(size matters)

Reduce tracking error by converting your SME 3009 into a 3012

Providing classic looks and meticulous build quality, this 12" arm conversion is dimensionally identical to the SME 3012 Mk1, allowing optimum cartridge choice with the minimal tracking error and lessened harmonic distortion associated with the 12" tonearms.

The Average tracking error of a normal 9" arm is 0.85%, whilst 12" arms measure at 67%, this is an improvement of approximately 20% for a 12" tonearm. This improvement is discernable through to the human ear.


Click here for more information on the wood/stainless combination tonearms


The SME 3012 is associated with high compliance moving magnet cartridges, however it was originally designed with the then popular heavy, low compliance Ortofon moving coil cartridge in the SPU series in mind.


As a result of the SME 3012 Mk1's unsurpassed compliance matching with heavier, low compliance moving coil cartridge, it's performance is still greatly applauded.


This is why SME 3012 Mk1 tonearms in good condition fetch prices in excess of £1000 in HiFi auctions.


Conversion of the SME Tonearms 3009 / 3010 / 3012 /II/R to the 3012 Mk1 is relatively simple with our kit, but if preferred, we can assemble and rewire for you at an extra charge.




The 12" conversion kit includes the following: -


1. 12'' stainless steel 316L arm tube, predrilled to match all connections for the original SME parts (saddle, socket, lift support, etc). The mass of our stainless steel armtube is  gms. This is slightly higher than the original aluminium armtube of 12gms, but the greater mass of the stainless steel is more desirable for cartridge compliance.

2. Counterweight support stub tube is 55 mm long.

3. A unique combined 'Carrier' (see image below), which is inserted into the armtube for attaching the earth wire, tube, decoupling rod, and saddle fixing screws.

The two screws that originally held the tube to the saddle, now pass though the tube into the 'Carrier' and make assembly much easier than the fumbling which occurred with the original assembly. This 'Carrier' makes for a rigid as well as electrically conductive unit and slightly improves resonance decoupling.


Rear and top side of 'Carrier'Underside of 'Carrier'


4. Two counterweights, so will adjust for the mass of most cartridges.

5. Two 'tube end collars', one for the headshell connector and one for the decoupling.

6. Internal balsa wood or sponge inserts for damping unwanted resonance.

7. Stainless steel fixing screws ('instrument head' as per SME original) for the saddle.

8. De-coupling rubber spacers as provided by SME, also adhesive and cleaning wipes to fix the de-coupling rubbers into position.

9. Acrylic templates for accurately marking out the position of the tonearm on the turntable.

10. Cardas OFHC copper litz wire is supplied as standard in the kit, but we can supply silver litz wire at an extra charge.


All the above are presented in a sturdy foam padded transportation box.


Where possible, we use original SME components.


Price: -  Please contact us for latest price options.

 Stephen Murray's turntable (shown above) is a Verdier Platine and has the converted SME 3009-3012, the other tonearms are an SME V, and an SME M2- 12R. 

Stephen commented: -  "received the tonearm… absolutely brilliant workmanship really pleased.  I am still amazed at the performance of the SME 3012 considering that it started as a SME 3009 and was just left in a cupboard for literally years and now it is used most days!!  

The cartridges that I use with it - Ikeda Kai ,  Ortofon SPU Silver Meister , Denon 103R, and the sound quality from all of them is excellent".


Click here for the installation and set up guide.


Please Note: -


The MK1 tonearms have a different headshell socket fixing. These sockets mount only when customized to the 8.5mm diameter!


With this unique kit you are able to convert early SME 3009 / 3010 / 3012 /II tonearms with detachable headshell into the sonically unsurpassed 3012 Mk1 tonearm. 


We also have a kit for the SME 3009 (non detachable head), however this conversion kit requires a headshell socket (as used by the the SME tonearms with detachable headshell). The cost of a new SME headshell socket is expensive, for this reason, we have found most enthusiasts prefer to supply their own.


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 (www.vinylengine.com) whose information proved invaluable.

A very special thanks to Jim McEwan for his advice.

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.

        We reserve the right to change specification without notice.

Copyright © True Point Audio Ltd