guess SME have striven to design a tonearm which didn't really impart any sound of it's own, and the 309, IV and V are the closest anyone has really come to doing this.
The earlier designs have very respectable measurements too, but the 3009 I/II are at bottom basically a 50 year old design and do impart a sound of their own quite definitely in my experience.

With modern electronic music, for instance, putting the kind of signals that only test equipment would produce back in the '60s, into the tonearm I thought it started to sound a bit fuzzy and unable to cope compared to the basic Rega arm, so I sold mine. But for old classical and Jazz recordings I thought the SME sounded wonderful.

So either I guess one could argue that if you want to hear those recordings as closely as possible to how they sounded at the time then the 3009 is the arm to have, or if you want to play a wider variety of more modern music as well then you should upgrade. Although in hindsight I would have hung onto the 3009 for a 2nd system as it is a lovely thing.
post #43 of 54
Thread Starter 
that's exactly what I paln on doing meme. I plan on getting my 3009 rewired, putting a lighter more compliant cart in and then using it as a second system. I just ordered a Sota Nova with SME 309! YES! That table and arm should make my Shelter 7000 sing eh? I can't wait.

Interesting what you say about listening to the old records on an old arm to see what they sounded like back in the day. Was the 3009 a state of the art arm 50 years ago? It's still pretty cool looking today.
post #44 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fido2 View Post
that's exactly what I paln on doing meme. I plan on getting my 3009 rewired, putting a lighter more compliant cart in and then using it as a second system. I just ordered a Sota Nova with SME 309! YES! That table and arm should make my Shelter 7000 sing eh? I can't wait.

Interesting what you say about listening to the old records on an old arm to see what they sounded like back in the day. Was the 3009 a state of the art arm 50 years ago? It's still pretty cool looking today.
Sounds like a plan. The 309 is a single molding like the IV and V save for the removable headshell, but being SME they havn't made much of a compromise in rigidity there as it's a bespoke one made exactly for that arm and hex bolted into place. It'll sound completely different to the 3009 anyway and should be better with a low compliance MC like the Shelter.

The original 3009 was certainly state of the art in the late '50s early '60s. This is the version which is most highly sought after as it is higher mass than than the more common Series II / S2 '70s ones. I still have an Ortofon arm from the '60s which needs rewiring but I've been told it's nowhere near so good as an SME. I wanted one which looked the part on a Lenco deck with a removable headshell for playing '78s.

There is definitely something to be said for vintage kit being better for older records. For instance mono records have slightly different grooves so a different stylus profile works much better. I have found this even to be the case with early stereo pressings like say David Oistrakh on Deutsch Grammophon which sounds much better with a Denon DL-103 than with anything else I've tried.

It's difficult to say with record players that one element is better than an other categorically in every sense as the technology has ebbed and flowed following different fashions at various times. Certainly the newer SME arms measure better with a test record but if there is some other advance somewhere in the future who is to say low mass arms might make a comeback.
post #45 of 54
The sound of a tonearm can also be somewhat of a personal thing. I remember a guy selling a very high end Origin Live tonearm on audiogon sometime back because it just picked up and exposed too much detail in his recordings and he just couldn't take it anymore stating that he much preferred a smooth older style analog sound. A good modern tonearm with really good wiring that just picked up the entire signal on the recordings just ruined it for him.
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